National Institute on Aging

University of South Alabama Suspends Student, Fires Employee After a Racial Incident

The University of South Alabama in Mobile has suspended a student after the student confessed to hanging a bicycle and two nooses in a tree outside a campus dining hall. Additionally, a dining hall employee was fired after an offensive tweet concerning the incident was posted from the university’s official dining hall twitter account. The tweet read, “The rope outside of the caf last night was just a sign that our food is KILLER! Come get some fried chicken and tell us any different! #friedchickenWednesday.”

An official statement from the school’s dining services stated, “We apologize to the entire university community and everyone who has seen or heard about the insensitive and offensive comment made by a now terminated dining employee. We have zero tolerance for any form of racism or discrimination and the employee was fired immediately.”

Before it was announced that the student was suspended, the Mobile County chapter of the NAACP issued a statement regarding the incident that called for immediate action to be taken due to the history of lynching in Mobile. In 1981, the last documented lynching in America occurred in Mobile when a Black teenager, Michael Donald, was murdered by the Ku Klux Klan and found dangling from a tree.

The university has stated that they plan to mandate diversity training for all campus staff.


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