UMass Amherst Sees Increase of Anti-Black Incidents on Campus

In Summary

The vice-chancellor of UMass Amherst is speaking out after a racist email sent to Black student groups is highlighting the rise in anti-Black incidents on campus. 

The campus of the University of Massachusetts Amherst has seen an increase in anti-Black incidents, according to the university’s Vice-Chancellor Nefertiti A. Walker. 

This comes after a racist email was sent to Black student groups on campus before the school year began, according to Boston 25 News. “The content of these emails is vile, blatantly racist and violently offensive,” Walker said.  

RELATED: Campus Police File Multimillion Dollar Damage Claim After Alleged Racist Culture 

Students said the email began making its rounds on campus on Sept. 8 and different Black groups received it. Part of the email read, “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 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 university’s Black Student Union is wondering why the university waited until now to address the incident in a letter to the campus community released Thursday.  

The group posted about the incident on Instagram, saying, “We, the Black Student Union, are absolutely appalled with the disgusting, racist email that we, along with other Black student organizations on campus have received from an anti-Black group of people. We are angry. We are hurt. We are tired.” 

RELATED: Methodist University Suspends Sorority Following ‘Racist’ Presentation 

UMass Amherst’s police department is working with the information technology department to find the identity of the person or people responsible for the email, NBC 10 Boston reported.  

The university is offering resources to students impacted by the rise in anti-Blackness. “We stand in solidarity of our Black students and in opposition to any anti-Black racism,” Walker said. “Please continue to report these hateful acts, even if the act is not directed to you. Active bystander engagement is important to eradicating racism on our campus.” 

If you or someone you know is struggling from trauma triggered by this story, resources are available here.  

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