Justice

Black Students Were Added to a Horribly Racist Group Chat

Several black students at the University of Pennsylvania claimed they were added to a group list on the messaging app GroupMe and received racist, threatening texts through the app Friday, The Philly Inquirer reported. The incident is one the latest examples of post-election hate from apparent supporters of President-elect Donald Trump.

Screenshots of the messaging group reportedly showed anonymous users antagonizing black students, posting racial slurs and promoting a "daily lynching" calendar invite. One user, "Daddy Trump" referred to a student as a "dumb slave" and another posted an image of a mass lynching. There were multiple references to Trump and his campaign throughout the thread.

One student who received the messages described the experience in an interview with NBC10 Philadelphia on Friday. 

In a statement released Friday, the University of Pennsylvania condemned the users who started the GroupMe account, which "appears to be based in Oklahoma," according to the administration. University police and administrators are currently investigating and hope to "locate the exact source" and "determine if any steps can be taken to block the account."

Here's more from the university's statement:

"We must reiterate how absolutely essential it is to the core values of our community, and also to the well-being of our society and world, that all persons be treated with the dignity and respect they deserve. The racism of this GroupMe message is profoundly inimical to what we stand for as a university. We will take every step possible to counteract its appalling bias. And we all stand together in solidarity with our Black students who have been so terribly targeted."

There have been a number of reported incidents involving verbal and physical attacks on minorities in the days since Trump was elected Tuesday. ATTN: reached out to two students who claimed to receive these messages as well as the university; we have not received a response but will update this story when we hear back.

"I have heard more stories in the past 48 hours of Americans living in fear of their own government and their fellow Americans than I can remember hearing in five decades in politics," Nevada Sen. Harry Reid (D) said in a statement Friday. "Their fear is entirely rational because Donald Trump has talked openly about doing terrible things to them."

On Thursday, The New York Times editorial board published a letter calling on Trump to "immediately and unequivocally repudiate the outpouring of racist, sexist, xenophobic, anti-Semitic and homophobic insults, threats and attacks being associated with your name." The board added:

"As a candidate, Mr. Trump could get away with ignoring racist and sexist abuse by his supporters. But as the president-elect, he has the moral duty to reject it in the most aggressive terms. There should be no space in American political discourse for violent or abusive behavior. And that includes, of course, acts of vandalism and other violence by anti-Trump demonstrators."