It's yet another hate crime hoax.
Jerome K. Jackson, a 54-year-old black man, was charged earlier this month with tagging the campus of Salisbury University in Maryland with racist graffiti five times between last October and February of this year, which authorities characterized as a "hate crime."
WMDT-TV said the phrase "It's hang a N [redacted] month" was written, and that the graffiti sparked unrest at Salisbury.
Image source: WMDT-TV video screenshot, composite
Before Jackson was identified, university President Charles A. Wight penned a message to the university community calling the culprit a "coward" and cancelling classes "to give us all the opportunity to come together to process what we are experiencing, support each other, and figure out how we can move forward together as a community."
Wight added, "I know these crimes have frightened members of our campus community, particularly Black and Brown students, faculty and staff. I am appalled by these vile acts which are not welcome on OUR campus and do not represent our values."
What did one student have to say after Jackson was identified?
Upon hearing the news that Jackson was identified, student Abiodun Adeoye told WMDT, "I don't want people to get this idea that since that man wrote that, and he was a black person, 'Well, anything that happens now, you African-American people can't criticize white people about race.'"
Image source: WMDT-TV video screenshot,
What did Jackson have to say?
Jackson opted to not speak when he was sentenced two weeks ago, WMDT-TV reported in a separate story, but his attorney had some theories regarding the motivation behind his client's actions.
"To start a conversation about race at SU, their practices, their admissions, the way the institution is run, and to bring those issues to the forefront," Richard Brueckner speculated to the station, adding that his theories didn't come directly from Jackson.
Brueckner added to WMDT that the black community's "voice isn't often heard, and we've seen folks go to some pretty extreme lengths to facilitate a conversation of race and where it fits in" and that Jackson originally faced nearly 30 years in prison before a plea deal was worked out.
"I'm not sure that incarceration sends any message to anyone about racism," he added to the station.
Wicomico County State's Attorney Jamie Dykes told WMDT that while Jackson was sentenced to 18 months behind bars, he likely will serve around nine months before being paroled — and he also must pay $494 to the university in restitution.
It's an old story
As TheBlaze has extensively reported, hoaxes perpetrated in order to draw attention to social issues are nothing new. Here's a look at 20 recent hate crime hoaxes.
(H/T: Campus Reform)