WAYNE — A student at William Paterson University who was seen using offensive language on a social media post has taken to the internet to apologize.

Sort of.

In a post on her Instagram account, Jasmine Barkley said she is "not a racist" and that she believes in "equality and respect among all" despite having posted a video that used a slur against black people.

Then she criticizes black people for using the slur.

In the original 20-second video, Barkley asks if it's offensive if she uses "n****r" while a second girl can be seen singing along to music, then uses the word several times in her own song. The other girl ends the video by saying that anyone she has offended by her use of the word can "suck my d***."

In her most recent post, Barkley said the video has been "misconstrued in many ways across the media."

"I admit that the place and context of how I presented my question was insensitive," she said. "I am deeply sorry to those that have been offended from what was happening in the video."

While she apologized, Barkley said the video was in response to her being upset at a friend being "harassed" for singing the lyrics to the song "Freaky Friday" by Lil Dicky featuring Chris Brown.

"I never attacked a specific person or group. I was simply questioning why one race has more rights to freedom of speech than another," she said. "There is no moral justification stating that I am not allowed to sing lyrics sung by a different race. The black race has been fighting against segregation for a long time, yet the divide of who can use the n-word only creates more segregation."

Barkley said in her time at the school she has worked toward "making positive strides in equality," and that her "hope is that people realize this was not a malicious act but just a response to feeling ridiculed and unequal pertaining to this issue."

Following the uproar over the video, Barkley's sorority Delta Phi Epsilon announced it was "in the process of disaffiliating the woman in the video." Nicole DeFemeo, international executive director for the sorority, confirmed that action to the school newspaper The Beacon.

"We have a no tolerance policy for hazing, racism, anything that is derogatory in nature," she told the paper. "There's just no room-even for micro-aggression-in our organization."

An earlier article in The Beacon noted that Barkley had been elected vice president of the Greek Senate just days before the video went viral.

A statement from President Kathleen Waldron on Tuesday night noted that "the language of the student has been strongly condemned by many people in our community and has generated a larger discussion throughout our campus."

"I find the language that has been used abhorrent and racist. It is with deep regret that I see any student at our university exhibiting such vulgar and racist behavior," Waldron said. "This does not represent our values, our culture, or how we hope students will conduct themselves."

While Waldron said a review by the school determined Barkley did not violate the Student Code of Conduct, she did note that Barkley is "no longer affiliated with any student organization at the University."

The school president also announced that a Town Hall forum will be held at the Student Center on Friday afternoon "to discuss campus climate and how our community is responding to this incident."

 

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