Black freshmen at University of Pennsylvania cyberattacked with racist GroupMe messages

Black freshmen at University of Pennsylvania cyberattacked with racist GroupMe messages

On Friday, black freshmen at the University of Pennsylvania were involuntarily added to several GroupMe messages brimming with pro-Donald Trump propaganda, racist vitriol and graphic images.

In one group chat labeled "Mud Men," according to the Daily Pennsylvanian, a member sent photos of lynched black men accompanied with the text, "I love America."

In "Trump is love," another GroupMe chat, one group member called another a "dumb slave" and posted a photo of a red hat with "grab them by the pussy" printed on it.

The GroupMe messages began on Friday around 10 a.m. in a group chatroom named "Nigger Lynching," the Philadelphia Inquirer reported. The first message sent was "Sup Niggers" by a user under the alias "Daddy Trump." There were also several calendar invites and postings in the group message for "Daily Lynchings." Another user under the alias "GORT" texted,  "message Heil Trump."

The University of Pennsylvania shouldn't be considered as a random pick for attacks against black freshmen. President-elect Trump is an alumna of the Ivy League institution's Wharton School of Business and his daughter Tiffany is a recent graduate. 

The university's administration issued a statement condemning the deliberate racist cyber attacks against their black freshmen students. They also announced an increase in campus safety and reached out to members of the community for support.

"The racism of this GroupMe message is profoundly inimical to what we stand for as a university," the statement read. "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."

The university also noted that the account appears to have originated from Oklahoma. The Philadelphia Inquirer also reported the GroupMe messages could have been associated with fraternities either at the University of Oklahoma or Oklahoma State University. The messages reportedly contain references to fraternities including Sigma Alpha Epsilon.

Black students added to the group said they were shocked and saddened by the racist attack.

"Once I saw the racial slurs ... my heart dropped," a Wharton freshman, who was added to the group, told the Daily Pennsylvanian. "I was shocked that I was even added to the GroupMe in the first place, but seeing what was being said just hurt."

Penn student Brittany Brown, who is black and identifies as a member of the LGBTQ community, told the Inquirer that these racist cyberattacks are reflective of the white supremacy promoted through Trump's campaign and his presidential win on Tuesday.

"The currents of [Trump's] messages are rippling through the country," Brown told the Inquirer. "That's the problem. I don't have a problem with Republicans, or conservatives. And I have a lot of friends who are much more liberal than me. This isn't about that. This about being a decent human being."