At least three universities in New Jersey have reported racist attacks during virtual Black History Month events, CNN reports. Rutgers University, Rider University and the New Jersey Institute of Technology were targeted by “Zoom bombers” who interrupted presentations with racist remarks and imagery.
“The most recent Zoom-bombing attack occurred during the Black History Month programs hosted by the Paul Robeson Cultural Center and the Center for Social Justice Education & LGBTQ Communities,” Rutgers University said in a statement to CNN. Chancellor Christopher J. Molloy declined to provide details on the incident, saying the university doesn’t want to “give bigoted individuals a platform by providing details on the incident” but acknowledges “the harm done to Black and LGBTQ members” of the community to “affirm their pain.”
“Marginalized communities are too often forced to bear such hatred and navigate in spite of it, and moments like this cut and wound deeply,” he said.
In another incident at Rutgers, the school’s chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha, a predominantly Black fraternity, said they faced a February 11 attack by a group of unknown individuals with “racially insensitive usernames and their cameras turned off.”
“At around 8:01 PM, one of the participants started screen sharing a video of a dead ape lying on the ground covered in blood, with a white man towering over it. Pictures of Bblack bodies being covered in blood, severed and hung were also depicted, as a KKK song was played on loop, stating ‘Kill all Blacks; We will find you,'” the fraternity said in a statement.
A separate incident at Rider University included “racist and inappropriate images [that] were drawn by hand on the screen.”
The incident at New Jersey Institute of Technology’s virtual Black History Month opening session event, attended by Black student organizations, was infiltrated by an individual who used the n-word repeatedly in the event’s chat.
All incidents are being investigated by university authorities and have also been reported to the FBI.