An anonymous Instagram account surfaced this weekend that accused multiple Ivy League students of racism, without evidence.
‘Ivy League Racists’ (@ivyleagueracists) — which has since been deleted — posted pictures of white male students alongside descriptions of the racist acts they purportedly committed.
For instance, one post read: ‘[name redacted] of [location redacted] raped an innocent black freshman at Penn. The victim is now suffering from depression and suicidal thoughts. Contact Penn Police at 2155733333.’
Another post was aimed at a former Princeton sportsman, naming his hometown, parents and siblings. Neither post provided any tangible proof of the students’ alleged misconduct. The Spectator reached out to both men for comment.
Before the account’s deletion, Ivy League Racists pledged to expose 50 individuals.
Students at America’s top colleges have developed a taste for cancel culture. Since the death of George Floyd, accusations of racism at Ivy League schools have been spreading across social media.
At the end of May, a political science PhD student at Harvard tweeted a private email from Prof Harvey Mansfield. In response to her department-wide email from the student about racism, Mansfield replied that ‘If this venue is to be used to send around political statements, it seems necessary that both sides be represented. This is particularly the case when the calumny of “white supremacy and racism” is being served up.’ Another PhD student took to Twitter and shared a private email from Mansfield, in which he explained his disagreement with Harvard’s Title IX policy.
Similarly, a video from a white Penn student’s high school years, in which he allegedly yells the N-word at a friend, has surfaced on Twitter. The person who posted the video wrote ‘TWITTER, DO YOUR THING!’ at the end of his tweet. The student has been suspended indefinitely from his fraternity, and the University of Pennsylvania is investigating the situation.
Outside of the nation’s elite universities, Skai Jackson — an 18-year-old known for her role as a child actress on the Disney show Jessie — is using her social media to ‘expose racist bullies’. Jackson, who has over half a million Twitter followers, has received thousands of direct messages — some from other celebrities — asking her to expose people that they claim to be racist. ‘It’s kinda like my duty with the big platform that I have, to use it for good,’ she told Teen Vogue.
The Ivy League Racists account is the latest in a trend of extrajudicial efforts to anonymously accuse people of serious wrongdoing.
In October 2017, a Google spreadsheet called ‘Shitty Media Men’ circulated, accusing dozens of men in the media of acts ranging from microaggressions to rape. The list’s purpose was to encourage female journalists to make anonymous entries. Like ‘Ivy League Racists’, the list didn’t remain online for long after its creator Moira Donegan learned that BuzzFeed was planning to publish a story about it. A man named on the list, Stephen Elliott, attempted to sue Donegan for emotional distress and defamation.
The origin of the Instagram account and reason for its removal remain unclear at this point.