The University of Arkansas has scheduled a town hall meeting tonight with top campus officials as a response to a student’s recent blackface photo on Snapchat.
According to an article in The Traveler, the Feb. 24 photo showed a freshman in a dark face mask with the caption, “I hope this offends someone,” and a “Wakanda Forever” filter from the newly-released “Black Panther” film.
The town hall will be from 7 to 9 p.m. at Hillside Auditorium and include Chancellor Joseph Steinmetz among other administration and student leaders. Brendan Cook, president of the Black Students Association, will moderate. From a UA release:
“Many of us believe this situation is something we cannot tolerate here on our campus,” said Cook, referring to the social media post of the student in black face makeup. “The question then is ‘what do we do now?’ The purpose of this town hall is to help resolve tension by establishing effective communication between students and the administration. Our goal is to strengthen the relationships between us as a Razorback family. This may also be an opportunity for students to voice their experiences on campus, experiences that many may be unfamiliar with.”
The Traveler interviewed the student after the controversy erupted. He said he regretted posting the photo, but also said in a Facebook post that the response was not justified.
“Offense is taken, not given, and I did nothing illegal. The threats I’ve received for assault and alluding to my death, however, are very illegal. I am willing to make a public apology to attempt reprimanding the situation. But I am in no way responsible for how people interpret me or my actions. That’s all up to them.”
The student said he believed he was being cyberbullied.