Well this certainly was a graduation that the students will never forget.
At the TNT Academy commencement ceremony in Georgia on Friday, the Valedictorian’s speech was accidentally left out of the program, so the crowd had started to disperse when he got up to speak, and not everyone was paying attention.
That’s when the school’s founder/director Nancy Gordeuk stepped up to the microphone to tell everyone that they were being rude.
“Look who’s leaving… all the black people,” she said.
As the video shows, the room quickly reacts to the racist comments with some people approaching the podium and others walking out in disgust.
Gordeuk has since apologized in an email to parents, in which she says “the devil was in the house and came out from my mouth,” according to 11 Alive News in Atlanta.
Frustrated with the prospect of ruining the once-in-a-lifetime ceremony the graduates have worked so hard for, my emotions got the best of me and that is when I blurted out ‘you people are being so rude to not listen to this speech.’ I deeply apologize for my actions made in the emotional state of trying to let this last student finish his speech.
Here’s another video of the incident that includes a moment before the racist remarks where she calls someone a “goober” and a “coward.”
“She’s off her rocker,” says one of the men in the video.
To encourage discussions about race relations in the United States, Starbucks has asked its baristas to write #RaceTogether on coffee cups and engage in serious conversations with customers.
Turns out that’s the last thing people a bunch of disgruntled people want first thing in the morning while waiting for their first jolt of caffeine.
CEO Howard Schultz describes the initiative as “an opportunity to begin to re-examine how we can create a more empathetic and inclusive society – one conversation at a time.”
He organized an internal meeting back in December in which employees shared stories and discussed all the recent shootings and events which inspired protests and riots from Ferguson to New York.
The company held similar forums around the country over the past few months, and now they’ve decided to extend this initiative out to their customers through the “Race Together” initiative.
Despite all the good intentions behind the campaign, it has turned into somewhat of a joke on Twitter.
After the backlash, Starbucks’ senior vice president of communications, Corey duBrowa, eventually deleted his Twitter account, which is not a good sign.
“I was personally attacked through my Twitter account around midnight last night and the tweets represented a distraction from the respectful conversation we are trying to start around Race Together,” he told Business Insider.
Here are some of the responses on Twitter that Starbucks likely did not see coming: