Cornell University has been shaken up after one of its African American students was allegedly beaten up and called the n word. The university is now investigating the incident as a potential racially charged hate crime.

The Incident

Ivy League institution Cornell University has been in the center of conversations regarding racially charged attacks recently. On Friday morning, one black student was on his way home and found a group of four or five students in his driveway in the middle of an argument with his roommates.

He claimed he tried to get the students to leave, when one of them yelled out a racial slur- the n word. When he confronted him, the group ganged up on him and began to punch him in the face.

According to the Ithaca police, one of them was arrested and charged for third degree assault. There were reportedly several witnesses in the area.

This follows another incident earlier in the month, when at least 1 Cornell student was reportedly chanting about “building a wall” near the campus’s Latino Living Centre.

Comments On the Incident

Cornell has officially launched an investigation into the incident to find out whether it was a racially charged. This comes just as news of a seemingly encouraged white supremacy trend across the country has been making headlines. Racial hate crimes have also been a particular worry among minorities in America since Donald Trump’s electoral win.

The student life vice president, Ryan Lombardi, sent out an email to students saying that the student has taken responsibility and apologized, but that Lombardi was still “concerned by what is a continued pattern of the marginalization of many members of the Cornell community.”

Martha Pollack, the president of the university, released a statement following the incidents, saying: “I will not tell you ‘this is not who we are,’ as the events of the past few weeks belie that. But it is absolutely not who we want to be.”

She also said that she would “convene a Presidential Task Force charged with examining and addressing persistent problems of bigotry and intolerance at Cornell.”

The “Black Students United” co-chair and student at Cornell, Traciann Celestin, said that despite Ithaca being a progressive town, its officers still provide “no real protection” from the racial animus forces in America.

“You hear people say, ‘It’s in an Ivy League institution, aren’t people smarter than that? Aren’t people liberal there?’” Celestin said.

“I don’t think Cornell University is a hotbed of racial prejudice,” said Syante Myrick, Ithaca’s mayor, also a Cornell graduate. “I also don’t think it’s a haven of colorblind, class-blind intellectuals. I think it’s a part of America and it’s got all of the complicated problems that America does.”

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