UA sorority member expelled over racist social media post; girl’s family claims photo was altered

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) — Chi Omega Sorority officials say a University of Alabama member has been expelled from the school’s chapter for a racially offensive post that was distributed via social media over the weekend.

University of Alabama President Judy Bonner said in a statement that a student made an offensive post to SnapChat Saturday afternoon that prompted an investigation by the Office of Student Conduct.

Image: @Boss_Th0ughts

Image: @Boss_Th0ughts

The post indicated Chi Omega didn’t issue bids to any black women, which was actually incorrect.

Sororities at the University of Alabama held their fall membership recruitment programs over the weekend. The campus was engulfed in controversy last fall following reports that some majority white groups rejected blacks because of their race.

Chi Omega spokeswoman Whitney Plumpton says the women’s fraternity embraces people from all walks of life and the recent group of new pledges included two African-American women and other minorities.

In all, 21 black women and 169 minority women accepted bids to various Panhellenic sororities at UA last week.

UPDATE: Reports from Birmingham media say the girl’s family claims the picture circulating on social media was altered. The family claims the girl typed ‘Chi O got NO ninjas’ but then someone edited the photo to show the racist word instead.

There are other reports circulating online that say the word ‘ninjas’ auto-corrected to the other word. ‘Ninjas’ is a term used for girls the sorority doesn’t want to issue bids to for whatever reason, but do, and they “sneak in” like ninjas.

Additionally, Al.com reports despite rumors the photo was altered, a Chi Omega spokesperson said the original photo, with the racist slur, is real.

24 comments

  • Daniel Horton

    First, I am not defending the racism displayed in this photo and its text in any way. However, temporarily taking that factor out of the equation, disciplining a student over a private message like this is deeply troubling.

    For those unaware, Snapchat is used exclusively for private messaging between known friends. Messages are either sent directly and privately to a friend, or semi-publicly to a set number of previously selected friends. Outside of actionable threats, disciplining someone for something said or sent in complete privacy is dangerously close to a “thought crime.”

    Additionally, this is poor reporting, as it’s been widely circulated that this specific image has been purported to be Photoshopped.

    • B

      I was thinking the same, I don’t personally use Snapchat but I have several friends who do. Its basically a text, but you take a picture and add a few words to sum it up and send it to a friend. What I don’t understand that makes me think even more this maybe photoshopped is after a snapchat is opened, it can only be viewed for a short time (less than a min. I believe) then it disappears and cant be re-opened. But the point being, its a private msg between the sender and whoever they send it to, not like facebook or twitter where everyone and their brother can see it unless specified before posting.

    • Brad

      A “thought crime” is literally a crime. It was a crime for which Big Brother, a totalitarian government, would imprison you.

      Having a private organization (either a school or a sorority) sever its ties with you, because your conduct reveals you to be the sort of person they choose not to be associated with, is in no way, shape, form, or fashion a “thought crime” at all.

      She has the freedom to say “ni**ers”, “ni**as”, or “ninjas” all day long and twice on Sunday… She does not have the right to compel other individuals or organizations to swallow their objections and continue to associate with her in spite of it.

    • RichardHead

      Wow! If her Chi-O “known friends” tossed her under the bus like this, think about what them broads must be like with enemies…you don’t call your fraternity a “frat” because you don’t call your country a…well, you know…apparently, though, you DO call your sorority sister a…well, you know…

    • free, plus tax

      Thanks Daniel. I don’t understand why someone would do these things but, maybe it can help this young girl…

  • Nuclear Mike

    Politically correct is ensuring that racism continues…and the individual’s freedom to express & associate is a fundamental American freedom…just wait blacks when the Hispanics take over the Southwest State governments by their active economic & voting power, then you will re-learn the lesson of what is politically correct.

    • JJ MacCrimmon

      Mike, please crawl back under whatever rock you came out from under. Your comments are incendary and racist. I’m guessing old school KKK perhaps or a retiree who has nothing better to do than make ignorant comments. You apparently have never heard of Photoshop or grammar for that matter.

      • Nuclear Mike

        …throwing out the racist card very time you read something you decide is opposite of your racism is the epitome of true anarchy

    • Brad

      “Politically correct is ensuring that racism continues…and the individual’s freedom to express & associate is a fundamental American freedom”

      Yeah, people would totally stop being racist if people would just let them be racist without complaint.

      You have the freedom to express yourself. You can march down the street all day long, shouting “ni**er! ni**er! ni**er!” to your heart’s content. No one is going to arrest you. No one is going to put you in jail.

      What you can’t do is choose how other people will respond to it. Freedom of speech is not freedom from consequences.

      And freedom of association is what the sorority and the university are exercising by severing their ties with the girl who sent out the dumb*ss snapchat picture.

      • Red

        Mike, it appears that there are a number of people not appreciating your special brand of opinion besides me tonight. But to answer your question… No. That’s not me.

    • Nuclear Mike

      So Red…Bob is actually you as confirmed…being a populist is never a worthy goal…bringing out the exchange is…enjoy even more to come…

  • AM

    Anyone under the age of 30 knows that the word “ninja” is a replacement of the n-word in today’s society. Look at what Justin Timberlake tweeted to Madonna on her birthday and the backlash he is experiencing because of it. ” ninja” or the n-word is not acceptable. And no auto-correct in any electronic device is going to auto correct to that disgusting word. This paragraph I’m writing is popping up suggestions as I write, and never tried to auto-correct the n-word when I typed ninja. That is the dumbest explanation and these parents need to acknowledge that their little racist is in the wrong.

  • Porsche

    Ok, so stop typing in “n-word” since we know what you’re trying to say – that’s racist too! It’s just another way of saying it and we all know that.

    • AM

      You are trying to tell me that by reading the above comment, you have now determined that I am racist? I don’t know what is more disturbing: that you came to the conclusion that I am racist, or that after reading the article and presumably all the comments beneath it, the only thing that you were moved to write is that I am racist. That is your only takeaway. Wow.

  • Ray

    I would sure hope that she actually sent the snapchat that she was disciplined for ie the gga one not nja. If someone had altertered the photo which is possible these days. I have seen some pretty messed up photos that people try to pass off as real. If she actually did it, then she deserves the backlash but if the photo was altered thats another thing..And for those saying ninja is code for the nword that would be one thing but why was it altered to the other word. I dont buy the ninja as code if the photo is altered otherwise why alter it..

    • AM

      Ray, I understand what you are saying; if it’s already implied then why bother to go a step further with an alteration. I would understand if she was hacked in some way, but according to her family the original did say ninja. The context implies she meant something derogatory. I guess it comes down to being responsible when using social media. I believe Brad made good points. I just think that the explanation of “sneaking like ninjas” is a cornball cop out, & if that use of the word was indeed common among sorors, we wouldn’t be reading this article today.

  • Kerry

    My autocorrect does not change the word, “ninjas”, to anything. However, it might if I used another similarly spelled word, such as the one in question, often. If I use any certain words a lot, then it starts replacing typed words with those that I frequently use. Just saying.

    • RichardHead

      So THAT explains why the only three words my autocorrect seems to know are “martini,” “Cohiba” and “pussy.” Just saying.

  • RichardHead

    Um, yeah, so let me get this straight – an exclusionary social group is upset because one of their members sent a private message to others in the group that points out their exclusionary nature and the exclusionary group then decides to exclude that member for having done so. She better be glad she didn’t say anything about Chi-Os and fat chicks…

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