In 2017, it should go without saying that the use of the N-word by white people (yes, even in rap-a-long mode to their favorite hip-hop hits) is still a huge no-no.
A hoard of white sorority women at the University of New Hampshire has apparently ignored that memo, however, while spitting Kanye West’s “Gold Digger” hit. But that doesn’t mean the school will be ignoring it, and now the sisters of the Alpha Phi Sorority just dug themselves right in the middle of a highly publicized racial investigation.
The Snapchat video capturing the incident under review shows the women in what appears to be an exclusive party for the sorority on UNH’s campus. As they blast Yeezy’s 2005 single, they all can be heard spitting the lyrics at the top of their lungs with no censorship whatsoever: “Now I ain’t saying she a gold digger, but she ain’t messing with no broke n****s.”
According to the New York Post, the video caught the eyes of a student-curated Facebook group named “All Eyes on UNH,” which scolded the sorority women’s behavior in a post.
“A member of Alpha Phi Sorority put up this video of girls singing along to ‘Gold Digger’ by Kanye West on her Instagram story,” the post reads. “The girls sing the N-word without thinking of the implications. This is a showcase of ignorance and that the Panhellenic Council should do better in combating racism. The first step is addressing willful ignorance."
Other students chimed in as well, NY Post reports, from Black and White students alike, reminding them that they should have “literally shut [their mouths]” when the word came up in the song considering that they knew the lyrics so well. The site says that another student, Maggie Lowe, seconded those sentiments with a cultural wake-up call for the women of Alpha Phi as well.
“Hey white people, literally just don’t broadcast you and your clan of Beckys saying the N-word and you’ll be fine,” Lowe reportedly wrote. “Don’t give any ‘it’s expression crap’ because white people will never ever ever be able to tell me what it’s like to be an ‘N-word.’”
Per usual, some of the critics were met with opposition from other students siding with the sorority, arguing that they were just “having fun celebrating their new members” and that those who were (justifiably) outraged by the behavior “hate free speech.”
However, a spokeswoman for the university, Erika Mantz, reportedly told NH1 that an investigation is underway, citing the First Amendment in her response.
“We believe strongly in the right to free speech as recognized by the First Amendment, and we also believe in the right of every member of our community to feel safe and respected,” Mantz reportedly said.
Let’s hope whatever possible disciplinary action they take for the sorority does justice to the latter part of that statement.
See the evidence of the investigation below.
(Photo: Scott Dudelson/FilmMagic)