University Responds to Racist Blackface Video

Two white students, donning brown facial masks, posted a YouTube video laden with racist comments.

Posted: 11/29/2012 03:50 PM EST

Two young white women who filmed themselves making racist comments with blackened faces are now fielding criticisms for their actions.

"We have seen the video; we abhor it," Lendley Black, the chancellor at the University of Minnesota Duluth, said in an email. “This is unacceptable behavior for anyone, and we at UMD are extremely unhappy to be associated with it in any way."

Jessica Heid and Rachel Cooper, at least one of whom attends the University of Minnesota Duluth, say they were just goofing around as they waited for their facials to set when they shot the videos.

"We were doing facials, and it happened to have been a brown facial mask," Cooper told the campus paper The Statesman. "We had to leave it on for 12 minutes. During that 12 minutes, we horribly decided to make a video that we regret and are not happy about. This was made over a year ago."

"We true Negroes," the women say in the YouTube video. "We come from the black hood."

They talk about needing "some fried f--king chicken," their "big ol' lips" and how they look "like apes right now."

Cooper and Heid apologized for their actions, saying the clip "does not define our true selves." 

Heid also said that she's received hate mail over the video, which has been taken down by YouTube for violating a policy that prohibits hate speech.

The University of Minnesota Duluth issued a statement to its students after officials discovered the clip. Students of color make up eight percent of the school's student body.


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(Photo: Courtesy of LRJTV News)

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