Black students at Penn have been subjected to horrific, disgusting, racist attacks on social media over the past several days. According to a university-wide email message, one University of Oklahoma student has been suspended in connection with a GroupMe chat titled “Mud Men,” rife with racial slurs, graphic images, and explicit threats of lynching intended to terrorize black freshmen at Penn.
The Statesman strongly condemns this outwardly hateful and despicable act.
It goes without saying that no person in this country, let alone first-year college students, should be subjected to such horrifying attacks. As College Dean Dennis Deturck emphasized in a school-wide email, the messages are “inimical to everything the College stands for, and all of us – faculty, students and staff – must stand united in resistance to this bigotry and hatred, and in support of our colleagues.”
In this racially-charged atmosphere that has left many students feeling unsafe, The Statesman would like to address the controversy that has surrounded Daniel Tancredi’s article that is entitled “Penn Reacts to Clinton Loss With Canceled Classes and Coloring”.
Much of this controversy seems to stem from a misunderstanding of when the article was written and published. As one can see from the time stamp of the original article, it was posted and shared on social media on Thursday, November 10 following Hillary Clinton’s loss to Donald Trump.
On the same day, Daniel was contacted by The College Fix. The outlet wanted him to specifically answer questions on the safe space that he had gone to following the election. After, The College Fix article went viral and has since been picked up by many other media outlets.
However, since The Statesman decided to publicize the articles from other media outlets on its Facebook and Twitter pages, there has been confusion as to which article was the original and whether it was written before or after the racist messages targeted at black students.
The article was written before, and it had nothing to do with the safe spaces that were provided to students following the racist cyberattack.
The Statesman stands by the black community in this time of crisis. Racism is never acceptable, and we would not write an article poking fun at students who have been threatened in such a horrific manner and need time and space to cope.
If the article was seen as insensitive due to this confusion, know that it was unintentional. Daniel only sought to present facts following the election. We condemn the racist messages, and we fully stand behind the black community.