Some sorority sisters at the University of New Hampshire are being investigated after a video showing them singing along to a Kanye West song containing the N-word was posted on social media.
The Snapchat video shows the members of Alpha Phi Sorority dancing at a party and singing the N-word as part of the lyrics to the song. It prompted other students to condemn the sorority’s “ignorant and insensitive” behavior.
The critique was posted Tuesday on an anti-racism student Facebook group called “All Eyes on UNH.”
“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.”
Social media users rushed to criticize the sorority, claiming it perpetuates racism.
“If you know the lyrics so well, then you should know when the word is coming up and literally shut your mouth,” UNH student Sofia Ford commented under the video on Facebook.
“Not a word for us (white people) to use under any circumstances. It’s ignorant and insensitive. Literally, the N-word should never leave your mouth. If you are white and think this is OK, then you have some serious growing up to do. Buy a dictionary and look up the term ‘institutionalized racism,’ and then come and defend this behavior.”
“Hey white people, literally just don't broadcast you and your clan of Beckys saying the N-word and you'll be fine,” seconded Maggie Lowe. “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.’”
Other students, however, defended the sorority members, suggesting they meant no harm and were just singing along with a popular song played at a party.
UNH student Gabby Razz said: “These girls clearly were not intentionally trying to degrade people of color because of one word sung. They're college girls having fun celebrating their new members of the sorority.”
“Maybe these girls are just being normal people singing along to a song. These girls aren't racist and people up in arms over this are authoritarian p----s who hate free speech,” seconded self-described “UNH alumni” Eric Hadley.
A UNH spokeswoman told NH1 Wednesday that the college was investigating the video and the sorority.
“No disciplinary action has yet been taken by the university. The incident is under review,” spokeswoman Erika Mantz told the outlet.
“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.
"We continue to work to improve our campus culture through education, awareness and action."