Racist Incidents Mar Black History Month at Colleges Across the Country
Wash. Student Leader Accused of Making Racial Remark About Administrator
SPOKANE, Wash. — The Spokane Falls Community College student government president has been accused of making a racist remark about an administrator. A student panel is being formed to hear the case.
The dispute centers on April Stevens, 39, a psychology student who is running as a write-in candidate for a second one-year term as Associated Student Senate president, and Richard Tucker, associate dean of student services and faculty advisor to the college’s student senate.
Stevens has denied using a derogatory term in talking about Tucker to another student in October but maintains that if she had, it wouldn’t have been racist.
“What I supposedly said is that ‘I wish Rich would stop being such a n—-r and start being a normal Black man,'” Stevens told The Spokesman-Review in a telephone interview. “If I had said that, it wouldn’t be a racial slur anyway. It would be against one person, not a whole race.”
The term refers to an “uncouth, ignorant, lazy person” and has nothing to do with race or ethnicity, she asserted.
“The senate knows me too well. They know I’m not racist,” she told the newspaper. “I have too many friends that don’t happen to be White, and I’ve stood up for too many students who are multicultural.”
Students appear to be largely unmoved.
Pa. Student Suspended After
Racially Motivated Dorm Fires
BETHLEHEM, Pa. — A student linked to one of several racial incidents at Northampton Community College was suspended and removed from the campus a day after more hate crimes were reported, officials here say.
The student was suspended last month after another Black student who had been the target of previous threats and dorm fires was threatened again. There were also bomb threats at the college.
The suspended student, a male whose name was not released, was escorted by security to the residence hall, where he picked up personal property from his room. He was then taken off the campus and ordered not to return, says college spokeswoman Heidi Butler.
“He appears to be a threat to others,” Butler says. “He is completely banned from campus. If he comes on campus, he will be trespassing.”
There have been no arrests in the case.
The school, which has about 200 Black students, has been rocked by a series of racial crimes. On the same day in January, a smoke bomb went off in the multipurpose room of the dorm, someone set a chair on fire there and a burning paper bag was slipped under the door of the Black student’s room.
Butler would not say which event the student is linked to. She said the investigation is continuing.
R.I. Student Charged With
Sending Racist E-mail
BRISTOL, R.I. — A law student at Roger Williams University has been charged with sending racist e-mail to a Black dean.
George Battles, 31, was arrested last month after investigators traced the message to him and seized a computer from his home, state police say.
The school’s director of security notified troopers about the e-mail.
State police Capt. Brendan Doherty would not provide specifics on the relationship between Battles and the law school dean.
“We’re categorizing this as vicious and racist hate statements toward the dean,” Doherty says.
Battles was arraigned on three counts of disorderly conduct and released on a $25,000 personal recognizance bond.
Racial Incidents Decried at
University of Mississippi
OXFORD, Miss. — The head of the Afro-American studies program at the University of Mississippi is pushing for the expulsion of the students responsible for racially charged incidents on the campus.
The incidents include racial epithets written in a dormitory bathroom and the tearing down of a Black History Month bulletin board in the dorm.
The Black History Month display was replaced by a computer printout of a monkey eating an apple with the backdrop of a Confederate flag, students and school officials say.
Dr. James F. Payne, head of the university’s Afro-American studies program, sent an e-mail urging Dr. Robert Khayat, university chancellor, and others to strongly condemn the behavior.
“The University of Mississippi cannot pretend that all is well when these acts of racial intolerance keep occurring,” Payne wrote in a memo obtained by The Clarion-Ledger.
University officials have investigated and concede there were “racial overtones” injected into the situation at the dorm, says spokesman Jeffrey Alford.
He says the problems stem from a dispute that a few “immature” White freshmen have with a White resident assistant, Karl Nichols, at Garland-Hedleston-Mayes Hall.
“The real issue is not racial at all. It is immature behavior,” says Alford, who did not have an explanation for why race was injected into the dispute.
Nichols, a graduate student, recently disciplined some of the White students in the hall and they didn’t like it, Alford says.
Following the dispute, racial epithets were written in the dorm’s bathroom. Also, a bulletin board on the door of the resident assistant’s room was set on fire. There were no injuries.
Then, a piece of asphalt was tossed through Nichols’ first-floor window. Nichols told officials the asphalt was wrapped with a note threatening him, saying the perpetrators would get the “n—-r lover,” students and officials say.
“People have come out strongly against what’s happened here,” says student Casey O’Shea a resident at the dormitory.
About 40 students condemned the racially tinged actions during a meeting last month.
Ole Miss has a student population of 10,177 students, 12 percent of whom are Black.
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