First it was the Arizona Racist Viral Video. Then it was Sarah Hates Laredo. Now, two girls (yes, girls) out of Gainesville, FL are now facing the heat. Looks like YouTube is the new forum of hate speech?
This is an original TV report out of Florida.
And here is the video in question, which is 14 minutes long. Saddes part of all this? Two Latinas.
The story has moved quickly, as most viral stories do on the Internet, and The Gainesville Sun published the following apology last night from one of the girls:
I am one of the girls who were in the racist video that got posted. I’m writing this so that I can tell people how truly sorry I am. I could never, in a million years, have pictured this happening with me involved. I wasn’t raised to hate people for their race, and I still don’t. I made a horrible decision in being a part of this video, and not putting a stop to it myself. No matter someone’s opinions, racism is never appropriate of any kind, and for this many people to get hurt I am so sorry. I never wanted that.
There is no excuse for this video, and I won’t try to make any, but I never could have thought so many people would see it and that it would have this big of an effect on everyone. Seeing the video later on, I realized how bad it was and how ignorant we looked. I couldn’t believe it was myself that I was seeing. It seemed like another person. I cannot even defend myself for the video, because I know how stupid it was and how immature it made me look. I can only say how sorry for everything I am and take the consequences for my actions.
I know people are wanting to blame the parents for this, for our opinions and what we said, but I want it known that I wasn’t raised how I portrayed myself in that video. My parents never taught me hate or to judge someone like that. I honestly don’t know where that came from, but it was wrong no matter what. I understand how I sound in the video, but I’m not a racist person. I doubt anyone will believe that now but it’s true. I don’t see someone for their skin color only and hate them. I like to get to know everyone before passing judgment, but from now on I will just have to live with people’s preconceived notions of me, and I deserve that.
I’ve learned a lot from this experience, but most importantly that everyone has their own opinion, no matter what it is, but just because we have freedom of speech that doesn’t mean we should always use it. People need to be careful what they put on the internet because it could be life-changing. In closing this letter I just want to say again that I am so sorry for all of the people that got hurt over this video. There was no reason to make it, and I am horrified at my actions. Thank you.
[Girl’s name, omitted because she’s a minor]
This is the second letter from the other girl's mother that The Gainesville Sun ran:
Letter to the Editor
RE: Apology for “Racist Rant Video” of GHS Girls
To the residents of Gainesville community, and the teachers, students and their parents at Gainesville High School:
This letter is from both my daughter, myself (as her parent), and my entire family. I am not including my name or the name of my child because we continue to fear for our safety and that of others in my family.
My daughter was the second child (the one in the background) in the “video” that has gone viral since February 14, 2012. First, let me say, as I mentioned to the principal and officers I spoke with on Wednesday, Feb. 15th, that I raised my child to be a compassionate, loving, accepting, and giving young lady. And she has always been this type of child for a parent to be extremely proud of having. However, what she did was wrong, very wrong, and she has been severely punished, not just by me, but by the community, and most importantly by the media. My daughter has gone into a severe depression from what has happened and her remorse and sorrow is beyond description. I have heard multiple comments in different social media, about ‘it is the parents’ fault, it is how she was raised and what she hears’ and this is 100% completely FALSE.
I am not or have ever been this way or taught any of my children to be this way. My family and circle of close friends include individuals of all ages, races, creeds, social economic backgrounds, religions, and genders. I am a single mother, struggling like many others in our community and our country today.
While we can never take back the words and actions that these 2 children have said, we have to start to heal and forgive IMMEDIATELY. Stop the violent threats to our homes and our children, stop the anger, because this will solve absolutely nothing, and most importantly, look at yourself for change and love. Everyone, including all parents and teenagers, must put in their part to STOP racism, no matter what color your skin may be. We have to practice forgiveness. As the Bible says, ‘whoever among you is without sin, throw the first stone’.
As a community of parents and especially those who are dealing with teenagers and young adults, we have to watch how we speak to each OTHER, including what words we use, regardless of our color, ethnicity, religion or social status; how we speak in the home, when we are with friends and especially, these children need to watch how they talk in the schools. This means controlling what children watch and what they listen to, because I know I have put severe restriction on what my child watches and listens to from now on.
I also challenge this community, including the media, to focus on the wonderful and successful children of all races and ethnicities we have at Gainesville High School and in the rest of the community. Focus on the GOOD of students.
I close again with our sincerest apologies to the teachers, faculty, children and parents of Gainesville High School for any harm, stress and anxiety my daughter’s actions may have caused. We are asking for your forgiveness, pray and love one another, and move forward.
[The girl’s family name, omitted because she’s a minor]
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