The University of Minnesota blackface video (2011) was a five-minute video made by two White American students at the Duluth campus (UMD): Rachel Cooper and Jessica Heid. They made it one night in 2011 in the middle of getting a facial when their faces were dark brown for 12 minutes. The video went viral in November 2012 on the UMDHate YouTube account.

They said stuff like:

  • "I'm from the 612, bitch. Nigga, I beez from Brooklyn, New York!"
  • "I got some big ol' lips, some white fuckin' teeth."
  • "We are true Negroes, man. We come from the black hood."
  • "We need some fuckin' fried chicken."
  • "You fuck with me I got a whole gang behind me ready to beat yo' ass."
  • "We got the fuckin' gang-bang niggas from the nigga niggas."
  • "We kind of look like apes right now." "Planet of the Apes" "Planet of the Negroes"
  • "Bitch, you know I have a gun in my pocket."
  • "Rosa Parks is our bitch, she's our homegirl."
  • "You fuckin' slaved our asses, we're gonna fuckin' slave your asses."

They used nigga at least 13 times, cracka 7 times.

They were laughing so hard one of them fell out of her chair.

After it went viral:

  • UMD said they "abhor" the video but would not say who did it or how they would be punished.
  • YouTube removed the video as hate speech.
  • Cooper and Heid did not apologize till Huffington Post was about to out them.

In 2010 at UMD two white students on Facebook publicly called a black student a racial slur and said they felt "unsafe" and "dirty" in her presence.

UMD said it was "deeply saddened" but would not say who did it or how they would be punished.

The black student who outed the Facebookers said:

I have known about several incidents that have happened here on campus at UMD, and the school always tries to push it under the rug, and I refused to let this one go.

In January 2012 UMD joined the anti-racist Unfair Campaign. Tim Wise spoke in February. Ads, Posters and billboards informed Duluth about white privilege:

  • "It's hard to see racism when you're white."
  • "Racism: Ignore it and it won't go away."
  • "We are privileged because society was set up for us and our silence keeps it in place."
  • "We're privileged and that's unfair."


In July 2012 UMD said the campaign was "divisive" and pulled out.

In October 2012 in Duluth someone lynched President Obama in effigy from a highway billboard. The police laughed and took it down.

duluth obama effigy rect

In 1920 whites in Duluth lynched three black circus workers for raping and killing a white woman. The white woman, it turned out, was very much alive. Her doctor said she was not raped.


No one was ever punished for the murders.

White Northerners like to think racism is a Southern thing, that it comes from a lack of education. And so when stuff like this comes out, they are shocked - but then always write it off as an exception.

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