Social media sees rise in racial rants


WASHINGTON COUNTY, Va. - There has been a surge of racial rants on social media-- and they're leading to violence in some situations.

Earlier this summer, two men were stabbed to death trying to defend women targeted by racism in Portland, OR.

A faculty member at Emory & Henry College said today's political divide could be fueling tempers.

"There's a lot of division that we are experiencing in the country right now with politics, and differences generate a lot of folks taking polar opposite sides of an issue." Said john Holloway, Vice President of Student Life.

Now, questions are being raised on what you should do if you become a bystander of a racial rant.

"Of course anyone has a right to exhibit free speech unless it comes to a point where it's disorderly, interfering with someone's free passage." Said Captain Maynard Ratcliff, of the Bristol, Va. police department.

"Try and certainly see if there's a nearby exit, if things escalate... try and illicit the support of stand by folks who may be having a response to what's going on... try and diffuse the situation." Holloway continued.

However, it's important to assess the situation to make sure your safety is not at risk.

"If you're the target of this kind of behavior at first just try to ignore it and go on about your way, if you can't do that, or if they won't let you do that then someone needs to call the police." Said Captain Ratcliff.

last year racist graffiti was found on Emery & Henry's campus.

In the Fall, the school is starting a new inclusion dialogue group to give students the opportunity to discuss their differences in a safe space.