Paige Shoemaker KSU student blackface joke implodes leaving one student expelled and commentators questioning pervasive racism in society.
Paige Shoemaker a pre med Kansas State University student has been kicked out of school after sending a snapchat photo wearing black clay mask with the caption, ‘feels good to finally be a nigger’.
The student’s expulsion came after KSU school administrators notified the woman who would have been a senior this year that she was no longer welcome to the school.
Paige Shoemaker’s marching orders came earlier this week after the social media post began to make the rounds, with Shoemaker’s identity leaked backed to school administrators.
Responded one KSU student, Desmond via twitter handle @JustDesmund: ‘Welcome to Kansas State University. Where breakfast in the morning is some K-State Family with a side of Racism.’
The post would end up being shared more than 16 o00 times to date.
Welcome to Kansas State University. Where breakfast in the morning is some K-State Family with a side of Racism. pic.twitter.com/Vmdkl5g27g
— Des. (@JustDesmund) September 15, 2016
A screengrab of the Snapchat was also posted on the official Facebook page of Kansas State University, where it also went viral. Naturally.
It wasn’t long before our collective hero publicly apologized (do you suppose?) in a post on her Facebook on Thursday, while claiming that her and fellow ‘offender in crime’, Meier were not wearing blackface.
‘We clearly understand that what was said and done was completely disrespectful,’ she wrote.
‘I did want to inform everyone that it was NOT “black face” (sic), but it was a L’Oreal clay facial masks.’
‘We never intended for the picture to offend anyone. We had only meant for it to be taken in a funny way, but we clearly understand that what we said should never be joked around about.’
‘People shouldn’t joke around about such a serious topic like this because it feeds into racism,’ she continued.
‘Ask anyone who knows us, we are the most accepting and least racist people. We know that we will ride up and learn from this mistake.’
‘We will battle everyone for the right to make things right, because we know what we did was wrong.’
Paige Shoemaker also said the picture was simply a ‘joke’ that had been taken ‘way out of proportion’.
Told the ‘joker’ via KSNT: ‘I mean, not that this is a good thing, that word just happens in our friend group,’
‘We know everyone is like calm. We’re a big family. That word doesn’t offend anyone in our group.’
‘And when I sent it out to my friends, I knew that it wouldn’t offend anyone. We did it for our friends as more of a joke.’
What’s the expression? Show me your friends and I’ll show you a window to your soul….
Shoemaker’s apology did little to quelled critics on social media, with critics condemning those who defended her actions as being part of the problem.
Wrote one individual on Facebook: ‘I guess it was just a coincidence the mask was black and you decided to say “feels good to finally be a n***a”‘
While one twitter user wrote: ‘If you’re one of the people who think Paige Shoemaker isn’t racist for her post then you’re just as big of a problem as she is.’
While another KSU student tweeted took a more ‘vigorous’ stance: ‘Delete your account, pack your things and never come back to Kansas State University’.
Tweeted African American social media user, Angela Roberts: ‘I’m sorry, but unless you have stepped into the shoes of an African America, then you wouldn’t understand & that explains why this is seemingly “nothing” to a lot of you guys,’
‘I’m speaking from experience. I’ve had a lot, I mean A LOT of mean, demolishing, and uncalled for comments made to me and about me Bc of the color of my skin.’
‘Whether she is a racist or not, you should NEVER, make a public “joke” diminishing another culture, especially on a sensitive topic,’
‘What she did was wrong, and I have completely lost respect for her as a Former UMKC scholar student and I definitely would NOT want to have her as a doctor.’
KSU and organizations affiliated with Shoemaker were quick to respond to the controversy.
Shoemaker’s former sorority, Zeta Tau Alpha, issued a statement, noting that she had been ‘expelled’ from their organization in the spring of 2015.
‘Her words and actions certainly do not reflect the values and principles of Zeta Tau Alpha,’ a spokeswoman told Complex.
Zeila Wiley, the interim associate provost for diversity, and Pat Bosco, the school’s vice president for student life and dean of students, also released statements.
Wiley wrote in her letter that Shoemaker was ‘not currently enrolled at the university‘ and noted that Meier was ‘not associated with it’ in anyway.
— Carlos X (@CarlosNotWeird) September 16, 2016
Paige Shoemaker Wanted To Be Funny! Now She See The Joke Was On Her! Let This Be An Example To Those Who Believe… https://t.co/VUN3AQxjhY
— Teezy BayyBehh (@teezy_bayybehh) September 17, 2016
The administrator said that the Campus Climate Response Team, which includes the Office of Diversity and Office of Student Life, met immediately after the photo was brought to the school’s attention.
‘This racially offensive photo with a derogatory message has upset the K-State family and is not in concert with our principles of community,‘ she wrote.
‘Such messages on social media are harmful to all.’
Bosco wrote in his letter that he became aware ‘one of our students‘ posted a ‘racially offensive photo…and used one of the most derogatory words in the English language’.
‘This photo has students, faculty, staff and other members of the K-State family upset,‘ he continued.
‘It rightly should, as there is no place for racism at our university, regardless of what the intentions may have been.’
‘K-State prides itself on being one family, no matter your race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation or abilities. All members of the K-State family deserve to be treated with dignity and respect.’
— DestineeNoChilds ♥ (@Je_TaimeDess) September 15, 2016
Good luck with that med. school application #PaigeShoemaker.
— Welansa Asrat, MD (@Dr_Asrat) September 16, 2016
The fact that people are actually defending Paige Shoemaker shows how far behind we still are as a society.
— MK? (@__EatTheCookies) September 16, 2016
If you’re one of the people who thinks Paige Shoemaker isn’t racist for her post then you’re just as big of a problem as she is
— Breahna Karmann (@BreahnaZhane) September 15, 2016