LSU, West Monroe Teen Issue Statements After Racial Slur Video Goes Viral
LSU is reiterating its position in opposition to hate speech after a video showing an incoming freshman using racial slurs went viral on social media.
Actress Skai Jackson tweeted this video of an incoming LSU freshman seemingly using the N-word in reference to African Americans, either by yelling or "with a voice-over or voice filter." Jackson identified the young man as a West Monroe teen set to enter Louisiana State University in the fall and encouraged her followers to contact the university.
this is Drew Dollar he lives in West Monroe, Louisiana and will be attending LSU in the fall. he wants to be in the medical field ! His Instagram is drewdollar7 ! Call and email his school.. someone like him shouldn’t be able to attend college
At the time of this post, LSU has responded to the video and the teen, identified as 19-year-old Drew Dollar of West Monroe, has responded as well. Dollar's identity was confirmed by The News-Star, who says they tried to reach out to the Dollar family for comment but has not received a response yet.
Um. F---. I can't do nothing about it. I can't do nothing about it. I mean, if you actually like knew me knew me, you'd know that's not actually what I, like, think. It's literally just like a meme, which is obviously bad. I know that. But, yeah, you're right. I can't deny it. Just please have some mercy, yeah, please -
As discussions ramped up on Jackson's tweet many people reached out to LSU, either on social media or by contacting them directly via phone or email. There were at least two petitions started at change.org to get the attention of LSU. Even though petitions don't have any legal effect, LSU did respond to several tweets with the following statement.
The link led to a full statement on their stance when it comes to racist and derogatory speech.
A paid service called Collegewise directs high school students through the college admissions and their CAO Arun Ponnusamy says there has been a "definite shift" this summer when it comes to heightened sensitivity over this type of behavior.
I think we're in a world now where there's more conversation taking place around these issues of race. So colleges and universities are communities, and they want to know that they're going to have good citizens. And I think when you see that lack of immaturity or the value that some of these students would bring, there's a concern as to whether they could be good citizens in the community.
Unlike private institutions that can immediately distance themselves from these types of comments, public schools have First Amendment constraints when it comes to dealing with situations like this one.
With that said, LSU was very clear in its statement when it comes to their stance on the recent derogatory social media posts.
But just because people have the right to say something doesn’t mean they should. Racist statements are hateful, inflammatory, and harmful to everyone. They only serve to tear down the bridges that the overwhelming majority of us in society want to build.
Although we can’t comment on individual complaints, let it be known that conduct by a member of the LSU community that is found in violation of our policies will be addressed. Let it also be known that LSU denounces racist speech. We stand together for equality and justice, and we condemn racism in any form.
While LSU explained their stance from a legal standpoint, many others continued to push the university to take some type of action.
We will update this post with any developments on this story.