Two students from South Africa’s Stellenbosch University were suspended after pictures of the two surfaced online that suggests they wore blackface.
What makes this a particularly interesting case is that one of the students has come forward, claiming that they were actually wearing “purpleface” in an attempt to dress up as aliens for a “galactic party” event nearby.
This suspension comes during a particularly troubling time, as there is an ongoing and passionate debate about the racism in the area on social media.
However, the university has allegedly been made aware that the two students were attempting to dress as aliens, and that the paint they may have actually used paint was purple—they have said that the investigation is “ongoing.”
The school said that they “acted swiftly” after the initial report of the two students wearing blackface, and even held a workshop on campus "to create awareness and understanding.”
This isn’t the first incident like this that happened at Stellenbosch University.
The Associated Press (AP) reports, “In 2014, two white students at Stellenbosch University were accused of racism after painting their faces dark to portray tennis stars Venus and Serena Williams at a costume party. They expressed regret.”
"Stellenbosch University condemns all forms of racism and discrimination and acknowledges the severe negative impact of the pain and trauma experienced by students, staff and members of the public," the university said.
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