Oy, what have you there? This is why “hate crime”, along with “racism” and the other “isms” are not taken seriously anymore.
A black college lacrosse player has been arrested in connection with two incidents of racist graffiti found in a dorm on the Goucher College campus in Maryland.
Fynn Ajani Arthur, a 21-year-old from Brunswick, Maine, was charged with two counts of malicious destruction of property on Thursday night in Baltimore County.
His arrest came after graffiti aimed at black and Latino students was found on the second floor of a campus dorm, one floor above where similar graffiti had been found on November 14, Goucher College administrators said in a statement.
Thursday’s graffiti depicted swastikas, the letters ‘KKK’ and appeared to include the last names of four black students, including Arthur. The previous graffiti reportedly said all ‘n*****s’ on campus would be killed.
Arthur was released his own recognizance after a bail review hearing on Friday, according to jail records.
He has been banned from campus pending a student conduct review.
Goucher Public Safety officials worked with Baltimore County Police and the Federal Bureau of Investigation Baltimore Field Office to investigate both of graffiti incidents.
They determined that Arthur was responsible for the messages based on evidence found Thursday, police say.
Goucher vice president and dean Bryan Coker condemned the racist incidents during a Friday press conference, according to the Baltimore Sun.
‘These acts of hate have consumed our community and we feel strongly that the suspect should be prosecuted with the strongest charges, which reflect the seriousness of these crimes,’ Coker said.
He criticized Baltimore County police for not charging Arthur with a hate crime, though in Maryland the specific charge of ‘hate crime’ does not exist, Officer Jennifer Peach, a department spokeswoman, said.
Instead, any evidence that a crime was motivated by bias is directed to the state’s attorney’s office for consideration during prosecution.
Sentencing for crimes that were motivated by bias carry harsher penalties.
‘It’s become like common jargon to call it a hate crime,’ Peach said. ‘There’s no such law that says hate crime. It has to do with sentencing if hate is the motive.’
Officials said the college has reached out to the individuals targeted in the graffiti to offer support, yet many minority students have expressed ongoing concerns despite Arthur’s arrest.
Senior Cydnii Jones told the Sun the graffiti incidents were merely symptoms of Groucher’s larger issue of racism on campus.
Some black students recently started a buddy system for walking in pairs around campus at night.
Goucher’s black student union group Umoja also designated a common area on campus for students to gather, debrief and vent.
A number of students flocked to the space on Friday afternoon to sign a list of seven demands.
The demands included the hiring of more black staff on campus, the installation of security cameras in residence halls and the requirement that incoming students take a class on cultural competency.
‘We had to mobilize when we were just trying to get an education,’ Jones said. ‘It’s just really disappointing and draining.’
Jones said the list itself - which was recycled from a similar one in 2014 - serves as evidence that race tensions on campus have persisted.
‘My concern is [officials] will be like: “We got him, we’ve solved all your problems,”’ Jones said. ‘But this is just the tip of the iceberg.’