The Prospect House racist graffiti (“All Niggers Must Die”) of November 2011 was almost certainly a hoax, creating by a member of the class of 2012 who was (ironically?) a leader of the Williams Minority Coalition. Previous discussion here. It is hard to take the Record seriously as a newspaper if it won’t report this story.

Besides numerous prior doubts about the veracity of this “hate crime,” from people both on and off campus, we now have this radio story from David Michael ’13.
Give it a listen.


1) Wow! What an amazing story! How did Michael get so many people to talk about the story on the record, including a Williams College security officer? Bravo!

2) Are you too lazy to listen? At some point, we should create a transcript. Summary: There was a very short window during which the graffiti could have been written. A minority member of the class of 2012, very active in campus politics, was seen on the 4th floor of Prospect at the time. She had no reason to be up there. She was seen by an acquaintance. Afterwards, as security (and the police?) were investigating, she sent a text to the acquaintance which seemed designed to get him to say that she was visiting him, and hence had a reason to be on the 4th floor at that time. The security officer, citing swipe card evidence, implied that the event was a hoax. Security Chief Dave Boyer refused to be interviewed.

3) I am not sure that this summary does the tape justice, but listen for yourself.

4) Michael ’13 declines to name the minority student who he (obviously) thinks is responsible for the hoax. Yik Yak, however, is not so punctilious, nor are our comment threads. I e-mailed the student for an interview. She never responded.

5) This, and other events, are why smart campus observers, whenever confronted by some racist outrage, assign (at least?) a 50% probability of the event being a hoax. I am embarrassed for the many Ephs who have yet to learn this lesson. Consider:

Professor Cohen should read EphBlog! If she did, she would (we hope!) be less likely to fail for obvious hoaxes like that one.

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