Racist graffiti discovered inside a men’s bathroom at Sacramento City College drew extra outrage as some alleged that the college did not notify its students of the threatening messages in a timely fashion.
The graffiti, which appeared to be written in black marker, included swastikas and hate language using racial slurs, with the words “Kill them all” written in the corner of one mirror. Other messages including “Time 2 fight back” and “#MAGA” on the side of a stall, as photos posted to social media Monday show.
An email sent to students by President Michael Gutierrez on Tuesday says that after “swastikas and hateful, racist language was found in one of our men’s restrooms on campus,” students notified campus officials and the slurs were cleaned off the bathroom surfaces.
Students said they reported the graffiti Saturday. Sacramento City College spokeswoman Kaitlyn MacGregor said Los Rios Police Department officers investigated about 8:30 a.m. Monday and custodial staff cleaned the messages away later that morning.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to The Sacramento Bee
The message was sent to students Tuesday morning via email and later posted to the community college’s social media channels.
Dozens of students and activists who assembled to peacefully protest in Rodda Hall North alleged the graffiti had been reported to the college Saturday and not erased until Monday. The demonstration was livestreamed on the Facebook page of Berry Accius, a notable community activist and founder of Voice of the Youth. The Facebook post is captioned “Hate Crime at Sac City College.”
Sacramento City College Black Student Union President Joshua Robinson criticized school administration for not handling the incident with urgency, as seen in the video.
“Is the school reporting this as a federal crime to the FBI to start investigating neo-Nazis and Ku Klux Klan out here in Sacramento?” Robinson said. “Or are they letting it slide and sweeping it under the rug? That needs to be addressed.”
Officials with Sacramento City College acknowledged the protest and expressed interest in addressing both issues: hate messages, and what was perceived as poor communication to students.
“There was a demonstration from some of our students who wanted to highlight the issue, bring up some concerns they had with the campus itself and how we communicate,” McGregor said, adding that “small group discussions” between students and top administrators including Gutierrez are planned to improve communication.
Robinson said the email alert from Gutierrez was sent late Tuesday morning, about a half hour before the hallway protest.
“Everyone here didn’t hear this from the president. They heard this from the Black Student Union,” Robinson said.
A Facebook post by the Sacramento City College Black Student Union, which organized Tuesday’s protest demonstration, says: “We take these threats seriously and are concerned with the safety of Black Students on campus. We are hoping the administration, campus police & FBI are doing the same.”
The protest took place late morning and was done before 1:15 p.m., a school clerk said.
“If it’s a safety concern, (notification) should be made that same night,” Robinson said. A female student chimed in saying “we get emailed right away, right away, right away” for other campus notifications, like sexual harassment cases or weather warnings.
Some students held signs containing large copies of photos showing the graffiti, as seen in the streamed video.
The email by Gutierrez urged anyone with information on the incident to contact the Los Rios Police Department at 916-558-2221, and closed the email by thanking students “for your ongoing commitment to social justice.”