What you post on social media will affect you.
On Sunday night, a video originally posted to the mobile messaging app Snapchat emerged on Twitter. The video showed Menos Hiras, a West Virginia University student and member of the university’s Theta Chi fraternity, shouting racial slurs (specifically the N-word) while in Whisper Nightclub.
He then proceeded to refer to the bartender, who is also a fellow student, with racial slurs. Following the release of his video, a statement was released by Theta Chi that says Hiras is “no longer affiliated” with the fraternity.
Students were outraged and wanted immediate action from the university. Many took to Twitter to voice their anger.
The actions you walk by are the actions you accept. His friend in the video raising a glass should be ashamed of himself also. Remember your integrity everyone. Be the change you want to see in the world, that’s how you change the world. https://t.co/wFZavRqhaQ— mustapha kay (@mustapha_kay) February 12, 2018
Student Mustapha Kay, a senior advertising student from St. Johnsbury, Vermont, responded to the tweet by saying, “The actions you walk by are the actions you accept. His friend in the video raising a glass should be ashamed of himself also. Remember your integrity everyone. Be the change you want to see in the world, that’s how you change the world.”
This is not just a problem at WVU but universities all over the country.
Last week, members of the Alpha Phi sorority from George Washington University posted an offensive photo on Snapchat on the first day of Black History Month.
According to FOX 5 DC, the photo consisted of two members, one of which was holding a banana peel. The caption stated, “Izzy: I’m 1/16th black.” As a result, the members were removed from the sorority.
On January 16, a member of University of Alabama sorority Alpha Phi posted Instagram videos of her using the N-word, and even stating she doesn’t care if it’s Martin Luther King Day. She was then expelled from the university.
On January 17, a day later, another Snapchat post caused controversy after a member of Oklahoma State University’s Sigma Phi Epsilon posted a picture saying, “Bodak Black N*****.” This also caused the removal of this member.
After Hiras’ video was posted, West Virginia University sent out an email stating that the university is aware of the post as it uses “inflammatory, racist language.” University officials also said this conflicts with their message and commitment to be an inclusive community with celebration of diversity.
The university went on to notify Snapchat and are reviewing the potential violations of the Student Code of Conduct.
All of these instances happened close to or during Black History Month and Martin Luther King Day. This is a reflection of college students who are believed to be educating themselves, but are instead exposing their racist behavior on social media.
Did these students speak in a derogatory manner prior to receiving backlash for the postings on social media? Probably.
It takes this negative exposure to bring light of a situation that is constantly happening behind closed doors.
This is the type of closeted racism that WVU and many other universities often have to deal with. This should be a lesson for Hiras and many other college students around the country. We need to be inclusive and accepting of everyone.