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Culture > News

A Teen Asked for College Money Online & She Says It’s Because of Her Black Boyfriend

Everybody remembers the panic of trying to raise money for college, but Allie Dowdle took a different approach after it became clear her parents weren’t going to help out with her tuition costs. When Dowdle’s parents refused to fund her education supposedly because her boyfriend was black, the Tennessee teen turned to GoFundMe for strangers’ help, raising over $15,000.

The GoFundMe page, titled “Say No to Racism,” explains that Dowdle is a star student at a private school who values her education. When she showed her parents a picture of her new boyfriend, Michael, a rift formed between them.

“My dad did not give me an option,” Dowdle wrote. “He told me that I was not allowed to see Michael ever again…because of skin color.”  After her parents met Michael, things changed for the worse. “My parents have chosen to no longer support my future…leaving me on my own to pay for college.”

Dowdle claims that her parents’ decisions are entirely based off of her dating Michael, but her father, Bill, tells The New York Daily News differently, saying “it was never about race.” The Dowdles are apparently frustrated with their daughter because she started seeing both Michael and a past boyfriend secretly.

“It became obvious that she needed to go out in the world and grow up,” Allie’s father said. However, he did add that his daughter dating a black man was not his “preference”—so maybe it has more to do with race than he’s admitting.

Despite the campaign’s success, other people also believe that Allie’s intentions aren’t exactly a fight against racism.

One commenter, Susan Martin, wrote on her GoFundMe, “Dating a black man and sending a privileged white girl to college who can’t get a job because her parents took away her car is absolutely ridiculous…This campaign is an absolute insult to the millions of people who have been supporting themselves for years.”

Although doing anything possible to attend college is a noteworthy move on Allie’s part, and her parents’ decision may be a little extreme, using her boyfriend’s skin color as a motive behind this campaign may not have been the smartest choice. Because when you really think about it, sending a white girl to college as a statement against racism doesn’t make a lot of sense.

Kristen Perrone is a Siena College Class of 2018 alumna. She studied English during her time at Siena.