Two Minnesota Students Record a Terribly Racist Rant in Blackface

The two young women go through just about every stereotype in the 5-minute video.

By Jorge Rivas Nov 21, 2012

[Update 11/21/12 8:15pm EST: YouTube has removed the video as a violation of policy that prohibits hate speech.  The students have also issued a statement.]

According to the YouTube description of this video the two stars of this terribly racist blackface rant are University of Minnesota Duluth students. 

The two young women go through a variety of stereotypes in the 5-minute video–they touch on gangs and gun violence, slavery, fried chicken, collard greens, apes… the list goes on. 

According to the university’s website,11,806 students were enrolled in the Fall 2011 semester. 1.2 percent or 139 of them are black.

The percentage of blacks in the Duluth community is just slightly higher at 2 percent. [PDF]

[Update: The two students have identified themselves and issued an apology. They spoke to the university newspaper The Statesmen:

Both women in the video, Rachel Cooper and Jessica Heid, responded to the video.

"We were doing facials and it happened to have been a brown facial mask," Cooper said in an email. "We had to leave it on for 12 minutes. During that 12 minutes, we horribly decided to make a video that we regret and are not happy about. This was made over a year ago."

Cooper continued her email in an apologetic manner.

"I am saddened and sick to my stomach and sorry for anybody it offends. It was not mine or hers intention at all and we are embarrassed about it. We understand we cannot do anything about it now but apologize and inform people we did not paint our faces or put that on to purposely make a video. It was something that just happened after putting the facial cream on and we are so deeply sorry. This video does not define our true selves at all."

Jessica Heid also replied to the video.

"That video does not define who we are… it was accidental… we did not intend to hurt anyone with it."

According to The Statesmen, the administration refused to comment any further beyond the Nov. 15 email that stated, "We take appropriate action in instances like this… we can affirm our disapproval of the video, and reaffirm our goal of providing an environment where students live, study, and learn from and about each other in an inclusive and supportive way. We hope that out of this distressing incident will at least come some broader understanding and personal growth."

Perhaps the University should contact Ohio University’s student group "Students Teaching About Racism in Society"  to license the image below and put it all over campus.