September 4, 2020

Offensive graffiti found in the stairwell of the Nine apartment building

By Eli Hughes–

Someone spray-painted racist graffiti in the stairwell of the Nine apartment building on Aug. 31. Those symbols included a swastika and the letters “KKK.”

Jacquelyn Gesser, a Junior at U of L who lives in The Nine, said that she originally saw the graffiti through pictures sent in her group chat with other students who lived in the same building. She posted the pictures on twitter the night of Aug. 31.

“I felt that it was important to post it on Twitter because I wanted people to know that this hateful rhetoric of racism and anti-Semitism was affecting us right at home,” Gesser said. “In our own community, many residents fear for their safety (now more than ever), and these images serve as a wake-up call, if you will, to U of L and to students who have been blissfully ignorant about our current political climate.”

Gesser’s tweet of hate speech written on the walls of a stairwell in The Nine. 

The Nine released a statement the following day distancing themselves from the racism and antisemitism that was expressed in the graffiti. “We have been made aware of vandalism that occurred in one of our stairwells that saw some highly offensive graffiti posted on the walls,” the statement said.

“As soon as we were made aware of this, we launched an investigation to identify those responsible and painted over the graffiti, which in no way represents what we, our residents, or anyone we are affiliated with stand for.”

U of L’s twitter account also replied to Gesser’s tweet and made a similar statement. “Thank you for alerting us to this. We have launched an investigation to identify those responsible and painted over the offensive graffiti, which in no way represents what we, or our affiliates, stand for,” they said in the tweet.

Gesser hopes that U of L will take this as an opportunity to put their anti-racist ideas into practice. “The University prides itself on being a ‘premier anti-racist institution’ so we must hold them accountable when something as repulsive and frightening as these images appear on their affiliated property,” Gesser said.

“The university has promised that they will investigate the matter (through ULPD) and as a resident of the Nine, I demand that they do not stop the investigation or write off its importance to the greater U of L community.”

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