Recurring hate

Following campus protest, school administrators show more urgency around second incident

Student leaders at Sacramento City College are urging campus police to contact the FBI about recent incidents of hate-filled graffiti.

Joshua Robinson, president of the college’s Black Student Union, said that in the wake of skinheads stabbing people on the Capitol lawn two years ago and mass shootings around the nation, there’s no such thing as too much precaution when it comes to encountering the threat, “kill them all.” That disturbing message turned up in the men’s room on campus alongside racial slurs, a “Time 2 Fight Back” declaration, several swastikas and “MAGA,” an acronym for the president’s “make America great again” slogan.

Robinson said he heard about the incident through word-of-mouth on Monday, October 1. Students have claimed they discovered and reported the hate crime two days prior. It wasn’t until late in the day on October 2 that the administration alerted the student body via email.

According to California State University’s Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism, reported hate crimes were up 20 percent last year in the nation’s largest cities. That’s a trend Robinson is aware of. He says the “kill them all” message was handled by Sac City staff in a way that seems tone deaf to the racially motivated violence that’s happened in places like Charleston, Charlottesville and even Sacramento.

“There was a situation when there was a tree laying in the road [on campus] and we all got a text message about [it] within an hour,” Robinson recalled. “There was another situation where a guy was masturbating on campus and we got an email right away. We’re looking for that same kind of response when hate comes up.”

On October 2, the Black Student Union teamed up with Voice of the Youth and other students for a campus protest about the lack of communication. Robinson said that he thinks the message got through because on Monday, October 8, he and fellow students received an email from the college president warning that Nazi graffiti had been found on the campus.

Robinson said he’s encouraged by the fast response from the college on the latest incident, but the message didn’t answer the biggest question on his mind, which the administration still hasn’t answered for the Black Student Union or SN&R.

“We still want to know what actions are being taken for prevention,” Robinson said. “And whether campus police are going to file a hate crime report with the FBI.”