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Covering Bigotry on Campus
By Rachele Kanigel
San Francisco State University
Last summer, before they even met, two roommates at Georgia Southern University introduced themselves and started chatting over text. It all seemed friendly until one young woman, who is White*, inadvertently wrote this to her soon-to-be roommate, who is Black:
Her insta looks pretty normal not too nig—ish.
The message was intended for a third roommate who was assigned to share the room with them. Mortified, the woman who sent the text immediately apologized.
“OMG I am so sorry! Holy crap,” she wrote. “I did NOT mean to say that. … I meant to say triggerish meaning like you seemed really cool nothing that triggered a red flag. I’m so embarrassed I apologize.”
But the apology didn’t stop the text conversation from going viral. Before long screenshots of the exchange were all over social media.
Matthew Enfinger, editor-in-chief of The George-Anne, the student newspaper at Georgia Southern University, recognized the incident as a news story, but also as an opportunity to delve into the deeper issues it represented.