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Ole Miss student tells on self for wearing blackface — in order to go through 'restorative justice'

This is a thing that really happened

Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

An unidentified Ole Miss student reported themselves for posing in blackface and sharing the image to social media, according to a report by WHBQ-TV.

The student reportedly self-reported to endure "restorative justice."

What are the details?

The station reported that the school's Bias Incident Response Team received a report from the student, who admitted to posing in blackface and taking pictures.

Because the student reportedly experienced major remorse, they volunteered themselves to go through "restorative justice," which includes "engaging in a voluntary educational process that includes curricular, experiential, and reflective components," according to WHBQ.

School officials published a public letter in response to the self-reporting.

The letter, which was titled, "My Culture is Not a Costume," encourages students to "avoid culturally inappropriate behavior" while entering the "season of costume parties."

Some things to avoid, according to the letter, include, "the use of blackface, costumes that mock or demean other people's culture, and identity-based slurs."

"While most of these cases involve examples of protected speech and expressions, we want our community to understand that these practices are both insensitive and rooted in a history of hate that causes real harm to individuals and our community," the letter adds.

The letter praised the unnamed student for outing themselves, openly admitting to posing in blackface.

"The student recognized the immediate impact of this behavior, reached out to staff, expressed remorse, and has already begun engaging in a voluntary educational process that includes curricular, experiential, and reflective components," the letter continues. "While we are encouraged by the fact that the student self-reported the image, we decided to make this incident and its outcome public to show our commitment to be transparent about BIRT reports that have potential community impact."

What else?

According to The College Fix, the student "acknowledged the racist and hurtful impact of his poor judgment" in posing in blackface.

The outlet reports that "restorative justice" allows students who have "negatively impacted certain groups to engage with those groups and learn from the experience."

Kirk Johnson, who is an associate professor of sociology and African-American studies at the university, told the outlet that he was 100 percent on board with the "restorative justice" program, and preferred it over disciplinary action.

“Instead of simply banishing a student for doing something offensive, establishing a conversation between the student and members of marginalized groups helps the student understand why his or her actions are so offensive from the perspective of the people who are most likely to be harmed by these actions," Johnson explained. “Without this educational component, I think it's easy for a perpetrator to feel that he or she was sacrificed on the altar of political incorrectness, which could conceivably embolden them to behave even more aggressively the next time."

One last thing…
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