In response to “deeply hurtful and racially offensive material” posted by Albany High School students on an Instagram account, hundreds of members of the Albany, CA community joined together on Sunday morning to stand against hate.
Alexandra Campbell Jones whose daughter attends the school, spoke out against the racist cyberbullying and said that her daughter’s picture was found in many of the posts. “They were horribly, horribly graphic pictures of racism,” she said. “Not just racially charged but shocking, shocking, shocking.”
Albany High School Principal Jeff Anderson reported that the school first became aware of the images this past Monday, March 20 and immediately contacted Albany police.
“We … want to commend the students who brought this to our attention,” Anderson wrote. “Their action allowed us to immediately address the situation, provide support to those involved and maintain a calm campus environment.”
Neither the Albany Police Department nor Albany High School officials described the images, but local
new station KRON 4 reported that one of the images showed a black doll alongside images of a Ku Klux Klan member, a torch and a noose. It was also reported that specific students at the school, which only has a %5 Black student population, were targeted by the racist account.
“We have a big problem here we didn’t know about,” said Dorothe Piluso, Albany High School parent and one of the event organizers.
There has been an increase in the number of hates crimes that have taken place since Donald Trump took the office. High school students throughout the country have been reported as yelling “Trump” and “build that wall” at students of color. Earlier this week, in an act of domestic terrorism, a white supremacist traveled to New York City from Baltimore with the specific intention of killing Timothy Caughman, a Black resident of New York. The Trump administration has yet to comment on Caughman’s murder.
Jeronimo Saldaña is a member of Mijente and a volunteer on its CommSquad. He’s internet famous for making President 45’s sayings into stylish hats. Follow Jeronimo at @JeronimoSaldana