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University of San Diego investigating white supremacist Instagram accounts that claim ties to school

Posted at 7:27 PM, Jul 25, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-25 22:38:19-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — University of San Diego officials say they are investigating white supremacy social media accounts that claim to have ties to the university.

In a joint statement from several USD leadership, the school says in the last 24 hours it has been made aware of Instagram accounts that claim to have ties to the school and are used to "post white supremacy propaganda."

USD said it is investigating the source of the social media accounts and are making formal requests to Instagram to remove them, with some already taken down.

The school slammed the accounts as "abhorrent and hateful" and condemned the posts. USD's full statement follows:

"In the past 24 hours, the university has been made aware that abhorrent and hateful Instagram accounts, claiming ties to USD, have been used to post white supremacy propaganda. This clearly is directed at our university community and tears at the very fabric of who we are as a Catholic university and the values we hold dear. We condemn these hateful acts, which specifically target and dehumanize Black members of our university community. We are fully aware that in addition to targeting our Black students, faculty and staff, white supremacist groups also target indigenous, people of color, Jewish and LGBTQ+ community members in an equally repulsive manner.

We have initiated an investigation into the source of these posts and are making formal requests to Instagram to remove the accounts, some of which have already been taken down. We will take all necessary actions to discover the source of this content and the people behind it. If have any information to share about the Instagram accounts, we ask that you send it to Dr. Donald Godwin at

We believe universities should provide an environment where complex and sensitive issues can be thoughtfully discussed and considered enabling ongoing dialogue and discovery; a place where activism, framed in the context of trust, respect and civil discourse can provide opportunities for understanding and reflecting on many different behaviors beyond our own. Hate speech and actions directed at intimidating or harassing any members of our campus community have no place at USD and cannot be tolerated.

We commit to identifying and taking concrete action to foster a positive campus climate and to ensure that all members of our community feel safe and welcome. The senior leadership of the university will work with the existing University Senate — Associated Students Government joint task force on Campus Climate to determine specific ways to make our campus a safe and welcoming environment for all individuals, particularly those who belong to marginalized groups. As an engaged, contemporary Catholic university, we seek to create a beloved community where conversations emanate from a place of justice, equality and love of our fellow human beings. We ask that everyone join us in solidarity to create and maintain such an environment at USD."

The university didn't provide any specific details regarding the social media posts.

Saturday, the school's ASG Instagram page named one such account, saying in part, "on behalf of all the students standing up to you publicly, let us make this very clear: you and your racist ideals are not welcome in our university community." The ASG continued, voicing support for another account created as a safe space for Black students called "Black @ USD."

USD's statement was issued on behalf of USD President James T. Harris III, Associated Professor of Marketing and Chair of University Senate Aarti Ivnic, President of Associated Student Government Joey Abeyta, Chair of Graduate Student Council Yasmine Kalhor, and President of Student Bar Association Robbie Ponce.