She said something she shouldn't have at age 15. Years later, classmate taught her 'a lesson'
A high school student held onto a video of a classmate saying a racial slur when she was just 15-years-old, using it several years later to remove her from the University of Tennessee.
The New York Times’s glorification of the event sparked outrage online.
A high school student held on to a video recording of a classmate saying a racial slur on the social media platform Snapchat when she was just 15-years-old, using the footage years later to remove her from the University of Tennessee-Knoxville.
In June, Jimmy Galligan of Leesburg, Virginia, publicly released a three-second video of high school classmate Mimi Groves saying a racial slur. The video — sent privately to a friend over Snapchat years ago — came into Galligan’s hands in 2019.
He waited until Groves was admitted to the University of Tennessee before publicly releasing the video. The footage depicts Groves telling her friend “I can drive,” followed by the n-word. She had just obtained her driving learner’s permit.
After Galligan — who is biracial — released the video, social media users began contacting the University of Tennessee to demand that it revoke Groves’ offer of admission.
In June, the university barred Groves from participating in the school’s cheer team and announced that she would not attend the university. The New York Times reported that Groves experienced pressure from admissions officials to withdraw.
On Wednesday, following a racist video and photo surfacing on social media, Athletics made the decision not to allow a prospective student to join the Spirit Program. She will not be attending the university this fall. (3/4)
— UT Knoxville (@UTKnoxville) June 4, 2020
Galligan told the New York Times that he had no regrets: “I’m going to remind myself, you started something… you taught someone a lesson." Groves now studies at a local community college, and Galligan attends Vanguard University in California.
University of Tennessee-Knoxville spokesman Owen Driskill told Campus Reform that the university “received information in June about a video and captioned image and began to review the situation with Ms. Groves and her family.” Groves voluntarily “withdrew her acceptance of the university’s offer of admission on June 4, 2020.”
The incident — as well as the New York Times’ recent account of the story — sparked outrage on social media.
American Enterprise Institute resident scholar Christina Hoff Sommers called the incident “malice posing as social justice.”
She was 15. In a 3-second Snapchat video, imitating a rapper, she said, “I can drive, ‘n-word.’” This June, 4 years later, someone posted it. Twitter mob demanded vengeance. U of Tennessee @UTKnoxville & @nytimes side with the mob. Malice posing as social justice. Thread ⬇️ https://t.co/mjQ32W8Hpv
— Christina Sommers (@CHSommers) December 27, 2020
James Lindsay, the founder of New Discourses, announced on Twitter that he had received an offer from a university president for a full-tuition scholarship for Groves.
I have had a university president offer a full-tuition scholarship to Mimi Groves, since @UTKnoxville doesn't want her. I would like to encourage other schools to step up to show that we refuse to condone incentivize the malicious behavior ruling our age. DM me with inquiries.
— James Lindsay, troll king with a troll army (@ConceptualJames) December 28, 2020
Campus Reform reached out to Groves and the University of Tennessee for comment; this article will be updated accordingly.
Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @BenZeisloft