Opening Lecture at Interregnum Scarred by Racist Memes
Former professor Dr. David Corbin spoke to students about the tensions of order and chaos, and the necessity of unity and meekness at Interregnum XV’s opening lecture.
As Corbin delivered his address, arguing that togetherness is central to the cultivation of order, a student—under the guise of an account named tkc.edu— airdropped divisive memes to several cell phones.
In a quick response to these events, President Tim Gibson addressed an email to the entire student body announcing that racist messages will not be tolerated and will be investigated by the college.
“Racial or ethnic slurs, personal insults, and abusive language have no place in our online or in-person conversations.” Gibson wrote.
Sha Sanders, a King’s sophomore and member of the Table, found out about this when her friends shared in their group chat what they had received. She thinks this outburst was symptomatic of a more systemic issue.
“I was honestly mad, but not surprised. The memes sent were just the tip of the iceberg for subliminal racism that runs rampant through King’s,” Sanders said.
Several students reported receiving images of this variety. Derogatory jokes, centered around racial, sexist, and anti-LGBTQ slurs, circulated through the audience.
Holly Thomas, a King’s senior, received a meme, which made fun of the increased suicide risk amongst transgender individuals.
“These are disgusting,” Thomas said.
In his email, Gibson condemned the behavior, and asked for any information which might help identify the offender.
“Let me state clearly that this was not in any way humourous, cute, or harmless. It was foolish, derogatory, insulting, and disrespectful.” Gibson wrote. “This behavior and this content has no place at The King's College.”
While she admires Gibsons’ willingness to speak out, Sanders remains skeptical of the email’s effectiveness.
“I respect Gibson for standing up and saying enough is enough. But, sadly, I don’t think it will change anything” Sanders said. “Ask virtually any black student at King’s, racism runs rampant….Peoples’ mindsets won’t be changed by an email.”