College life in Philly

U. of Oklahoma student suspended after Penn ‘N—er Lynching’ group message

However, the message itself appears to have “started elsewhere.”

Penn students protested the racists GroupMe group on Friday evening

Penn students protested the racists GroupMe group on Friday evening


Updated Nov. 13

The FBI is still investigating a racist GroupMe group that roiled the Penn campus on Friday, but on Saturday, a student at the University of Oklahoma was suspended in connection with the texts, according to a statement from UO President David Boren.

“I have ordered the appropriate officials at our university to open immediate inquiry to determine the extent of involvement by a University of Oklahoma student in this matter,” Boren wrote.

Boren also noted that the investigation indicated “this matter did not originate” at OU, but “started elsewhere.”

The GroupMe, titled “Nigger Lynching,” first surfaced Friday morning, when black freshmen students at Penn discovered they had been added to it without their knowledge. It was full of racist slurs and threats, such as “Dumb slave,” “Coons” and “ALL HAIL TRUMPMIESTER.” One person was posting messages under the pseudonym “Daddy Trump” — some have speculated this was the suspended UO student.

On Saturday, Penn alumni started a petition calling on Wharton alumnus and President-Elect Donald Trump to “break his disturbing silence on this issue” and condemn this and other recent hate crimes and speech. As of Sunday morning, petition had garnered more than 6,000 signatures.

Penn President Amy Gutmann issued a late Friday afternoon statement decrying the activity, and noted Penn Police were working with the FBI to determine the source. Later Friday, Penn confirmed the University of Oklahoma connection.

“We are grateful for the good investigative work that has gone into this—work that will continue—and also for the swift action by the University of Oklahoma,” read an email sent to Penn students, faculty and employees after midnight from Gutmann, provost Vincent Price and executive vice president Craig Carnaroli.

The GroupMe message and resulting outcry also drew strong condemnation from Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf, and a host of student and professional groups on campus.

Several protests spread through the Penn campus on Friday evening. Some were quiet, made up of students standing with signs of solidarity, but others were more active. At Franklin Field, gates were shut halfway through the Penn-Harvard football game because of the unrest.

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