Racial Slur Written on Historic African American Building Is ‘Immature,’ Says Police Chief

Nantucket Police Chief William Pittman called the racist terrorism “probably more mischievous than it is sinister.”

Police in Massachusetts are searching for the culprit who wrote a racial slur on a historic African American museum, an act the police chief called “immature.”

The “immature” message left on the African Meeting House, which is also part of a museum, was “N****R LEAVE.” Also next to the slur was a phallic symbol.

“My first impression of that is … we’re dealing with somebody who is obviously very immature,” Nantucket Police Chief William Pittman told the Boston Globe. “It’s probably more mischievous than it is sinister, but their choice of location couldn’t have been worse.”

In a press release posted on social media the police department called the graffiti “an act of hate directed at persons of color.”

The population of Nantucket, Mass., is about three quarters white and just 10 percent Black.

Charity-Grace Mofsen, manager of the African Meeting House, told the Inquirer and Mirror she “broke down” hysterically when she discovered the hateful message.

“It was incredibly hurtful. In a sense, it just feels like nowhere’s safe,” she told the Boston Globe in an interview.

“To see this place that is such a tight-knit community and so peaceful — we’re not exempt,” she said. “We’re still dealing with the same issues that you would find in the South, or the small-town Midwest. It’s everywhere.”

When news broke of the graffiti, dozens of residents turned out to help clean the building — a glimmering light of unity in the wake of an awful situation.

“Nantucket has such a rich history, it’s what brought me to the island,” Mofsen said to the Inquirer and Mirror. “Seeing how whites and Blacks and natives were able to figure out how to live and work together so early on. So to see that once again we have people coming together when they see that something is wrong and hateful, we get together and say ‘this is not what we stand for, this is not what our island is about.’ I think it is good to see people come out and show their support.”

Racism and Hate Crimes in Trump’s America

Even if the person who committed the crime is a juvenile, the act itself should not be taken lightly. In the days following President Donald Trump’s election, hate crimes spiked across the country. Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) reported that in the 10 days after Election Day, 867 hate crimes occurred across the country — meaning they occurred at a rate roughly seven times higher than the national average. Of those crimes, 187 took place at a school for grades K-12. More crimes were only reported in “public spaces.”

As DiversityInc reported in November 2016:

“Earlier this month, the FBI released its annual hate crimes report, revealing that 5,818 single-bias incidents occurred in 2015. This averages about 112 incidents per week — a fraction of the average seen since the election.

“In 2015, on average, 115 racially motivated hate incidents targeting people of all races occurred every 10 days. In the 10 days following the election, there were more anti-Black incidents alone — 187.”

The Bureau of Justice Statistics estimates that two-thirds of hate crimes are never reported, meaning the statistics likely do not even tell the whole story.

Hate continued to spill into 2017, according to SPLC’s Intelligence Report:

“If 2016 was the year of white supremacists being electrified by the rise of Donald Trump, his inauguration in January sent them into a frenzy. They believed they finally had a sympathizer in the White House and an administration that would enact policies to match their anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim and racist ideas.

“Throughout the year, Trump thrilled and comforted them with his apparent kinship and pugilistic style, his refusal to condemn hate crimes committed in his name and his outrageous statements equating neo-Nazis and anti-racist activists after the deadly violence in Charlottesville.”

While Charlottesville was a setback, white nationalists continue seeing victories, SPLC also noted:

“A post-Charlottesville Washington Post/ABC News survey found that 9 percent of Americans — about 22 million people — thought it was fine to hold neo-Nazi or white supremacist views. And racists were reminded in January that they still have a sympathetic ear in the White House when Trump referred to Haiti and African countries as ‘shitholes.’ Whatever the tactical losses the hate movement is suffering because of Charlottesville, the longer-term trend — in particular due to America’s changing demographics and Trump fanning xenophobic flames — will continue to fuel a white nationalist backlash in the coming years.”

Read more news @ DiversityInc.com

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  • It is quite refreshing for the police chief to call it what it is, “immature.” And while it still hurts some people of color, there are others who see it just as the police chief does, immature. I think when we stop glamorizing these foolish and ridiculous acts of obviously immature and insecure individuals, they won’t be so quick to commit such stupid acts.

    • You are not seeing things clearly and that’s your problem, but you are commenting on this website and that tells me you might have a hidden agenda.

      Nothing you are reading here would say that you have a popular opinion for this audience. Hate is hate, it’s not “immature”. With all of the other articles on this website regarding law enforcement criminality towards citizens, that a police chief would under play what this is should scare the daylights out of anyone in the Nantucket area.

      I don’t care how he personally feels, obliviousness to threats by the chief of police endangers all citizens. If I were Black, I’d stay the hell out of this town. Perhaps that was one motivation for his response. And yours.

      • I am black and like most blacks we do not run for stupid people. We face them and sometimes, by any means necessary.

          • racism is taught to the young and nurtured as they grow older. It may seem to those of privilege that this is immature, I see it as training and intimidation. If this was done by a young immature person, who is teaching him/her? What’s next???

          • I agree. It is training and recruitment. Just like ISIS recruits the disaffected, outsiders and unsuccessful in our country, Nazis and white supremacists look for the same vulnerability among our white men.

            The graffiti is terrorism, the statues of Confederate leaders in public places are terrorism, the confederate battle flag is terrorism. Calling it “heritage” is the same as terrorism leaders calling what they do a “jihad” – misappropriation of a word or concept to recruit people to terrorism.

            The sooner we call it what it is, the sooner we get to a solution.

      • Wow, again, more blubbering from the pathetic left. Hmm, privilege, I cannot imagine you have worked for much in your life, just another scammer taking advantage of the sheeple.

        • Rich? Change your name to “Poor” Intellect, or Boris because you think like a Russian Dictator.

  • Yes, these racists have become more embolden since the new guy has been in office who feeds into and encourages this type of racist behavior. Not at all surprising given the race-baiting filth that comes out of the Orange Man’s mouth. We have to stay alert and react to this type of trash before it’s too late and all hell breaks loose. BLM

  • Ron McMullen

    Can we ask our nation’s leaders our President, to help us see how this kind of behavior is helping to “make America great again?”

  • I know to some of us this hurts, but to some of us, we feel hurt for the people who are so ridiculously stupid to put themselves in any state of mind to be so very stupid and write such a retarded message. So, let’s just pray for the idiot and to not let them upset your joy…Not for one moment.

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