A college student who posted an innocuous file of President Barack Obama kicking a door after a press conference (seen here) has been forced to apologize for his “racist” image. Brian Farnan, a student at McGill University in Montreal, was ordered to apologize by the university after sending the .gif file in a weekly e-mail to the student body and captioning it: “Honestly midterms get out of here.” Farnan is the current president of the university’s student government.
The doctored image was first shown as a joke in a Tonight Show monologue by (now former) host Jay Leno, but it still garnered complaints from the student body and was classified under a “broad range” of “oppressive” conduct. In his apology, Farnan said he intended “to bring a humorous tone” to the e-mail.
“The image in question was an extension of the cultural, historical and living legacy surrounding people of color—particularly young men—being portrayed as violent in contemporary culture and media,” he wrote. “By using this particular image of President Obama, I unknowingly perpetuated this living legacy and subsequently allowed a medium of SSMU’s communication to become the site of a microaggression; for this, I am deeply sorry.”
However, some students seemed to be more offended at the fact that Farnan was ordered to apologize. “Brian, your GIF didn’t offend me, your apology did,” the student complainant wrote. “I am offended that you think I’m so shallow and high-strung that I would be offended by this.”
(Photo: University of Montreal)