Tweetgate Update: Students Respond, Wright Unapologetic

Everybody, it seems, has something to say about the Texas College Republicans’ recent Twitter drama.

And we mean everybody. Since Monday, our post on Texas College Republicans’ President Cassie Wright’s racially charged tweet (“My president’s black, he smokes a lot of crack. Holla. #2012 #Obama”) has garnered 37,000 views, 4,568 Tweets, and 151 Facebook and website comments.

Tweetgate 2.0 comes less than a month after the club’s past president, Lauren Pierce, made headlines of her own by tweeting, “Y’all as tempting as it may be, don’t shoot Obama. We need him to go down in history as the WORST president we’ve EVER had! #2012.”

National and regional media outlets have jumped on the story, too: BET, the Huffington Post, Gawker, the Houston Press, the Houston Chronicle, and the Austin American-Statesman are among the many to chime in.

Here’s the latest:

  • Soncia Reagins-Lilly, UT’s Dean of Students, released a statement yesterday. “Sunday’s Twitter posting about President Obama was offensive and embarrassing,” Reagins-Lilly said.
  • Wright has apparently defended the tweet on her Facebook page.
  • KVUE reports that Wright’s grandmother says the tweet “does not sound like her granddaughter, and she believes that Cassie’s Twitter account may have been hacked.”
  • The University Democrats and the Black Student Alliance released a joint statement today expressing disappointment in Wright’s Tweet.
  • Andre Treiber, UDems’ communications director, told The Alcalde that his club has had a “positive working relationship” with the College Republicans in the past, co-hosting voter registration drives and debates. “But we feel that by not apologizing, Wright is condoning blatant racism,” Treiber said.
  • We also spoke with Ashley Robinson, president of Black Student Alliance, who said: “We need to call attention to racial incidents like this, because they are still a reality on our campus. If [Wright] had apologized, that would be OK, but instead she went on the offensive. As someone in a leadership position, it’s not OK for her to do this.”
  • Our multiple attempts to reach a spokesperson of the Texas College Republicans have been unsuccessful. The club has not issued a public statement.
  • This afternoon, Wright took to Twitter again to say: “Two days later and people still don’t care that Obama really did use “blow” #imsurprised.”

Editor’s Note: The Alcalde is a go-to news source for all things University of Texas. Whenever UT makes the local, state, or national conversation, we will be there with a fair and nonpartisan approach to cover and give context to the events of the day.

Twitter “Fail Whale” illustration by rakellakat on Flickr.


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