Swastika and ‘White Power’ Graffiti Attacks Shock GC

By Amy Lynn McDonald, Editor-In-Chief of The Colonnade, Lindsay Stevens, Managing Editor of The Colonnade, and Jordyn Richardson, GC 360

GC is reeling from three racist “graffiti” attacks in less than a week. The attacks appear linked to a nationwide trend popping up this fall at five major universities from Massachusetts to the University of Georgia. 

At least two GC students reported swastikas marked on their dorm room doors this week. GC freshman Grace Bernstein found the marking on her door on Sunday, Nov. 17. She will meet with GC Chief of Police Brett Stanelle this weekend. Right now, she does not believe she was targeted. 

Swastika (upper left) marked on Grace Bernstein’s dorm room door, Sunday, Nov. 17.

A day earlier, on Saturday, Nov. 16, GC alumna Megan Goetz found “White Power” written by finger on her dusty car in an off-campus parking spot “directly next” to campus on the corner of Montgomery and Clarke streets. She met with GC Police on Monday night and followed up with an email to GC administration. 

“We should never be passive in regard to any number of students cultivating a white supremacist, racist perspective in our community and atmosphere,” Goetz said in her email to the administration.

Goetz believes her Black Lives Matter bumper stickers inspired the attack. 

‘White Power’ marked on Megan Goetz’s car November 2019

GC President Steven Dorman did not release a statement until Friday afternoon, but GC Communication says the investigation began immediately. There was no word on possible arrests.  

“They are not in keeping with our shared values of reason, respect, and responsibility.  Our campus must be a place that is welcoming and inclusive for all,” Dorman said. “I call on all of us to create an environment that is safe and inviting for all members of our community.”

GC’s first statement went out Thursday night. 

“As you may be aware, national media has been reporting on an increasing number of hate-related graffiti incidents occurring on college and university campuses throughout the country,” Vice President for Student Life Shawn Brooks wrote in an email. “Unfortunately, we have recently seen several incidents of graffiti both on and off campus as well. We at Georgia College find this type of behavior completely reprehensible.”

Associate Regional Director of the AntiDefamation League, David Hoffman, released a statement to GC360 and The Colonnade. 

“Amidst a spike of hate crimes nationally and anti-Semitic incidents on college campuses, it is imperative that university students, officials, law enforcement, community leadership join together to eradicate hate from their environment,” Hoffman said. 

Georgia is one of only four states without a state hate-crime law. It’s unclear whether this incident would qualify as a federal hate crime. 

A similar dorm incident occurred at UGA in September. On Thursday, Syracuse University police made its first arrest in a series of racist graffiti incidents and threats starting Nov. 11. 

The Colonnade will continue to report on these events as they develop.