Tallahassee Community College Investigating Racist Comments on Social Media

Katherine Booker, Executive Editor

On Tuesday, Tallahassee Community College became the third college in the southern U.S. within the last two weeks to respond to a report of racist comments allegedly posted by a student on social media.

TCC along with the University of Alabama and Georgia State University was notified after a student posted racial slurs in comments or videos shared on social media.

WTXL reported Wednesday that TCC has identified the student and are checking to see if the account was hacked or tampered with by a third party. ***

TCC released a statement via Twitter Tuesday.

“We have been made aware of alleged racist posts on a TCC student’s personal social media account,” the statement read. “TCC is committed to equality, diversity and inclusion. The Student Conduct office is investigating and will take action if necessary.”

TCC’s Student Conduct and Discipline Philosophy states: “It is expected that all members of the educational community will share respect for the law and adhere to the highest ethical and moral standards of conduct.”

Screenshot of one Harley Barber’s “Finsta” videos.

The University of Alabama had a similar incident where 19-year-old student Harley Barber posted multiple videos which she repeatedly using the N-word on her “Finsta.”

Finsta is a Fake Instagram account that users have as a way to post silly pictures and videos.

Barber was not only expelled from her sorority, Alpha Phi, but the University of Alabama as well.

“These remarks are ignorant and disturbing and in no way reflect the values of The University of Alabama,” University spokesman Chris Bryant said in a statement.

Civil liberties supporters want University of Alabama president to reverse expulsion of a student who posted racist rants, saying her First Amendment rights were violated. *

The clips of Barber using the racial slurs can be seen here: https://nypost.com/2018/01/17/sorority-sister-booted-for-posting-profanity-laced-racist-videos/

Natalia Martinez’s racist comment on her “Finsta” account.

The third incident involved Georgia State University women’s soccer player Natalia Martinez, who posted the N-word in a caption on her “Finsta” account.

Martinez was temporarily suspended from the soccer team.

“We do not tolerate the language the student used in her post,” Georgia State said in a statement. “Pursuant to our student athlete code of conduct, she has been suspended for the soccer team.”

After backlash from the post, which included a student petition with 612 signatures, Martinez withdrew from all of her classes on Monday.

According to Forbes magazine, 11.1 percent of University of Alabama students and 37.4 percent of GSU students are black.

About 31 percent of students at TCC are African-American, according to Tallahassee Community College Quick Facts. **

Screenshot of social media post tagging TCC’s official Twitter about racist comments allegedly posted by a student.

TCC’s official Twitter account was tagged in a post on Monday by user @GreenBoxShop to inform the college about of the racist posts made by an alleged student.

“Your students should not feel threatened by the presence of racism,” @GreenBoxShop said via Twitter. “We are demanding action from you all.”

Jordan Griffin is president of the TCC Black Male Achievers program, a program that offers a wide variety of academic and student services to minority men. ****

Griffin said it is unfortunate that racial issues are still prevalent at this time in our history.

“It is disheartening to see people dislike others because of the color of their skin,” Griffin said. “People need to realize that the only difference between a person of color and others is the pigmentation of skin.”

Griffin said he feels that students of color are very strong people. He said they have been through a lot as a people, far worse than racial name calling or racial slurs.

“I too, like Dr. King look forward to the day when people will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.”


*More information on the First Amendment Right violation can be found here: https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2018/01/23/university-alabama-may-have-violated-first-amendment-kicking-out-racist-student

** More information on TCC demographic percentages can be found here: http://www.tcc.fl.edu/media/divisions/institutional-effectiveness/fall-quick-facts/Fall-Quick-Facts-6-7.pdf

***WTXL.com article can be viewed here: http://www.wtxl.com/news/tcc-investigating-alleged-racist-post-by-student/article_7abed40e-008b-11e8-9f5a-97fc97f45a0c.html

**** More information on TCC’s BMA can be found here: http://www.tcc.fl.edu/student-life/student-services/accessibility-and-resource-center/black-male-achievers-bma/