WASHINGTON - A sorority at George Washington University said it has kicked out three of its members after a racist photo posted on social media sparked outrage among the campus community.
The photo reportedly posted on Snapchat on Wednesday night shows a young woman holding a banana peel standing alongside another woman with the caption that says, “Izzy: I’m 1/16 black.” The two women in the photo are members of the Alpha Phi sorority.
The university said Thursday it was investigating the photo and had been in contact with the national chapter of Alpha Phi.
The university’s chapter of Alpha Phi posted on its Facebook page on Friday that the two members in the photo along with a third member who posted the racist image on Snapchat were in the process of having their membership to the sorority terminated. Alpha Phi also apologized for the “offensive and inexcusable behavior.”
GW Alpha Phi wrote:
On January 31, 2018, a member of our chapter posted a racist image on snapchat that contained two other members in our chapter engaged in offensive and inexcusable behavior. We apologize for the delay in posting this response. We recognize that our earlier response, supplied by our National Headquarters, did not reflect the severity of this racist act. We want to take this opportunity to apologize without qualification and take responsibility for the actions of our members.
We are culpable for this action as a group in which a few felt comfortable making a joke that was distinctly racist, ignorant, and harmful. We are in no way trying to contextualize, excuse, or forgive the events that occurred.
We recognize that there are issues within our organization relating to our privilege and lack of diversity, and we are committed to listening to the voices of those who have been harmed by the actions of those individuals and by our actions as a chapter.
The three members in question are in the process of having their membership terminated.
At this time, we have reached out to the Multicultural Student Services Center in an effort to begin the process towards reconciliation and reeducation.
A few weeks ago, an Alpha Phi member at the University of Alabama posted two obscene, racist videos on social media and was expelled from her school.
George Washington University’s Panhellenic Council, which governs fraternities and sororities, also apologized in a statement on Thursday.