In Delaware, a virtual convergence of Black lawmakers intended to discuss ways in which to help struggling Black businesses, went left when a racist hacker entered their Zoom meeting displaying pornography and a racial slur.
According to Delaware State News, the Zoom meeting was hosted by the Delaware Legislative Caucus, and attended by eight Black lawmakers and a representative from the Small Business Administration. A flyer posted on Facebook frames the event as a “Paycheck Protection Program Virtual Information Session.” After spending nearly an hour on the call discussing what small businesses can do to stay afloat during the coronavirus crisis, the racist interrupts the meeting posting a scribble of the N-word, a doodle of a swastika, and then a graphic pornographic image, according to DelawareOnline.com.
Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester, who was speaking when the hacker entered the meeting, called the despicable act, “racist, sexist, and immature,” adding that the Zoom meeting was preempted by somebody who thought they were doing something “big and special.”
In a Facebook video following the information session, Blunt Rochester said, “My first reaction was not to be upset. We will not let hate take us down and I think that’s the message right now for this whole epidemic: Who are we? Who will we be when this is all over?”
Zoom responded to the incident, telling Delaware State News that they are “deeply upset” by what transpired and encourage people who’ve experienced such interruptions to contact law enforcement. But State Sen. Darius Brown, who was also present for the Zoom meeting, said their focus right now is on helping Black businesses and organizations.
As for the hackers, Blunt Rochester has a message for them. “For those of you who don’t get it yet,” she said, “this is about caring for each other. This is about love. This is about the reality that only what we do for love will last and only if we stick together will we be strong and make it through this together stronger.”
This is the second publicized case of racist hackers entering Zoom meetings in the last week. On Monday ESSENCE reported that racists also “Zoom bombed” a virtual BBQ designed for students at the University of South Carolina. During that meeting, the hackers joined the call wearing Blackface and prominently displaying a Nazi flag.