BEYONCÉ, Album, Cowboy Carter, TikTok

Indiana State University Condemns Student Who Made Viral Racist TikTok About Beyoncé

In the TikTok video, the Indiana State University student claimed Black people can't be country because their ancestors were slaves.

Indiana State University (ISU) has released an official statement condemning a racist TikTok made by one of its students. The video critiqued Beyoncé and her country music-inspired album, Cowboy Carter.

The student started off the now-deleted video by telling Black people that they are not country. In her view, Beyoncé’s latest project was not part of the genre for “historical” reasons.

“I’m sorry, if you’re Black, you’re not country,” she boldly stated, as reported by Newsweek. She continued to let Black viewers know that they could not identify as country, even if from those areas, because their ancestors were “picking,” referring to sharecropping, picking cotton, and slavery.

“I know you were raised in the country, or your grandparents were, but they was picking,” she explained. “They wasn’t planting. Keep that in mind. They wasn’t making money. They was getting sold for money.”

In response to the viral TikTok, ISU President Dr. Deborah J. Curtis issued an apology to the student body for the racist words.

“Racism, hate speech, and discrimination of any kind is deplorable and in direct contradiction of Indiana State’s mission, vision, and values,” wrote Dr. Curtis. “The student’s comments in the video in no way represent the ideals and goals of Indiana State University. We are appalled by the sentiments expressed in the video and condemn those comments in the strongest terms.”

As for the student’s current status at ISU, the educational leader emphasized the matter must remain confidential due to legal reasons.

However, the woman’s sentiments are a callback to Beyoncé’s reasons for embarking on the project. Ahead of its release, the “16 Carriages” singer shared on Instagram how the idea stemmed from an unwelcoming experience.

“[The album] was born out of an experience that I had years ago where I did not feel welcomed…and it was very clear that I wasn’t. But, because of that experience, I did a deeper dive into the history of Country music and studied our rich musical archive,” she revealed. “The criticisms I faced when I first entered this genre forced me to propel past the limitations that were put on me…This ain’t a Country album. This is a “Beyoncé” album.”

The album has now spent two weeks at the top of the Billboard 200 and garnered critical acclaim. Despite the criticisms on her journey in country music, Beyoncé continues to make waves of inclusivity.

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