Student Found Out That Posting Racist Videos Full of the N-Word Gets You Expelled—Who Knew?
On Martin Luther King Jr. Day, a college student from the University of Alabama thought it was the right time to put her racist personality on Instagram for the world to see. As a result, according to The Washington Post, she has been expelled from the University of Alabama.
The student, who was identified to be 19-year-old Harley Barber, a freshman from Marlton, NJ, posted two videos to her “fake” Instagram account, where she felt more than comfortable not only making racist jokes, but saying the N-word fifteen times between the two videos.
The first video is Barber in a bathroom talking about how they don’t waste water because there are poor people in Syria and that she loves “how I act like I love black people because I (expletive) hate (n-word) so that’s really interesting but I just saved the (expletive) (n-word) by shutting that water off.” (From NJ.com.) In the second video, she boasts about how she can say the N-word as much as she wants and if people “snake” on her and get her kicked her out of sorority then “f–k” them. Yup, priorities. Meanwhile, a gaggle of Susans are hyping her up—allowing her to film this crap as she yells, “I’m in the South now, bitch!”
Of course, even when Barber woke up from her drunken haze and realized she had screwed herself in the worst way, it was too late. The video had already been saved and reuploaded to Twitter and other places.
Barber finally gave a phone interview with the New York Post and said, “I did something really, really bad. I don’t know what to do, and I feel horrible. I’m wrong, and there’s just no excuse for what I did … I feel so, so bad, and I am so sorry.”
The University of Alabama’s president, Stuart R. Bell, said the videos were “highly offensive and deeply hurtful” and said he was “disgusted and disappointed by Barber’s actions.”
“The actions of this student do not represent the larger student body or the values of our University,” he wrote. “We hold our students to much higher standards, and we apologize to everyone who has seen the videos and has been hurt by this hateful, ignorant and offensive behavior. This is not who we are.”
Barber’s sorority also condemned and revoked her membership from the community. “They are offensive and hateful to both our own members and to other members of the Greek and campus community. The [University of Alabama] chapter leadership and supporting alumnae moved quickly to address the offense, and Ms. Barber is no longer a member of Alpha Phi,” said Linda Kahangi, executive director of Alpha Phi International.
Barber told the New York Post that she has received threatening phone calls since the video went viral—calls, she said, that “came out of nowhere.” A friend advised her not to post the videos, but Barber said she didn’t listen.
“I’m an idiot. There’s no excuse. I did something really bad,” she told the newspaper.
Too bad she didn’t come to that realization earlier, and those friends who advised her not to post the video, while they jeered her in the second video, should have grabbed the phone out of her hand. Yet, that’s not the root of the issue. The issue is that Harley Barber from New Jersey, as she so proudly proclaims in the second video, didn’t think it was a problem to not only say racist things publicly, but thought it was cool to just drop the n-word with a hard “er.” That sort of brazen ignorance would be almost impressive if she actually owned it, instead of crying about it now that she’s realized there are consequences.
I’ve seen some people say it is her first amendment right to say whatever she wants. Damn right it is, but just because you have the right to say whatever you want does not mean there are no consequences for the things that you say. Does Barber deserve death threats? No. Does she deserve to be kicked out of the University of Alabama? Yup. Do you think that, after their excellent college football run and electing Doug Jones as their senator, Alabama wants to be associated with this ignorance?
Also, we need to recognize that her comfort in doing this is more of a problem than what she actually said. We know that white people use hate speech to refer to black people—that’s not news. However, the fact that she showed her own ass on Twitter—on King day!—is a level of brazen racism that can’t be allowed to fester. I mean, didn’t we just go through this with the Oklahoma SAE Frat just a few years back? This is the kind of racism that people love to prop up and feel ashamed about because it is such a cut-and-dry cause, but at the same time, the larger issue isn’t just the words, but the mentality behind it. That can’t be fixed by expulsion, but it’s at least a bare minimum start.
In the meantime, Barber is going to have to live with the fact that her 15 minutes of fame is based in something horrible that she can never truly take back.
(via The Washington Post, image: Twitter/Screengrab)
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