Our blissful peace from problematic college Snapchat photos has ended with the surfacing of a…interesting image from an Xavier University student in Cincinnati.
The photo, which first appeared on Snapchat on Monday evening before finding its way to its natural resting place on Facebook, depicts a white student with black face paint and the caption, “Who needs white when black lives matter.”
Xavier student Maia Manney wrote in her own Facebook post that the student depicted in the photo lives in her dorm hall.
“I took it to my hall director and one of the leaders of center for diversity and inclusion (I’m also friends with her on Facebook so if you see this Mel… HI ☺️),” Manney wrote. “But Xavier students be aware of your surroundings especially you POC, as recently many situations like this have been happening.”
Attempts to reach the student in the photo were unsuccessful.
Xavier students expressed their frustration with the photo on Twitter, with some calling the image a depiction of blackface:
The image spread among the Xavier community quickly, and by Tuesday morning, the school’s president, Michael Graham, had issued a statement condemning the post, characterizing the Snap as “racist,” stating he’s “deeply troubled.”
“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,” Graham wrote. “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.”
Xavier University did not immediately respond to a request for comment.