Disturbing email sent to black organizations at college sparks outrage


A disturbing and racist email was sent to members of various black organizations on the University of Massachusetts Amherst campus and sparked outrage among students. University officials yesterday issued a statement condemning the rise in anti-black incidents.

“I am writing to you today in response to an increase in anti-black racist incidents happening on our campus, which target all African-American and black students.” read the statement by Vice-Chancellor Nefertiti Walker. “To begin with, an anti-black racist email was sent to many black-centric student groups. The content of these emails is vile, blatantly racist and violently offensive.”

The email in question was addressed to “black students on our campus” and signed by “The UMass Coalition for a better society”. The email begins by stating that it was written from a non-student account to avoid being “victimized by predictable cries of ‘racism’ and not being ‘inclusive’.”

The email was reportedly sent in multiple rounds from September 8 through September 17. The first email was sent to the students of the National Society of Black Engineers after their first meeting of interest.

The email continues with troubling racist sentiments, including a discussion of sterilization, gonad removal to erase DNA, among other racist epithets.

In the statement released by Walker, she said the University has launched a multi-unit collaborative investigation into the racist incidents. He also said the University was working with the University of Massachusetts Police Department and UMass IT to identify the sender of the racist email.

Many students are squeamish about the increase in race-related incidents on campus, and many are taking to social media to find out. Zach Steward, a junior African American and legal studies student at UMass Amherst, doesn’t think the university cares about the safety of minority students.

“Frankly, I don’t feel like the university is doing enough. I don’t feel like they care enough because if they cared, they would get us. said immediately as soon as this happened, “Steward said. News week. “They would have made sure that the students felt and were safe, but it is clear that this is not the case and the university clearly never learned from what happened in 2018.”

Students at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst draw attention to a racist email sent to various black student organizations on campus. The university followed up on a statement by the vice-chancellor yesterday.
alohadave / Getty Images

Steward explained that when he was in first year, the university learned of the racist graffiti painted around a residence called Melville Hall. Steward remembers the words “hang,” “Melville,” and the word n ​​drawn in the hall following an engraving of a Confederate flag a month later.

The university went on to say that the UMPD was investigating the incidents but needed the students to provide information. He said News week that this should not be the responsibility of the students.

“They never learned anything from that, so they just allowed this hate to be constantly reproduced,” Steward continued. “So now we’re at a point where this group feels comfortable enough to say these things and it could potentially escalate into violence.”

Steward believes the university issued a statement only because so many students spoke about the campus incidents and because of an op-ed he ran with the campus newspaper Amherst Wire titled “UMass: Cut the BS “.

“I guess they were trying to keep it under the rug as long as possible,” Steward said. News week.

Other users on Twitter tagged UMass Amherst’s official Twitter account with screenshots of the email and received identical responses with the link to Walker’s official statement.

“This school continues to water down and sweep the constant racist attacks under the rug. You all have to do better,” one student wrote on Twitter.

“You’re on time! It’s disgusting,” wrote another user. “And your background with these type of shitty matches. Do you all remember when the ‘N’ word would appear on the dormitory doors of people in the southwest and we couldn’t even have a meeting with the administration? are you going to do now? “

But the rise in racist incidents in college colleges is not just a problem at UMass Amherst, it is spreading across the country. At Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee, two black students reported having a banana stuck to their dormitory door. The Men of Distinction campus organization called the college and asked for a more public response from college officials.

This call was followed by a public statement from Acting President Carroll D. Stevens who wrote that these incidents “do not align with our values ​​as an academic community” and that community members must “not only learn how to avoid inflicting this damage, but also to intervene actively when we see it in our community. “

At Albion College in Michigan, students are calling for the impeachment of college president Mathew B. Johnson for “bullying” students and staff. The petition launched by an anonymous student accuses him of ignoring POC students who were harassed in their dormitories. The petition says the president took little to no action until there were campus-wide protests.

Many college students from several schools said that issuing a generic statement with resources was not helpful in finding a comprehensive solution. Many are tired of receiving statements from university officials and are fighting for more severe consequences from the students who commit these racist acts.

“UMass doesn’t care about marginalized students because if they did, they wouldn’t allow these things to continue,” Steward said. “They would rule out the specific issues that allow these things to continue to happen, but they choose not to. They choose to look the other way.”

News week contacted the University of Massachusetts Amherst but did not receive a comment in time for the post.

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