Update - 5:30 p.m. June 9, 2020 - In an email to John Lester, vice president for university communications and marketing, The George-Anne asked for a comment on why Sierra's enrollment status hadn't changed after these images surfaced. Lester responded, "Because his actions are protected by the First Amendment to the US Constitution."
Editor’s Note: The George-Anne acknowledges the images may be upsetting to some readers. Because of this, The George-Anne has decided to black out most of the slur from the images and not use the full word in this story.
STATESBORO — After two images of an incoming freshman in blackface with a version of the N-word surfaced on social media, he is still an incoming student, according to Georgia Southern officials.
Logan Sierra, an incoming freshman from Marietta, has been blasted on social media since the images went viral on Twitter, Instagram and Tik Tok.
One image, which appears to have originated on Snapchat, shows Sierra in blackface with a version of the N-word on his forehead and the caption, “It is to enhance your beauty.”
The other, also appearing to originate from Snapchat, is him shirtless with the caption, “Dark [N-word] hours.”
The George-Anne has not been able to confirm the legitimacy of these images or the captions.
While it is unclear when the pictures were taken, Sierra posted a statement on his Instagram story.
“If you really know me you know I’m not racist,” Sierra wrote. “Honestly y’all are just trying to start more problems when we should be more worried about our country.”
His full statement can be found below.
It is unclear when the statement was posted.
The George-Anne has reached out to Sierra for comment. We have not heard back.
In an email to The George-Anne, GS officials said, in part, “To be clear, these posts do not reflect Georgia Southern University’s values or our ongoing efforts to create an inclusive environment where every individual feels a sense of respect and belonging.”
This is the same statement GS officials provided when Ansley Moody’s Chi Omega membership was revoked after images of her in blackface surfaced.
The George-Anne reached out to TaJuan Wilson, Ed.D, associate vice president of inclusive excellence and chief diversity officer, he referred us to an email sent to students by him and Shay Little, Ph.D, vice president of student affairs.
The full email can be found below.
The George-Anne also reached out to Little and Takeshia Brown, director of the office of multicultural affairs. Little has not responded, while Brown chose not to comment and referred us to Wilson and Little’s email.
In 2018, The George-Anne asked students on-campus what their thoughts of the N-word were. That project can be found here.
This is an active story. The George-Anne will continue to monitor the situation.
Andy Cole, Managing Editor for News Coverage, email@example.com