Black students and student activists have been calling out Michigan State University for refusing to discipline a white student who used hate-filled racial slurs and insults to the developmentally challenged on social media.
Sophomore Jillian Kirk allegedly wrote social media posts such as “GOD BLESS AMERICA, F–K THE BLACKS!” and “F–k n—rs I’m so over it,” as reported by the New York Post. Additionally, she wrote posts about how she “used to bully retards,” and made other similar insensitive comments.
As the voices of students calling for her expulsion rises, Kirk has released a statement apologizing for her despicable behavior and hurtful words, according to the college culture website, The Tab.
“I apologize for the inappropriate social media posts I made,” reads the statement sent to the publication via email. “Nothing was meant to cause pain to anyone, but I realize what was in those posts is hurtful and disrespectful.”
“What was said in these posts is not how I feel, but I know I need to learn how to be more inclusive and respectful to diversity of people and diversity of thought,” she continued. “It is my goal to work on my behaviors. The recent events have shown me how insensitive I was. Again, I want to apologize for my actions and to those I have hurt.”
The post that exposed Kirk’s behaviors was written by freshman Miyanna Fowlkes. It reads “Let’s play a game… it’s called ‘How many retweets does this girl need before MSU kicks her out,” while including the school’s official twitter handle.
— Abuela (@Juylianafowlkes) March 27, 2018
Since then the post, published on March 27, has been retweeted over 48,000 times.
Prior to the viral story, students brought the issue to school officials, who responded with this statement:
“One of MSU’s core values is inclusion, to have a campus environment that fosters free speech and the sharing of ideas and beliefs,” it read. “However, we do not condone racial harassment or bullying. The university is aware of the recent social media posts connected to an MSU student. As a public institution, we do not get to control what every member of our community says. What was said is clearly not aligned with our Spartan values. We are addressing this situation through multiple channels, and we are using it as an opportunity to keep a conversation about race and inclusion ongoing.”
Fowlkes took matters into her own hands and tried to bring attention to the issue by sharing Kirk’s nasty tweets. She says she is upset that the school won’t take the issue more seriously.
“I just don’t believe people like her should be allowed the privilege of becoming successful and be in a position of power,” Fowlkes told The Post. “Also MSU is legally allowed to kick her out but they chose not to.”
Fowlkes commented on Kirk’s statement to The Tab, stating her dissatisfaction: ”it’s clear this girl wasn’t raised to respect herself or others.”
“Actions like this without consequences are unacceptable because people begin to realize nothing will happen to them,” said Fowlkes the day prior. “I think everyone who said something hateful should receive some [type of] consequence — if not MSU is falling complacent to racism.”
Fowlkes has also been the target of social media bullying following her stand against Kirk, receiving racist threats and messages since her tweet went viral. Anonymous persons have called her a “chimpanzee,” who belongs in the “jungle,” as well as “retarded” along with other hateful messages.
Kirk’s social media accounts have since been deleted. Fowlkes said she plans to keep pressuring the school to act.