On Tuesday (May 3), multiple Black UMass Amherst students and a campus office were sent a "deeply racist" and "hateful" email similar to one sent to Black student groups last semester.
According to 22News, the latest racist email reads in part, “We are allowed to hate you, look down upon you, as well as insult you... You are not in Africa anymore.”
UMass Amherst student Alfy Rahj said in a statement, “This email is scary because it’s like basically saying that these white supremacists are in our university and are protecting this group which is like. It’s just disgusting to me."
The investigation into the first anti-Black email from the fall semester still remains unresolved. UMass Amherst administration said they're continuing to work with law enforcement to uncover the sender of both emails.
UMass Amherst Chancellor Kumble R. Subbaswamy said in a statement, “I realize how frustrating the slow progress of the investigation is and how profoundly disturbing it is that our Black students have been targeted again." Subbaswamy added, "I am angry and frustrated as well."
The university's chancellor noted that he is "doing everything possible to bring the perpetrator of these hateful acts to justice."
"If that person is someone in the campus community, they will face severe university sanctions, up to and including expulsion or employment termination, as well as a referral to the District Attorney for criminal prosecution,” Subbaswamy continued in his statement.
UMass Amherst Freshman Sam Delgado said to 22News, “They need to figure out who this person is. Find them and try to prevent it again. This isn’t something that should happen twice.”
Reports say the investigation into the unsolved racially charged emails is a collaborative effort between the UMass Police Department, the campus office of Information Technology, the Northwestern District Attorney’s Office, and forensic experts.
David E. Sullivan, the Northwestern District Attorney said in a statement, "Free speech is rightly held dear in this country, but it does not permit hate speech that threatens and intimidates in a way that interferes with a right to education."
Sullivan added, "Like Chancellor Subbaswamy, I stand in solidarity with people of color who are targets of this hate campaign.”
A student at UMass Amherst said, “The words that they use here are dehumanizing, the fact that it’s in our vocabulary is just horrible.”
Reading about Black trauma can have an impact on your mental health. If you or someone you know need immediate mental health help, text "STRENGTH" to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 to be connected to a certified crisis counselor. These additional resources are also available:
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255
The National Alliance on Mental Illness 1-800-950-6264
The Association of Black Psychologists 1-301-449-3082
The Anxiety and Depression Association of America 1-240-485-1001
For more mental health resources, click HERE.