Vandalism in East and Its Implications During Black History Month

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On the afternoon of Feb. 10, the students received an unfortunate email in their inboxes. The student body was informed by Wayne Lesperance that a Black History display was vandalized in East Hall the previous night. The display was put up in honor of Black History Month, exhibiting prominent black figures in American history. It was put up to show black beauty and pride, but instead one of the pictures was defaced.

Photo of Michelle Obama marked with Devil drawings photo taken by Kaitlyn Bailey

One of the figures that was displayed was former first lady, Michelle Obama. This was the picture that was vandalized. In the picture displayed above, it shows Michelle Obama with devil horns, a gap in her teeth and was seems to be a devil-like tail.

In the email sent to the student body, Provost Lesperance condemned the actions of the individual.

“The defacing of a Black History display sends a message to students of color in particular…” he adds “This is not the New England College message. Sadly, such acts reflect ignorance, fear and hate.”

Below the vandalized picture pink sticky notes were placed by students protesting the act. One sticky note reading,

“This is a constant reminder that racism and discrimination still exists. Even on this campus. #BlackPower.”

As of now, no person has been identified for the vandalism.

When asking Luis Rosa, Associate Vice President of student affairs, about the incident he vocalized the impact.

“Learning about the damage to Black History display and the defilement of our former first lady Michelle Obama both angered and saddened me.”

Now the bigger question prevails, how do we prevent this from happening again? The aftermath has been taken very seriously by those in charge including Luis Rosa.

“In the future students, staff, and faculty encountering similar incidences of hate can report them anonymously on our Care system:

https://nec-advocate.symplicity.com/care_report/index.php/pid014712?

Fortunately, the timing of the colleges hiring of the new Director of Diversity and Inclusion Dr. Erica Sigauke is encouraging. For those her were affected by the incident, Dr. Sigauke is talking to students and has plans for justice and healing.

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