Students at the University of New Hampshire are boycotting final exams after a student uploaded a picture of another white student in what appears to be a bedtime facial mask, implying it’s “blackface.”
The university caved in to the students’ demands, and postponed the exams.
The controversy started earlier this week after a video showing a white student wearing a poncho on Cinco de Mayo was widely circulated. A sophomore, Danique Montique, uploaded a video harassing the poncho wearer, who responded: “I don’t care! I’m here to have fun.”
On Wednesday, the campus was hit with another controversy after an Instagram account called “blackoutlamers” uploaded a picture of a man wearing a facial mask, implying that it was blackface, with a caption that read: “And I was forced to become the very thing society deemed me to be, angry.”
“It pissed me off,” Montique told the Tab. “It added fuel to my anger. If I was angry before, I’m pissed off now. It was infuriating but also not surprising. Instances like this and worse have happened to us students of color on campus. The other young lady in the video was spat on in the past but the student got away.”
Montique also added that a group of 50 students of color are protesting the situation. “We’re refusing to go to finals,” she said. “We’re walking and demanding these students be held accountable.”
Twenty-one-year-old Eric Buchwald, whose picture was posted without his permission, claims he didn’t depict blackface and it was just a picture of a clay facial mask he’s been using for the last few weeks.
“I want nothing to do with the photo that is associated with blackface, and I definitely don’t want my face associated with that caption,” the student told NH1 News. “None of this was my doing.”
“Nowhere was I trying to be racist,” he added. “Obviously, this shows racism is alive and well, I guess.”
A woman who owns the Instagram account that caused the scandal confirmed to NH1 News that Buchwald wasn’t aware his picture was being used; she said it was taken months ago. She deleted the account after it was widely shared on social media.