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Two held for racist university rant

Arrests follows release of video showing vile abuse was chanted outside the door of a student at Nottingham Trent University

TWO men were arrested today after an investigation was launched into “abhorrent” racist abuse chanted outside the room of a black female student at Nottingham Trent university.

Victim Rufaro Chisango posted a video clip in which at least two men could be heard chanting: “We hate the blacks” and shouting other racist slurs.

Nottinghamshire Police said two suspects, both aged 18, had been held in connection with racially aggravated public order offences.

The university, which has suspended the “suspected perpetrators,” has been heavily criticised for not reacting earlier to the shocking incident on Monday night.

Ms Chisango said reception staff at her halls of residence had promised her that the incident would be “dealt with,” but she had heard nothing by this evening.

“I’m fuming [at] the way people in the same uni halls as me are chanting: ‘We hate the blacks” outside my bedroom door,” she said.

“Words cannot describe how sad this makes me feel. In 2018, people think this is still acceptable.

“The video wasn’t able to catch what else they were saying, which was: “Blacks should go back to picking cotton.”

“I’m the only black person on my floor and they were chanting this outside my door, so don't be surprised to why I didn't leave my room.”

Other chants captured on the video include: “We are the black haters” and “Sign the Brexit papers,” before a woman could be heard telling the harassers to leave her alone.

Mary Okpo, of the university’s African Caribbean Society, branded the incident “unjustifiable and unacceptable.

“Whether [those responsible] were inebriated or not, there’s nothing that can justify what they said,” she insisted.

“This was a terrible, terrible incident. It’s something that I didn’t think I would see . For it to be so overt, open, in 2018, it’s something that really, really shocked me.”

National Union of Students black students officer Ilyas Nagdee said: “Racism has no place on our campuses and these hateful and disgraceful acts are abhorrent.

“The Black Students’ Campaign is committed to tackling inequalities, systematic problems and eliminating hate crime from our campuses.

“I have been in touch with students at NTU [Nottingham Trent University] and will continue to support them, no matter what they need.”

Labour MP David Lammy sent his “love and solidarity” to Ms Chisango on Twitter and urged her to contact police and her local MP.

In a statement, the university said: “This kind of vile behaviour will not be tolerated.

“Those suspected perpetrators have been suspended immediately pending a full investigation.

“We have contacted the student who made the complaint and are providing support to her and others affected. And we will be liaising with the police about this incident.”

Nottingham Trent is investigating why its “accommodation partner" only alerted it to the incident on Wednesday evening.

Nottinghamshire Police said: "We are aware of a video posted at Nottingham Trent University and which has been shared on social media.

“It is wholly unacceptable and we’re proactively investigating the incident and liaising with the university.”

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