A former Kansas State University student is facing backlash after a photo surfaced of her and a friend using facial masks as blackface.
Current Kansas State University student Desmund Weathers posted the offensive Snapchat photo to his Twitter account. It depicted two young white women wearing clay facial masks, making a hand sign and captioned, “Feels good to finally be a [n-word.]”
The image has been retweeted thousands of times and has generated a great deal of controversy.
According to a Facebook post, Paige Shoemaker and Sadie Meier were the two women in the photo. Shoemaker told The Kansas City Star that she posted the photo Tuesday night, and it was meant to be a joke. Shoemaker posted an apology on her Facebook page, insisting that the pair were only wearing facial masks and did not paint their faces black. She said, “Ask anyone who knows us, we are the most accepting and least racist people.”
School officials confirmed that neither of the women in the photo is currently a student. One of the women depicted in the photo had attended Kansas State as recently as the spring 2016 semester. Shoemaker was expelled from a KSU sorority in 2015, but the reasons for the expulsion were not provided, according to The Kansas City Star.
The university quickly responded to the controversy:
“This photo has students, faculty, staff and other members of the K-State family upset. It rightly should, as there is no place for racism at our university, regardless of what the intentions may have been,” he continued. “This racially offensive photo with a derogatory message has upset the K-State family and is not in concert with our principles of community. Such messages on social media are harmful to all,” she said.