Black teen defends getting classmate kicked out of college by sharing video of her using racial slur in 2016
A VIRGINIA student said he had no regrets after posting a video of a classmate using a racial slur, forcing her to withdraw after she was accepted to her dream university.
Jimmy Galligan told The New York Times that he had received a three-second video last year of Mimi Groves, a white classmate, looking into the camera while using the racial slur in 2016.
“I can drive, n*****s,” Groves said in the video.
Groves, who at the time was a 15-year-old freshman at Heritage High School in Leesburg, Virginia, had just received her learner’s permit and was sitting in traffic when she excitedly used the racial slur.
The young girl, now 19, had sent the video to a friend through Snapchat, which was ultimately received by Galligan, who is biracial, through text years later when the two were seniors.
Galligan, 18, reportedly saved the video for a year to post at the most damaging time — when Groves had chosen to attend the University of Tennessee, Knoxville in June.
“I wanted to get her where she would understand the severity of that word,” Galligan told the outlet.
He added: “If I never posted that video, nothing would have ever happened.”
Galligan said he will now always be able to remind himself that he “taught someone a lesson.”
Groves, the varsity cheer captain at her high school, had been accepted to the university’s cheer team – the reigning national champion – in May.
But weeks later, Groves was shocked when — amid the George Floyd protests – she received backlash after urging friends on Instagram to “protest, donate, sign a petition, rally, and do something’ to support Black Lives Matter.
Someone, who Groves did not know, reportedly responded: “You have the audacity to post this, after saying the N-word.”
Galligan had posted the video online just four hours previously and it was quickly spread through social media sites including TikTok and Twitter, with demands to see the university revoke her admission.
Groves said that, at the time, she “didn’t understand the severity of the word, or the history and context behind it.
“I was so young,” Groves said in a recent interview, the outlet reported.
Groves added that the slur was in “all the songs we listened to, and I’m not using that as an excuse.”
She said that her entire family has struggled with public shaming for a three-second clip made when she was just 15 years old.
“It honestly disgusts me that those words would come out of my mouth,” Mimi Groves said of her video. “How can you convince somebody that has never met you and the only thing they’ve ever seen of you is that three-second clip?”
The University of Tennessee had announced that her placement on the cheerleading team had been revoked in a Twitter thread in June, and that as a result she would not be attending the school.
“The University of Tennessee has received several reports of racist remarks and actions on social media by past, present, and future members of our community,” the school tweeted.
“The university takes seriously our commitment to fostering a Volunteer community that values equity, inclusion, and that promotes respect for all people. We have a responsibility to support our black students and create a place where all Vols feel safe.”
The statement continued: “On Wednesday, following a racist video and photo surfacing on social media, Athletics made the decision not to allow a prospective student to join the Spirit Program. She will not be attending the university this fall.”
Galligan is now enrolled in his freshman year at Vanguard University in California while Groves lives at home, taking online classes at a nearby community college – surrounded by her cheer trophies and medals.
“I’ve learned how quickly social media can take something they know very little about, twist the truth and potentially ruin somebody’s life,” she said.
One of Ms. Groves’s friends, who is Black, said Ms. Groves had personally apologized for the video long before it went viral.
A friend of Groves, who is black, told The New York Times that the cheerleader had apologized for the video well before it went viral online – and that she had defended her friend once it had been posted.
“We’re supposed to educate people not ruin their lives all because you want to feel a sense of empowerment,” the friend wrote in a Snapchat post, according to the outlet.
Source: Read Full Article