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FSU responds after student's racist post goes viral



This is not the kind of national attention Florida State University wants.

The internet is ablaze after a racially tinged post from a student's social media account went viral. Under the name Mandy Thurston, someone posted a picture of several African-American students attending FSU's Market Wednesday event with a caption referencing nearby Florida A&M University, a historically black institution.

"Welcome to FAMU...I mean FSU #monkeyseverywhere #FSU #MarketWednesday," it said. The term "monkey" is considered a racist and derogatory stereotype of black people.

The post initially appeared on Thurston's Vine, a social media site used to publish short videos, but was also published on Twitter, where it drew an even larger audience.

The caption not only angered students at FSU and FAMU when it made the rounds Wednesday evening, but people far away from Tallahassee also took notice.

In response, FSU's vice president for student affairs Mary Coburn and student body president Rosie Contreras issued a joint statement, according to the Tallahassee Democrat newspaper.

“Florida State has zero tolerance for racist speech, no matter which medium is used to communicate the message,” they said. “Please be assured that the University is investigating this situation and will take appropriate action within University policy.”

The school's student leaders pledged to address the issue during the upcoming Civility Week, and Coburn also apologized to FAMU administrators.

A reporter from the Democrat says Thurston told police that someone gained access to her accounts without her consent and she was not behind the racist post; the school's police department is now investigating. She has since deactivated all her social media sites.

[Last modified: Friday, September 6, 2013 3:37pm]


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