Lewis & Clark students protest racist posts on social media app - KPTV - FOX 12

Lewis & Clark students protest racist posts on social media app

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Protest Wednesday at Lewis & Clark College Protest Wednesday at Lewis & Clark College
Protest Wednesday at Lewis & Clark College Protest Wednesday at Lewis & Clark College

Hundreds of students and faculty members gathered on the Lewis & Clark College campus to protest racist messages posted anonymously on a social media app.

Administrators said they became aware of the messages on Yik Yak on Tuesday.

The messages referenced hanging black people and bringing back slavery.

"Hate has no place at Lewis & Clark or any other college," said Anna Gonzalez, dean of students, during Wednesday's protest on campus.

Students held signs Wednesday that said, "Black lives matter" and "Call out your peers."

Gonzalez said Portland police and the district attorney's office have been notified about the Yik Yak postings.

"I really hope they can help us prevent this type of hate-filled message from coming back into our community," she said.

The Portland Police Bureau said Wednesday the posts did not represent an immediate threat to students or staff at the college and do not appear to be in violation of any Oregon laws.

However, a bureau release states incidents like this should continue to be reported to police so they can be investigated for possible criminal violations. 

Some students said this is not the first time they’ve seen a situation like this at Lewis & Clark.

"We live in the beautiful city of Portland, Oregon, but these problems with racism still exist," said senior Daniela Lopez.

Yik Yak has become popular on college campuses, but it has also generated plenty of controversy.

Last month, a student accused of using the app to make terroristic threats against Emory University in Atlanta was arrested.

Last week, a 19-year-old Missouri University of Science and Technology student was arrested after investigators said he made a threat against black students and staff at the University of Missouri.

According to an Associated Press report, Yik Yak's fine print says the company can give police information including an Internet protocol address and GPS coordinates for a user, along with details about the device they used and date and time for each message.

A phone number is required to sign up for Yik Yak.

Lewis & Clark administrators asked anyone with information about the Yik Yak postings to contact campus safety at 503-768-7855.

Students hoped Wednesday's demonstration would help lead to change.

"I'm proud to say there are students out here sitting in solidarity with the black students on campus," Lopez said.

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