Racists defaced the City Hall building last night in Columbia, S.C., where two black candidates are among the candidates running for mayor in 2010.
Authorities say someone spray painted the racist graffiti sometime Tuesday night on the side of the building, which is located at Main and Laurel streets.
The slur said “No [expletive] mayor,” using an epithet known as the “N-word.” There are two announced African-American candidates running for mayor in 2010, attorney Steve Benjamin and retired Army Lt. Col. Gary Myers, Jr.
“It is so sad that with the number of difficult challenges faced by the city, I am commenting on racist graffiti,” Myers said Wednesday afternoon. “There is a very small segment of our society that does not want to move forward.”
The city acted quickly to wipe out any traces of the offensive words. A city work crew used a pressure washer to strip the paint off the Laurel Street side of the building.
City officials, including Mayor Bob Coble, held a news conference at 9:00am.
“This is not Columbia. This is not what Columbia stands for,” said Mayor Coble, who called the act cowardly. “This incident is not reflective our city.”
“Columbia will not allow the sick acts of a few to define or defile the beautiful soul of the whole, or stop progress in this Capital City,” continued Myers. “My message to them is that Columbia can be a great city and will move in that direction, with or without them.”
Mayor Coble said police will review surveillance cameras in the area as part of their investigation. There are several, including those at the U.S. Bankruptcy Court building next door and a traffic camera over the intersection.
Other candidates for mayor in 2010 include City Councilman Kirkman Finlay, businessman Joe Azar and attorney Steve Morrison. Mayor Coble will not run again, after serving five terms in office.
other accounts of the incident say the exact wording was actually “No ni**er mayor, die!” … which is a whole ‘nother ball game.
This is not the first embarrassment for South Carolina this year; back in June, Columbia resident and prominent GOP activist Rusty DePass compared U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama to an escaped gorilla; that same month Governor Mark Sanford resigned after he was discovered having an affair and in September Congressman Joe Wilson rudely interrupted President Obama addressing the nation on healthcare.