Murder of Black Student Prompts University of Maryland to Take Action

Richard Wilbur Collins III, a 23-year-old Black man who had just been commissioned as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army was stabbed to death on May 20 as he was waiting for an Uber driver at the University of Maryland College Park. Collins was scheduled to graduate from Bowie State University in Maryland this past Tuesday. An empty seat, draped with his graduation gown, sat in the arena to honor him throughout the commencement ceremony.

Police arrested Sean Christopher Urbanski for the murder. Urbanski is a member of an Alt-Right group and police are investigating the incident as a possible hate crime.

In response to the incident, the university quickly announced new measures aimed at creating a safer campus for all members of the community.

  • The university will create a rapid response team that will provide support and services to victims of hate-related incidents.
  • An additional allocation of $100,000 has been given to the Office of Diversity and Inclusion for diversity education programs.
  • The university will publish an annual report on hate crime incidents on campus.
  • Actions will be taken to prohibit any hate-bias symbols or actions at university athletic events with violators being immediately expelled from the field or arena.
  • A task force will be established to examine the effectiveness of all of the university’s anti-bias and campus safety programs and to make recommendations on how to make the campus an environment where hate is not tolerated.

Wallace D. Loh, president of the University of Maryland, stated that “it is on all of us to stand up and fight the racism, extremism, and hate that are cancers in our body politic.”

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Comments (3)

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  1. mathprof says:

    Unfortunately, President Loh makes the mistake (in my view) of characterizing racism as an aberration, an anomaly. In fact, racism is foundational to the body politic and to the nation. This is how smart, well-meaning people help to perpetuate it. They fail to understand how “normal” racism is in the places where they do their work. In trying to root out bad individuals, they overlook the ways that the surrounding structures function. Perhaps, this is because those same structures provide them with all the “benefits” of academia.

  2. Hilary Battle says:

    One must not forget that the act of racism is committed by a person not the stone or bricks or wood or motar that the building is made of:as refered to as an institution.Don’t punish the building-its the ones inside the building that is in need of corrections!!

    • Ronald B. Saunders says:

      US History 101- The United States of America was established as a white society, founded upon the genocide of First American indigenous tribes and then the enslavement of powerful Black Africans.
      Individuals called white people in the United States have benefited from the structure of racism, whether or not they have ever committed a racist act, uttered a racist word, or had a racist thought (as unlikely as that is). Just as surely as Blacks suffer in a white society, whites benefit because they are white. And whites have profited from a racist structure,
      They must try to change it. Hence to benefit from domination is to be responsible for it. Merely to keep personally free of the taint of racist attitudes is both illusory and inadequate. Just to go along with the racist social structure, to accept the economic order as it is, just to do one’s job within impersonal institutions is to actively participate in the active racist in the 21st Century.
      What happened on the University of Maryland’s campus, with the senseless killing of Lt. Collins is only a microcosm of what is occurring all over the United States and no Negro because of social-economic status or class is immune to threats of individual acts of cowardly white racism or the institutional racism which is still very pervasive.
      You can make a strong case that the U.S. is in fact the new Babylon. Black people, +Black institutions must have comprehensive safety contingency plans in order to protect them from the onslaught of brutal continual on-going white acts of violence which have been the norm in America dating back to the arrival of the Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, English, French, Germans and Danes.
      Every Black child in America must have in-depth classes in self defense and become proficient in the use of firearms. If in fact this sounds radical, consider the nature and environment that Black people have to navigate in daily in the U.S in which they receive a heavy dose of the micro-aggression’s of white people twenty fours a day each day of the year. Our revolutionary hero, the honorable Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr, understood fully the only thing that separated the rural Negro from the lynch ropes in many cases was a 12 gauge shot gun. British America has been in war against Black America since 1619 which has taken on many different forms as the society has evolved. Far too many Black people have died at the hands of white supremacists for no other reason than the fact they were Black an in America. Integration mad Negroes have now seen the consequences of forced integration on people who were considered heathens in Antiquity.

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