The video, which first hit YouTube, features two giddy, young Caucasian women with what appears to be black makeup on both of their faces. Though YouTube has removed the inflammatory video from its site due to a violation of its policy against hateful speech, the far less restrictive site, www.worldstarhiphop.com still has the video up for viewing. To date, the video on that site has received more than 450,000 views. In the description on World-Star, it identifies the women as being students of the University of Minnesota. It has since come to light that the women are students of the University of Minnesota – Duluth.
The disturbing video starts out with the two women identifying themselves being from the 421 and 612 area codes. Four-two-one is not a recognized United States area code but the country code for dialing Slovakia, an eastern European nation formerly under the Communist rule of the fallen Soviet Union. Six-one-two is the area code for the Minneapolis metropolitan area. One of the women makes a claim of being from Brooklyn, N.Y., but the other jumped in to say Brooklyn Center.
“We are true Negros, we come from the Black hood,” said one of the women while laughing. The young woman goes on to say she needed some fried chicken, to which the other woman began laughing hysterically.
In the outrageous video, the women go on to protrude their lips and mockingly discuss how big their lips were.
“I will wrap my lips around yo’ (sic) lips and suck yo’ (sic) face,” said one of the women speaking in a stereotypical tone.
More disturbingly, the young women, identified by the U of M – Duluth student newspaper as Rachel Cooper and Jessica Heid, use the N-word 16 times during the four-minute and 56 second clip. In a somewhat inaudible portion of the video, the women begin discussing their diamond earrings and one of the women alluded to her presumably fictitious boyfriend of African descent making her jewelry in Africa. During one portion of the video, which appears as if it was filmed in a campus dorm room, the two joked that they, “look like apes.”
“Planet of the Apes,” said one of the women. The other woman then said, “Planet of the Negros.”
In a further insult, the pair disparaged civil rights luminary, the late Rosa Parks, by calling the pioneer the B-word, using it as a supposed term of endearment. The clip abruptly ends with one of the women saying, “You (expletive) slaved our asses, we’re gonna [sic] (expletive) slave your asses.”
Though U of M – Duluth Chancellor Lendley Black – nor any other university officials – would acknowledge the two women are students at the school, citing student privacy laws, Black did issue a statement to students, faculty and staff.
In the statement, emailed on Nov. 15, Black said, “A video with unfortunate racist content has been brought to the attention of the University of Minnesota Duluth administration. We have seen the video; we abhor it. This is unacceptable behavior for anyone, and we at UMD are extremely unhappy to be associated with it in any way.”
In the email, Black continued, “We take appropriate action in instances like this, but information about individual students is private, and UMD cannot share any information about any particular student. However, we can affirm our disapproval of the video, and reaffirm our goal of providing an environment where students live, study, and learn from and about each other in an inclusive and supportive way. We hope that out of this distressing incident will at least come some broader understanding and personal growth.”
Duluth is no stranger to racial hostility. Just a few weeks prior, an effigy of Barack Obama was hung from a highly visible electronic billboard. This was the third such reported incident within the past couple of months.