University of Utah Investigates Allegations of Racism After Alleged Incident Involving KKK Defiling Black Student’s Dorm Door

The University of Utah is investigating student complaints of racism after students in KKK robes and “poop on a Black student’s door” allegedly took place at the school.

“We talk about generational trauma, and we have another generation of our students going through this,” Darlene McDonald an activist in Salt Lake City said about the allegations of racism.

McDonald shined a light on several racist incidents within the last few months in schools across Utah from kindergarten all the way to college. On December 19, 2021, University officials learned of an Instagram post which said, “university of Utah students walked through residence halls in KKK uniforms and smeared poop on a Black student’s door.”

The alleged incidents date back to Sept. 1, 2021, when a Black student reported they found a paper towel with a brown substance on their door handle. On Oct. 2, 2021, in the same dorm building, a resident assistant reported overhearing students in an elevator saying there were people in white KKK-like attire trying to recruit people. University President Taylor Randall said the school should have launched an investigation sooner once they first learned of the alleged incidents saying, “they will improve their internal communication process” moving forward.

The university said it reviewed surveillance video and interviewed people in the dorm building after learning of the reported incidents. Since then the school has handed the investigation over to the university police department.

President Randall said the following in a statement: “Acts like this strike fear and frustration in our hearts. … This is the third incident reported in as many weeks and we understand that the community, especially our Black students, are feeling exhausted, targeted and disconnected. … The university strongly condemns the KKK and white supremacy. … We will continue to name racist acts, investigate and hold perpetrators accountable.”

“The statement that they put out gave me a lot of hope that they took this very seriously, it was very strong, it was very direct, they named it and they did not hold anything back,” McDonald said about the university’s response.

The NAACP Salt Lake City Chapter president Jeanetta Williams said the organization is working closely with the police.

“There are great concerns of what’s going on and why is it happening so we want to make sure we protect our young folks in particular and they don’t feel they can’t go out in the public without being harassed or being bullied or being in schools without being bullied,” Williams said.

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