Oklahoma City University’s virtual graduation hacked; racist language, swastika displayed during blessing

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OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Oklahoma City University held its virtual graduation celebration on Saturday, but the event was hacked by someone who broadcast a racial slur and a swastika as a student gave a blessing.

“We are heartbroken and outraged at the hate-filled attack that occurred at the end of our virtual graduation celebration today. During a time that should have been focused on recognizing our graduating students, an unknown source was able to bypass the system and display racist and offensive language. I want to be clear, OCU stands against racism, bigotry, and anti-Semitism,” said OCU President Martha Burger.

The university used Zoom to host the virtual event.

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

Pictures of students were displayed and a student gave a blessing when the racial slur and swastika suddenly appeared.

Burger said she and fellow university officials are taking action. They have initiated a report to federal and state authorities.

“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,” Burger said. “The University will pursue every avenue available to ensure that those responsible are held accountable under the law.”

The hacker’s actions are a contradiction of what the class of 2020 stands for, Burger said.

“We are deeply hurt and saddened by the pain that has been inflicted upon our community. The Class of 2020 has been champions of diversity and inclusion, and we will continue to show love and support to each other as a university family in the aftermath of this hate,” Burger said.

Burger quoted the blessing that Class of 2020 graduate Jay Williams gave during the ceremony:

“Where there is injustice, may we not be silent.
Where there is harm, may we be makers of peace.
Where there is hate, may we be agents of love.”

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