A disturbing video of a white university student, shouting “white people are the best thing that ever happened to the world” at a group of black classmates at Columbia University went viral on Monday morning.
The footage, which was posted on Twitter and has been seen more than one million times, shows a man identified by the Columbia Daily Spectator as Julian von Abele. In the clip, he follows and harasses a group of people walking from the library at around 4am on Sunday.
“We invented science and industry and you want us to tell us to stop because, ‘Oh my God, we’re so bad!” he shouts at them with his fists raised in the air.
The young man, who appears to be drunk, continues the racist tirade by saying:
We saved billions of people from starvation, we built modern civilization! White people are the best thing that ever happened to the world!
The group of targeted students express shock and disgust at his racist rant and are heard saying: “Oh my God.”
But, undeterred, von Abele continues: “I love myself and I love my people… F*** yeah! White people!”
Kwolanne Felix, one of the harassed students, called for an urgent response by the Ivy League university, saying: “I really hope that Columbia takes further action. They should definitely try to talk to the students that were affected by that and ensure everyone’s OK, because that’s really hard to internalise.”
After the video was posted online, many were quick to condemn the hate speech, also pointing out that racism is very much alive even at an Ivy League university.
The Blacks Student’s Organisation at Columbia released a statement alleging that von Abele also physically grabbed one of the students, asking her if black women like to date white men.
The university issued a statement on Sunday, denouncing the “racially charged incident”, and invited the students to publicly discuss the incident at an open reflection on Monday evening.
“Although we cannot comment on the proceedings, this incident is already under investigation by the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards, and we want to assure you that it will be investigated through, beginning with interviews of witnesses,” the statement read.
HT The Hill