This week has been an awful one for the administration at the University of North Dakota. University President Mark Kennedy has a lot on his plate right now. His school has been thrust into the spotlight because of the actions of some within his student body, which includes one group of students who used a black student’s phone to post vile content on Snapchat and another group who tagged UND in a photo of themselves mocking the black community.
The first incident involved three confirmed UND students terrorizing a black student in the dorms. The three students, all of whom are white, locked the black student out of her dorm room. They confiscated her cell phone and took a photo of themselves laughing and posted it to her Snapchat page. They captioned the image “locked the black bitch out.” The student whose phone was used for this disgusting act didn’t even realize that the three other students had done this until a friend pointed it out later.
Etonde Maloke, a friend of the student who was harassed, aired out her frustration with the actions of the three white students in a Facebook post.
“I’m so livid!! We all know Racism is alive and well (whether you like to admit it or not). When said acts of racism happen at your school, it is infuriating and heart breaking. My friend left her phone in her room and the three kids pictured below took her phone and took the snapchat pictured below. They captioned it ‘locked the black bitch out.’ My friend was not aware that they had done this and didn’t even realize they had put this on her snapchat story until another friend of ours pointed it out. The University of North Dakota needs to take action against these student for this blatant act of racism.”
That incident alone is enough to put school administration on edge. This incident is not only deliberate harassment of another student, but it’s also racially motivated.
Not 48 hours later, another photo emerged featuring four white girls at UND mocking black lives.
You have got to be kidding me.
To be fair, these girls may not be wearing actual blackface. Chances are good it’s like a peel or something. But, a picture like this is a lesson in contextualizing. Even if what they’re wearing isn’t actual blackface, by captioning the photo “Black lives matter” they have effectively turned it into blackface.
At the end of the day, these girls are mocking black people, mocking a movement designed to bring awareness to the plight of black people, and mocking the reality that racism continues to exist in a problematic capacity.
At UND, according to enrollment data, only 2.5 percent of students are black, whereas 79 percent are white.
Facebook isn’t the only place where the subject of racism at UND has manifested. Twitter users were unforgiving in their criticism as well.
— Headley White (@dr1906) September 24, 2016
— Coco Honey Dip (@_ddoublee) September 24, 2016
— simy (@simysimca) September 22, 2016
— Topanga (@Taytothotdish) September 21, 2016
Well, Topanga, there is a Sigma Alpha Epsilon at UND…
The students and the critics are right, though. UND administration needs to get this figured out quickly and decisively. UND President Kennedy said in a statement regarding the photos:
“The UND Police Department and the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities are going through their processes of in investigating these two incidences. We are moving as fast as we can. I understand that we would all like a swift resolution. However, our society, our legal system, and campus conduct processes are predicated on due process. We must maintain the integrity of our policies and procedures by following due process.”
Here’s to hoping that the UND investigation actually succeeds where so many other “investigations” have failed.
h/t Raw Story