Pennsylvania college suspends students over blackface video

AP News
Posted: Oct 01, 2016 2:04 PM

READING, Pa. (AP) — A Pennsylvania college says it has suspended two students over an online video showing a student in blackface lampooning the Black Lives Matter movement.

Albright College President Lex McMillan III said on the school's Facebook page that the two students most directly involved in what he called a "hurtful, offensive act" have been suspended pending further investigation.

"They have been advised to leave campus immediately and remain available for communications with college officials," he said.

The Reading Eagle reported that the roughly 40-second video posted Tuesday night on Snapchat featured a female student wearing an Albright T-shirt putting on blackface makeup. In the video, the student, who calls herself "Carlisha," makes disparaging remarks about the Black Lives Matter movement and places padding in her pants to increase the size of her but, performing a "twerking" dance made popular in hip-hop videos, the paper said.

McMillan said officials had learned that "multiple students of multiple races" had been involved and officials would continue to review the facts to determine "the most appropriate sanctions." He said earlier that the students who posted the video voluntarily come forward and expressed remorse.

Niani Marz, an Albright senior from Brooklyn, New York, told the newspaper she had been "floored" by the video, which she said had started a debate on campus with some seeing it as a freedom of speech issue with others focused on what they considered disparaging racial overtones. Marz said she had talked to several students who planned to demonstrate at some point during the weekend's homecoming activities.

"I feel like there's a disconnect between our community," Marz said. "We're so diverse, yet we know nothing about each other. And I want us to be more united and understanding."