Racist graffiti was found in a dormitory stairwell at Michigan's Albion College last Friday, and the offensive writing included the phrases "Die [N-word] please!" and "KKK white power" — as well as an anti-Semitic epithet: a Star of David with the numbers "666" written across it.
As a result, the college was in an uproar.
What happened next?
More than 450 students and staff members marched across campus Monday to protest the act and boycott the school, WWMT-TV reported.
"You're nothing but a coward, you have no room here, you're not welcomed," junior Domonic McDonald said presumably to the culprit, according to the station. "I'll pray for you. You need to be better."
Senior Jayson Sawyer told WWMT that if Albion's administration didn't listen to protesting students, then a group of them would file a civil rights discriminatory lawsuit with the help of Albion College board of trustees members.
On Tuesday, Robert Dunklin — the NAACP's Albion branch president — condemned the graffiti, MLive reported: "It is not acceptable in this community ... Whoever it is, they're best to come forward or get out of town."
To top things off, Albion offered a $1,000 reward for information that could identify the source of graffiti, the outlet said.
"The racist and anti-Semitic actions taken on our campus over the last week are cowardly and will not be tolerated," college President Matthew Johnson said, according to MLive. "We are outraged and angered that this incident occurred within our community. In addition to caring for and protecting the students most directly impacted, and addressing the safety concerns of the broader student body, we are currently investigating who is responsible for racist graffiti on our campus."
Well, it turns out a black male student was responsible for the racist graffiti, MLive reported in a separate story. Albion police brought in the 21-year-old for questioning Tuesday, and he admitted to creating most of the graffiti, Chief Scott Kipp told the outlet, adding that video evidence from Albion's Campus Safety Department confirmed the student's statements.
More from the outlet:
The student was released after questioning, Kipp said. Once the investigation is complete, the information will be submitted to the Calhoun County Prosecutor's Office for any charges related to the incident, he said. [...]
In a series of tweets Wednesday evening, April 7, college officials said the student was acting alone and acknowledged responsibility for the incidents. The student was immediately removed from campus and placed on temporary suspension while the college conducts a full investigation as part of its student judicial process, college officials said.
School officials in the tweets didn't acknowledge the race of the person who admitted to creating the graffiti — but they insisted transformation is still necessary.
"We know the acts of racism that have occurred this week are not about one particular person or one particular incident. We know that there is a significant history of racial pain and trauma on campus, and we are taking action to repair our community," one of the tweets read. "We will change and heal together as a community, because we are committed to doing the work."
Students said in the last month there were at least three instances involving racial and derogatory slurs written on dorm walls, along with drawings of swastikas, WWMT-TV reported in a separate story.
But it didn't seem to matter to them that a black student was behind the graffiti.
"We are not anti-white, our movement is not anything of that nature, we are anti-ism," boycott organizer Sawyer, quoted in the previous WWMT story, told the station. "Our goal is to remove hatred, within the Albion community and the marginalized communities as well."
Indeed, Thursday marked the third day of students boycotting classes, WWMT said.
For the third day this week, Albion College students and staff marched across campus, demanding change over recent… https://t.co/HBEUfSI8W9— Trisha McCauley (@Trisha McCauley) 1617921310.0
And the beat goes on
TheBlaze has extensively reported on hate crime hoaxes:
- Last July, a former commissioner candidate in Oregon admitted to police that he wrote a racist letter to himself that he previously claimed was left in his mailbox.
- Also in July, police concluded that after a Texas A&M student claimed someone plastered papers with racist messages on his car's windshield, the most likely suspect actually was the alleged victim.
- In June a black man was charged with tagging the campus of Salisbury University in Maryland with racist graffiti five times, which authorities characterized as a "hate crime."
- And here's a breakdown of 20 other hate crime hoaxes.