A University of Oklahoma student involved in messages sent from “Daddy Trump” obtained contact info from a private University of Pennsylvania Facebook group.
By Sheryl Estrada
The FBI is investigating hate messages University of Pennsylvania Black freshmen received via a cell phone text messaging app, GroupMe, under the group name “Ni**er Lynching.” The messages, which began last week, were sent to more than 150 students attending President-elect Donald Trump’s alma mater.
Investigators confirmed that the racist messages were traced to three Oklahoma residents, including one student at the University of Oklahoma. They used the name “Daddy Trump,” and their messages included racial slurs and pictures of African Americans being hanged. One member of the group posted an image of lynchings and then wrote, “I love America.” The same person posted an event into the message called “Daily lynching.” “Heil Trump” was also written in the messages by the group, which called itself “MudMen.”
As of Tuesday, the suspended University of Oklahoma student involved in the messaging is no longer enrolled at the university.
“As our university has clearly demonstrated in the past, we have zero tolerance at this university for those who would engage in racism,” University President David Boren said in a statement on Tuesday. “We will maintain at our university a strong sense of community which values and respects every single student.”
A UPenn student provided DiversityInc with an email school officials sent Tuesday night. It states the Oklahoma student involved accepted Penn’s admission offer in May but ultimately chose not to attend. The individual had access to contact information in a private Facebook group created for the Class of 2020:
“One question that many have asked is how the contact information for some of our students was obtained. The investigation has determined that there was no compromise of the Penn directory or any campus data systems. It appears that the overlap between the alleged perpetrators and our students was through third-party social media applications (Facebook and GroupMe).
“We have learned that one of the individuals being investigated in Oklahoma had been offered admission to Penn, accepted the offer in May, but chose, ultimately, not to attend. Having accepted Penn’s admission offer, he was invited to join and access the private Facebook group created for the Class of 2020, which is a common practice among many colleges and universities.
“Utilizing this access, he obtained the contact information of some Black first-year students who had shared their information with the Facebook group. He added those individual students to the racist GroupMe message thread without their permission or knowledge.
“We are working to prevent this type of access in the future, and Penn Police are continuing to work with the FBI and their counterparts in Oklahoma to bring the investigation to completion. In one other development, the University of Oklahoma announced today that a student identified as being involved in the incident is no longer enrolled at that university.
“We continue to support all affected students and underscore our outrage at such reprehensible behavior, whether it originates within or outside our campus. We must unite as a community to heal, reach out, support and understand one another in such challenging times.
“We will update you when we have any further information.”
The University of Pennsylvania is an Ivy League institution located in Philadelphia. Forty-five percent of undergraduate students are white, 19 percent are Asian, 10 percent are Latino and 7 percent are Black.
On Friday, a Black Freshman at UPenn made the following post on Twitter:
Chidera (@chiderasiegbu) November 11, 2016
At a protest on campus Friday, aUPenn sophomore spoke with the independent student newspaper The Daily Pennsylvanian and expressed her outrage for what freshman students have experienced:
“People ask me everyday am I a student here. I have a f***ing 3.2 GPA, I am about to get my master’s and people ask me every day, do you belong here, explain yourself.
“So for freshmen, who are made to feel like they don’t belong here, freshmen who don’t have GPAs yet, freshmen who haven’t even taken finals yet, they just got through their midterms, which is hell. They’ll wake up and see that somebody has set a date for them to be lynched, it’s unacceptable and if the entire student body is not upset, shocked and outraged about it, I have nothing else to say.”
UPenn alumni created a Change.org petitioncalling on “President-Elect and Wharton alumnus Donald Trump to break his disturbing silence on this issue, and to follow through on his declaration that the nation must come together by making a full-throated condemnation of these hate crimes and all hate speech.”