A series of leaked emails written by members of a University of Chicago fraternity that included racial slurs about blacks and Muslims has sparked an investigation into the chapter and been described as “offensive” by school officials.
The emails, first reported by BuzzFeed on Wednesday, included describing a Muslim student as a terrorist and plans to celebrate “Marathon Luther King Jr. Day” by eating at a fried chicken restaurant and watching a movie parodying Blaxploitation films.
Officials with Alpha Epsilon Pi, a historically Jewish fraternity, told the site it will “investigate and, if necessary, work to educate the individual members about this issue” while saying that the organization was “especially sensitive to hate speech and behavior towards any minorities.”
The e-mails among fraternity brothers included multiple racially insensitive comments, including describing “two long-held fixtures” of Islamic culture as C4 and dynamite and referred to a nearby empty lot as “Palestine.”
One email was titled “Towel Heads,” in which one brother says: “Best subject line ever? Check.” The messages also include several references to the N-word, with one member saying: “There is absolutely nothing wrong with the word n—–. By calling it the ‘n word’ you are giving it power that it doesn’t deserve.”
The leaked e-mails are the latest in a series of racially charged incidents that have occurred at colleges around the U.S. University of Chicago Dean of Students Michele Rasmussen said the messages “were not consistent with the University’s values or our strong commitment to ensuring that people with diverse backgrounds and perspectives thrive on our campus.”