A student at Sweet Briar College in Virginia who confessed to putting up racist segregation signs says her intention was to show that “the past is a part of us.”
School officials said last week that labels with the words “White Only” and “Colored” where placed on doors and a water cooler in a dorm, The News Advance reported.
“For someone who grew up in the deeply segregated South, those words recall to me a world of racial discrimination, disregard for human dignity, and institutionalized prejudice,” SBC interim President James Jones Jr. remarked at the time.
Jones said in an update on Saturday that a student claiming responsibility for the bigoted labels sent him an anonymous email, in which she apologized. The student claimed the incident was a misguided attempt to expose people to America’s troubled history of racism.
“While posting these extremely hurtful labels, I had one thing in mind,” the email stated. “My mission was to show others that words can still have an extreme impact, and the past still resonates with us all. While moving forward, we can never really shake the past. The past is a part of us and we are a part of the past. While they did not necessarily know this before, we are all equal and nobody deserves to be treated unfairly. I was trying to make a point, but the point ended up “making me”…now everyone has ideas on what type of person that I am. I am none of these things….I am myself, I am caring and kind. I am the last person who would ever intentionally hurt someone else, but most of all, I am sorry!”
Jones encouraged the student to report herself to a member of the College’s administration, and said an investigation would continue.
“When one has been in presidential harness as long as I (this starts my nineteenth year at three very different liberal arts colleges), one knows that these sorts of acts, whereas perhaps well intentioned, have occurred at other colleges and universities, but in each case, these sorts of acts cause unforeseen consequences to come to the fore in a moment’s time. What has occurred on our College campus since Thursday morning points directly to the fact that sometimes our actions and words, no matter how well intentioned, backfire unexpectedly and inflict pain, hurt, and suffering upon others around us.”
[Adorable five year old African American Girl drinking from water fountain via Shutterstock.com]