It started with a noose found in the school’s fraternity house. Next was the poster plastered all over campus that claimed: “America is a white nation.”
Then, on Saturday May 20, 23-year-old Richard W. Collins II was stabbed and murdered. His crime? Being Black.
Collins’ murderer, 22-year-old white supremacist Sean Urbanski, was a member of a local Facebook group at the University of Maryland called “Alt-Reich: Nation.” The page contains crass, crude posts that are sexist and racist.
On that Saturday, while Collins, a student at Bowie State University visiting the UMD campus, was waiting for an Uber, he was approached and stabbed by Urbanski “totally unprovoked” with a pocketknife. Urbanski fled the scene but was detained
Collins was set to graduate Tuesday and had been commissioned as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army last Thursday, according to his family.
Urbanski has been charged with first and second-degree murder and first-degree assault. Given the overwhelming evidence, FBI special agent said Sunday the agency is investigating whether the attack was a hate crime.
“When I look at the information that’s contained on that website, suffice it to say that it’s despicable, it shows extreme bias against women, Latinos, persons of Jewish faith and especially African-Americans,” said University Police Chief David Mitchell, referring to the Alt-Reich page, reported Think Progress.
“We want to get to the heart of this matter,” the university’s President Wallace D. Loh added Sunday.
The Alt-Reich group is a reference to the concept of “The Fourth Reich,” which was the hypothetical future German empire drummed up by Nazis that would have been the successor to Nazi Germany.