None of black can feel safe in University of Oklahoma. 3 students were linked to racist messages and temporary suspended.
A University of Oklahoma student has been temporarily suspended on suspicion of sending racist social media messages, including threats of lynchings, to black freshman at the University of Pennsylvania, the two universities said on Saturday.
The messages were sent to more than 150 students at the University of Pennsylvania, President-elect Donald Trump’s alma mater, and included racial slurs and pictures of African-Americans being hanged, says Reuters.
“This is absolutely vile material and completely offensive to everyone on our campus,” University of Pennsylvania President Amy Gutmann said in a statement. “This is simply deplorable.”
“We are deeply saddened that Penn students were the victims of this hate, to which absolutely nobody should be subjected. … We will continue the work of healing with members of our community,” school officials said in a statement which cited ABC.
For those wondering how the racists attacks have impacted those young students, one of their friends tells us there’s no doubt they’re hurt.
“They were just really scared. I kept finding them and hugging them and talking to them because it’s something really bad,” said Nicholas Alvelo, Penn sophomore.
Nate Morris is one of those who found himself added to a racist Group Me account Friday. The messages on an account called Mud Men included racial slurs.
“I felt scared because I didn’t know where this was coming from,” said Morris, Penn freshman. “They made a calendar event saying that it’s ‘Lynch Day,’ and they’re going to try to find any black person they can lynch.”
— Chidera (@chiderasiegbu) November 11, 2016
A number of black freshman students who were targeted gathered at a private meeting to discuss the incident. Outside hundreds marched through Penn’s campus in protest.
“I was absolutely shocked. This is one of the last places I’d expect something like that,” said Shelley Thomas, Penn Grad student.
“This is very disgusting and very vile,” said Tunmise Fawole, student leader.
— Penn (@Penn) November 12, 2016
The Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity’s chapter at the University of Oklahoma was shut down after a video surfaced of fraternity members chanting a song about never allowing black members, with a reference to lynching, went viral in 2015.
Students involved apologized. According to Washington Post the international headquarters of SAE launched a sweeping initiative to promote diversity and eradicate racism at its chapters, including requiring all new members to undergo training before they are initiated into the group.
“SAE is not currently recognized at OU and we are unaware of any connection between this incident and the former OU SAE chapter, ” Corbin Wallace, a spokesman for the University of Oklahoma, said in an email.
The Sigma Alpha Epsilon chapter at UPenn denounced the messages with a statement:
Our chapter rejects any association whatsoever with the GroupMe messages, Facebook groups, and the unacceptable and intolerable racism that is associated with those groups. Racism has no place in our chapter or in the Penn community. We are shocked, horrified and enraged by these attacks on members of our community.
Our chapter remains committed to diversity and inclusion, and we will do anything we can to support the African-American members in our chapter and the broader African-American community at Penn. We will continue to stand up against these threats to our brothers and fellow students.
Asked whether there were any connections between the student at Oklahoma and the former chapter of SAE on that campus, a spokesman for the international headquarters of Sigma Alpha Epsilon, Brandon Weghorst, responded by email Saturday morning:
All that I know regarding the former chapter at the University of Oklahoma is that we closed the chapter immediately following the incident in March of 2015 and expelled all of the members.
My understanding about the inappropriate and unacceptable social-media groups that have targeted Penn students is that they appear to be from someone not affiliated with Penn and not affiliated with SAE.
It is a bad and disgusting hoax for anyone trying to make it seem as if our members are responsible for the reference to the chant that was used by Oklahoma students.
SAE has been implicated falsely in the Penn posts, which is unfortunate.
— Jennifer Wilson (@JenLouiseWilson) November 12, 2016
University of Oklahoma officials say the investigation will continue. Such unfair and frightening treatment of black students must be stopped and prevented from ever happening again. But, sadly, after Trump election we can barely expect an improvement an improvement of situation.