A second racially-charged photo featuring University of North Dakota students has surfaced online.
The photo, which was posted to social media, shows four white people wearing black facial masks. The caption reads: “Black lives matter.”
Police and administrators at the university were notified about the photo on Sept. 21 and an investigation has been opened, a UND spokesperson told Valley News Live.
The photo was shared by a Facebook user and UND was tagged in the post.
“The problem is growing worse here at UND,” the user wrote along with the picture.
This is the second racist photo shared on social media by UND students in one week.
On Sept. 20, New York Daily News writer Shaun King took to Twitter to share from Ngale Queen's Facebook profile a Snapchat photo of UND students in what looks like their dorm room. The three white people in the photo have huge smiles on their faces with a caption that reads, “Locked the black bitch out.”
“Dear University of North Dakota - your very few Black students need you to address this right away please,” King tweeted.
"We have been notified and are in the process of gathering information," UND tweeted in response, according to Valley News Liv. "What is portrayed is not part of the community values that we expound. We take seriously issues related to respect for all. UND Police and the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities will investigate any legal or Code of Student Life violations."
On Sept. 22, UND president Mark Kennedy issued a statement on the university's Facebook page regarding both photos:
I am appalled that within 48 hours two photos with racially-charged messages have been posted on social media and associated with the UND campus community. It is abundantly clear that we have much work to do at the University of North Dakota in educating our students, and the entire University community on issues related to diversity, inclusion, and respect for others.
The UND Police Department and the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities are going through their processes in investigating these two incidences. We are moving as fast as we can. I understand that we all would like a swift resolution. However, our society, our legal system, and campus conduct processes are predicated on due process. We must maintain the integrity of our policies and procedures by following due process.
I have been disappointed to learn that we have people in our university community who don't know that the kind of behavior and messaging demonstrated in these two photos is not ok, and that, in fact, it is inexcusable.
The photos have encouraged a group of law students at UND to stage a protest against racism on the university’s campus.
"We want to tell the world that we don't condone that here,” UND law student Monica Santa told WDAZ.
"We don't have very many details yet but we want to include everyone,” she said. “Sexual orientation, race, gender, religion. We want to make it something about standing in solidarity together against this kind of racism. It's not appropriate here and we want to tell everybody that."
The protest is tentatively planned for the week of Sept. 25.
"Pay attention," Santa added. "Something’s going to be coming up. Were pretty excited we're trying to make this big, trying to get everybody involved, get everyone's ideas heard, so we're looking forward to it."
Sources: Valley News Live (2), Shaun King/Twitter, WDAZ, University of North Dakota/Facebook / Photo credit: University of North Dakota/Facebook, Facebook via Raw Story, Ngale Queen/Facebook via Shaun King/Twitter