An SIU student has apologized for a controversial Facebook posting that has gone viral.
SIUC Chancellor Brad Colwell is calling for respect on campus after “offensive behavior and comments, including social media posts.”
One of the most controversial posts is attributed on social media to coming from SIU student Miranda Fair, a sophomore in SIU Hospitality and Tourism Administration. It appears to show her and a male with black facial masks standing in front of a Confederate flag.
Fair posted an apology and said the post is out of context, prior to deleting her account. “The confederate flag in the background is defaced (ripped in half)because I do not support it,” said Fair in the post. “The black on my face is a boscia face mask. I do not hate any groups of people. #blacklivesmatter”
Her Facebook page appears to have been deleted today along with the Facebook page of the male in the photo, who is believed to be a student in Dayton Ohio. Dayton University told River Region Evening News they have no comment about the matter.
Angry reaction to the posting and photo is mounting on campus and across the nation.
A reporter with the New York Daily News reposted the photo, causing it to go viral. Shaun King is a senior justice reporter for the paper with 457,000 Twitter followers. Twitter.com/ShaunKing. He posted the photo, incorrectly identifying the male in the photo as also being an SIUC student.
Other national web-based outlets are also posting the photo.
We are attempting to get more information from Southern Illinois University – Carbondale Police, Southern Illinois University Carbondale Chancellor Colwell, and SIU spokesperson Rae Goldsmith but have received no comment as of this writing other than the email that was sent out by Colwell to the campus shortly after noon.
Tom Woolf with University Marketing confirms to RREE that the chancellor’s campus email is related to the student’s posting and the reaction that followed.
Colwell does not refer to any specific incidents in his email but points to reaction after the election. “This week’s presidential election was extremely divisive and emotions are running high.”