A protest erupted on Wednesday (February 8) after a Philadelphia student appeared to spray paint another student's face black while making racist remarks in a video circulating online.
In the video, two students, one of which was in blackface, can be heard saying "you're a Black girl," "know your roots, it's February," "you're nothing but a slave" and "I'm Black and I'm proud." One student continues to spray the other student's face black as they are both seemingly laughing at their racist remarks, per the video.
Demonstrators gathered outside of the school, holding signs with phrases including "hate hurts," "condemn and confront white supremacy," "where is your humanity" and "prejudice creates pain."
"I just thought when I saw the video that it was complete ignorance," Adam McNeil, who organized the protest, said. "I watched and I was completely confused that we still have so much blatant racism in 2023. And then to know that the students not only made this video in mockery of Black people in Black History Month but they took the time to send it to their fellow students, which to me was the straw that broke the camel's back."
McNeil called for the students to face hate crime charges.
"We want them to know what accountability is, and what accountability looks like, and what trauma looks like when it is set upon somebody else that did nothing to you," he said.
The Archdiocese of Philadelphia denounced the video, saying it wanted all students involved to be disciplined, per WPVI-TV.
"Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia seek to form young men and women of character. We view racism as a mortal sin. There is no place for it in our hearts and minds and there is no tolerance for such behavior at Saint Hubert's or any Catholic School," the Archdiocese said in a statement.