Eddie Curlin, a former student at Eastern Michigan University, has been charged with malicious destruction of property, identity theft and using computers to commit a crime after being arrested for a series of vandalism incidents on the school's campus. The case is particularly curious considering Curlin, a black man, had scrawled a series of white supremecist messages on his spree.
According to The Washington Post, anti-black messages began appearing around the school in September of last year. More messages telling black students to leave the school appeared around Halloween. And even more began appearing a few months after that. The incident sparked protests and outrage throughout the country.
“It really has rocked our community,” said Judith Kullberg, an EMU political scientist and president of the faculty senate. “In this whole context of a very tense presidential election it has raised anxiety here considerably.”
Many were confused when it was announced that Curlin was the culprit behind the graffiti.
EMU’s chief of police, Robert Heighes, said of the situation that “it was not driven by politics and it was not driven by race. It was an individual item done by one individual."
“To know that it was a person of color is hurtful,” a black student, Jaiquae Rodwell, told the paper. “As a black student, to know that another black person is using the n-word in a negative way is embarrassing.”
The hateful defacement had inspired a series of demonstrations at the school and organized discussions on racial progress, none of which will be halted in the face of this recent revelation: “These and other actions will continue to move forward with the focus, determination and importance with which they began,” said Eastern Michigan University President James Smith.
[Photo: Michigan Department of Corrections]