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Another racially charged Snapchat at UND, which the school calls ‘inexcusable’

University of North Dakota’s president is “appalled” after another racially charged photo was posted to Snapchat this week.

The most recent image, which has been shared widely on social media, shows four people wearing what appear to be black facial masks. The caption on the image reads: “Black Lives Matter.”

Amina Chinnell-Mateen posted a screenshot of the Snapchat to Facebook Wednesday, with a message saying “the very act of taking something so many people use and putting ‘Black Lives Matter’ to mock us is racism.”

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(Photo: Amina Chinnell-Mateen, Facebook)

This Snapchat comes not long after another image that’s being called racist was posted to the photo-sharing app. The image shows three people wearing UND apparel, with the caption “locked the black bitch out.”

This has students calling for change from the university, and WDAY is reporting some students are planning a peaceful protest in response to the images (details are expected to be announced later).

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(Photo: Etonde Maloke, Facebook)

‘It is inexcusable’

UND’s president has responded. In a statement on the university’s Facebook page Thursday, Mark Kennedy said he is “appalled that within 48 hours two photos with racially charged messages” have been shared. He added:

“It is abundantly clear that we have much work to do at the University of North Dakota in educating our students, and the entire University community on issues related to diversity, inclusion, and respect for others. …

“… I have been disappointed to learn that we have people in our university community who don’t know that the kind of behavior and messaging demonstrated in these two photos is not OK, and that, in fact, it is inexcusable.”

An investigation is underway

The UND Police Department and the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities are investigating the two photos. They’re moving as fast as they can, with Kennedy saying he understands that “we all would like a swift resolution,” but the university must follow due process.

Kennedy says he has also directed his team to look into the best practices for diversity education and to bring it to reality at UND.

UND’s demographics

UND’s student body is primarily white – 78 percent, the university’s race and ethnicity data shows. That’s about in line with the U.S. population, according to U.S. Census figures.

And 2.45 percent of students says they’re black/non-Hispanic Americans, with another 2.95 percent listing themselves as two or more races.

In addition, 6 percent of students consider themselves “non-resident or alien.”

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