Freshman Admits to Using Racial Slur in Online Video


Lillian Johnson

Late in the evening of Friday, Jan. 19, campus bias-reporting systems were notified of a video on social media that had begun to quickly circulate around the Wake Forest community. In the video, freshman Kara Nelson admitted to being drunk and to calling her resident adviser a racial slur.

The original video had been posted to the girl’s fake Instagram, more commonly known as a “finsta.” A fake Instagram account is a private account where one can post things that are not as serious as what one would post on their real Instagram account. Another main component of a “finsta” is that the person only allows a select group to follow them, such as their closest friends.

The video was then recorded and posted to Twitter by another Wake Forest student with the comment, “The trend of saying the n-word on finstas is so strong at PWI’s [primarily white institutions]. But racism is dead?” The user tagged the official Wake Forest Twitter account in her tweet.

The tweet quickly gained attention. As of 11:30 a.m. on Jan. 21, the original tweet had 285 retweets and 260 likes. Many people have responded to the tweet, saying how unacceptable it is and tagging the Wake Forest Twitter in a call for action.

On Saturday morning, a campus-wide email was sent out by Penny Rue, the Vice President of Campus Life.

According to Rue, the Campus Life staff were alerted of the video, which she called “deeply troubling,” through the university’s bias-reporting system. She said they were engaged in discussions with individuals in order to gather details on the incident.

On Twitter, the official Wake Forest account has responded to the many individuals who have tagged them in tweets about the video by saying, “We are taking this matter seriously and conducting a thorough investigation.”

This incident has quickly followed a similar incident at the University of Alabama, where a female student was expelled for posting videos to social media profusely using the n-word.

In her email, Rue stated how this incident has caused a great amount of concern and anger in the Wake Forest community. She also cited that the university is conducting an investigation and is taking the incident seriously.

“Racist and discriminatory behaviors are not tolerated at Wake Forest,” Rue said.