FIRST ON 3: UNCW track captain racially harassed on campus by five white men

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Submitted: Tue, 07/23/2013 - 9:51pm
Updated: Wed, 07/24/2013 - 4:00am


Dear Campus Community,

Below you will see a statement my office is releasing regarding a regrettable incident that was reported on our campus yesterday afternoon. You will likely see media coverage of the incident this evening and beyond, and we hope such coverage will bring about continued dialogue on this and related issues. Hateful actions like the one reported yesterday will simply not be tolerated on this campus. I applaud UNCW student Brent Campbell for coming forward to share his experience and encourage all of you to do the same if ever you’re faced with similarly vitriolic circumstances. In this environment where we so strongly promote diversity, respect and student safety and well-being, this is a very upsetting development indeed — and one we’re not taking lightly.

“I have been made aware of a deplorable racial incident that was reported on our campus this past Monday afternoon involving one of our African-American students. It came to our attention today that Brent Campbell, a rising senior and captain of the UNCW men’s track team, was training on the Intramural fields at around 3pm in front of New Hanover gym when a blue pickup truck with 5 white male individuals drove past him several times and made derogatory racial comments. Simply put, UNCW will not tolerate incidents of this nature, by students, staff or visitors, and our police department is investigating accordingly. We have spoken to Brent to express our outrage that he endured this horrific experience. While it’s unconscionable that such hatefulness exists anywhere, it’s particularly upsetting that this occurred on the UNCW campus, where we strive to foster examination and action around diversity, respect, and issues of race and culture at every opportunity. This is just such an opportunity, and we are grateful that Brent has responded with such grace and openness so as to continue the important dialogue about race relations in Wilmington and beyond.”

Gary L. Miller


  • bill Puka says:


    How in the world did anyone this age turn out to be so mature, understanding, constructive and who knows what else? My mouth fell open hearing your responses, Brent, on a TV newscast. One of the strongest arguments I’ve ever heard for religion in my life. One of the most exemplary attitudes I’ve come across in years of studying moral exemplars.

    If you ever find yourself needing anything I can provide, please don;t hesitate to call.


  • Marli says:

    There are actually two eye witnesses to confirm Brent’s story. But I think the real issue is, why would we automatically assume that it is false? What would Brent stand to gain from all this media attention? His only message is one of forgiveness and the love of Jesus. I think as white people we do not wish to believe that this type of racial evil takes place. Coming to that conclusion can make us feel guilty, ashamed, and angry that our own people have historically and presently continued in these terrible acts. Regardless of what we may or may not have suffered as white people, black people have been consistently, systematically, and historically persecuted for their race. It is not only individuals who sometimes act in racist ways towards black people, as some of you have shared you have experienced as a white people, It is centuries of not only individual racism but systematic racism. Meaning whole institutions, government policies, and cultural norms all work together to tell black people that being white is the only right way to be. And if any of you took the time to participate in a black community and genuinely get to know them, you would only begin to gain an understanding of the countless racial injustices that black people experience their entire lives. Please take the time to read Brent’s account of the story for yourself.

  • GuestDOC says:

    Amen. I work in the prison system and let me tell you, I am a victim of racism several times a day, every day. I agree with Deputy 25 — water off the back. It doesn’t matter what anyone calls you, it’s what you answer to. Shameful if true, but it does sound a little Billy Bobbedly overdone. It just as stereotypical to describe these perpurtrators as a group of white males in a pick-up truck cruising for blacks to harass, as it was for Susan Smith to say a black man stole her car.

  • Guest-o-matic says:

    …”white crackah honkey” last week as he flipped me the one finger salute while in traffic. Wonder how big of a headline this will get?

  • RSimmons says:

    I’m kidding…..Funny though, I am a middle aged white guy driving around in a pick-up truck and no Blacks, Hispanics, Asians or any other race has ever called me a name or flipped me off. It is the other middle age white guys that seem to get their shorts in a wad when I’m driving around.

  • anne says:

    Please do not use the name Cletus – that is my dog’s name and he is a good ole boy! :)

  • Guest987987 says:

    What probably happened was that Bart, Billie-Bob, Cletus, Cooter, and Earl having nothing better to do, decided to go over to that there college in that old beater pick-em-up truck, and see if they could get smart. Since they couldn’t grasp the concept of someone actually applying themselves, they did the only thing that they knew, and tried to drag that person down to their level. Since they had to drive by five times, it clearly didn’t work. They became frustrated as they always do, and on they went to their next adventure.

    Brent, pay no attention to these idiots. Not reacting in any way frustrates then beyond belief, at the same time as it makes you an even better person.

  • Guest Taxpayer II says:

    As a UNCW alum, I really hate to hear that this young man was the
    subject of derogatory comments by a bunch of idiots. I feel strongly
    about UNCW and this community, I hope that this disgraceful incident
    doesn’t over shadow his experience at UNCW.

  • Deputy25 says:

    Any witnesses to say this really happened??

  • Guest 4253 says:

    Unfortunately, no one else saw the incident. Prior to Mr. Campbell’s practice, everyone else on the entire campus had been instructed to leave the premises just to prevent an untoward incident of this type from occurring. The only exceptions were all of the other members of the track team, who were blindfolded and wearing earplugs at the time, and of course those wonderful young men in the pickup truck who were only there to provide some healthy racial diversity.

    Hopefully, that answers your question.

  • jj says:

    Well, I think my question would be if they drove by several times did he get a tag number? I am sure there are cameras on campus and did anyone check the video?

    I would really question this….

  • Guest3130 says:

    . . . because Lord knows, you can’t trust the word of an senior & athlete CAPTAIN of the UNCW men’s track team . . . who just happens to also be black. I seriously hope you really ARE NOT a deputy of any LEO in our area.

  • deputy25 says:

    Yep. Deputy over 25 years. Get called names everyday. No news. Roll right off my back. I say get all the facts, before all the people JUMP TO CONCLUSIONS as they seem to do. I’m referring to Duke Lacrosse,Sharon Smith,ect. Get ALL the facts FIRST not just circumstantial evidence or one sided stories before the chancellor writes a statement as he has done already. NO MATTER THE RACE

  • Brent Campbell says:

    I see that there are many comments that my story is a hoax or a trick to get attention. That is regrettable and I don’t have the ability to change hearts and minds, there’s only one who can do that. But, if anybody would like to read the full story and see my heart in this issue, I think it would not only clear up some things but also dispel some fears.

    Brent Campbell

  • My comment says:

    What is the big deal? If this had happened to a person of any other race it would not have caught the attention of UNCW or the news.

  • Deputy 25 says:

    Thank you. That’s what I have been saying. No matter the race. Get all,all the investigations done first,then see.

  • Guest4396 says:

    I agree with you. In this day of absolutely no privacy anywhere, the truck, complete with license plate should be on several cameras throughout the campus. Sadly, the Chancellor has already apologized for something that might be a hoax.

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