Several racist signs have appeared around the SUNY New Paltz campus, and apparently the culprit thinks it’s a game. On November 8, a sticker reading “Colored only” was discovered near a drinking fountain inside of the school’s Humanities Building, prompting school President Donald Christian to issue a memo condemning it. In response, more signs were posted in LeFevre Hall, a residence hall.
The second sign was originally an advertisement for a dorm event, but was torn into the shape of a hand giving the middle finger with “Lynching n******” written above the announcement. Just days later, another “lynching” sign was seen in an elevator. One student told the New York Daily News he believed the signs were a reaction to Black Solidarity Day, which was held on November 8 and granted black students the option to celebrate their heritage away from campus.
An associate professor in the Black Studies Department knew the first sign wasn’t an isolated incident, but viewed it as an educational opportunity. Students are working together with President Christian to organize a forum to talk about the meaning of the signs, but the fact that the first one was posted near a water fountain suggests that people know exactly what they mean. In the interim, students have been invited to attend a discussion titled “Racism at SUNY New Paltz” tonight and campus police say they have several strong leads.