Concerns about the presence of white supremacy at Cal State Long Beach resurfaced on Monday when a restroom stall was defaced with a composition containing the word “n****r,” targeting African-American students.
The graffiti was written with a marker in capital letters inside a men’s bathroom stall in lecture halls 150-151, and was reported to University Police.
“As I have shared with you before, I vigorously condemn messages that demean any group,” President Jane Close Conoley said in an email blast to students and faculty. “In this case, our Black students and organizations — as well as our entire community — can be assured that when we discover the source of this or any other vitriolic graffiti, we will remove it immediately and continue to investigate perpetrators.”
On Tuesday evening CSULB Black Student Union responded to the graffiti with an email to administration and Piya Bose, the dean of students.
“’We, the Black Student Union, would like administration to formally address this issue as there have been an increase in death threats, hate speech, and intolerant undertones directed towards People of Color on this campus, particularly Black/African-American students as this comment relates to our community, who feel unsafe and uncomfortable to attend school,”’ the union said in an email to university representatives.
Following death threats on Facebook and vandalism to the multicultural center on campus directed toward La Raza Student Association, anxiety about hate speech has been a frequent topic of contention during the fall semester. The graffiti sparked a conversation on the university’s subreddit.
“This crap is in almost every women’s bathroom on campus,” Reddit user stringbeanday said. “Especially the first floor library one by Starbucks. It’s ridiculous and needs to be taken care of but, honestly, how? Why can’t people grow up and not write on walls about things they’re too afraid to say.”
BSU responded to the incident in Instagram posts with the image of the vandalism with a red frame around it reading: “the voices of white supremacy.” La Raza Student Association later reposted the image. BSU said that they were thankful for Conoley’s words of support and that they will continue to condemn hate speech on campus.
“It is our duty to engage and struggle with racism head on and we will do so very wisely…” union representatives said in an email. “It is our intent to continuously empower Black students and BSU members by any means necessary.”