Local minority leader calls for ‘maximum punishment’ for racist TikTok


KINGSTON, R.I. (WLNE) — At least two students from the University of Rhode Island are now facing heat for a racist TikTok, according to the university’s president.

The post has recently been deleted.

“When you use the watermelon, as well as the black face together, that takes premeditation,” said Jim Vincent, president of the NAACP Providence Branch.

“That is intentional. This is not something that is minor — it’s major. When you start doing blackface and start using watermelon and these things in this very divided time… we need to nip it in the bud and say not now, not here, not ever,” he continued.

Marc Parlange, president of University of Rhode Island, released a statement Friday saying partially: “The University learned today of at least two of our students allegedly involved in the posting of a racist video on social media. The video appeared to promulgate racist stereotypes about Black people and was a stinging reminder of the long road URI and America has to travel to truly achieve justice, equity, diversity and inclusion on campus and in society.”

A spokesman from the university said Monday that no police are involved. The university has begun it’s own disciplinary process.

“I’m really disappointed that it’s happening on one of our campuses in Rhode Island. I’m actually sad about it. The president needs to move quickly, be decisive, and give the students the appropriate and the maximum punishment as prescribed by their policies and procedures,” Vincent concluded.

Categories: News, Rhode Island