Indiana State University denounces student’s racist TikTok about Beyoncé

(The Hill) — After a student’s racist TikTok video about Beyoncé and her new album went viral, the school released a message denouncing it.

“Racism, hate speech, and discrimination of any kind is deplorable and in direct contradiction of Indiana State’s mission, vision and values,” University President Deborah Curtis said in a statement Thursday. “The student’s comments in the video in no way represent the ideals and goals of Indiana State University.

Students on campus held a protest Monday over the administration’s response. They demanded repercussions for her behavior, a statement denouncing the video, a zero-tolerance policy regarding hate speech and amendments to the university’s Code of Conduct, the Indy Star reported.

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The student posted a video online about "Cowboy Carter," the singer's latest album, which pulls inspiration from Beyoncé's Texas roots.

“I’m sorry, but if you’re Black, you’re not country,” The student said in a TikTok video recirculating online. “I don’t care.”

“I know you were raised in the country, or your grandparents were, I guess…but they was picking,” she continued. “They wasn’t planting. Just keep that in mind. They wasn’t making money, they was getting sold for money.”  

Curtis said upon learning that an Indiana State student posted the video, she worked to identify who it was and communicate “directly with student leaders, and strategies how to prioritize student well-being and safety.”

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“This video impacts the entire campus community, but it deeply affects students from marginalized groups,” Curtis’ statement said. “Make no mistake – we hear you. We see you. We support you. We have been and will continue to work for you.”

The student was not named in the school’s statement, but Curtis said the university is aware of the “rampant misinformation spreading online” and said under federal law, “the privacy of students, due process, and actions taken by the university and its employees cannot be shared.”

“As the semester ends, please know that your well-being and academic success as a student are of the utmost importance to us,” Curtis said.

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