Echoes of The Great Oberlin College Racism Hoax of 2013.
Last month racist writing on a dormitory door shook Grand Valley State University
near Detroit in Michigan.
Here’s a photo of the student’s dorm door:
Students who live in the residence hall said they were surprised by the incident, saying signs of racial tension haven’t been present in the past.
One resident, Andrew Seawood, a freshman from Stevensville, said the slurs were upsetting because the residents of Copeland typically get along with one another.
“It was a little surprising when they did say something was written,” he said. “Everybody gets along with everybody.”
Others were angry.
Mattie Johnson, a sophomore from Southfield, said she was “appalled” that such intolerance exists in 2014.
“We’re a multi-racial community, and we shouldn’t treat each other like that,” Johnson said. “We’re all Lakers, we should all get along.” …
In addition to the drawing of a person being hanged, the slurs also included hateful remarks written about Black History Month.
Donzelle Collins, a sophomore from Detroit, said the incident suggests the university still has ground to cover in building an inclusive campus.
He and others said black and minority students still make up a relatively small portion of the university’s overall student body. In fall 2012, 5 percent of GVSU students were black, according to federal data.
“It wasn’t a surprise, considering the area we’re in,” Collins said.
An emergency meeting was hosted Monday by the university’s chapter of the NAACP to discuss the incident. On Wednesday, students on campus said there was a strong turnout at the meeting.
An author at Huffington Post wrote that Hate Threats Written On College Dorm Room Whiteboard Prove Racism Persists.
It turns out it was a hoax, inflicted by the student who lived in the room and owned the whiteboard.
Campus Police released the following statement yesterday:
Posted on March 21, 2014
Statement from Grand Valley Police Department Chief Renee Freeman:
The Grand Valley State University Police Department has concluded a thorough investigation of the Racial Bias incident reported on February 17, 2014. The person believed to be responsible for the drawing and language written on the dry erase board is a Grand Valley student and the owner of the message board.
The incident has had a disruptive impact on the community and as a result, the student has been referred to the Dean of Students for a student code violation. University policy does not permit the release of his/her name.
It will be interesting to see if the GVSU administration uses the hoax to push an agenda, which is what happened at Oberlin.
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