Racist email condemning black students sparks outrage at UMass Amherst
DISCLAIMER CONTENT: This article mentions acts of racism.
During the week of September 25, a series of anonymous racist emails were sent to black student organizations at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. According to WWLP, the letter said African American student groups on campus should “consider doing a service to the human race and being sterilized.” As described by Wellesley’s Office of Equity and Inclusion, the content of emails sent to black students was “vile, blatantly racist and violently offensive.”
This incident is not the first time that black college students have faced racial discrimination in the community, Ada Eke ’23 was not surprised when she discovered the recent case of racist email.
“When I found out about this through my friend who goes to UMass Amherst, it was really disappointing, but not necessarily surprising,” said Eke. “The news of the racist email was not expected, but not outside of the possibility. I feel sick to the students of color who go there because it’s a stressful environment to be there where there are people who would hurt you for something you can’t control.
Ahead of the email, several anti-black racist incidents were reported on the university campus via student organizations’ online “Contact Us” forms, including a group of people shouting anti-black racist epithets. as they drove next to a group of black people. students. The UMass Black Student Union, on their Instagram page, said they were “hurt” and “tired” of being continually discriminated against on the basis of their race. Daisy Appiah-Kubi ’25 explained that these events are very likely to happen again as prejudices persist in society despite protests and legislation.
“As a society, often when big protests take place, we immediately feel that progress has been made afterwards, but we forget that legislation does not mean that entrenched prejudices in society are immediately eliminated,” said Appiah. -Kubi. “A law does not greatly affect that person’s perspective since people are more influenced by their family background and society. These incidents unfortunately have the possibility of continuing to occur because everyone has their own prejudices, and it is very difficult to change them.
UMass Amherst said he hired a cybersecurity firm and had the University of Massachusetts Police Department and University of Massachusetts Information Technology work together to investigate the source of the email. However, the UMass Black Student Union explained on its Instagram post how “it has taken the university nearly a month since the first anti-black racist incidents to recognize these cases.”
“Many schools are setting up numerous committees to fight against the discrimination that pupils considered to be minorities may face, but nothing really seems to be being done because no one would like to admit the racist side of themselves or the biased opinions that they have. ‘they have,’ Eke said. “I think it’s a big hurdle to overcome such problems.”
In the hope that the community will become more responsive to these incidents, Jada Onwuta ’24 expressed what she would like to see in the future to prevent further discrimination against minorities.
“Many say racism is a thing of the past, but obviously there are still a lot of feelings going around here,” Onwuta said. “Wording is very important when addressing such issues so that people are clearly aware that race issues are not over. Hopefully the college communities can be more explicit if something like this unfortunately happens not only to black students, but also to other minorities, such as Latinx and Asian students. ”