Published On: Fri, Apr 5th, 2019

Wake Forest student Jordan Whitaker gets death threats, ‘Nazi’ label for saying others needed to ‘grow up’

A Wake Forest University student claims she’s been called “Nazi,” “called my employer and my school, found my Facebook and LinkedIn accounts, reported my twitter [for violation of terms], and have actively been advocating for me to get fired and expelled” after saying other students need to “grow up.”

Jordan Lancaster reached out to The College Fix to share her story, explaining that she shared an unpopular view about Wake Forest’s decision to investigate the “deeply offensive” image for a fake student government campaign.

photo Jennifer Moo via Flickr

The image said the non-candidate “wants to build a wall” between the university and its crosstown rival Winston-Salem State University, which is historically black. “And he’ll make them pay for it.”

Lancaster posted President Nathan Hatch’s email about the Instagram post and said Wake Forest overreacted “because a kid made a post on Instagram as a joke.”

Since the university’s email to the community didn’t share the content of the parody, she provided it. “That’s it. That’s the ‘extremely offensive’ post,” Lancaster wrote. “Ppl in college need to grow up.”

She posted a Twitter thread with “a few of the hundreds of responses” she got from her original tweet. Many included threats to kill or use violence against her.

One user told Lancaster: “Baby delete this. Because by 1:00pm yo head gone off yo shoulders if you keep talking. #WSSU is not to be played with.”

One person said Lancaster needed to “sit in your white ass privilege & stfu.”

She told The Fix she had to step away from social media for “the sake of my mental health.”

“I knew the best thing to do in those situations is to remove yourself to let the hype die down for a bit,” Lancaster said.

President Hatch acknowledged the campaign flyer might have been a parody. “The impact on the community is widespread and harmful, regardless of the original intent,” however.

“The caption [on the image of the student] remains an example of white supremacy and those who ARE responsible must continue to be investigated,” the anonymous Wake Forest University Anti-Racism Coalition tweeted.

Hatch argued the university “cannot mount investigations into student expression that the university purports to protect.”

Investigating students for “miscalculated parodies on the internet” not only undermines the “several guarantees of freedom of expression” by Wake Forest, but “squanders administrative resources in order to placate a digital mob,” wrote Adam Goldstein, program officer in the Individual Rights Defense Program, in a FIRE statement Thursday.


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About the Author

- Roxanne "Butter" Bracco began with the Dispatch as Pittsburgh Correspondent, but will be providing reports and insights from Washington DC, Maryland and the surrounding region. Contact Roxie aka "Butter" at theglobaldispatch@gmail ATTN: Roxie or Butter Bracco

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