Courtney Schaefer, a student at Georgia Southern University, is facing backlash after accidentally sending a racist text message to her new college roommate. Schaefer claims the message was an auto-correct mistake and that she never meant the racist remark.
According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution Schaefer had been paired with a new roommate and ended up sending a text about the new roommate to the new roommate. The text message read: “Her insta looks pretty normal not too n–gerish.”
Schaefer’s text messages have gone viral and were shared thousands of times across social media since news of the racist text broke. Here’s what you need to know:
1. Schaefer Claimed Auto-Correct On Her Phone Changed The Word “Triggerish” to the Racial Slur Used in the Message
It all started with an innocent, introductory text message. Schaefer exchanged messages with her soon-to-be roommate, where the two exchanged pleasantries and shared a laugh over accidentally calling one another.
After telling her roommate, who goes by Nwamaka, that she added her as a contact and accidentally called her, another message popped up stating “her insta looks pretty normal not too n–gerish.”
Schaefer immediately apologized, claiming that her phone auto-corrected the word “triggerish” to the racial slur.
“OMG I am so sorry! Holy crap. Damn spell check I did NOT mean to say that,” she wrote back hastily. “I was texting Hannah and I meant to say triggerish meaning like you seemed really cool nothing that triggered a red flag! I’m so embarrassed I apologize!”
2. A Friend of Nwamaka’s Shared Screenshots of the Messages on Social Media
Screenshots of the texts were shared by Dajah Morrison, who says she knows the victim, and they soon went viral on Facebook and Twitter.
“Triggerish is not a word at all. The closest word to that is triggerfish. So for her to cover those things up, it just didn’t add up,” Morrison told WSAV.
Morrison is hopeful that the university will do something to address this issue, adding “Georgia Southern should definitely—I’m not getting in their business, hopefully, they’ll be professional and handle everything correctly, but I’m just hoping they shut that down and show other students we don’t play that. We’re here to learn.”
Since the screenshots went viral, Schaefer appears to have deleted her social media accounts. However, Schaefer is an athlete at the school and is on the swim team.
3. Georgia Southern University President Shelley Nickel Claims The Comments Don’t Reflect the Values or Attitudes of the School
Uiversity president Shelley C. Nickel sent a message to the community saying “the use of such racist comments is offensive” and doesn’t reflect university standards.
However, Georgia Southern students Marah Giddens and Alexandria Duvet feel a press release isn’t enough, and both demand further action to be taken against Schaefer, according to AJC.
“These things have been happening on our campus and campuses all over the country,” Giddens said. “If someone isn’t punished for their racism and bigotry then what will ignite a change?”
The university declined to comment about whether there were plans for further action, AJC reports.
4. Twitter Lit Up With Users Demanding Schaefer Be Kicked Off the Swim Team & More Serious Consequences Handed Down From Georgia Southern
Thousands of users flooded Twitter, demanding Georgia Southern University to take action against Schaefer and either suspend or expel her from campus. Many called for her removal from the swim team as well.
“I’m f–king disgusted. Courtney Schaefer should not be allowed back on the premises of Georgia southern. I’m sick over this,” one Twitter user posted.
Shelby Todd believes Schaefer’s status as an athlete has helped protect her from retribution. Todd stated: “we have a NO TOLERANCE yet Courtney Schaefer remains on the swim team. Unacceptable. I’m disappointed. If it were a non-athlete student they would have been dismissed already.”
However, there were many students that spoke up, claiming that this type of blatant racism is still prevalent at Georgia Southern and that they aren’t completely surprised.
“I think I speak for the entire African-American population of Georgia Southern when I say that while I am not surprised, I am angry and disappointed. The text itself was cause enough for outrage, but the pathetic attempt at an excuse and apology, was a flippant insult to her intelligence,” Leon Bowles, a senior mechanical engineering major told the George-Anne.
News of Schaefer’s text even made it’s way across seas, with one user stating: “Congrats the racist behaviour of Courtney Schaefer has made news across the pond; how disgusting. Hopefully, you will not force the lovely young lady to room with such a horrible person.”
5. Similar Incidents Have Occurred In Georgia This Year
Georgia has a history of racial issues between college students. Schaefer’s case is similar to that of Natalia Martinez, a Georgia State University soccer player who withdrew from the university earlier this year after receiving severe backlash from students for using a racial slur on a social media post, according to AJC.
Martinez was suspended from the soccer team and voluntarily dropped out of her courses after a petition with more than 1,000 signatures to expel her.