Harley Barber apologizes for racist video, says she was expelled from Alabama
A University of Alabama student who posted videos to social media in which she repeatedly used the n-word and other profanities apologized on Wednesday and said she has been expelled from college.
Harley Barber told the New York Post she was heading back to New Jersey after being kicked out of school. “I did something really, really bad,” Barber told The Post. “I don’t know what to do and I feel horrible. I’m wrong and there’s just no excuse for what I did.”
Barber told the publication she has been getting threatening phone calls in response to the videos, which “came out of nowhere,” she said. “I feel horrible,” she said. “I feel so, so bad and I am so sorry.”
Barber was kicked out of her sorority on Tuesday, the executive director of Alpha Phi International Fraternity told AL.com Tuesday. University officials, also on Tuesday, said the “unfortunate behavior” was reported to the Office of Student Conduct.
Asked about expulsion or updates in the case, UA spokesman Chris Bryant on Wednesday said, “We have no changes or updates to our statement at this time.”
A short time later, UA President Stuart Bell released this statement:
University President Stuart R. Bell released this statement on Wednesday: “In light of the racist and disturbing videos posted by one of our students on social media, I want to express my personal disgust and disappointment.
Like many of you, I find the videos highly offensive and deeply hurtful, not only to our students and our entire University community, but to everyone who viewed them. The actions of this student do not represent the larger student body or the values of our University, and she is no longer enrolled here.
We hold our students to much higher standards, and we apologize to everyone who has seen the videos and been hurt by this hateful, ignorant and offensive behavior. This is not who we are; it is unacceptable and unwelcome here at UA. These types of incidents affect community members differently. If you have been impacted and would like additional support, please access resources here that are available to you on our campus.
Over the last year, I have had conversations with many of you who shared your UA experiences with me. You have voiced your pride in the progress we have made, but we still have much work to do. I want to thank all of the students, faculty and staff who met today to have conversations about this event and the steps we can take, individually and collectively, to create a more welcoming and inclusive campus. You have my commitment and the commitment of our leadership team to sustain progress and address directly any issues that arise.
I know you join me in taking a stand against this and all reprehensible behavior. As members of this community, we are a family and this is our home. Everyone has a right to feel safe and welcome here.”
Barber posted the videos on Instagram, one of them shared on the Monday holiday honoring Martin Luther King Jr.
In the first, she is at a sink where she turns off the water, explaining, “We do not waste water…because of the poor people in Syria. We don’t waste water. I love how I act like I love black people because I (expletive) hate (n-word) so that’s really interesting but I just saved the (expletive) (n-word) by shutting that water off.”
In a second video, Barber addressed the growing backlash and apparent threats to turn her into her sorority officials. “(N-word) (n-word) (n-word). I don’t care if it’s Martin Luther King Day. I’m in the south now (expletive) so everybody can (expletive) off. I’m from New Jersey so I can say (n-word) as much as I want.”
Linda Kahangi, executive director of Alpha Phi International Fraternity, released this statement Tuesday evening: “Alpha Phi is a diverse, values-based organization and condemns the language and opinions in these videos. They are offensive and hateful to both our own members and to other members of the Greek and campus community. The Beta Mu chapter leadership and supporting alumnae moved quickly to address the offense, and Ms. Barber is no longer a member of Alpha Phi.”
Bryant on Tuesday released this statement to AL.com. “These remarks are ignorant and disturbing and in no way reflect the values of The University of Alabama. This unfortunate behavior has been reported to the Office of Student Conduct as it does not align with the community expectations of students at the Capstone.”