Racist comments made by Laurier student caught on video
On Nov. 13, a Twitter thread containing a video of a Wilfrid Laurier student going on a drunken, racist rant was posted on the popular account, Spotted at Laurier, where it quickly gained attention across social media.
The original tweet that was shared indirectly referenced the incident, stating, “The fact that there’s grown white adults still saying the N word at this school is disgusting. Educate yourselves on the meaning behind the word, and never say it again. There’s enough ignorance in the world and we don’t need it at Laurier.”
The fact that there’s grown white adults still saying the N word at this school is disgusting. Educate yourselves on the meaning behind the word, and never say it again. There’s enough ignorance in the world and we don’t need it at Laurier.
— Spotted At Laurier (@SpottedLaurier) November 13, 2019
In response, fellow students shared their disgust and disappointment, with what appeared to be the Snapchat video that had originally been filmed and circulated posted in the comments as well.
The student’s personal Instagram account — which has since been made private — was found, and screenshots were included in the responses that seemed to prompt a public apology from the person in question to be posted to their Instagram stories in relation to the incident.
The Association of Black Students (ABS Laurier) has acknowledged the video in posts shared to their social media accounts.
On Facebook, the ABS executive committee in a collectively constructed response, stated that, “Within the Wilfrid Laurier Community there has been an incident which has done harm to numerous Black individuals on campus. We do not seek revenge against this individual, because this is about a system of ignorance that is greater than one person. The N word has been used to perpetuate hate for generations and it has no place in the mouths of those whose ancestors or affiliates used it for hate.”
“Please be aware of; the words you use, the content you post and the freedoms you have. It is not fair to let anyone feel unsafe on campus. We do not wish to create an unsafe presence but we seek to remind people that intent does not matter. Impact does. The impact has of this persons actions has fostered a sense of pain, confusion and hate on campus. We are a strong people and unfortunately we know that this is not an isolated incident.”
“We ask that you educate yourself, and use your privilege to advocate for the marginalized not hurt them because of your desire to use a word. If you would like to continue this conversation please reach out to us. For those of you who have been rightfully offended by this please feel free to contact us or visit our office (Weekdays 9-4pm). Or come to our event this evening (8:30pm at the ABS Office). Thank you, we look forward to making our campus a safe learning ground for all people,” the statement concluded.
Laurier also addressed the video in a statement released on the morning of Nov. 14.
“Wilfrid Laurier University strongly condemns the racist language used by a Laurier student in a video that has been shared on social media.The words are offensive and hurtful, and they do not reflect the values of diversity, inclusivity and respect that the university strives to encourage in the Laurier community. The student has apologized on social media. However, the incident indicates the ongoing need to address bigotry and systemic racism,” the statement began.
It continues by stating that the university will be reviewing the situation under Laurier’s Non-Academic Student Code of Conduct, and acknowledges the harm that incidents such as this cause for, “Black and Indigenous people of colour, including our students, staff and faculty. This harm must be collectively mitigated through the fostering of a campus environment in which all members of the Laurier community feel safe, welcome and valued.”
There are on-campus resources and areas of support related to equity, diversity and inclusion available for any students, faculty and staff who may need them.
Laurier’s Centre for Student Equity, Diversity and Inclusion
In Waterloo: firstname.lastname@example.org or 519.884.0710 x3208
In Brantford: email@example.com
For faculty and staff: firstname.lastname@example.org or 519.884.0710 x4469
Also see the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion page on Connect
As well, if students have personally experienced discrimination or are in need of mental health care, they are encouraged to reach out to Laurier’s additional support systems.
Office of Dispute Resolution and Sexual Violence Support
email@example.com or 519.884.0710 x3322 or the Student Wellness Centre
More updates to come.