BOTTINEAU COUNTY, ND -- Authorities say a motorcyclist died when he failed to negotiate a curve on a road near Lake Metigoshe. The North Dakota Highway Patrol says 28-year-old Derek Thompson, of Rolette, died in the Saturday afternoon accident. The…
UND Students’ Snapchat Goes Viral; Called “A Racist Act”
A Snapchat showing a racial slur posted by UND students is circulating on social media outlets across the country.
The three people in the picture allegedly took the victim’s phone while she was outside the room and posted quote, “locked the black b—– out”, on her Snapchat account.
“It makes people feel unsafe, unwelcome,” UND Associate VP for Diversity and Inclusion Sandra Mitchell says.
The screenshot exploded nationally on social media after the victim’s friend posted it to Facebook to raise awareness.
It’s a reminder that even if you’re just sending something to your friends over the internet, once it’s out there, anyone can see it.
“It can’t be avoided, it’s viral on Twitter, viral on Facebook,” UND junior Isnino Shukri says.
Even celebrities like actress Gabrielle Union and New York Daily writer Shaun King retweeted the Snapchat.
Many are saying UND should take action against the students who did this.
But others say it’s an opportunity to educate.
“I’m not gonna say that I want these students to be punished, but I want them to know what they did wrong. It was disturbing, and it hurt many people. Not just the victim involved, it hurt the majority of the community and it’s a ripple effect,” Shukri says.
“Any time that you single out someone in an act to intimidate, humiliate, and you mention race in any way, it is a racist act,” Mitchell says.
Now UND officials say they’re taking the steps necessary to make the campus a more welcoming place.
“Classes to students about diversity, we’re going through a strategic planning process right now and we’re talking about what are the values of the University,” UND public affairs Peter Johnson says.
“Letting people know before they even come to UND that you are stepping into a very diverse community and understanding what diversity means, that it is not just about race,” Mitchell says.
But those classes won’t change how some students already feel.
“I’m not shocked, and I’m not surprised, I think it’s very unfortunate, but it’s something that minority students and people of color deal with here at UND,” Shukri says.
Names of the victim or the students who allegedly created the Snapchat message have not been released.
A punishment has not yet been determined at this time.
UND’s Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities are still investigating the case.