Racist media posts enrage college students

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Cate Casparius ’19, Staff Writer

Since the 2016-2017 college year began, there have been at least four instances of racial Snapchat posts at Universities which led to big consequences, in some cases even expulsion.

Presently, the media allows for people to voice their opinion to anyone willing to listen. It also enhances and spreads trending posts quicker than ever before. With the recent riots over the Black Lives Matter movement, some college students  have felt the need to make racist jokes and voice their opinions on the issue at hand.

The first snapchat that had people talking was posted by a Kansas State student, Paige Shoemaker. “Students at Kansas State University are in an uproar over a photo one K-State student posted on Snapchat Tuesday,” News 12 wrote. Shoemaker and a friend put on cosmetic mud masks and took a picture with the caption,  “Finally feel like a [n-word],” and posted it to her Snapchat story.

Eventually the snapchat made it to other media sources and members of the community were talking about the post. “I just feel like we’re being set back 150 years,” Abbey St. Clair, another student, said. Soon after, Shoemaker was expelled from the University.

Just seven days after Shoemaker’s post, another controversial Snapchat surfaced. A white female from Quinnipiac University posted a photo with black makeup covering her face and captioned it with, “Black lives matter.”

Humiliated by one of their students, Quinnipiac released a post saying, “The university takes this matter very seriously and acted swiftly to discipline those responsible for the offensive photo. This incident does not reflect the true nature of our university, where we have a long history of zero tolerance for any acts of racism, hatred or bigotry.”

While the Quinnipiac post was spiralling, another racist Snapchat went viral. Football players on the Philadelphia Eagles took a knee during the national anthem and a student from Belmont University snapped a picture of the players. He captioned the post, “Piece of s*** [n-word]. Everyone of them needs a damn bullet in their head. If you don’t like this country get the hell out.” The University did not tolerate this post and he was expelled immediately.

The fourth racial post emerged just last week. Another white student mocked the BLM movement with a video of a girl wearing a mud mask and  dancing provocatively with padding stuffed in her butt to appear bigger. In the Snapchat she’s yelling, “Black lives matter now, okay? F*** white people!” followed by sarcastic laughter. This specific student attends Albright College, and the school board was upset about the implications of the video.

“We never intended for the picture to offend anyone. We had only meant for it to be taken in a funny way,” one of the posters commented. Most of these students posted apologies later because they were “just trying to be funny” and they “didn’t mean to offend anyone”.

The controversiality of these snapchats are also being discussed in the Staples High School community. During a class discussion, Antonio Antonelli ’19 said, “I just think this whole situation is disgusting honestly. If you’re shaming another group that’s just plain racism. To end the issue overall you have to stop putting up divides between groups.”

Another student had the same opinion as Antonelli, however they also included what they think would happen if someone in Staples posted one of these snapchats. “Even though the majority of students are Caucasian, if a student at Staples posted a snapchat like one of those I think a lot of people, including myself, would be outraged and offended by the snapchat. Many students would show their anger in some way however, since race is such a tense subject to talk about, I also think a lot of Staples students wouldn’t do anything about it other than whisper to their friends.” Isabel Handa ’19 voiced.

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