UR in Uproar over Racist Graffiti

Anti-racism protest at UR basketball game this weekend.

by James A. Bacon

The University of Richmond is in a state of shock after three alleged acts of racially motivated vandalism. The dormitory door of an African American student was defaced last week by the N-word. Additionally, two students of Middle Eastern descent were targeted with slurs.

UR President Ronald Crutcher described the incidents as “disgusting” and a “cowardly and racist act.” “An act of racism against any of us on this campus is an act that affronts all of us, and everything we are committed to as a University community,” he said. “We will not tolerate members of our community being targeted for harassment based on their identities.”

The incidents occurred as the university is holding dialogues to foster a more inclusive community. The Black Student Alliance, the Multicultural Solidarity Network and even the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) have chimed in. CAIR called for a federal hate crime investigation.

A federal hate crime investigation is a good idea. Federal investigators are likely to be attuned to a possibility that no one on the UR campus appears to be: that a large percentage, perhaps an outright majority, of hate crimes on college campuses in the U.S. are hoaxes perpetrated by activists seeking to raise anti-racism consciousness.

Wilfred Reilly, an African-American political science professor at Kentucky State University, has built a database of hundreds of hate crime hoaxes around the country, and has described more than a dozen of the most infamous campus-based incidents in his book, “Hate Crime Hoax.” As he observes, the politically correct culture on many campuses creates the perfect environment for hate-crime hoaxes to flourish. Typically, the incidents are perpetrated by minority activists in the hope of stimulating outrage against racism.

That’s not to say every hate crime is a hoax. But the incidence of hoaxes is so widespread that one must consider the possibility that the UR vandalism incidents might have been faked. Therefore, until more is known, it would be prudent for the UR administration to be restrained in its response rather than add to the sense of alarm.

The first incident was reported Friday. Gabbie Armon-Wickers, an African-American freshman, found the N-word scrawled on the name tag on her door. She immediately reported the vandalism to campus police, her dean, and the University President. She told WTVR that she was coming back to her room from taking a morning shower.

At first I laughed, I laughed. Because I already knew that it was coming, because I’ve been a very vocal person on campus about issues such as racism, sexism, classism and I’m not one to really back down or be afraid to speak in front of anyone. And so, I already knew that there were people that did not like that about me, but I never thought that they would come in and invade my personal space like that. And so, like I said, I laughed, but then I thought about it and then my heart started pumping. I got angry.

Another student, Ahmed Elnagger, a freshman who is running for class chair of the sophomore class of Whitehurst of Richmond College, said he found a note Saturday morning: “terry = / = chair”.  (WWBT described “terry” as a racist slang term for terrorist.”)

“I knew immediately what the abbreviation meant and everything and I knew immediately someone was rejecting the idea of me becoming class chair,” said Elnaggar. “When I saw it, before I ripped it down from the door, it was like, my heart dropped. It didn’t process through my brain… Like, wow. This just happened to me also. I didn’t realize I would be a target, also.”

According to WWBT, Maha Hassan, a sophomore, described how she was notified of graffiti on her door on Saturday. “Around 10 a.m. a police officer knocked on my door and I had no idea what happened. I opened the door and I stepped outside and I turned around and saw an ethnic slur written about the fact I’m from Pakistan. I sort of just fell to the floor in absolute disgust.”

A couple of observations about the UR case to suggest that caution is advisable before jumping to conclusions.

  • The vandalism was not a single incident, but a spree of three. And the targets were not of the same ethnic group. One was African-American, and two, apparently, were Middle Eastern Muslims. The occurrence of three acts in two days on a campus where such acts are usually unknown is unlikely to be a coincidence. One might ask if the same person (or persons) committed all three acts, a conjecture that could be confirmed by an examination of the handwriting. Logical questions to ask: Was the vandal a single bigot lashing out against people of color indiscriminately? Do the incidents represent a wave of bigotry by multiple parties? Or could the vandal have been an activist trying to generate a sense of community outrage against racism?
  • The vandalism has galvanized minority student organizations — precisely the effect sought in hate crime hoaxes on other campuses described by Reilly. The minority groups are launching a student-led dialogue about race. Declared a joint message from minority student groups: “It is important that we recognize this failure and that we move as a group to address the discrimination that people on our campus deal with.” Frequently, the hoaxers on other campuses were members of a group that gained visibility and influence from the resulting uproar.

Let me repeat: I’m not saying the vandalism incidents were a hoax. It is possible that closet racists lurk at UR. If so, they should be identified and shamed. But the massive body of evidence compiled by Reilly makes it clear that it is irresponsible to presume racism. University administrators and media should not jump to conclusions. Let’s see what the investigation turns up.

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8 responses to “UR in Uproar over Racist Graffiti

  1. “a student-led dialogue about race.”

    Some years ago we participated in a thing called An Honest Dialogue about Race and Jurisdiction, conducted by a national organization at Richmond Hill, the former monastery overlooking downtown Richmond on Church Hill. We were Yankees new to Richmond and felt we ought to understand the issue. Unfortunately, while there were some good modules on race history in Richmond, the sessions were less an honest dialogue about race than they were about promoting left-wing politics. I rather suspect that the same thing will occur at UR. “Honest dialogues”seem to be all the rage.

    • Would you be amenable to revealing some specifics about those nefarious left wing politics?

      Seems like it’s always the left wing doing stuff like this, eh?

      When the right wing does it – it’s call hate mongering , right?

  2. Thanks for the reference to the book on hoaxes. I agree that it becomes very important for investigations to get to the bottom of the actual source of an incident. And while we are at it, it also becomes important for society to trust its major institutions (Justice Departments, police, press (MSM), or the functioning of Democracy and civil society are done for. But, that is a larger topic for another blog entry.

    This concept – creating a “crime”, perpetrated not by the actual “criminals” but those in opposition to them, to further a cause, is not a new concept – they are “engineered provocations.” Another name for this is a “False Flag” operation. It certainly has been done at the national level via intelligence services many times to further a political goal. It is part of “Deep History” or unreported history. Techniques can be quite sophisticated, if done “well” (namely the perps cover their tracks well).

    It is not surprising to me that the technique is being adopted in other vectors. Here is a primer on False Flag and its use. https://deepstateblog.org/2019/07/12/engineered-provocation-a-primer-on-u-s-false-flag-operations-from-cuba-to-iran/

  3. The primary offensive weapon of leftist activists are their creation and deployment of highly toxic and inflammatory cascading memes.

    These are the weapons of choice used in most all leftists initiatives that are quite intentionally designed to tear our society apart today, and far into future.

    That cascading meme warfare is now ubiquitous, out of control all around us, assaulting us, and our institutions, our culture and our society, from all directions. We must confront them.

    • I can think of some “toxic and inflammatory” right-wing memes: KKK hoods, Nazi swastikas, Confederate flags, burning crosses, etc

      • Yes, which proves my point, given that they were used to such great advantage by the imported leftist thugs in Charlottlesville, and their many enablers within Uva, and elsewhere within Virginia, including its (your) government.

  4. Talk about wasting taxes. Public safety officers are expensive. Not only in their wages but all their training.

    And here we squandering them – and taxpayer dollars over this kind of thing.

    See this is what happens when you have laws – and the laws don’t “work”!

    we spend out the wazoo to stop something and it still goes on!

  5. Reed, I wish I knew how to confront them. I was one of three conservative candidates for the Board of Supervisors an electoral board member called white supremacists and urged people not to vote for us on his Facebook page. Those comments of course got circulated on other local FB group pages. Just happened to be posted the morning of the NAACP forum. Maybe I was wrong not to say I’ve never heard a Jewish person called a white supremacist before, but I don’t think religion belongs in politics, and that wouldn’t have done anything to help the other two fight the smear.

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