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Racist Comments on American U Yik Yak

While most students are away on spring break, there were racist remarks from students spewing on Yik Yak around American Unviersity. Emem Obot posted the yaks on Twitter and they went viral with over 2,000 retweets and over 800 favorites. Obot didn’t think her tweet would go viral. “I honestly posted them to vent and spread it somehow but I didn’t think it would get this much attention,” Obot said. 

There were even prospective students that were black and white who were accepted to AU and they don’t want to come here anymore because of these racist remarks. They said they didn’t want to go to a university that doesn’t address racial problems. This is giving American University a bad name because AU brands itself as a school that is about inclusion and acceptance of everyone. 

American University students used Yik Yak to voice their hatred towards African Americans because it is an anonymous app and they won’t be held accountable. Sadly, this mindset of racisms towards blacks is everywhere, not just in our AU bubble. The recent SAE fraternity incident of a racist chant in a video that went viral at the University of Oklahoma is a larger example of what could happen to outwardly racist student: expulsion. The OU Yik Yak was examined by the Washington Post recently. 

Many AU students that are African-American believe American University should address this problem by having mandatory classes about institutional racism and privilege in the curriculum. It should be a requirement to graduate. This should be a priority since the school is “inclusive and accepting”. 

As a Black woman, I would love to see AU address the racism happening on campus before I graduate because it sucks feeling uncomfortable going to school. And I know many students feel the same way. 


Tamara Young is a sophomore studying Political Science and Public Communications. 
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