Xavier University is a small school with a big problem. The Cincinnati, Ohio institution has long been known for its liberal arts education and its basketball program. However, yesterday, it grabbed headlines for all the wrong reasons.
On Tuesday, a pair of social media messages created a firestorm on campus, forcing Xavier’s president to issue a public statement.
The first incident involved a Snapchat photo, showing a young white woman in blackface, with a caption reading “Who needs white when black lives matter.”
If that wasn’t enough for the university, another photo went out over social media when someone spotted something potentially even more disturbing. Prominently displayed in a dorm window was a skeleton in dashiki with a noose around its neck, presumably to symbolize the lynching of a black person. It was hung next to a Donald Trump banner.
University president Mike Graham say that [both incidents involve Xavier students. In response, he sent out the following in a campus-wide email:
“Racist actions are unacceptable on our campus, and we have mechanisms to respond in a responsible and thoughtful manner. When one of us falls short, we all fall short. Many of our students, of all races, are in pain over this. Steps are being taken to make sure that all members of the Xavier community know that we must act with integrity, justice and generosity, in solidarity for and with each other.”
It is expected that the students involved will face disciplinary action for violating the schools’ code of conduct.