UPDATE: Racial slur written on sculpture outside Hatch

Saturday, February 12, 2011 | 2:25 p.m. CST; updated 7:34 p.m. CST, Wednesday, February 16, 2011
Hatch Hall Coordinator Patrick Patterson tries to cover up the offensive graffiti on a sculpture outside of Hatch Residence Hall on Saturday.

COLUMBIA — Almost a year after two MU students scattered cotton balls in front of MU's Gaines/Oldham Black Culture Center, the university is dealing with what appears to be another hate crime incident.

The MU Police Department was alerted Saturday morning that a racial slur referring to Black History Month had been written in graffiti across a sculpture in front of Hatch Residence Hall, MU Police Department Capt. Brian Weimer said.


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Weimer said police are still in the early stages of investigation.

Originally covered with cardboard and plastic, Residential Life workers cleaned the graffiti off with a power washer and scrub brushes at about 12:30 p.m. Saturday. 

Members of Residential Life would not comment on the incident because of a media policy, Hatch Hall Coordinator Patrick Patterson said. 

MU Chancellor Brady Deaton released a statement at about 1:30 p.m. 

"I speak for our entire university community when I say we are dismayed and deeply offended and have a zero tolerance for this hurtful and destructive behavior," Deaton wrote in the statement.

Bryan Like, president of MU's NAACP collegiate chapter, said that he wants the university to take a greater stand on the issue.

"We need to hear from the powers that be how the issue will be dealt with," Like said. "We need retribution. If the university really has a zero tolerance policy, why won't actions like these result in expulsion?"  

Like said that he wants the university to work on educating students about racial issues to prevent these types of occurrences. 

"I think we need to talk to the incoming freshman about racial issues. You shouldn't have to pay per credit hour for a class to receive the education that brings about change," Like said. 

As of 2:15 p.m. Saturday, MU police have no additional information, Weimer said.

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David Sautner February 12, 2011 | 2:43 p.m.
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Gregg Bush February 12, 2011 | 3:22 p.m.

I am deeply saddened and disgusted by this contemptible act.

Nevertheless, I am comforted by these words: "Man must evolve for all human conflict a method which rejects revenge, aggression and retaliation. The foundation of such a method is love."
May the cowardly culprits be brought to justice.

(Report Comment)
Bobbia Brown February 12, 2011 | 5:58 p.m.

So much power still given to one word. While the problem is much larger than the word. As along time resident of Columbia I have seen racism in many places in our community it is not confined to the University Campus no it is not written anywhere you can see. but I feel it everytime I go to a restaurant and am given poor service and sometimes no service at all and here it is 2011 imagine that !!! The Columbia Mall is a great example went with my daughter to a particular store to inquire about some makeup. we got a partial makeover and the saleslady even tried to give us tester products. subtle but I got the hint they didn't want our business.

(Report Comment)
Derrick Fogle February 12, 2011 | 7:13 p.m.

There's got to be a disconnect somewhere, when this very word shows up 2 times minute on Twitter (and a close variant gets over 20 Tweets a minute), and thousands of songs with that very word repeated in the lyrics are legally sold and downloaded every day.

Then, here's an official, horrified "That which cannot even be named" public PC reaction to the word.

In any case, we should all be outraged that University property is being damaged in a way that's really difficult to clean up. I've noticed Switzler and Engineering has been tagged with spray paint recently too, and it's really ugly and disappointing to see.

But, the un-named word itself is common enough; it's strictly the context that makes it offensive. That context dependency is a symptom of a more fundamental social divide. It's like two completely different realities exist. How can that be right?

(Report Comment)

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