Indiana State University, White Student, Racism

Indiana State University Criticized For ‘Weak’ Response to White Student Who Believes Black People Are ‘Not Country’

Indiana University is under fire for how it responded to one white student's racist video post about Black people in country music.

Indiana State University is under fire for how it responded to one white student’s racist video post about Black people in country music.

Protests ignited on the school’s campus this week after one student took to Yik Yak, a social media app for college students, to tell Black people they “are not country.” A Twitter repost of the racist rant identified the student as Asa Blanton, a nursing major at the school who had no issue putting her unfiltered racist views on display.

“I’m sorry, but if you’re Black, you’re not country. I don’t care,” the student said. “I wish I meant that in the nicest way, but babe, I know you were raised in the country or your grandparents were … but they was picking, OK?”

She added, “They wasn’t planting. Just keep that in mind. They wasn’t making money. They were getting sold for money. You ain’t country.”

Blanton’s tirade appeared to be in response to the success of Beyoncé’s record-breaking country album, Cowboy Carter, which became the first album by a Black woman to top the country charts. She also debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, marking the biggest sales for an album in 2024.

On Monday, April 8, Indiana State University released a statement responding to the video that sparked outrage on the school’s campus.

“As stated in our University Mission Statement, Indiana State University has a long history of valuing diversity and inclusiveness on our campus. We are aware and continue to monitor the situation involving comments published online by an Indiana State University student,” officials said, as captured by The Terre Haute Tribune-Star.

“The student’s comments do not align with our institutional values. We reaffirm our commitment to fostering an inclusive environment. ISU takes incidents of this nature seriously and is committed to ensuring a welcoming environment for everyone.”

That same day, students took to the pavement to rally against the school’s response to Blanton’s video. Many think more action should be taken considering Blanton studying to be a nurse and the possibility of her racial bias adding to the disparities already plaguing Black people in the healthcare industry.

A member of the school’s Black Alumni Network wants the university to be more transparent about its stance against racism and hate speech.

“What I would like to see is ISU come out and define their policy on hate speech. It should be defined,” Darrell Morton Jr., president of the university’s Black Alumni Network, said.