Pennsylvania U.S. Sen. Bob Casey met with college students in Philadelphia on Monday to reassure them of his support following a weekend incident, evidently motivated by racism, that has left some at Penn rattled.
Casey, a Democrat, also called on President-elect Donald Trump to “continuously condemn” acts of violence and hatred that have spiked on college campuses and elsewhere since last Tuesday’s election. Several black freshman students at the University of Pennsylvania were targeted over recent days via an online messaging app called GroupMe.
The university, local officials and the FBI are investigating the incident, which included the use of racial slurs and sending students pictures of lynchings.
Such acts of bigotry, Casey said, are threatening and cannot be tolerated.
“I commit to continue to fight to guard your safety and protect your rights,” he said. “What occurred at Penn is not an isolated incident. I was deeply disturbed to hear about reports of incidents at Villanova, Council Rock in Bucks County and York County School of Technology, including other incidents across the country. The cowards who committed these acts do not represent the values of Pennsylvania or the American people.”
Trump, in a CBS “60 Minutes” interview on Sunday, told his supporters to “stop it” when journalist Lesley Stahl asked him about harassment of Latinos and black people.
“I am so saddened to hear that,” Trump said during the “60 Minutes” interview. “And I say, ‘Stop it.’ If it helps, I will say this, and I will say right to the cameras: ‘Stop it.’ ”