University of Massachusetts Amherst has launched an investigation into the origins of a racist email sent to Black student organizations on campus. The email encouraged students to “consider doing the human race a favor and getting sterilized.”
The email, which was sent by a group calling themselves “UMass Coalition for a Better Society” read, in part, “We look down upon you, we instantly know in all manners from your language which most of you still speak in some broken form of Ebonics or to ghetto-speak to where your [sic] from (third-world sewers in America bought and paid for by the u.s taxpayer) to how you live (like hoodrats) to how you appear (fro hair, big lips, black skin) you are different.”
The authors said they wrote the email from a non-student account to avoid being “victimized by the predictable cries of ‘racism’ and not being ‘inclusive.’”
In addition to UMass Amherst hiring a national cyber security firm, UMass Amherst Police Department and the university’s IT department are also looking into the source of the email, according to WWLP. Black student groups have been receiving the racist emails as early as late August.
Here’s what UMass president Marty Meehan had to say about the racist email, according to WWLP:
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. 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.
The UMass Black Student Union, along with other Black organizations at the university said in an Instagram post this weekend that 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. 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.
UMass appears to be taking this seriously, and they’d better. Some folks with national profiles have taken notice. Bishop Talbert Swan, president of the local chapter of the NAACP, is following how the school is addressing this incident. His son is currently a senior on campus studying architecture.
Attorney Benjamin Crump, a well-known civil rights lawyer who defends families of those killed by cops, 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!”
UMass says it stands firmly behind its Black students and is offering support to those impacted by racist acts on campus.