A white student at a HBCU has faced backlash after posting a blackface picture on Snapchat with a caption that reads “When you are just tryna fit in at your hbcu.”
A white female student at Prairie View A&M, a historically Black university in Texas, received a lot of criticism, following her post on social media, where she posted a picture of her face covered in Black tape. The caption on the picture fueled the backlash she received; it said: “When you are just tryna fit in at your HBCU.”
The freshman was identified as Brooke Merino by a school spokesperson. She is also a soccer player, a goalkeeper to be precise, at PVAMU and some students and alumni have since called for her to be kicked out of the team following her ‘bad joke’ on Snapchat.
ATTENTION EVERYONE AT PVAMU
@merino_brooke here would really like to fit in…
Let’s make her feel welcome, shall we?! https://t.co/G0rHwWDEKs
— Jack Freeman (@_jackfreeman) September 29, 2016
The San Diego, California native brought the backlash upon herself because she ignored the fact that such jokes could only spark a flurry of criticism at a time when Black people are hurting and struggling to overcome the various forms of racism and oppression we are facing in our society.
People have taken to twitter to criticize the white girl’s post: some have classed Merino’s actions as “pure stupidity,” another person sarcastically said she should “feel welcome,” and some have pointed out that she needs to be taught a lesson for making such a racial joke.
Doing blackface at an HBCU is the dumbest move of all time. Especially at one that is built on a slave plantation
— Greg (@ItsG_REG) September 29, 2016
A PVAMU representative said that the university is investigating the photo and Merino will go before the conduct board on Monday. Furthermore, the HBCU’s President, George C. Wright released a statement, condemning Merino’s actions.
“As a scholar of race relations in the United States and president of Prairie View A&M University, whose alumni, students, and many supporters have experienced firsthand racial insults in the form of words, caricatures and a wide range of other actions, I know clearly the hurt and harm that can be done from intentional and unintentional acts of this nature,” he said.
“Let me be clear that, whether intentional or unintentional, the actions have the same impact, and as a community, we denounce any racial slight whenever it occurs.”
This week I had students/parents at nearly 100 high schools and colleges write to me about white students appearing in blackface.
— Shaun King (@ShaunKing) October 1, 2016
The student should have known better than to make such a racist joke. However, it is an offensive misdemeanor and a completely insensitive one. Making a mockery of Black people is something our white folks feel they can do and get away with. Racism has to be tackled in our society and white people should enlighten themselves and their kids on Black history and stop dwelling in ignorance.