Wake Forest University investigates ‘racist’ threats emailed to faculty, school says

Twelve faculty members at Wake Forest University who work in gender studies and other diversity-related roles received threatening emails earlier this month, according to the school.

“The emails were intentionally inflammatory, using racist, homophobic, anti-Semitic and discriminatory language,” the university said in an email Tuesday to students, faculty and staff members. “The wording of the emails was intentionally intimidating and threatening.”

There were no specific threats made, school administrators said in the email. University police are investigating, along with state and federal agencies.

The story was first reported by the Wake Forest Review, an independent online student publication at the private university in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

The emails, some of which went to the sociology department, “praised the white male founding fathers, dismissed our undergraduates with ugly vile language, and called for our land to be ‘purged’ of people of color and members of the LGBTQ+ community,” the department wrote to students, The Review reported.

The school said faculty members received the anonymous emails on Sept. 10 and 11, and administrators do not believe any students received similar threats.

“The emails were sent to individual and office inboxes associated with the Department of Sociology, the Department of Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies, the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, the LGBTQ+ Center, and the Intercultural Center,” the university said.

Administrators said the university “increased the police and security presence around the buildings housing impacted offices.”

“After consulting with state and federal authorities, Wake Forest did not cancel classes or issue an alert to students requiring any change to daily activity.”

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Charles Duncan covers what’s happening right now across North and South Carolina, from breaking news to fun or interesting stories from across the region. He holds degrees from N.C. State University and Duke and lives two blocks from the ocean in Myrtle Beach.