Black man fined $ 2,000 for racist graffiti that rocked Michigan’s ‘silent’ community | The independent

A black man who spray painted racist messages against African Americans at a Michigan college was fined $ 2,000 for the action, which he admitted to doing.

Eddie Curlin, a 29-year-old former student at Eastern Michigan University, discovered his sentence after pleading guilty to malicious destruction of property. The incidents occurred late last year and in the spring when the three hate messages shocked the otherwise quiet Ypsilanti campus.

The first of these three messages came in September, when students were shocked to find “KKK” written in red, white and blue paint on the side of a dormitory next to a threat that told African Americans to ” quit school.

The second came on Halloween when a similar message was scrawled on another building near a monument to Reverend Martin Luther King Jr, this time using the n word to tell black students to leave.

The last ugly message was left in a men’s restroom.

“It really rocked our community,” said Judith Kullberg, a political scientist at the school. The Washington Post. “In all this context of the very tense presidential election, this has caused considerable concern here.

The shocking messages came as other schools across the country faced similar acts of apparent hate vandalism and gained national media attention. The episode in eastern Michigan ended with yet another shock when Curlin – who is serving a sentence of one to five years on unrelated charges of concealment and concealment of stolen property – was announced by the university as being the culprit.

Campus police said the more than 1,000 hours of investigation revealed the incidents were not motivated by politics, or even race.

“It was an individual piece made by a single individual,” Robert Heighes, the campus police chief, told the student newspaper the Oriental echo.

“Knowing that he was a person of color is hurtful,” Jaiquae Rodwell, a black student, told this newspaper. “As a black student, knowing that another black person is using the n-word negatively is embarrassing.”

The United States saw a worrying increase in hate crimes during President Donald Trump’s political ascent in 2016, after years of declining reported cases.

The number of such crimes jumped by nearly 300 incidents in 2016 from 2015, according to FBI data released in November. A total of 6,121 incidents were reported that year, up from 5,850 the previous year.

Donald Trump blames both parties for Charlottesville violence

While Mr. Trump’s controversial and heated national campaign against Hillary Clinton has been widely blamed for fostering a culture that allows this kind of hatred to be openly displayed, Mr. Trump himself has discouraged the actions.

“If it helps, I’ll say this, and I’ll say straight to the cameras: stop it,” Mr. Trump said shortly after the election.

Yet Mr. Trump’s handling of race issues as president has earned him much criticism.

Among the episodes criticized was his reaction to the events in Charlottesville, Virginia, when a white supremacist drove a car through a crowd of people who had come to denounce a rally of white supremacists being held in the city. One person was killed.

Mr. Trump was seen to have a lukewarm response to this violence, although he ultimately spoke out against white supremacy. He later compounded the problem when he appeared to sympathize with Charlottesville protesters who supported Confederate monuments by asking if removing statues of American ancestors would be the next step if Confederate statues honoring Civil War leaders who fought to preserve slavery are abolished. .