By Kelvin Reynolds
TUSCALOOSA, AL (WBRC) - Today the University of Alabama released a statement about racist writings in chalk turning up on campus Tuesday evening. The release is from Vice Provost and President of Student Affairs Mark D. Nelson.
In it, he says, "Last night, an unknown individual or individuals chalked words on our campus that disparaged members of various racial and ethnic groups, including African American and white. Since the words 'first amendment' were chalked next to some of the offensive words, we believe that this could have been an attempt to assert First Amendment rights. The words were removed as soon as they were discovered."
Last Friday, UA graduate student Justin Zimmerman filed a police report after a member of Delta Tau Delta fraternity called him "boy" and directed a racial slur against him as he walked past the fraternity. Zimmerman is black. The unnamed student was suspended from Delta Tau Delta and faces discipline from the University as a result of the incident.
UA President Dr. Robert Witt released a statement over the weekend condemning the the racial incident. In the most recent release from the University, Nelson says the school is investigating this latest case and that UA supports the First Amendment, but school administrators find the use of the words written across campus to be mean- spirited and unacceptable.