Recently, students from the University of Tennessee posted a screenshot of a racist Snapchat image to Twitter. The photo included four university students, two of whom had donned charcoal face masks. The photo’s caption read, “We for racial equality boys. Bout to get this free college now that I’m black let’s gooooo #blacklivesmatter”
The university released a statement condemning the actions of the students in the photo. The university’s Bias Education Response Team, in collaboration with the Office of the Dean of Students, will determine how to handle the incident.
“The image is repulsive and the caption abhorrent. The racism displayed in this image does not represent the behavior we expect of students or our Volunteer values,” the statement reads.
Wayne T. Davis, interim chancellor, along with Tyvi Small, interim vice chancellor for diversity and engagement, released an additional statement that invited the campus community to attend a dialogue session about the incident in the Student Union Ballroom on campus. Over 200 students attended the meeting.
“We are at a crossroads,” read the chancellors’ letter. “Instead of accepting hate, we must denounce it. Instead of ignoring racism, we must name it and confront it. We must continue a dialogue through this moment to make Rocky Top a better place to be.”