Two students from Washington University received backlash for putting liquid face masks and uploading their photo with a questionable caption.
On Friday night, one of the students shared the photo on her Snapchat story, backed by a description: “We’re in the Zulu tribe.”
Then, a friend shared a screenshot of the photo to Morgan Bryant, a black student from the same university, who reacted the following day:
“There’s always something. I’ll start by saying this: I don’t want dialogue. I don’t want another resource center. I don’t want a summer reading book about anti-Blackness and racism neatly scribed into a series of poems. That’s not how Anti-Blackness/Racism/Misogynoir will be annihilated.
“[People of Color] Solidarity is nothing but another method of overworking Black bodies and having us do all of the footwork while everyone else cowers behinds us and continues to abuse us.
“Anti-Blackness in the Asian community is just as violent and just as disgusting as it is coming from anyone else. These students attend my university and I’m expected to fight for them, too.”
For those who may not know, the Zulu tribe is among Africa’s most popular tribes, having played important parts in the continent’s history. They are the largest ethnic group in South Africa with a population of 10 to 11 million, Buzz South Africa wrote.
The Zulus, known to be very warm people, use a language characterized by respect terms. They practice animal sacrifice.
According to Student Life, one of the students photographed also shared Morgan’s post, with an additional apology:
“Last night we were putting face masks on our faces, and we simply thought the shapes and patterns resembled tribal art. We know we were being very ignorant and inconsiderate, and we would really like to apologize for our immaturity.”
But sorry came a little too late. As of this writing, the post had 427 reactions, 262 shares and 57 comments. Some of them read:
“They’re going to give you tears, excuses and shallow understanding. Don’t labor for them. This is the time when someone from their community steps in and explains to them where and how they fucked up.”
“I know this beauty technique, I do this beauty technique. It’s called multi-masking. As harmless as that activity is the caption is not. It’s insensitive and down right ignorant. Be mindful of what you put out in the world for people to see and read. No matter how much you ‘didn’t mean it like that’ it’s still a poor decision that put you in a shitty light.”
“We don’t negotiate with terrorists or those who didn’t expect to be caught. May the wrath of our maternal ancestors determine the consequences of this action.”