Black Michigan Teen Is Charged With Ethnic Intimidation

He wrote the racist graffiti that he said he had stumbled upon.

Posted: 05/18/2011 11:55 AM EDT
Filed Under racism

Ethnic Intimidation

A Black teenager at a Birmingham, Michigan, high school is facing hard time after writing racist comments at his school.


Courtney Isaiah Thomas, 18, was a senior at Seaholm High School when he confessed to writing racist comments on a restroom wall about himself and four other students last month. Seaholm High School has 1,250 students and about 70 of them African-American.


On April 20, Thomas told school officials about graffiti he saw on a boys’ restroom wall. Police went to the school and found it and the names of five Black students, including that of Thomas, along with the words "should be lynched" and "I'm going to kill them."


After several interviews with the police, Thomas confessed to writing the graffiti. Today Thomas, since suspended indefinitely from school, was arraigned in the 48th District Court on one count of ethnic intimidation. It is a felony offense punishable by two years in prison.


The most infamous case of a false racism accusation concerned Tawana Brawley. In 1987, the 15-year-old alleged that she had been kidnapped and raped by a group of white men, including a former prosecutor. The accusation was taken up as a cause celebre by Rev. Al Sharpton and others, but turned out to be  completely false.


(Photo: Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)