The absurdity of the messages should have been the first hint that these were not written by someone who genuinely believed them.
Graffiti messages that included phrases like “white power” and “let’s kill all N*****s on campus” and that sparked days of protest at Albion College in Michigan were actually written by a black student, MLive reported.
On April 5, students from the college started tweeting about the dozen-or-so “racist incidents” that had occurred the previous week, referring to the messages. As The Post Millennial reported, a since-deleted tweet from one student included photos of the graffiti, calling the messages “blatant racism.”
The messages included phrases such as “white lives matter”, “666” atop a Star of David, and references to the Klu Klux Klan, among others. Discovery of the messages prompted days of protests from students, who boycotted classes in the name of racial justice.
On April 6, after reviewing campus security footage, a 21-year-old black male student was brought in for questioning by the Albion Department of Public Safety. The student reportedly admitted to writing most of the graffiti, with the surveillance footage supporting his statements. Police Chief Scott Kipp told MLive that the student was released after questioning and that after the department has completed its investigation, the Calhoun County Prosecutor’s Office will determine if any charges should be filed related to the incident. Charges are unlikely in such a case, as fears of being called racist abound even when a student has committed a hate crime hoax.
On Twitter, Albion College said the student was acting alone, but rather than providing a teachable lesson to students about committing such hoaxes, the school demurred, talking about “a significant history of racial pain and trauma on campus.” The tweets suggested the school needed to do more to fight racism, even though the charges of racism were false.
Further, the school did not acknowledge that the student who wrote the racist and anti-Semitic messages was black, allowing those who did not read news articles to assume the perpetrator was indeed a racist white person.
“We know the acts of racism that have occurred this week are not about one particular person or one particular incident. We know that there is a significant history of racial pain and trauma on campus and we are taking action to repair our community,” the school tweeted. “We will change and heal together as a community, because we are committed to doing the work.”
This incident is merely the latest in a long list of examples where claims of racism – or sexism – on campus have turned out to be hoaxes. In November 2020, The Daily Wire reported that a black teenager who claimed to have found racist messages on his SUV had written the messages himself. Earlier that year, another student who claimed to have found racist messages on their vehicle was also determined to be the culprit.
It’s not just students who commit the hoaxes. An Oregon politician claimed he received a racist letter, but it was determined he wrote the letter to himself.