University-of-Mass-hatecrime-photoInvestigators at the University of Massachusetts are searching for vandals who recently scrawled hate messages on the walls of dorm buildings, according to the Daily Hampshire Gazette.

School Chancellor Kumble Subbaswamy released a statement Thursday condemning the messages that called for killing Black and Mexican people, the report says. The messages began appearing over the past week.

“Such expressions of hate and intolerance have no place on our campus,” the chancellor said in a campus email, the paper states. “We condemn language intended to marginalize or make any member of our community unsafe, and we will aggressively investigate this matter for criminal and administrative reviews.”

Josh Odam, secretary of diversity for the Student Government Association, said he found “Kill These [N—–rs]!!” written in all capital letters on his door. He wrote an op-ed about the episode Thursday in the Daily Collegian student newspaper.

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“This is where that ethnostress rears its ugly head,” he writes. “When situations such as these occur (slurs written on the wall, nooses hung on trees, etc.) it prevents students from focusing on academics as they should as paying students of the University. The self-awareness and hypervigilance is increased because it is a natural defense mechanism. However, when students of color act on the “fight or flight” response, we are stigmatized whenever we do either.

“To be blunt, whoever did this messed with the wrong one,” Odam continues. “They went to the wrong door, the wrong floor and the wrong community. We will not stand for this ignorance on our campus and will hold the University and ourselves directly accountable to ensure the safety of Black students, students of color and the entire population.

A group of concerned students organized a meeting on campus Wednesday night to discuss the incidents, the Gazette notes. It was attended 100 people attended, including Subbaswamy and other university administrators. Additionally, Subbaswamy invited students to attend a previously scheduled meeting Thursday afternoon on diversity, equity, and inclusion at UMass.

 

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