Students at the University of Wisconsin-Madison are demanding their school take action against the students involved in a racist video that has run rampant on social media, per NBC15. In the viral clip, a young woman who appears inebriated makes several violent threats to harm Black students.
In a now-deleted (but since reposted) video, a UW-Madison student is filmed going on a slurry, racist rant. The clip begins with the student making suicidal remarks. Then, it escalates into threatening to “haunt every nigger who did her wrong” and make them pick cotton until they die of thirst and exhaustion. After her tirade ends, the student recording and another student off-camera burst into laughter.
The video received further attention after it was reposted by junior Jada Young, who said she stepped outside of class to discuss the video with the Dean of Students. On social media, she and other UW-Madison students identified the girl in the video as Audrey Godlewski, a sophomore. Campus leaders and several student organizations have taken to social media and the local news to circulate the video and petition the school to expel the student.
Read more from Madison.com:
In an unsigned statement late Monday, UW-Madison Communications said the Dean of Students’ office was still investigating and encouraged the campus community to seek support through University Health Services’ mental health services and the employee assistance office.
“The university is aware of a video recently posted to social media that contains deeply harmful and offensive racist slurs and references,” the university’s statement said. “While the university can’t limit what students and employees post to their personal social media accounts and can’t take action against posts that are not unlawful, racist slurs do not represent or reflect UW–Madison values around creating an inclusive community.”
Many students were left unsatisfied by the university’s response.
In January, the University of Missouri experienced a similar situation after a student sent a Snapchat video mocking the killing of the four University of Virginia football players, saying, “If they would have killed 4 more niggers we would have had the whole week off.” The school maintained that the student’s hateful comment was protected under the First Amendment.
Unfortunately, it takes a crime for hate speech to become a legal offense. However, it doesn’t mean hate speech on its own is appropriate or should be tolerated in any capacity, especially when it targets college students.