Harley Barber, a University of Alabama student, has been expelled from the university for posting an Instagram live video in which she said the n-word, among other things.
In the first video, Barber stands in front of a bathroom sink and says, “We do not waste water ... because of the poor people in Syria.” She continues, “I love how I act like I love black people,” and she proceeded to use a racial slur.
She shuts off a running faucet in a public restroom and says, “I just saved the f—ing (n-word) by shutting that water off."
Days later, University of Alabama President Stuart R. Bell released a statement saying Barber “is no longer enrolled here” and called the videos "highly offensive and deeply hurtful.”
After Barber received a great deal of backlash from the initial Instagram video, instead of doing the right thing and apologizing, she continued to go on a rant with even more shocking and racist language.
"You know what (n-word), (n-word), (n-word). I don't care if it's Martin Luther King Day. (n-word), (n-word), (n-word). I'm in the south now, (expletive), so everybody can (expletive) off, I’m from New Jersey so I could say (n-word) as much as I want,” she yells in a car full of other women.
All of Barber’s social media accounts have been removed and taken down. However, the damage has been done.
Barber then told the New York Post that she feels bad for her words and is “so sorry.”
“I did something really, really bad, I don’t know what to do and I feel horrible,” she said in an interview with the Post. “I’m wrong and there’s just no excuse for what I did.”
Although Barber eventually apologized for her actions, that does not take away from the hurt she caused many. This incident has opened the eyes of many education officials, because some believe Barber’s punishment was “unconstitutional” because she was dismissed for using offensive speech, which can take away from her First Amendment rights.
Although Barber did have her right of free speech, many forget there is a difference between free speech and hateful speech. Free speech does not cause chaos and violence. However, hate speech can and should be treated as such.
Just like many other universities, the University of Alabama is a school with many other cultures, and people like Barber who use racist and derogatory language can ruin the peace at these universities and deserve to be expelled