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TCU Hosts Campus Rally Against Racism

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FORT WORTH(CBSDFW.COM) - The Baltimore riots have indirectly led to a rally Thursday night taking on racism cloaked in anonymity.

It all started when some TCU students began posting offensive comments about the rioting on the social media app, Yik Yak.  Other students responded with a call for unity.

TCU journalism student, Chloe Coleman got a quick lesson in the reality of racism.

"People were posting one after another.  Some said, 'beware the spider money.'  Some said, 'watch the blacks.'  It's hard to think that people can still foster that kind of hate in their heart and kind of animosity toward somebody they don't know," says Coleman.

Yik Yak allows users in the same area to share their thoughts anonymously.  When the discussion turned to the rioting, Coleman saw comments form TCU classmates like this:

"Blacks were unable to get proper educations… but, that's more a result of their busted families and lack of morals…"

"Am I surprised?," asks TCU junior Tyler Provost rhetorically.  "Not really, because of what the app is."

Provost says he knows internet anonymity can be fuel for offensive beliefs, but he's still disappointed.

"This has proven there's still some ideology that exists here that's clearly not cut out for the diverse campus that TCU tries to put on," says Provost.

University leaders have also expressed dismay at the postings and Thursday sent an email to the entire student body encouraging everyone to attend Thursday night's rally saying, "…leaders who think and act ethically and responsibly own their opinions and seek to understand the views of others. It is a coward who drops offensive, racist remarks on an anonymous website. These postings hurt individuals and they hurt our community."

Chloe Coleman says, "It's hard to think that people who you go to... who haven't taken the time out to know you … and talk to you, think these things about you I don't' understand where that type of hate comes from."

Rally organizers say the goal is not so much to show the comments don't reflect TCU, but to open the minds of those who made them.

(©2015 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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