Snapchat photo perceived racist, creates controversy at K-State

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The president of the K-State Black Student Union says he was initially shocked, but overall not surprised by a Snapchat photo that's created controversy on social media.

Tuesday, Kansas State University responded to a photo showing two women wearing white K-State ponchos with the caption "Newest Members of the K-State Kool Kids."

The three K's in "K-State Kool Kids" are capitalized. Many believe this was done so intentionally to reference the Ku Klux Klan.

K-State Black Student Union President Darrell Reese Jr. says he's not angry at the person that posted the photo. He says he doesn't know the intent behind it, but regardless, he thinks it's clear what's being alluded to in the photo and he wants those involved to know their actions have consequences.

"When you see things like that, we are directly affected by it," Reese says. "Especially when it relates to the KKK and what that means in history."

He explains why he wasn't surprised by what he saw.

"In this year alone, we've seen multiple incidents (at Kansas State), starting with the noose (left in a tree), with the white supremacist signs posted up (on campus), and then now, this," Reese says.

He says there's a definite impact, whether or not the person who posted the controversial photo understood its perceived meaning.

There was a similar situation last year when four University of Kansas cheerleaders were suspended after the release of a Snapchat post that said, "KKK Go Trump."

Reese says he hopes Kansas State will take a strong stand on the issue to prevent these incidents from happening again.

Tuesday, the university issued the following statement in response to the Snapchat post:

Individuals posting through their private social media accounts do not represent or speak on behalf of the university. Our principles of community clearly articulate our shared values.

Kansas State University is gathering facts about a post on social media that has generated significant comment and concern about racism. Once the facts have been gathered, the university will respond as appropriate.