UPenn Alumni Call on Trump to Condemn Hate Crimes After Racism Against Black Students

The Hollywood Reporter

A Change.org petition calling on Donald Trump to condemn the hate crimes that have been sweeping the nation since his appointment as president-elect began making the rounds on Saturday.

TV writer, author and University of Pennsylvania alumni Lindsey Rosin launched the petition after the targeting of black students with a racist chat group at Penn, which is also Trump's alma mater. "We call on President-Elect and Wharton alumnus Donald Trump to break his disturbing silence on this issue," reads the "UPenn Alumni Response" petition she launched on Friday. "And to follow through on his declaration that the nation must come together by making a full-throated condemnation of these hate crimes and all hate speech."

Rosin, whose TV credits include Beverly Hills, 90210, tweeted the petition at alums Elizabeth Banks and John Legend, and Ellen Pompeo has already called on her 1.2 million followers to sign. As of Saturday morning, it has 4,000 signatures.

University of Pennsylvania : UPenn Alumni Response - Sign the Petition! https://t.co/DiYG7X1KeI via @Change

- Ellen Pompeo (@EllenPompeo) November 12, 2016

On Friday, black freshmen at Penn were added to a racist social media group chat. The GroupMe thread, called "Mud Men," contained racially charged posts calling for "daily lynching." In another chat, called "Trump is love," one participant was called a "dumb slave."

"The account itself is totally repugnant: it contains violent, racist and thoroughly disgusting images and messages," said Penn President Amy Gutman in a statement on Friday. "This is simply deplorable."

On Saturday, the ongoing investigation resulted in the temporary suspension of a University of Oklahoma student who appeared to be connected to the messages. The investigation is now being coordinated between the Penn Police, the FBI and the University of Oklahoma Police.

Reporting by the Associated Press and local media outlets has identified more than 20 such encounters beginning on Election Day, many involving people too young to cast a ballot.

Read more: Petitions Call on Electoral College Voters to Defy System, Elect Clinton

Read the full petition (which can be found here) below:

As proud University of Pennsylvania alumni we strongly and unequivocally condemn the racist activity taking place at our alma mater.

The UPenn motto is "Leges sine Moribus vanae," which translates to "Laws without morals are useless." These are the words of our school, and today's acts lack all morality and go against the very core of what UPenn stands for.

What has occurred is NOT acceptable.

We will NOT stand for it on our campus or anywhere in this country.

We echo President Amy Gutmann, Provost Vincent Price and Executive Vice President Craig Carnaroli's statement denouncing this activity and stand in solidarity with them and the work they are doing to "counteract its appalling bias." While the investigation is underway, we urge the University to provide interim remedies to repair the hostile environment on campus.

We call on President-Elect and Wharton alumnus Donald Trump to break his disturbing silence on this issue, and to follow through on his declaration that the nation must come together by making a full-throated condemnation of these hate crimes and all hate speech.

We stand with the students on campus. Our nation may be deeply divided, between so-called Red States and Blue States, but The University of Pennsylvania's fight song declares "Hurrah for The Red and the Blue." UPenn is attended by students of all walks of life, from every corner of the planet. We are all one, and must come together in mutual understanding and respect for all people regardless of race, gender, religion, ability or sexual orientation. To do any less is to betray the values of our University and all that it has taught us.

We will not accept this behavior.

We will not be silent.

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