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A recent social media posting with racist comments overlaying Delta State University’s name and image is a fraud. Officials at Delta State have been investigating this matter since the post first appeared.

Last week, Delta State officials were made aware of the racist post on social media that was staged to include the image of an African-American female, with a red “x” across her face, surrounded by Delta State swag, and with a text box that contained very disrespectful and racist comments targeting African-American students. This post, along with other related suspicious posts, were immediately turned over to the university police department for investigation. University officials were quickly able to determine that the post was a fraud.

While the origin of the hate speech posting is unknown at this point, at least one posting has been traced to a former student who is African-American.

“It is horrific that someone would intentionally create a hoax in order to disparage Delta State University’s name and image, and to attempt to make our African-American students, employees, and alumni feel that this university does not value them. In no way does this posting represent our values or who we are as a Delta State family. We denounce this terrible posting, and we will work tirelessly to get to the bottom of this matter,” commented President William N. LaForge. “We are working with state and federal authorities to determine the origin and authenticity of the post, and we are confident that the perpetrator(s) will be found and prosecuted.”

“This offensive graphic and message are counter to Delta State’s commitment to being a welcoming, supportive university of choice for a diverse array of students, faculty, staff, alumni, and friends, and to fostering an inclusive community that champions our multicultural heritage. The Delta State family is appalled at an act such as this that violates basic human decency,” added LaForge.

“I appreciate the goodwill of many students, alumni, and friends who did not take this abhorrent posting at face value, but, rather, contacted university officials to determine its legitimacy. In today’s world, where we are inundated with fake news and social media posts geared toward sensationalism, this is an important reminder and teachable moment, especially for our students, for all of us to be diligent in seeking the truth before assuming the worst, and ensuring that we operate with the facts.”