White supremacist group targets Iowa university with racist robocalls
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A white supremacist group on Monday targeted the campus of an Iowa university with racist robocalls.

The Road to Power sent automatic messages to Drake University campus phone lines that conveyed “offensive, distributing and hateful recorded messages,” University President Marty Martin said in a statement.

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Martin wrote that the calls were not made from university-managed phone lines but closely resembled numbers used in the Drake area.

The private university, located in Iowa’s capital city of Des Moines, wrote that there will be an increased number of Des Moines police officers on and around campus.

“Once again, we condemn this vicious and heartless attack in the strongest possible terms,” Martin wrote.

 

TheRoadToPower.com is a video podcasting site located in Sandpoint, Idaho. It has been labeled as white supremacist and anti-Semitic by the Anti-Defamation League.

The neo-Nazi group is linked with sending similar racist robocalls attacking Democratic gubernatorial candidates Andrew Gillum in Florida and Stacey Abrams in Georgia before the midterm elections. 

The group also sent white nationalist robocalls to Iowa residents after Mollie Tibbetts, a University of Iowa student, was allegedly killed by an undocumented immigrant. 

The automated messages came days after a racist threat was slipped under the door of a freshman student’s dorm room.

The student who received the threat wished to remain anonymous and chose not to file a police report, Associate Provost for Campus Equity and Inclusion wrote in a statement.

The public fury led to student activists creating an initiative called "Paint it Black" which encourages student organizations and faculty to cover university-affiliated signs and doors with black in solidarity with students of color. 

“The entire student body is outraged at the hate that was expressed on campus and outraged that the offender considered Drake to be a ‘white space,’” the Student Senate wrote in a resolution on Monday. 

The resolution, which Martin approved, called for Drake’s iconic and colorful “Painted Street” walkway to be painted black until it is repainted in April as it is every year during the Drake Relays track and field event. 

“This is an important opportunity for the institution and student organizations to come together, and agree on this powerful act, which would be an effective way for all students to show solidarity and to affirm a non-racist Drake community identity,” the resolution reads.