Phila. GOP latest to speak out after UPenn racist posts

- A University of Oklahoma student is in trouble and two other people in that state are suspected in racially charged outbursts at the University of Pennsylvania and other institutions across the country since Donald Trump's election.

Now, the Philadelphia Republican Party is condemning hate speech on the Penn campus and elsewhere.

The Associated Press and other media outlets identified more than 20 reports of racist incidents at schools since Tuesday, including a group chat aimed at black freshmen at Trump's alma mater, the UPenn.

School president Amy Gutmann said the chat contained "violent, racist and thoroughly disgusting images and messages," and Penn is "appalled" its students were added to the GroupMe account. She said UPenn police worked with the FBI and found no UPenn students were associated with sending the racist messages.

University of Oklahoma President David Boren said in a statement, “The University of Oklahoma has made it clear that we will not tolerate racism or hate speech that constitutes a threat to our campus or others. We have a record of taking swift action once all of the facts are known. … The university has already determined from its preliminary inquiry that there's a basis for a temporary suspension of the student under our student code while we continue to gather all of the facts. … It would appear this matter did not originate at the University of Oklahoma, but started elsewhere.”

Monday, Philadelphia Republican Party chair Joe DeFelice issued this statement “in response to the hateful cyber-attack on black Penn students.”

“We have heard worries about an uptick in hateful activity after this extremely divisive election. Any violence towards somebody because of who they are or who they are perceived to be is wrong, and we condemn it. We must remain vigilant.

“In our city Republican party, we have Ward Leaders who are members of the African American, Latino, Asian, Muslim, Jewish and LGBT communities. Our supporters and voters are diverse and come from every ward in the city. Our party is made up of these people – so how could we, on the whole, stand for racism or oppression of any kind? Moreover, let’s remember this: despite the media narrative that Trump’s campaign was entirely racist, he improved his vote counts among Latino, Black and Asian-American voters. Perhaps something is wrong with the media narrative that lumps all dissent from 'progressive' values in with the most virulent racists. Maybe it’s the same reason why nobody in the media accurately predicted a Trump win – because they’re more focused on narratives than on reality. If we can learn one thing from this election it’s that people with well-thought-out, unprejudiced political views are tired of being branded as oppressors by progressives with no empathy and a penchant for hyperbole.

“People voted for Trump because they have been left out during the Obama years. They admire his willingness to address tough issues that affect our country, such as illegal immigration, which have previously been branded ‘off limits’. They see America’s place in the world shrinking and heard a candidate of the left who promised more of the same. They hear intense derision and condescension from the mainstream media and the progressive elite. They were appalled by the lack of transparency and corruption of the Clintons. Are some people that voted for Donald Trump racist? Undoubtedly. Do some people that voted for Hillary (or Bernie in the primary) spit on the flag and justify violence against police officers as a political tool, as examples? Also, undoubtedly. The media needs to be careful that they’re holding everybody accountable, and not just conservatives, for extremism that exists at the fringe of every political movement.

“The Philadelphia Republican Party opposes the one-party rule that has held back our city for decades, and is dedicated to building a more diverse and inclusive party. Contrary to the media narratives we’ve heard, we believe our President-Elect will actually be helpful in that regard.”

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