A white student at a historically Black university in Texas caught heat on social media when an image surfaced of her in blackface. The Prairie View A&M University student, whom Twitter identified as Brooke Merino, posted the selfie on Snapchat. It has since gone viral.
A school spokesperson confirmed to KPRC2 that Merino is a soccer player at PVAMU and is enrolled as a freshman. Merino deleted the racist selfie from Snapchat. She also deactivated her Twitter account after PVAMU students recognized her.
However, users captured the image before Merino removed it. It showed her lying against a cushion with Black tape on her face.
“When you just tryna fit in at your hbcu,” Merino wrote in the caption.
A PVAMU representative told Fusion the Office Of Student Conduct asked to speak to Merino and the university was investigating the photo. In response to the image, many Twitter users condemned Brooke.
Proudly Black said racism on campus was “pure stupidity.”
There will be no form of racism accepted on Prairie View A&M University's campus. That's pure stupidity.
— idk yall. (@theepony_) September 29, 2016
Jack Freeman sarcastically challenged PVAMU students to make Merino “feel welcome.”
Meanwhile, Janisha Kirby announced she was creating a petition against Merino.
Typing up a petition of why she doesn't belong at the best HBCU, Prairie View A&M University. https://t.co/6HVr2M9qh3
— Kirbside Assistance (@LaShayListens_) September 29, 2016
But @De_Lowe – an alum of the school – didn’t think Merino needed expulsion. Instead, he saw it as a “very teachable moment.”
My thoughts: this is a very teachable moment… expel her?? No, just allow her the opportunity to understand the depth of blackface #PVAMU
— The Great Gorilla M’Baku (@De_Lowe) September 29, 2016
The HBCU’s President, George C. Wright, acknowledged the hurt brought on by the blackface selfie in a statement on the school’s Facebook page.
“As a scholar of race relations in the United States and president of Prairie View A&M University, whose alumni, students, and many supporters have experienced firsthand racial insults in the form of words, caricatures and a wide range of other actions, I know clearly the hurt and harm that can be done from intentional and unintentional acts of this nature,” he said in part.
“Let me be clear that, whether intentional or unintentional, the actions have the same impact, and as a community, we denounce any racial slight whenever it occurs.”