Vandals Plaster Howard Campus with Graffiti Blasting School Leader’s Meeting with Trump

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The graffiti covering Howard University’s campus also includes one that references a GIF of Iyanla Vanzant angrily declaring, “Not on my watch.” (Twitter)

“Welcome to the Trump Plantation. Overseer: Wayne A.I. Frederick” is one unexpected message you may have seen if you strolled Howard University’s campus this week.

Unsuspecting students discovered the startling graffiti on the historically Black university’s grounds Tuesday, Feb. 28 — the same day President Donald Trump signed an essentially meaningless executive order declaring the importance of HBCUs, which followed Howard president Frederick and other HBCU leaders’ visit to the White House a day earlier.

“Make Howard Black Again” and “Wayne Frederick Doesn’t Care About Black People” also showed up on campus buildings and pathways in the wake of the presidential meeting. The former references Trump’s campaign slogan, while the latter is a take on rapper Kanye West’s infamous 2005 Hurricane Katrina line, “George Bush doesn’t care about Black people.”

Though none have claimed responsibility for the vandalism, Howard students have been displeased with Frederick since Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos made the school her first official campus visit in early February.

“Howard University is pleased that Betsy DeVos, the new Secretary of Education, chose to visit our institution as her first official campus visit,” Frederick said in a statement at the time of the Feb. 9 meeting. “We have a longstanding, successful relationship with the Department of Education and I look forward to advancing this relationship under the Secretary’s leadership.”

Student group HUResist met with Frederick and issued a list of demands, which included HU refusing federal funding and also calling for Trump to be banned from campus. The group tweeted Feb. 28 to deny any culpability for the graffiti.

“I see the students’ need to protest, but this is just clear vandalism,” student Francisco Joseph told the DCist. “I’m never about slandering people. This went a little bit too far.”

Taylor Washington, another HU student, told the website the term “overseer” is a massive insult to the Black community. “I just feel like it’s a little dramatic,” she said.

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