West Campus race graffiti leaves mark

There’s something going on that’s got us at The Oswegonian raising an eyebrow. Every week, we faithfully report the news. Most of the time that involves reporting on crime. Sometimes that crime occurs on campus. And when it does, many times it’s a case of racially insensitive graffiti on West Campus.

In our years of putting together police blotters and covering illicit campus shenanigans, this one particular act seems to recur more than any other. It’s time to ask, what’s going on over there?

Now we’re not saying that these halls are some campus equivalent to racist Sodom or Gomorra. No, certainly the buildings have their share of Lot’s worth their weight in salt. However, it’s the bad apples that most often make the headlines.

This week’s story of racially insensitive graffiti discovered brings our attention back to this disappointing pattern.

We’re not sure if anyone’s mother failed to mention that racism isn’t funny. So let us clear it up: racism is not a joke. Deep-seeded hatreds planted in the rocky, acidic soil of tense racial history could, if we let it, poison our interactions into the current day. The redeeming thing is that we don’t have to allow it.

If those west of Hewitt would put down the spray paint and instead channel their energies into an art class or a coloring book—something, anything to get us out of this cycle of hateful and childish wall-scrawling. But the scarring property damage of graffiti is only the visible example of racial hatred on campus. The problem runs much deeper.

Some may repeat the old line about sticks and stones not breaking bones. However, the words that never hurt me aren’t usually crudely etched into a house that all of us must literally share. That’s taking it to the next level, and it’s always over the line.

So let’s here and now make a new commitment here and now. We can’t undo the past, but we can stop painting the worst, most inflammatory parts of it on West Campus walls.