Editor's Note: The following story contains a racial slur that may be offensive or disturbing to some readers. This story has been updated with additional information. 

On Monday, the rock on Kent State’s campus was found painted with the message “Hate has no home here” crossed out and replaced with “Blacks have no home here.”

In addition to the message, the base of the rock, originally saying “BLM,” now says #SilverMeadows.  

Over the past two weeks, people have painted the rock on Kent State’s campus to display messages of solidarity in regard to the Black Lives Matter [BLM] movement, met with countering “White Lives Matter” messages. 

The first “White Lives Matter” painting appeared on the rock on Aug. 28. The university released an official statement addressing the rock and introducing the new anti-racism task force at the university, “whose work will begin with a focus on anti-Black racism.”

Students, faculty and community members have reacted to the rock paintings, engaging in peaceful protests and repainting the rock.

Student Reactions

Monday evening, multiple students went to repaint the rock with “Hate has no home here.” As of 7:30 p.m., five students painted the rock with a rainbow background and fist which is symbolic to the BLM movement. 

As the students worked on the rock, cars drove by — one of the passengers shouted the N-word repeatedly at the students with their head sticking out of the car window. The students quickly shouted back toward the car. Shortly after that, someone else across the street yelled out “Black lives matter.” 

Rock repainted 1

Kent State Students Karri Stadulis, Ezri Edwards, and Dani Tyson looked toward Main Street as a man screamed the n-word from his car as he drove past. 

While the students continued to paint, a few more people came to join, picking up paint cans and starting to paint “BLM” on the sides and the back of the rock.  

The online response to the “Blacks have no home here” has been tremendous. With people repainting earlier in the day, people tweeting at Kent State asking what they are going to do about what the next step is. 

Rock repainted 2

Kent State Students Gracey Jarecke, Savannah Matthews, Ezri Edwards, and Karri Stadulis painted a fist and rainbow flag on The Rock.

Lamar Hylton, Vice President for Student Affairs, tweeted out a picture of the rock and said: “I am sickened, outraged, angered, disgusted, and much more. I’m lost for words. Our community, and greater society, must do better. The fact that this is on my campus sickens me to no avail.” 

The university sent out a statement around 7:30 p.m., stating that they are working on different possible actions including putting up fencing around the rock, installing security cameras or removing the rock. 

Contact Maria McGinnis at mmcginn9@kent.edu and Sara Crawford at scrawf3@kent.edu.

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