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Vandalism painted on mural of Obama near Ohio State’s campus

Ayan Sheikh / Lantern photographer

One day after the west wall of Hale Hall, the Black Cultural Center at Ohio State was spray-painted with the words “Long Live Zimmerman,” a second racially insensitive case of vandalism has occurred near OSU’s campus.

The word “n—–s” and three swastikas were painted on a mural of president Obama, located at the corner of 11th Avenue and 4th Street.

Mohsen Ayyad, a store manager of Kelly’s Carry-out, a convenient store located adjacent to the wall, told The Lantern the writing was not on the wall when he closed the store at around 1 a.m.

“There wasn’t anything on the wall when I closed the store, but when I came back around 6 (a.m.) I noticed it,” Ayyad said in Arabic.

Ayyad said he contacted his cousin once he noticed the vandalism, and it was Ayyad’s cousin that notified police.

“The police came around 10 a.m. and they asked me if I knew who did it, but of course I didn’t know,” Ayyad said. “The police have a 360 (degree) camera outside so they will find who did it.”

Following the vandalism at Hale Hall Thursday, OSU students expressed disappointment, shock and frustration at a meeting with President E. Gordon Gee.

“Do I think it was random? Absolutely not. I mean, this is the Hale Center, this is our center for African-American community … Hale himself was an iconic leader,” Gee said. “This was the kind of thing that he spoke out about and against. He was a great friend of mine and I know exactly how he would feel about this right now. And I hope on his behalf I’m expressing my concern to all of you also.”

Gee also stressed on the importance of having students “speak out and speak up.”

“A lot too often we let things pass, I think it’s important to speak up and speak out,” Gee said. “I really do. I mean I try to do that myself…we need to make certain that we open up avenues for our students to get together.”

Larry Hutson, a fifth-year in sociology, said that although he finds the current ongoing hate-crimes on and off-campus to be “scary,” he believes OSU students should speak out against hate-crimes.

“It’s not something that’s new it’s just at a point now where it’s time for us to do something about it,” Hutson said.

On Friday around 4:30 p.m., OSU issued a hate crime alert, about the Hale Hall vandalism.

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