UPDATE: Manhattan resident’s car vandalized with racial slurs and threats, latest in string of discriminatory acts

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Images of the incident posted onto social media.

UPDATE on Nov. 6, 3:50 p.m.: A Riley County Police Department investigation has revealed that the owner of the car, 21-year-old Manhattan resident Dauntarius Williams, a 21-year-old Manhattan resident, said the alleged vandalism was “just a Halloween prank that got out of hand.” The full story is available here.

UPDATE on Nov. 1, 9:30 p.m.: A university investigation into the morning report of racist vandalism revealed that the affected individual is not a student at Kansas State University, in contradiction with earlier claims, according to Brandon Clark, Black Student Union adviser. It was not immediately clear why the individual claimed to be a student. The article has been updated to reflect the new facts.

The Riley County Police Department and K-State Police Department are investigating a case of racism after vandals covered a Manhattan resident’s car with racist threats and slurs at an off-campus apartment building Wednesday morning.

The car, a black Dodge Avenger with red rims, was found covered Wednesday morning with slurs written in what appears to be yellow paint. The slurs included copious usage of the n-word and direct threats to the individual, such as “Come outside to get hanged,” “All n****** must die!!” and “F*** you die dumb n*****!”, as well as a swastika painted on the individual’s windshield, as seen on pictures distributed widely through social media.

An person familiar with the affected individual said the affected individual did not wish to give his name or draw any more attention to the situation.

The Riley County Police Department issued a statement Wednesday morning which said officers immediately investigated the incident after receiving the report around 7:25 a.m. The RCPD estimates the vandalism occurred between 1:30 and 3:30 a.m. Wednesday.

K-State also released a statement Wednesday, which said the K-State Police Department is “supporting the investigation.”

“Safety of the Kansas State University community is of utmost concern,” the statement read. “Faculty and staff members are encouraged to share this information with students and community members to help the Riley County Police Department with its investigation.”

A representative of Prime Place Apartments, where the vandalism allegedly occurred, said the apartment complex did not have cameras at the location.

Later Wednesday morning, three individuals helped the individual remove the slurs from his car at a local gas station, Ryan Baker, sophomore in food science, said.

The vandalism is the latest in a string of discriminatory incidents to hit K-State. Last year, a former student caused outrage when she posted a photo of herself and a friend wearing black facial masks covering their faces, captioned with “Feels good to finally be a n****.”

In September, various posters promoting white nationalism were found on campus. The K-State community decried the posters and held a rally in support of diversity soon after. In that instance, the university issued a statement condemning the posters as being against the university’s Principles of Community, while at the same time asserting that as a government entity, it had no power or legal right to censor any non-discriminatory posters or speech on campus. Many students and campus leaders demanded the university take more extensive action.

In October, a homophobic slur was found in Bosco Student Plaza but was removed by campus officials soon after. Shortly after, a student posted a photo on social media referencing the KKK.

Later in October, Ryan Kelly, student senator and sophomore in civil engineering, wrote a report in which he alleged that he was harassed on campus. Kelly said he reported the incident to K-State Police, but his claims were marginalized and dismissed.

Students of color at K-State have felt increasingly marginalized as a result of what Daijah Porchia, senior in American ethnic studies, said is a “culture that does not defend or take care of the students of color at K-State.”

“I’m tired of incidents being treated as though they’re isolated and us having to speak out against the same kind of incidents over and over,” Porchia said.

Austin McGaugh, senior in finance, said these so-called isolated incidents have left multicultural students feeling disenfranchised from the K-State idea of family.

“Isolated? That’s fine,” McGaugh said. “We are isolated in the fact that these ‘isolated’ incidents that affect my family, I’m concerned about those incidents that involves a part of my family. I just feel that if we say one thing, then we should be about that one thing 100 percent. So I have to agree that these incidents are ‘isolated’ because we are feeling isolated.”

The atmosphere in the Multicultural Student Office was mixed Wednesday morning. Inside the full room, some students expressed dismay at the latest instance of discrimination on K-State’s campus, while many were not surprised that it happened.

In anticipation of what they considered to be the university’s inevitable statement on the incident, students in the office expressed frustration with the university, stating that the university simply rewords the same generic statement that denounces vandalism for each specific instance.

Bernard Franklin, assistant vice president for student life, visited briefly with students in the office Wednesday morning. Before the racist incident became known Wednesday morning, President Richard Myers had announced in a letter Wednesday morning that he asked Franklin to help the university in its transition to “a new leadership structure to strengthen diversity and inclusion at K-State” over the next few weeks.

In regard to the racist incident Wednesday morning, Franklin, who became the university’s first black student body president in the 1970s, declined to make a comment, citing his status as a university administrator.

Jessica Elmore, 2015 K-State graduate and associate director of diversity programs at the Alumni Center, stopped by the office and addressed students. She challenged students to find a community of support, both at K-State and after they graduate.

Elmore said racism might be deeply embedded in society, but she pushed students to lead and work to fix the racial issues on campus.

On social media, the Black Student Union called for an emergency meeting tonight at 7:00 p.m. in the Bluemont Room of the Student Union to discuss how students can combat incidents of racism on campus.

Porchia said she was frustrated at the expectation that it is solely up to students of color to help eradicate any racial tension on campus.

“I don’t know [what we’re expected to do], and that’s unfair for us to be saddled with that work,” Porchia said. “What do you want us to do? Why are the victims of these heinous acts being asked to do the work? Even when we tell you that nothing changes — if I sit and talk to a brick wall for five years, I’m going to get tired of saying the same thing, that nothing changes.

“There’s been several things, and several statements,” Porchia continued. “Just look at the past five, six, seven incidents. Look at what we’ve been putting on paper, on social media, in the news — all of the answers are there. A lot of students of color, especially the black community, are at the point where we feel we’ve said everything we can say about stuff like this and either something is going to change, or it’s not, and it hasn’t. If the school wanted to prioritize it, it would be. It hasn’t.”

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I’m Rafael Garcia, co-editor-in-chief at the Collegian. I’m a junior in journalism, campus visit coordinator for the JMC Ambassadors, and the vice president of social events and communication for the Edgerley-Franklin Urban Leaders. I come from Emporia, Kansas, home of the Twinkie, world’s best tasting tap water and journalist William Allen White. I’m passionate about journalism because I love people and their stories, and I want to find and tell those stories here on campus. In my spare time, I’m a Chihuahua wrangler, doughnut enthusiast, Netflix watcher and racquetball player. Contact me at [email protected]
  • Hugh

    As a KSU alumnus and faculty member I am appalled and embarrassed by
    the vile racist occurrences on the KSU campus. White students,
    faculty, and staff own this; silence is complicity. It is up to us
    white people to eliminate racism in our community. Call out racism
    and bigotry whenever you encounter it. Let others know, including
    your friends and colleagues, that it is NOT okay.

    • skeptical

      I’m curious, how do you know – besides that this article says it is – a racist act? Yes, the language is harmful and hurtful but there is no evidence (yet) to support that this act was white on black as it seems to be portrayed. As an example, just this week a church in Kansas City was similarly spray painted and there were similar stories of outrage… until it turned out the church was vandalized by an employee who happened to be a person of color. Why not wait until the evidence is in? This writer, much like in the Sukkah destruction incident, seems to have leapt from an incident to quite a few assumptions and in that case those assumptions proved entirely unfounded. Further, this writer lumps in an entirely unproven allegation (Kelly’s) to this sort of history of outrages. Students, according to this story, are already assuming the university won’t do anything about this – even though it didn’t occur on university property and there is little evidence – but I suppose one can’t wait a few days to get the full story before the outrage cycle begins?

      Quick question for the writer: how did they remove the paint?

    • Torn

      Before we all get too embarrassed because of what someone else did, let’s wait and see if we can find out who actually did this.

      • bayd88

        You are correct. Silence is complicity. We must speak up against racism.

    • Sue Pringle

      Yes, white people in Kansas and everywhere else need to stand up and look around them, outside of the bubble and respond, act, speak, yell.. Silence is absolutely complicity,

  • Hugh Mungus

    There’s an extremely high chance this was faked for attention. But of course you “journalists” have nothing better to do with your time.

    • skeptic

      I’d suggest the evidence isn’t in, but that isn’t going to stop people from making up their minds. A similar incident happened this week in Kansas City in which a church was vandalized and people automatically assumed racism was involved. It turned out that the church was vandalized by an employee attempting to cover up a theft. The employee happened to be a person of color.

      It doesn’t seem to matter though. Much like the incident with the Sukkah, the paper has already decided the narrative without any sort of evidence and has gone out and interviewed people who will confirm the ongoing narrative that people feel “unsafe” at the university. No doubt if they interviewed ten random minority members they would (likely) find an overwhelming number of people who do not feel that way…

      • matt

        In this article and the one shared yesterday about the student being threatened outside their apartment, minority students have made it very clear that they do not safe. These two articles aren’t the first that cite and interview numerous accounts from students on campus. Just because you aren’t listening or paying attention changes none of that.

        You also ask how we know this is an incident of racism, oh, I don’t know, maybe the giant swastikas and racist slur written on the car? Stop talking and start listening. Check your privilege.

        • skeptic

          Matt, please check your *assumptions* rather than simply insulting me. How do you know I’m not a marginalized individual? You don’t. Perhaps you should rethink your post…

          However, looking at your points – rather than insulting you – I’ve read about, maybe, less than 20 individuals in this paper who say they feel “unsafe” (whatever that means) on campus. One of the individuals that was cited as saying he felt unsafe after the snapchat incident was the person who is at the center of the story that you mentioned (but clearly didn’t read). Even if one takes his account as truthful, there’s no actual evidence that anyone was threatening him. He perceived a situation as threatening. That’s not quite the same thing and I’m also not ready to assume that story is true at all.

          I’m clearly paying attention, but I question if those 20 people actually speak for the majority of marginalized students because it seems statistically unlikely that literally every time there is a situation – real or not – the paper *only* finds people who feel unsafe, despite drastic reductions in crime on campus.

          Secondly, I will certainly agree that the graffiti is racist in nature. There is no doubt about that. However, what if that graffiti was drawn by another student of color? Is it still racist then? I ask because a similar situation recently happened in Kansas City. A black church was vandalized with similar graffiti and the paper there was very, very quick to assume it was the work of white people. In the end, it turned out that the graffiti was done by a black employee seeking to cover up a theft. My point is that until one knows who actually did the spray paint its a little hard to ascribe motivation, isn’t it?

          My problem with this article and others like it and your commentary is that until evidence is in – and that’s what we should be seeking at a university, right? – we don’t really know. Just recently this paper reported on a Sukkah being destroyed. It was a multiday event complete with quotes about how Jewish students feel “unsafe” and comments about how the destruction could only be the work of white nationalists… except it wasn’t. Had anyone waited instead of jumping into the outrage moshpit, they would have found out the truth and saved everyone a lot of concern.

          Lastly, it seems like the evidence is out on most of these events… there are cameras all over campus yet no one has been named in the flier incident or the graffiti at Bosco? There’s no evidence regarding the “harassment/police report” situation yet. The Sukkah event was untrue. That leaves a noose and the snapchat situations as verified events, right? *That* is what is making students feel unsafe? If so, I worry about how people will deal with life after college.

        • skeptical

          Fascinating. I wrote a long reply to you, but it appears to have disappeared. I’m not sure why. Hopefully it will reappear. In the meantime, check my privilege? How do you know I’m not a member of a minority?

        • skeptical

          I’m going to retype my response to you from memory but save it in case it disappears again from the Collegian system. I find it somewhat disappointing that this is the second post in as many days from two posters that have gone missing.

          First, I won’t insult you as you have insulted me. You have no way of knowing if I am part of a marginalized group, so it’s sad that you would immediately assume I am not and suggest I check my privilege. Perhaps you ought to rethink that before someone accuses you of the same sort of bigotry that you decry. You also say I’m not paying attention. I can assure you that I am.

          To your points… I’ve been reading the articles about these incidents. The incident you cite in your post hasn’t been proven and you mischaracterize it. The student perceived he was threatened but there was no evidence of this actually occurring. There is a huge difference between a perceived threat and an actual threat. He also wrote a long email in which he suggested the RPD did not handle his report correctly. That has also not been proven to be true. It hasn’t been proven to be false either, the evidence is out.

          You suggest that “minority students have made it very clear they do not feel safe.” Really? Reading these articles it seems like, at best, under 20 students have said that. It seems remarkable that every time an incident occurs that this paper manages to always interview people who feel unsafe and has yet to interview someone who feels safe despite the incidents. Statistically that seems really unlikely unless the paper is pushing an agenda… but I’d hate to accuse student journalists of that.

          Regardless, crime is at an all time low on campus and yet reporters from this paper only finds people who are terrified of being on campus. Let’s assume that has happened at random… do these 20 people speak for all the minority students? I don’t assume so but I suppose if one enjoys stereotyping large groups based on the feelings of a few one could say that a couple minority students do speak for everyone. You seem to believe that’s a handy way of thinking. I don’t.

          Lastly, I am well aware that the graffiti uses racist language and images. However, until the person is caught and until we can ascribe motivation, I can not say if that person was motivated by race or that the incident was racially motivated. Let’s say, for example, that the spray paint was done by a black woman – would it still be racism? I ask, because there was a similar incident in Kansas City in which a black church was similarly vandalized. The paper assumed it was the work of white racists. It wasn’t. It turns out it was the work of a black employee trying to cover up a theft.

          This paper also has a history of jumping to similar conclusions. Remember the Sukkah that was destroyed by racists? That narrative went on for multiple days including reports of Jewish students feeling unsafe. In the end, it turned out to be a wind storm. Had this paper waited a couple days or been more moderate in its coverage it would have saved people a lot of angst. I suggest that we wait until the evidence points to something more conclusive.

        • skeptical

          I’m not sure why, but I’ve tried to respond to this twice now and each time my response has been deleted. I’ll try again. Below is a cut and paste of my second attempt:

          I’m going to retype my response to you from memory but save it in case it disappears again from the Collegian system. I find it somewhat disappointing that this is the second post in as many days from two posters that have gone missing.

          First, I won’t insult you as you have insulted me. You have no way of knowing if I am part of a marginalized group, so it’s sad that you would immediately assume I am not and suggest I check my privilege. Perhaps you ought to rethink that before someone accuses you of the same sort of bigotry that you decry. You also say I’m not paying attention. I can assure you that I am.

          To your points… I’ve been reading the articles about these incidents. The incident you cite in your post hasn’t been proven and you mischaracterize it. The student perceived he was threatened but there was no evidence of this actually occurring. There is a huge difference between a perceived threat and an actual threat. He also wrote a long email in which he suggested the RPD did not handle his report correctly. That has also not been proven to be true. It hasn’t been proven to be false either, the evidence is out.

          You suggest that “minority students have made it very clear they do not feel safe.” Really? Reading these articles it seems like, at best, under 20 students have said that. It seems remarkable that every time an incident occurs that this paper manages to always interview people who feel unsafe and has yet to interview someone who feels safe despite the incidents. Statistically that seems really unlikely unless the paper is pushing an agenda… but I’d hate to accuse student journalists of that.

          Regardless, crime is at an all time low on campus and yet reporters from this paper only finds people who are terrified of being on campus. Let’s assume that has happened at random… do these 20 people speak for all the minority students? I don’t assume so but I suppose if one enjoys stereotyping large groups based on the feelings of a few one could say that a couple minority students do speak for everyone. You seem to believe that’s a handy way of thinking. I don’t.

          Lastly, I am well aware that the graffiti uses racist language and images. However, until the person is caught and until we can ascribe motivation, I can not say if that person was motivated by race or that the incident was racially motivated. Let’s say, for example, that the spray paint was done by a black woman – would it still be racism? I ask, because there was a similar incident in Kansas City in which a black church was similarly vandalized. The paper assumed it was the work of white racists. It wasn’t. It turns out it was the work of a black employee trying to cover up a theft.

          This paper also has a history of jumping to similar conclusions. Remember the Sukkah that was destroyed by racists? That narrative went on for multiple days including reports of Jewish students feeling unsafe. In the end, it turned out to be a wind storm. Had this paper waited a couple days or been more moderate in its coverage it would have saved people a lot of angst. I suggest that we wait until the evidence points to something more conclusive.

          Hopefully third try is the charm.

        • Skeptic

          You were wrong. Check your privilege.

    • Tyler

      What a great insight! And with no evidence or anything to back up the claim either? Thank you for your contribution. Those damn “journalist” reporting whats happening around MHK in the Collegian. It’s just rediculous. I can’t wait until we find out that all those white nationalist posters were set up by the illuminati to make conservatives look bad. And those homophobic slurs written on Bosco Plaza a week or two ago? Clearly aliens. Fight the good fight my friend! Don’t let the lizard men running the country control your mind! #AlexJones2020

      • skeptical

        It’s interesting you mention those two things: why hasn’t anything happened on the Bosco Plaza thing or the fliers? Both of those happened in places with plenty of cameras and foot traffic. There’s been no follow-up on either of those situations. I’d certainly be interested in knowing, particularly if we are going to lump them in with the “list of incidents.”

        I certainly get where you are coming from and I also get where the poster is coming from… but the poster isn’t a reporter. The poster has no obligation to gather and present facts. The paper does. This article assumes, with no evidence, that this is another in a list of incidents that are racially motivated when there is no evidence (yet) to support it. There is also no evidence to support that it is fake. Why not report that this happened without trying so hard to push the narrative?

      • Skeptical

        Are you embarrassed yet?

  • David

    I think that car might be parked in an illegal spot

  • Scott Heise

    Thank you Collegian for once again misrepresenting, through premature, unverified reporting, issues of a sensitive nature. Your failure to fact check has done more to plant the seeds of racial discord than any event that has occurred. For the sanity of everyone involved PLEASE exercise due diligence and report what you know.

    • Tim Everson

      They reported what the guy said (which was that he was a student) and then when they found out that wasn’t true, they reported the new information. They literally did nothing wrong. You really need to get over yourself.

      • Scott Heise

        Thank you Mr. Everson for your insightful advice.

        I appreciate your perspective, and if what you say is true, they could have told the reporter they saw the Easter Bunny, and the reporter would be free to include that as fact in the article. I get your point. Reporters only report what they are told, not what they know (or can at least reasonably verify).

        I have no idea what your motive is for giving me personal advise, but I appreciate your concern. Thank you.

        • Tim Everson

          Any time Scott, you’re a real peach.

          • Scott Heise

            Thank you 🙂

            I suppose this is quality entertainment between game days in Iola. I don’t blame you for staying up late to engage with me.

            Sincerely,
            A real peach

            P.S. I am not fond of peaches; if its not too much trouble would you reconsider your characterization?

      • Torn

        Ya know, this would be a little more understandable if a similar occurrence didn’t happen just last year with the racist snapchat involving the girl who put on a black facial mask and mimicked blackface. There, the girl wasn’t a K-State student, but by the time that revelation came to light, it was too late. The narrative was already established. The damage was already done.

        Of course, whether this young man is a student or not does nothing to minimize the reprehensibility of what apparently occurred.

        But the details in hyperbolic stories like these matter. Verifying the University’s connection to the incident was vital. It’s disappointing that my alma mater took (another) unjustified PR beating yesterday, thanks in part to the shoddy investigation by the Collegian.

  • skeptical

    “An person familiar with the affected individual said the affected
    individual did not wish to give his name or draw any more attention to
    the situation.”

    It’s “a person familiar” and… too late. So now this person isn’t a student? Why is the BSU advisor the one releasing that info? Further, why aren’t more questions being asked about why this person claimed to be a student but isn’t? The update doesn’t really make it clear *how* this person claimed to be a student and since the Collegian isn’t releasing a name – something they did with the police officer in the other story, of course – no one has any way of judging anything for themselves.

  • Scott Heise

    Why isn’t the correction for this story in the headline or in the BREAKING NEWS ticker instead of being buried were few people will read it? Just fix the problem – admit the mistake up front and move on.

  • Cricket

    Very unfortunate for the entire community. The statement “stick to your own kind” or “date your own kind” I can’t recall which statement I read in another article, is a clue because this person has likely verbally expressed this to others. If you know someone with these views, you should pass the name along to RCPD. Someone probably recognizes the handwriting, or recalls selling a can of yellow paint. Not a color you find in the average person’s garage. Personally, the paint is the key. KState has been drug in to this and should seriously consider paying for an analysis to determine who the manufacturer is and who distributes in the area. You’ll likely find a receipt and/or video of the sale. Yes, it will take time, but it angers me how quickly conclusions jump to the perpetrator being a student. Maybe, maybe not. Finally, KState has been, and continues to do what they can to make students feel safe and supported. You can’t wave a magic wand and make everything better. The primary key to success lies with each and every student on campus. If you are not holding yourself and your peers accountable when you hear overt or subtle racist, bigoted, disparaging statements regarding race, sexual preference, sexual identity, etc., then you are part of the problem. Everyone has a responsibility to shut those views down in a firm, non-threatening manner.

  • CHristian

    hi

  • Aaron Crews

    Annnddd the guy staged the whole thing for attention. He’s lucky that he isn’t facing any charges himself.

  • Skeptical

    How embarrassing for the Collegian and everyone who went on and on about this incident. Much like the Sukkah, the Collegian and some students couldn’t wait for the investigation and chose to become outraged before the facts were in. Congratulations for making KSU look terrible in front of the entire nation once again.

  • bayd88

    As a White, I am deeply ashamed of my race at times. I intend to make a donation to KSU’s minority scholarship program to help make amends for what the perpetrator did to this innocent man. I wish him well and the best.