Local News

NAACP calls for 'racist graffiti' students to be expelled

Posted November 12, 2008
Updated November 27, 2012

— The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People has called on North Carolina State University to expel four students who spray painted racist messages about President-elect Obama.

N.C. State Chancellor James Oblinger met with State NAACP President Rev. William Barber for about 90 minutes Wednesday morning to talk about racist graffiti that was found on campus the day after the presidential election.

Oblinger refused to take questions from reporters after the closed-door meeting. He made a brief statement: "Both sides have a good understanding of each other's perspective and we agreed to move forward."

Barber has asked Oblinger to respond, in writing, within 48 hours with an official response from the university.

The NAACP is pushing for N.C. State, and other public universities across the state, to implement a system-wide policy on hate speech and to hold diversity training for students.

While some students painted pro-Obama messages in N.C. State's "Free Expression Tunnel" on the night of Nov. 4, racist graffiti was there early Nov. 5, campus police said.

Two of the messages said: "Let's shoot that (N-word) in the head" and "Hang Obama by a noose."

"Anybody who would write this kind of language and take the time to write it is disturbed, is quite sick in the mind," Barber said. "We don't want to see any kind of Virginia Tech issue happen right here on this campus. It's wrong, it's ugly, it's vile and it's not protected by freedom of speech."

Four students have come forward and admitted to spray-painting the racist messages. The school has not released their names. Since the students were not charged with a crime, the NAACP wants the university to take action.

N.C. State's Student Senate planned to meet at 7 p.m. Wednesday to discuss passing the "Free Expression Tunnel Hate Crime Act."

The graffiti prompted about 500 students to gather last week for a unity rally at the campus brickyard. Barber said they plan to hold another rally sometime next week.

The racist graffiti was immediately painted over, but strong emotions remain over the incident.

"It was something very inappropriate, and I don't think it represents the campus at all,” student Awma Rinchhuan said Tuesday.

“Many students are afraid at this point and time, but I feel like they're more than willing to work towards a solution,” student Geoffrey Hunter said.

The tunnel is a place where students are encouraged to speak their minds, and there is some sentiment that the incident is getting more attention than it deserves.


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  • dmccall Nov 13, 2008

    NCSU should not have a "free expression" tunnel if people are not, indeed, free to express themselves. The first amendment doesn't prevent people from making idiots of themselves, but it does protect free speech. To expel them from a State-supported school is a First Amendment violation.

  • PJM Nov 13, 2008

    It was wrong!!! BUT ITS THE FREEDOM WALL(freedom of speech)....but they should not be expelled! These students need their education these are children.....If anything give them community service.

  • scorekeep Nov 13, 2008

    Nothing should happen to the students who did the deed. There was no riot, no campus backlash. Just some organization that demands action for a "mistake" that was eaily corrected. The NAACP is looking to cause trouble.

  • rushbot Nov 12, 2008

    I call for the NAACP to be banned from NC!

  • stonky Nov 12, 2008

    I thought it was called an "expression wall"..how dumb to call it that and than complain of its content

  • ccs1920 Nov 12, 2008

    These students need a good attorney. He, or she, can easily put a stop to this. NCSU doesn't want to go to court and have to pay $500,000 to these four students.

  • SouthernSky Nov 12, 2008

    I am a senior in horticulture at State and this whole thing is a joke! It's called the FREE EXPRESSION TUNNEL for a reason. Let students speak their mind. I didn't vote for the unqualified, secretive individual that is on his way to the White House, but that doesn't mean I agree with what was written. Give me a break people. I wish the NAACP would crawl back under whatever rock they emerged from. When they see a so called "race incident" fading from the news and not stirring up the public, they (the NAACP) step in and poke everyone in the eye to make things worse. They are the cause for keeping racial tensions alive. I sincerely believe they can't stand the fact of living in a society with less and less racial tension. They wouldn't have anything to complain about! What a glorious day.

  • familyfour Nov 12, 2008

    d1 and mano,

    How far back have ya'll read? Everyone here agrees what the kid did was wrong, but is NO crime. It was an ignorant expression of an opinion, on a wall where they apparently have the right to express upon it. There has been relatively little hatred running in this blog, but opinions abound.

    As far as the NAACP, they have no right, no jurisdiction, and are only calling undue attention to a relatively minor matter, that, if had been any other person by any other color, would have gotten nothin more than a shake of the head in disgust.

    d1, I was glad to see you do think they need to address black on black crime. I personally think the NAACP needs to be abolished. We are past that, and if we need any organization, maybe it should be one for the advancement of the people of the United States, rather than a particular group of people within it.

  • issymayake Nov 12, 2008

    I don't think the NAACP is irrelevant. I think they sometimes champion the wrong causes. In the recent past their input, and their lawyers have been sought time and time again for litigious situations; and they've delivered.

    BUT, they should leave this one to the student court at NCSU. I believe the students should be suspended for the remainder f the semester, since I would assume this would violate NCSU's racial harassment policy (depending on the interpretation of the policy). Let their peers and administrators decide on the fate of the students.

  • chavke Nov 12, 2008

    "Because George Bush is a Republican and after the last 8 years you should realize that liberals can say any hateful, vile things against Republicans and that is ok. The freedom of speech doesn't apply to Republicans, or Conservatives, or Christians, or whites...."

    Oh, cry me a river. They have investigated people as young as 14 years old for making alleged threats toward Bush. And let's not forget how the Dixie Chicks were castigated from the conservatives in this country for uttering a single sentence about their dislike for Bush. Some of the comments you all are making that freedom of speech only applies to certain people is just as pathetic as playing the race card. By the way, the art-house film "The Assassination of George Bush" (actually tiled "Death of a President") is actually a U.K. film; probably would have had to go through a lot of red tape to be produced here.