Series of racist Facebook posts sparks GBI investigation at UGA

by: Richard Elliot Updated:

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ATHENS, Ga. - University of Georgia's president said the Georgia Bureau of Investigation is looking into a series of racist posts made on the Facebook page of a minority student organization.

The second series of posts in two weeks included offensive language and an old photograph of a lynching.

"A criminal investigation is underway by the UGA police and the GBI," said UGA President Jere Morehead in a written statement. "We hope and expect that anyone responsible will be identified and held accountable for their actions."

Morehead also believes the Facebook page of UGA's Black Affairs Council was "targeted by criminal acts of identity theft by perpetrators who have used those false identities to post hateful speech."

The most recent series of posts sparked a silent student protest outside Morehead's office on campus Thursday afternoon.

"We have a fundamental problem here at the University of Georgia," said Black Affairs Council President Caroline Bailey. "There needs to be a shift, and there needs to be something done fundamentally to change the way that we are viewed here on campus to create a more inclusive environment here."

Bailey said the posts only draw attention to a continuing problem of under-representation at UGA. She wants to see more minority faculty and administrators.

"This is a climate of underrepresented people and how we feel here at UGA," said Bailey. "We'd like to see faculty and professors look like us. We don't see that for the most part. The people who look like us at the University of Georgia work in the kitchen or the dining halls."

A similar racist post last week sparked a student march across the Sanford Stadium bridge.

Morehead condemned the posts in his statement.

"When any member of our community is attacked in such a hateful way, we are all affected," he wrote. "We share their hurt. I join with other members of the university community in condemning these actions which do not reflect the culture of unity and inclusion which we support on our campus."