FARGO — A photo of four white women in blackface, said to be students at North Dakota State University, is circulating online after it surfaced on Twitter on Thursday.
The photo was originally shared on Snapchat, then posted on Twitter by a black NDSU student, saying the four women in the photo also attend NDSU.
The black student said in a Twitter message that she was surprised when she first saw the photo, which a friend sent her. Yet she was also “not surprised because stuff like that goes viral on the internet all the time and it’s just a matter of addressing the issue and educating people on why it’s problematic to do such a thing.”
The white student who shared the photo on Snapchat and who also appears in the photo responded publicly to the black student on Twitter on Thursday.
“It was not our intention for this photo to slander anyone in anyway. It was immature of us to write the caption we did. We were applying facemasks and completely disregarded the impact our words would make,” the white student wrote.
When asked about the photo and how NDSU may respond, university spokeswoman Sadie Rudolph said in an email that the photo “hasn’t been brought forward to the University.”
Last September a Snapchat photo of University of North Dakota students in blackface, with the caption “Black lives matter,” caught national attention.
UND investigated the two incidents, but President Mark Kennedy said the photos were not in violation of the UND Code of Student Life and though appalling are protected under free speech.