Western Carolina University is condemning multiple racist videos posted on social media by white students.
In one video, which was shared numerous times, two white women are seen saying, "If I am a cracker, you're allowed to be called the ("N" word) ... with the A ... not the ER."
Another video shows two white males seen giving the “OK” hand signal, which has been associated with white supremacy. The men say throughout the video that using the signal is not racist because they’re just saying “OK.” They also use the n-word several times.
Western Carolina, which announced its undergraduate instruction would be online for the rest of the fall semester, has since denounced the videos.
"These last 24 hours have been a roller coaster of emotions for me and many others on this campus,” Chancellor Kelli Brown said in a video statement. “Over the weekend there have been several videos of students, Western Carolina University students that are displaying behavior that is racist and bigoted. This behavior disappoints, angers, frustrated me to no end.”
She continued, "Justifiable calls for action can be heard from across our campus community today. Rest assured, the University is taking active steps to address these particular incidents consistent with our University processes and policies; however, we cannot disclose specific actions taken against a specific student(s). With that in mind, our inability to communicate specific actions should not be construed as inaction. Western Carolina University takes seriously the effect that these videos have had on the campus community and will act accordingly.”
This is not the first time WCU has had to apologize for bigotry on campus. In 2016, David Belcher, who was the school’s chancellor at the time, emailed students after social media posts surfaced comparing Black Lives Matter to a “terrorist group.”
Belcher promoted the value of free speech, but he condemned the characterization as "at odds with our community values of civility and respect.”