Columbia, South Carolina
Sources: Mayor Planted “Racist” Graffiti
Sometime during the early morning hours of December 30, 2009, an unidentified vandal spray-painted racist graffiti on the side of Columbia, South Carolina’s city hall. What did the graffiti say? “No n*gger mayor die.”
This high-profile vandalization – which we condemned at the time as “another embarrassing incident for a city and state that can’t seem to escape reminders of its racist past” – prompted a furious response from Steve Benjamin, who at the time was the only black candidate running for mayor of Columbia.
“I was disgusted this morning to learn that what should be a symbol of inclusion in our representative democracy had been vandalized with bigotry and intolerance,” Benjamin said. “This is exactly why we need a new leader who can unify all of us behind a new vision for Columbia, and I am now more than ever dedicated to that cause.”
“Furious response from Benjamin…this is exactly why you need to elect me mayor.”
That sounds like his confession. Yet it took almost four years for enough evidence to bubble up to implicate him? If I was a detective, I would have fingered him as the doer and this as a race hoax right from moment one.