MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (WKRN) — Students at Middle Tennessee State University are speaking out after police said “racist graffiti” was found on a whiteboard outside a student’s dorm room on Sunday.
MTSU police are now searching for the person behind the message. Students told News 2 pictures of the racist message have been circulating throughout campus.
“These students are walking around scared and threatened because it has so much tied to our history,” Paige Jackson, NAACP student president said.
Jackson said the photos have been shared by the campus community. The n-word was reportedly written on a whiteboard outside a student’s dorm room. The board sits below a Black History Month banner.
“I think the larger issue, other than the act itself, is the emotional, psychological effect it has on just not that one person, but the Black community as a whole at this campus,” said Tobias Gurley, a member of the Black Student Union.
Gurley added this is just the latest incident on campus.
Back in May of 2021, racial slurs were found on campus bus stops. News 2 blurred the picture of the slur that was spelled out on top of an African American’s photo at a bus stop.
In August 2020, a racial slur was found on the wall of a walkway across from Greek Row.
“Until we see some systems change, then I don’t think much will happen and this will continue to happen,” Gurley said.
Students said what makes this even more hurtful is that this incident took place during Black History Month, a time for celebration and reflection.
“And Black history is such a serious month for understanding and all this information…it is just really disheartening,” Jackson said.
“And I hate to use bad events to unify us, but in the context of the situation we can take something positive from this and unify as a campus and a Black community,” Gurley added.
MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee emailed the following message to the entire campus community yesterday:
“Racist graffiti was discovered on the message board of a student dorm door Friday night. Housing and Residential Life, MTSU Police and other campus administrators have been working with the impacted students since we became aware of the issue. This is a reprehensible act at any time, but it is especially despicable as our campus celebrates Black History Month. This behavior undermines our values and ideals as a university community and has no place on our campus. I ask anyone with information about this incident to call MTSU Police at 615-898-2424.”