On Tuesday, Methodist University announced the suspension of one of their sororities after social media outrage over a racist presentation made by a member featuring Black student football players.
According to the Fayetteville Observer, the Facebook post shows a screenshot of a white woman, a member of Alpha Delta Pi, standing in front of a large screen. On the screen? The faces of four Black football players with the words, “Large Nostrils.” The post went viral, making rounds on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and TikTok hundreds of times.
If this sorority sounds familiar to you, it’s likely because a chapter at another university released this rush video from Hell in 2016. Oh, and another chapter produced T-shirts with a Black man eating watermelon and people picking cotton, also in 2016.
Anyway, here’s more on the racist presentation from the Observer:
Students and comments on social media indicate that the presentation was given before a gathering of sorority members and was about things the presenter found unattractive. The presentation was also critical of dreadlock hairstyles and other physical features often associated with African Americans, according to the social media post.
The Observer notes that school President Stanley T. Wearden and Quincy Malloy, chief diversity officer, announced the campus chapter’s indefinite suspension pending an investigation. William H. Walker, the vice president of Student Affairs, said the school cannot comment on any cases involving its students.
More from the Observer:
Any investigation, Walker said, could include “application of student conduct policy and hearings. In severe cases, it might involve criminal complaint.”
Wearden wrote in his statement: “We cannot comment on any possible case involving any individual student. But I want to assure you that I take potentially racist behaviors very seriously.”
He also cautioned people against airing out the situation on social media, writing “if you really want to see a problem solved, social media is not the best place to turn.”
A Methodist student named Ta-Quez Harrell, interviewed by the Observer, was told the PowerPoint presentation was meant to be a joke. Harrell, vice president of the campus Greek Council and a former football and basketball player, says students are organizing on social media. A gathering was planned for outside of Wearden’s office at the Horner Building on Wednesday to demand the removal of the student and sorority from campus. Another student, an unnamed cheerleader, told the Observer that the Black Student Union is also focused on the issue.
The Theta Epsilon chapter of the sorority has not made any statements to the media and its Facebook page is currently deactivated. According to the Observer, Beth Wright, spokeswoman for the national headquarters for Alpha Delta Pi, said the sorority suspended the student’s membership and the school chapter.
According to WRAL News, a member from a fraternity on campus sent WRAL a screenshot of an apology allegedly sent by the sorority member to one of the football players. “I did not mean for any of this to be targeted towards individuals and certainly did not mean any of this in a malicious way,” it read, according to WRAL, “It was not targeted at African Americans in any way, I can promise that.”
WRAL reports that the private university in Fayetteville, N.C., has about 2,000 students, of which more than a third of them identify as students of color, according to officials.
And apparently, this is not Methodist’s first run-in with racist students. Harrell told the Observer that last year the school seemed to have done nothing after a white student disrupted a Black Lives Matter demonstration while screaming and waving a Trump flag in Connecticut.
The school’s spokesman, Brad Johnson, said the incident Harrell is talking about was addressed internally according to their conduct policies. “Some students may think it wasn’t handled because of the fact that we cannot and do not discuss individual student cases publicly. But all reported incidents are handled appropriately and as expeditiously as is prudent,” Johnson told the Observer.
All I’m saying is when it comes to racist incidents done publicly and with no couth, the apology needs to be as loud and public as the disrespect.