Second anonymous racist email sent to Black UMass community members

University administration has alerted law enforcement to the email

Collegian+File+Photo

Collegian File Photo

By McKenna Premus, Managing Editor

On Tuesday evening, May 3, 2022, several individual Black students, four Black student groups and one campus office received a racist email from an anonymous email address.

According to an email from Chancellor Kumble Subbaswamy sent to the University of Massachusetts community Tuesday night addressing the hateful message, University administration alerted law enforcement of the email.

“[We] will do everything within our power to hold the racist, hateful coward who sent it accountable,” read Subbaswamy’s email.

The chancellor’s email warned that while the University is seeking assistance from law enforcement in identifying the source of the racist email, “investigations into such incidents, law enforcement experts say, are often difficult,” citing the inconclusive findings from the investigation into another racist email sent to Black community members last semester.

Per Subbaswamy, if the individual(s) responsible for sending the racist email is identified and is found to be a member of 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.”

Northwestern District Attorney David E. Sullivan released a statement this morning, May 4, 2022, regarding the recent “racist, hate-filled, and misinformation-laden” emails:

“The Northwestern District Attorney’s Office, along with its law enforcement partners, approaches this investigation with the utmost seriousness, care and attention.”

Sullivan continued, “The provocative and inflammatory email sent out yesterday to a select group at UMass is an attempt to sow discord and division within the UMass Amherst community. Unfortunately, currently in our country there is an effort to use misinformation as a weapon to provoke fear and mistrust. I believe the UMass community is far stronger and smarter than the writers of this email seem to think. The NWDA is an active partner with the UMass Police Department on this investigation, which has been, and will continue to be, comprehensive and thorough as we follow the facts wherever they lead.”

“Like Chancellor Subbaswamy, I stand in solidarity with people of color who are targets of this hate campaign,” the statement concluded.

“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. I am angry and frustrated as well,” Subbaswamy stated in his email to the University community. “I want to express my solidarity with our Black students, faculty and staff. I will work with campus leaders to ensure that support services are made available to those who seek them and will keep the campus community updated on any developments going forward.”

University students, staff and community members who are struggling with the impact of this email are encouraged to reach out to the Center for Counseling and Psychological Health (CCPH) at (413) 545-2337.

McKenna Premus can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @mckenna_premus.