Student’s videos containing racial slurs quickly condemned
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) — A University of Alabama student repeatedly used a racial slur in videos posted on social media, prompting immediate condemnation from school officials and her apparent expulsion Wednesday.
University President Stuart R. Bell called the videos “highly offensive and deeply hurtful,” and said the student, Harley Barber, is “no longer enrolled here.”
“We hold our students to much higher standards, and we apologize to everyone who has seen the videos and been hurt by this hateful, ignorant and offensive behavior,” Bell said in a statement.
The videos, in which Barber repeatedly uses a racial slur for African-Americans, were first posted on a private Instagram account, but recordings of the posts became widely shared on social media and brought to the attention of school administrators.
Barber told the New York Post that her actions were wrong.
“I don’t know what to do and I feel horrible,” she was quoted by the paper as saying. “There’s just no excuse for what I did.”
Barber did not respond to a request for comment The Associated Press sent to her university email account.
The 19-year-old told the newspaper she had been expelled from the university and was returning home to New Jersey. The university would not confirm her expulsion. Spokesman Chris Bryant told the AP he could “only provide directory information, and this student is no longer enrolled.”
In the first Instagram video, Barber says, “I love how I act like I love black people because I ... hate ... .” In a second expletive-filled video responding to criticism, she says she’ll use the word “as much as I want.”
“I don’t care if it’s Martin Luther King Day,” she says before saying the slur again and again. She then says she will use the slur “as much as I want” noting she is both from New Jersey and, “I’m in the South now.”
The videos were first reported by al.com.
Barber identified herself in the videos as a member of Alpha Phi sorority and said she had wanted to be in the sorority since high school. Linda Kahangi, executive director of Alpha Phi, said Wednesday that the student “is no longer a member of Alpha Phi.”
“Alpha Phi is a diverse, values-based organization and condemns the language and opinions in these videos,” Kahangi wrote in an email response to a query from the AP. “They are offensive and hateful to both our own members and to other members of the Greek and campus community.”
In the videos, Barber referred to the Instagram account she was using as her “finsta,” a made-up word meaning “fake Instagram,” a secondary account that some Instagram users create to share certain posts with a select number of people.
Someone made a screen recording of the post and shared it publicly.
This story has been corrected to reflect that the former student’s first name is Harley, not Haley.