University Forced Into Lockdown Due To Threats Over Black Lives Matter Mural
In North Carolina, a university has received threats from an unnamed individual. While officials have not yet released details of the threat, they say that the aggressor is demanding the removal of a Black Lives Matter mural, and that a direct threat to the safety of staff and students was made.
The University of North Carolina Asheville, a public liberal arts university, released an alert Friday morning, canceling in-person and virtual classes, as well as all sports, practices, and activities on campus. They warned residential students to shelter in place, and asked that all non-essential personnel return to their homes.
In an update later in the morning, the university explained that a threat had been made, along with a demand to paint over the Black Lives Matter mural. According to ABC13, the school has not yet determined when it will be safe to reopen the campus, but has determined that it will not be before Saturday morning, at the earliest. Authorities are looking into the threats.
The mural was added to the campus on September 30, at an event that also included performances on the quad. It was made with permanent road paint and the university announced an intent to keep it indefinitely.
Though the person behind the threat has not been publicly identified, the demand for removal of a Black Lives Matter mural suggests that this is yet another case of racially-based violence. As Politico reported last month, the Department of Homeland Security has been attempting to warn the country that white supremacist violence is the biggest domestic terrorist threat facing the U.S. currently. The danger from white supremacist groups has been growing under the Trump Administration, and the president, at the first debate against challenger Joe Biden, refused to condemn white supremacists, instead calling for Proud Boys to “stand back and stand by.”