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Once again, protesters gathered June 3 in downtown Bloomington to protest in honor of George Floyd. Taylor Stirsman and Alyssa Halliday held up their flag to support the protest.

Editors Note: The photos originally included in this story have been removed, as they contain the likeness and social media handles of minors not charged with a crime.  

The Executive Committee of the Bloomington-Normal Branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People released a statement in response to multiple white high school students in the area publishing racist posts on their social media accounts, including Facebook, TikTok, Snapchat and Instagram. 

Many of the photos and videos provided in the statement as evidence included multiple uses of blackface and the N-word.

One video shows two teenagers sitting in a car as others not pictured chant the N-word. Another photo, taken via Snapchat, show a girl's face along with a caption containing the N-word. Another Snapchat picture is of a girl wearing a black skincare facemask with the caption "I look like you now."

The branch stated that it “is shocked, appalled and disgusted” with the students who shared these posts on their accounts.

According to the statement, the committee believes that “the postings are inexcusable and further dismantles the theory that blatant and systemic racism does not exist.”

“The young people involved in these awful actions are simply abysmal, especially as the entire world is addressing recent racial strife,” Bloomington-Normal NAACP President Linda Foster said. 

“I am convinced that racism is a learned behavior, and we are here to call it out, as the students and parents must be held completely accountable.”

In response to the posts and events in the area, the Normal West Black Student Union is sponsoring a march at 5 p.m. Monday at Normal West High School.

The branch stated that it supports the march, stating “administrators, students, parents and community members must be held accountable towards ending racism and discrimination.”

The local police chiefs and the McLean County Sheriff were made aware of the matter as parents became concerned and the actions and posts caused trauma to many students. 

“The White students’ horrendous actions demonstrate the need to make an all-out concerted effort to eliminate this racism in our community,” NAACP Second Vice President Willie Holton Halbert said. 

Hundreds of Bloomington-Normal high school alumni are outraged in addition to current students and parents.

As a result, the alumni created a letter criticizing the Facebook, TikTok, Snapchat and Instagram pictures and videos. 

NAACP State Secretary and Bloomington-Normal NAACP First Vice-President, Dr. Carla Campbell-Jackson highlighted that multiple parents and students reached out to her, expressing their outrage on the incident. 

“Our constituents are rightfully infuriated and exasperated by the racist verbiage, videos and photographs,” Campbell-Jackson said.

“For those who proclaim that racism and discrimination are outdated myths, the involved students make it crystal clear that African Americans are not living in a post-racial society.”

KELLIE FOY is News Editor for The Vidette. She can be contacted at vidette_kafoy1@ilstu.edu  Follow her on Twitter at @kellie_foy 


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