Saturday, May 28, 2022

UMass Investigating ‘Vile’ Email Sent to Black Students (Video)

*Black students at the University of Massachusetts Amherst were sent racist letter suggesting they should “consider doing the human race a favor and getting sterilized,” among other statements.

The email, authored by a group calling themselves, “UMass Coalition for a Better Society,” was sent to Black student organizations, and described by the university’s Office of Equity and Inclusion as “vile, blatantly racist, and violently offensive.” The email reads, “We look down upon you,” before referencing a long list of racist stereotypes.

The school announced Monday that it hired a national cyber security firm to assist in tracking down the source of the email. University police and the school’s IT department began investigating last week.

“The blatantly racist e-mails recently sent to Black student organizations at UMass Amherst and other deplorable acts of anti-Black hatred are appalling and disgusting,” stated Umass president Marty Meehan. “While UMass Amherst is still trying to identify the source of these messages, we do know that the messages in no way reflect the true character of the UMass community and we have zero tolerance for such behavior. We are reminded, however, that we all have an obligation to confront the racism that continues to infect our society.”

This is not the first time Black students have faced racism on campus. “In addition, there have been other acts of anti-Black hate imposed on our community through the ‘Contact Us’ online forms of registered student organizations, as well as an incident involving the offender driving by and yelling an anti-Black racist epithet at a group of Black students,” Nefertiti Walker, Ph.D., vice-chancellor and chief diversity officer at UMass Amherst stated.

Over the weekend, the UMass Black Student Union, along with other Black organizations at the university said in an Instagram post they were “angry,” “hurt,” and “tired,” but certainly not surprised.

“Black organizations started receiving racist emails as early as the second week of September. It took the university almost a month from the initial anti-Black racist incidents, to acknowledge these instances,” wrote Umass BSU. “The university’s lengthy response time to racial incidents compared to their rapid response to non-racial incidents is not reflective of a university that claims to be “committed in policy, principle, and practice to maintaining an environment which prohibits discriminatory behavior and provides equal opportunity for all persons.”

The email has caught the eye of Bishop Talbert Swan, president of the local chapter of the NAACP. His son is currently a senior at UMass Amherst studying architecture. Attorney Benjamin Crump, a civil rights lawyer, said, “The increase in anti-Black sentiments at the college is repulsive. Students of color deserve to feel safe on their campus! The administration MUST find who is responsible and hold them accountable NOW!”

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