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Colorado University Police Investigating Racist Hate Letter Sent to Student Leader


University of Colorado, which has recently been hit with a string of racially tinged incidents, is investigating a death threat sent to a student leader via e-mail.

Mebraht Gebre-Michael, a Black student elected as one of three tri-executives that lead student government, said she received the e-mail this week from a CU address.

It says: “Why don’t you and all of your Black … friends disappear off our campus. you guys don’t belong…you will die if you run for student government again. I don’t make empty threats…”

Gebre-Michael said she decided to make the information public to help educate the community.

“The climate on campus is just becoming unbearable for students of color; it’s ridiculous,” she said. “Students of color have to constantly watch their backs.”

Interim Chancellor Phil Distefano in a statement this week said he was extremely disturbed to learn of the racist message.

“Such hate-filled words do not reflect the values of this campus community,” he said. “When any member is attacked with such a vicious message, we all are attacked.”

The university has launched an investigation into the incident.

Minority students make up fewer than 15 percent of CU’s more than 29,000 students. Six percent of students this fall were listed as Hispanic or Latino, 6 percent were Asian, fewer than 2 percent, or 457, were Black, and just 226 were American Indian.

Racial problems at the school began cropping up in February, during the Big 12 Conference on Black Student Affairs. Thousands of minority visitors on campus reported racist remarks, staring and poor service at an area restaurant.

In June, a Black student was attacked near campus after a van pulled up and a man began shouting racial slurs.

Associated Press

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