Ohio University students are pretty pissed about the recent defacement of a Black Lives Matter painted wall – not because the social rights movement group defaced it with their own message, but because opposed students ruined the mural with slander.
The initial painting took place five days prior.
The message was initially painted after an act of vandalism of a bulletin board in Sargent Hall, in which a Black Lives Matter bulletin board was torn down earlier on in the semester. Combined with other racist incidents on campus, students decided to take a stand and gathered to paint the BLM message on a large school wall.
The timing of the defacement remains unknown – officials suspect it took place either Tuesday night or early Wednesday morning – but the final message is clear. With remarks like “All Lives Matter” and “Everyone goes through their own sh*t,” various students have divulged feeling threatened and unsafe.
However, after a cohesive investigation, it was determined that the vandalism did “not meet the elements of a crime.”
In response, more than 70 students and faculty members met Wednesday to discuss racism on campus. According to The Post, news of the defacement traveled fast.
Jenny Hall-Jones, interim vice president for Student Affairs and dean of students, said she saw the mural when she was coming into work Wednesday morning around 7 a.m. and immediately notified OU President Roderick McDavis and other administrators. Not too long after, she said her Twitter timeline started “blowing up” as students and student groups began contacting her, asking her what could be done about the situation — hence the noon meeting.
“Black lives matter to me, and black lives matter to Ohio University,” Hall-Jones said. “I’m really sorry this happened.”
While Davis’s appearance was short, sent an email following the meeting’s finish.
“I believe it is important for our University community to meet this challenge head on,” McDavis said in the email. “We need to talk about why Black Lives Matter; we need to explore the meaning of this and other movements … We should all be prepared to acknowledge that we have biases, and we should feel safe enough to discuss and work through these issues on our campus.”
The wall has since been painted over with a message on obesity and physical education.