Third Racist Incident at Michigan College Leaves Students on Edge

Eastern Michigan University's Roosevelt hall (Wikimedia Commons)

Eastern Michigan University’s Roosevelt Hall (Wikimedia Commons)

Two months after a Michigan college campus faced two separate incidents of racism, the school suffered more offensive graffiti.

In an Eastern Michigan University news release, President Jim Smith revealed that more spray paint containing a racial slur appeared on the side of a classroom building Monday morning. Smith noted campus police looked into the matter and swiftly had it removed.

“There is no place on our campus for these kinds of hateful actions. And I am deeply angry and saddened that it occurred. Our police officers continue to investigate the incidents in late September,” Smith said. “They have responded to many tips and continue to actively pursue them.”

Two months ago, Atlanta Black Star reported someone at EMU scrawled “KKK” and “Leave N——” on the outside of a building Sept. 20. The next day, a racial slur was found written inside a stairwell on campus.

Because of the back-to-back occurrences, the school vowed to host “a day-long teach-in on racism, diversity, and inclusion” on Nov. 2 and 14.

After the investigation went on, the reward grew from $2,500 to $5,000. On Oct. 31, Smith revealed in his notice that the offer increased to $10,000.

Although the school president did not explicitly state what the newest racist graffiti said, a Twitter user posted an image of the offensive demand.

Geoff Larcom, a spokesperson for EMU, confirmed to the Detroit Free Press that the phrase said, “Leave N——.”

Since then, more reaction poured in on social media.

IDB acknowledged feeling unwelcome at EMU.

Jordan questioned how an investigation could be ongoing when a third racist message appeared on campus.

In response to the newest act of racism, Smith announced the President’s Commission on Diversity and Inclusion initiative Tuesday.

A group of faculty and staff including professors, administrators and a Title IX coordinator will give the president recommendations on how to resolve tension on campus.

The commission will also be made of student leaders and community members who will do the following:

“Providing recommendations to undertake systematic campus climate studies, including a study on the campus racial climate; identifying existing programs and resources that have succeeded in strengthening a climate of respect and inclusiveness on our campus and other campuses; and, providing input, and making specific recommendations, to the President and campus community about the campus climate and how to provide a more inclusive culture.”

Presently, a planned faculty protest in support of Black students has been pushed to tomorrow. Participants are encouraged to wear black.

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