Students and athletes at the University of Houston (UH) are in hot water after a viral video was released online. In the clip, the onscreen caption describes an infamous tree, while the other students in the car laugh.
The video was recorded off Snapchat and shared online, later being uploaded by an anonymous account.
UH volleyball player spark outrage over racist video www.youtube.com
The video, which is of poor quality and lacks sounds, shows an infamous tree where two Black teenagers were lynched by a white mob in 1935. The students shown in the video, Isabel Theut and Abbie Jackson are both graduate students and members of the school’s volleyball team.
In the clip, they can be seen laughing at the tree.
The caption on the video reads:
“This is the hanging tree where we used to hang people.”
The tree in question was used during the lynching of Ernest Collins and Benny Mitchell, two teenaged Black boys in 1935. The teens were targeted by a mob of hundreds of white people after the body of a white woman was found on her family’s farm.
The boys were arrested because they worked in the vicinity. While they were being transported to the courthouse for trial, the mob kidnapped the teens, and hung them in the tree.
The video was said taken by a freshman at the school and another member of the volleyball team. It’s unknown who recorded the video off Snapchat and shared it further online.
The students’ dismissal of the meaning of the tree drew the ire of the internet.
College students.https://twitter.com/thedailybeast/status/1509749950896386053\u00a0\u2026— MB (@MB) 1648787952
These two women need to lose their scholarships and removed from campus. This is disgusting— DonaSmith (@DonaSmith) 1648765535
The video was reported by The Cougar, the student run newspaper for the University of Houston. It was there that the students in the video were identified.
A number of comments from students on campus were unsurprised.
UH sophomore student and offensive lineman Cam’Ron Johnson said:
“Smh this what y’all on?”
Another UH athlete, Tianna Randle of the track and field team, also commented:
The Twitter accounts of the three girls in the video have been deleted since the posting of the video. The University released a statement affirming their stance of supporting diversity, but refused to speak about any situation involving specific students.
Others online were more than willing to comment on the situation, however.
So we used to hang people in that tree? So your people used to hang your teammates cousins in that tree. If I were the teammates of these despicable girls I would ask them to leave the team. There's no place for that in collegiate sports and their views are reprehensible.— Mark E Hall (@Mark E Hall) 1648653260
Other students and commenters online have called for consequences for the students in the video, but the University has not indicated if that would be happening at this time.