ODU police investigating video with racist message

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WAVY Web Staff – NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — Old Dominion University is looking into a video posted to YouTube that has caused outrage among members of the student body.

The video, which is getting a lot of attention on social media, shows a woman in a President Donald Trump mask rapping offensive racial slurs. At the beginning of the video, she is wearing an ODU shirt.

ODU President John Broderick said in a statement issued Tuesday afternoon that campus police are investigating the matter.

This morning, the University community learned of an extremely offensive video circulating online that features a person wearing an Old Dominion University branded shirt. This is an outrageous act of hate and intolerance and we are sickened by this vile video. There is no place on this campus for hate and divisiveness.

University administrators are taking this matter seriously and University police are investigating. If you have any information that may be helpful to this investigation, please call the ODU Police Department at 757-683-4000.

These types of incidents stand as a stark reminder that we must continue our resolve to educate on the importance of civility and inclusion. It is what we as a Monarch Nation stand for and represent every day.

We understand that hateful words and messages cause harm, and our beloved university community stands together to support each other. Our Counseling Center is open to anyone who needs support and the Office of Intercultural Relations staff are available to all who would like to engage in discussion and in support of one another.

We are a caring and inclusive university community, and united, we strongly denounce the video and stand against hate. Our resolve to build a unified campus community is stronger than ever.

Mace & Crown, the student newspaper of ODU, also issued a statement Tuesday denouncing the video.

Throughout the video, she shows a gun while continuing to repeat offensive racial slurs. The video was eventually removed from YouTube for violating the company's policy on hate speech.

"Why did she feel that was the way to say it and representing ODU in that way?" SGA president Rachael Edmonds said. "This is not something we tolerate. Hate is not something our campus condones, tolerates, or endorses."

The newspaper also posted a series tweets Tuesday morning, with screen captures from the video, asking anyone who recognizes this person to report her to ODU police.

The ODU chapter of the NAACP held a "safe space" forum on campus Tuesday night, where people were invited to express their feelings on the video.

Approximately 100 people filled the Hampton Newport News room. Students, staff and community members sat in a circle and passed a microphone back and forth.

10 On Your Side crews were permitted to sit in, but not to film for the sake of privacy. Moderators posed questions to the room.

Some said they felt shocked by the video, while others said it didn't surprise them.

"She brought to light that we still have a serious problem, not only in the community, but the country," one man said.

Some students claimed that the video's creator has been identified on social media. ODU staff members stated that all tips are being sent to the police.

"People who have that much hatred in their heart, you know, I feel bad for them," NAACP chapter president Montae Taylor said.