East Lansing, Mich. (WLNS) — A fraternity member of Phi Gamma Delta, or FIJI, has been removed after the fraternity discovered he was involved in painting the sidewalk next to the well-known rock near MSU with the message, “BLM sucks,” The State News reports.
In an Instagram story message, the fraternity wrote:
“It was brought to our attention that a member of our organization allegedly participated in the acts,” the post said. “When we found out about the allegations we immediately held an internal investigation along with contacting our Graduate advisors and International Fraternity representatives. At this time, the individual is no longer affiliated with the chapter.”
On the evening of August 25, the rock located on Farm Lane near the MSU campus, which at the time had a Black Lives Matter message, was painted over with “Trump 2020.” The “BLM sucks” message was spray-painted beside the sidewalk.
The following day, members of the Black Student Alliance wrote over one side of the rock and replaced it with “Black Lives Matter” and “Say Their Names.” The students wrote “Go Vote” on the other side of the rock.
This is not the first racially insensitive instance occurring on or near the MSU campus.
In October 2019, a student reported a toilet paper noose hanging from a dorm room on campus.
The Michigan State Housing Assignments Office said in an email to residents that it did not believe the act was meant to be a symbol of hate or discrimination.
In January, Michigan State University’s Wharton Center created some controversy after putting up a display of prominent black figurines hanging from display trees in the gift shop.
Some of the figures hung from strings on the display trees included former First Lady Michelle Obama, Harriet Tubman, Martin Luther King Jr. and former President Barack Obama. On a separate tree display, other white figurines were shown.
“We walked into the gift shop and I see these little black figures and so we looked closely and I’m just like really,” said Krystal Davis-Dunn. She was shocked by what she saw.
“It’s insensitive for the fact of the historical context it’s, ya know, the lynching of African Americans. It’s a fear tactic.”
The full statement on Instagram from FIJI is posted below:
A previous version of this article stated that the MSU fraternity member was suspended from the fraternity. It has been updated to read that he has been formally removed from the fraternity.