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Oklahoma City University’s graduation ‘Zoombombed’ by racists displaying the N-word and swastikas

Oklahoma City University’s online graduation is ‘Zoombombed’ by racists displaying the N-word and swastikas after in-person ceremony was canceled amid coronavirus pandemic

  • More than 600 graduates and their loved ones were watching on Saturday 
  • The online ceremony was hacked just as students’ names were about to be read
  • ‘My grandma, my mom saw it, and they were really heartbroken’, one said 
  • The ceremony was held using the streaming service Zoom in place of an in-person event because of the coronavirus pandemic; it abruptly came to an end 
  • ‘Our Class of 2020 graduation was cut short by a horrendous act of racism, bigotry, and anti-Semitism,’ the university president said in a statement 
  • The university’s police and the FBI are carrying out a joint investigation
  • Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19

Oklahoma City University’s virtual graduation was zoombombed by racists displaying the N-word and swastikas over the weekend. 

More than 600 graduates and their loved ones were watching on Saturday as the online ceremony was hacked just as the students’ names were about to be read out. 

OCU graduate Leondre Lattimore told KOCO: ‘My grandma, my mom saw it, and they were really heartbroken. All we saw was the n-word and a swastika.’ 

The ceremony was held using the streaming service Zoom in place of a in-person event because of the coronavirus pandemic. The meeting abruptly came to an end. 

‘Our Class of 2020 graduation was cut short by a horrendous act of racism, bigotry, and anti-Semitism,’ university President Martha Burger said in a statement, adding that state and federal law enforcement have been notified.   

Cyber attacks known as ‘Zoom bombings,’ where intruders interrupt online meetings, sometimes with racist or lewd messages, are becoming more common as millions of people turn to video conferencing to stay connected.

‘Although we took safety precautions, unfortunately the digital platform we used to connect has become a target,’ Burger said. 

‘We will ensure that all participant data is provided to investigators and will assist law enforcement as they work to identify the perpetrators of this racist act.’ 

Oklahoma City University’s virtual graduation was zoombombed by racists on Saturday 

Devaunjue 'Jay' Williams, pictured, had been speaking when the breach occurred

Williams said in a Facebook live video: 'It just hurts so bad to have all of these things taken from you, and the university has tried so hard to try to honor our hard work ¿ and not even get to fully enjoy it. I think that's the part that hurts the worst'

Devaunjue ‘Jay’ Williams, pictured, had been speaking when the breach occurred. He said: ‘It just hurts so bad to have all of these things taken from you, and the university has tried so hard to try to honor our hard work — and not even get to fully enjoy it’

Devaunjue ‘Jay’ Williams had been speaking when the breach occurred. 

He said in a Facebook live video: ‘It just hurts so bad to have all of these things taken from you, and the university has tried so hard to try to honor our hard work — and not even get to fully enjoy it. I think that’s the part that hurts the worst.’  

The university’s assistant director of media relations, Rod Jones, told TIME the ceremony had been ‘splendid’ until the breach, adding: ‘It’s bad enough we couldn’t have a live ceremony, and then this happened.’ 

Jones confirmed the university’s police and the FBI are carrying out a joint investigation.  

More than 600 graduates and their loved ones were watching on Saturday as the online ceremony was hacked just as the students' names were about to be read out

More than 600 graduates and their loved ones were watching on Saturday as the online ceremony was hacked just as the students’ names were about to be read out

Congresswoman Kendra Horn said: ‘I am heartbroken and angered by the racist and anti-Semitic actions that defaced today’s Oklahoma City University graduation ceremony. 

‘It is especially tragic that this hate-filled attack marred a day meant for celebration……a day already made harder by the inability to gather in-person due to the COVID-19 crisis.’

Horn pledged: ‘We cannot, nor will we, turn a blind eye to this behavior. Let me be clear – racism must not be tolerated in our community. We must hold those responsible accountable and confront racism wherever it exists.’ 

Congresswoman Kendra Horn tweeted about the incident on Saturday

Congresswoman Kendra Horn tweeted about the incident on Saturday 

The number of confirmed cases of coronavirus in Oklahoma has surpassed 4,600; the death toll stands at 273 as of Monday. 

Various businesses, including department stores and fitness centers, began reopening Friday as part of Gov. Kevin Stitt ‘Open Up and Recover Safely’ plan.

If hospital rates remain at a ‘manageable level’ for the next week, Stitt’s plan calls for organized sports activities, funerals and weddings, and children’s nursery operations at houses of worship to resume next Friday.

Bars will also be allowed to reopen with diminished standing-room occupancy.

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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