You to have to wonder when college students and officials will stop working themselves into foaming rage when “racist” graffiti and letters show up on campus.
Inevitably, the students march, claim they feel unsafe, and cry uncontrollably. Campus deans unbosom anodyne bromides about racism and diversity.
And just inevitably, the hate graffiti or letters or whatever turn out to be hoaxes, just as they did in the last week or so when cops in Des Moines, Iowa, and Towson, Maryland, collared two campus hate-hoaxers.
The kiddies at Drake University and Goucher College got all upset over nothing.
Fake Hate at Drake
At Des Moines’ Drake University, terrified students erupted in a protest after five racist notes surfaced.
About 3,000 students rallied at the school to “celebrate diversity and call for unity among students,” the Des Moines Register reported.
“Jose Garcia-Fuerte, Drake student body president, said after word of the notes was shared on campus, dozens of students expressed fear for their safety.” The fears of the terrified students “should not be dismissed,” he told the newspaper.
Except that once again, it was a big, fat hoax, which ended when cops charged 18-year-old Kissie Ram with making false reports to the police.
The NBC affiliate reported that Ram and another student told cops they “found racist notes slid under the doors of their dorm rooms. Two weeks later another note was found by one of the women.”
Apparently Ram will face charges in connection with just one of the notes, the Register reported, although “Drake officials ... were confident that four of the notes, now considered hoaxes, can be tied to” Ram. She faces a fine and possible jail time.
Another note a freshman received in early November isn’t, apparently, connected to Ram’s epistolary crimes, and the freshman “has not cooperated with the police investigation,” the newspaper reported. That’s likely a hoax as well.
Newspaper reports did not identify Ram’s race, although her Facebook page carries the Indian surname Patel.
“We will not tolerate racism or hatred of any form on this campus,” school president Marty Martin said. Martin did not, apparently, suggest zero tolerance for hate hoaxes and send 3,000 students in a frothing rage.
Racists at Goucher, Too ... NOT
At Goucher College in Towson, Maryland, students assembled for a daylong “blackout” after racist graffiti turned up in a bathroom in mid November.
NBC affiliate WBALwas on the case: “They said that they were going to kill all N-words, referring to black people. It should be taken very seriously,” said Marie Mokuba, an organizer of the protest.
Students said the message also singled out dorm room 104. Many students tweeted #IAm104 in solidarity.
“I am student 104. I am one of the students that was specifically targeted. I am student 104. Regardless if it was my dorm, I am still that student because it could be any of us,” said Nailah Jones, an organizer of the protest.
Naturally, “students called out the college administration for not doing enough,” the affiliate reported. Undoubtedly, they were just in the middle of trying to do enough when the culprit attempted another scare. “It was found around 1:50 a.m. in a second-floor dormitory bathroom,” WBAL reported, “and included swastikas and ‘KKK,’ and appeared to include the last names of four black students,” including the kids who did it.
A biracial student, Fynn Arthur, a 21-year-old lacrosse player, confessed to the racist graffiti and faces two counts of malicious destruction of property. Police told the hoaxer “they could electronically place him at both crime scenes.” And the FBI “assisted county police with a handwriting expert.”
When police asked Arthur why he did it, “he replied that he has a lot of built-up anger with no way to vent on campus,” the charging documents said. “When asked what caused him to commit the second graffiti incident, he replied he had been drinking and just did something dumb.’”
The judge and the parents are mystified.
“I'm not sure I understand this case,” the judge said at young Arthur’s bail hearing. “Is he clamoring for attention?”
Replied Arthur’s folks, “We are surprised by this. He has not exhibited this type of behavior.”
Good thing is, students at Drake and Goucher can feel safe again. Campus officials reiterated that racism will not be tolerated even when none was found.