UPDATED: Black Students for Revolution receive racist, threatening responses in opinion survey

By Jessie Wang and Ella Narag

In an Instagram post from the Black Students for Revolution on campus, the RSO shared racist and threatening responses that were sent to the organization’s Black student opinion survey. Posted on Wednesday, the post received over 1,600 likes within 24 hours. 

According to the post, “over 50 responses called for direct violence against Black students, along with racist, derogatory remarks.” 

The post included screenshots of answers to the online form, with repeated use of hate speech and censored words. Two questions were highlighted, asking about how the University can be more representative of the Black student population and the criticisms survey responders have of the University.

The statement also stressed the importance of taking action and advocating for the interests of Black students.

“Given the racist sentiments on our campus, along with surges of racial hostility nationwide, it is imperative that Black students organize,” the post said. 

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They close the statement with details on how to get involved with the organization’s response to the survey, calling for people to “organize” and “mobilize” around the topic. 

BSFR meets weekly on Thursdays at 6 p.m. to address Black students’ concerns on campus in the Bruce D. Nesbitt African American Cultural Center. 




In a campus wide Massmail sent out on Friday from Chancellor Robert Jones, the UI administration condemned the racist messages in response to a survey that was posted by a group of students, referring to the Black Students for Revolution RSO.

According to the Massmail, the administration has “heard from many who saw some of these messages posted online and are understandably upset by the content.”

The Massmail also said that the administration has not received reports of the “direct threats of violence indicated in the survey” but advises that anyone who receives such threats contact the police.

The Massmail described the responses as “vitriolic expressions using language that is rooted solely in hatred, bigotry and intolerance” and called the incident “unsettling” for the University community.

“We have not received any reports from anyone in our campus community who received a direct threat of violence that was indicated in the survey,” the Massmail said. 

The Massmail encouraged anyone who receives a direct threat to call 911, report any incidents of “hateful, racist messages online” to Campus Belonging and seek counseling at the University counseling center should they need it.

On Tuesday evening, BSFR posted a public statement in response to the Massmail to their Instagram account. 

The response acknowledged “the university’s efforts to address the situation” but also criticized parts of Chancellor Robert Jones’ statement. 

Among their grievances were the involvement of UIPD in the University’s solutions, the “empty, contradictory” language in the statement, “inaction and lack of concern” and permission of acts they say contribute to “racism and white supremacy”.

“Solutions to racial violence should not simply be relegated to UIPD given the history of Police violence against black people,” the statement reads, before adding that the “resolution of this situation does not lie within the responsibility of UIPD but instead can be found in broader, systemic change to the university that prioritizes the safety and well being of Black students.”


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