HOUSTON – It took 100 years for the lynching bill to pass in the United States, and President Joe Biden’s signature made the act a federal hate crime law on Tuesday.
Now an unsettling video has surfaced showing two University of Houston volleyball players laughing at the spot of a historic lynching site in Texas.
Students on campus called the incident offensive and insensitive. Others said the university needs to hold the student-athletes involved accountable.
“It’s really bad, to be honest,” one student said.
Students at the University of Houston are talking about a short nine-second clip that is making rounds on social media.
The video was posted on Twitter and allegedly shows two volleyball players driving past a large oak tree in Colorado County, Columbus where two teenagers were lynched by a mob in 1935.
“Definitely think it’s offensive,” one student said. “This stuff happens all the time because that’s how the world is, to be honest.”
The caption under the video says, “This is the hanging tree where we used to hang people.”
“That is completely unacceptable. I would not want someone close to me saying something like that, especially during our times right now. Yeah, no,” one person said.
“Considering she’s talking about African American (people), I don’t think she should be allowed here on campus,” Kahalil Whetstone said.
Student JoJo said the video is offensive and makes her feel unsafe at the university.
“As someone who wanted to play for UH Volleyball and did not and to see how they are treating it and acting like it’s okay and fine to do it is really disrespectful and it shows a lot about how this school is,” JoJo said.
The University of Houston provided the following statement in regards to the incident:
The University is aware of the video, which does not represent our values and is inconsistent with our efforts to foster a diverse, inclusive, and respectful environment.
As the second most diverse public research institution in the country, we encourage constructive and respectful dialogue, cultural awareness, and a spirit of unity. We understand the concerns this has caused. UH follows internal policies as well as all applicable local, state, and federal laws when assessing any situation.
In accordance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), UH cannot comment on any situation involving specific students.
Some students were not surprised about the video and said UH should expel those involved.
“It’s not really shocking to see people doing that nowadays, it’s been going on forever and we really have to put a stop to this,” one student said.