According to MLive It has been a longstanding tradition at MSU for there to be whiteboards on the doors of student dorms so that they could leave each other notes. The whiteboards have decreased in popularity since social media took off, but they were still a fun way for students to communicate.
Unfortunately, according to the Lansing NAACP, somebody used a whiteboard to commit a hate crime. The N-word was written on the door of a black student.
There are strong federal laws in place which prohibit such hate messages in a way that interferes with schooling and housing; both of which seem to be in play here. While there are no known leads to this despicable hate-crime, MSU has decided that the best course of actions is to ban all whiteboards.
The Lansing NAACP has declared this to be a win. On their Facebook page, they posted:
We had an incident at MSU where a young african american honors student had “The N Word” written on her dorm room whiteboard. It’s been a while but MSU Police have informed us that ALL dormatory white boards will be removed asap.
Lansing NAACP Branch
This post leaves us with so many unanswered questions. In the Facebook post, “The N Word” is in quotes, so did the suspect write the actual racial slur or did they write “The N Word?”
How is it a victory to force the victim to remove their whiteboard? The student should be able to decide on their own if they want to keep the whiteboard up, knowing the risks. Banning whiteboards to prevent racial slurs is like banning people from keeping having car radios in order to prevent theft; it may be effective, but it affects the victims. The victims, or potential victims, can make their own decisions on what they want to do and the suspects are still the ones responsible for their criminal acts.
This “Victory” seems more like continuing to treat young adults like children.
I hope that our brothers and sisters in blue can locate the actual person responsible, the suspect who wrote the slur, and see that they are brought before a judge to answer for their crime.