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January 18, 2018

Questlove reacts to apology from Alabama sorority sister expelled for racist videos

Race Relations Questlove
Racist New Jersey Alabama YouTube/Screenshot

A screenshot of a racist Instagram rant from a University of Alabama student from New Jersey.

After two shocking videos revealed a sorority sister's racist rant at the University of Alabama, the 19-year-old student and New Jersey native has apologized for the hateful behavior that led to her expulsion. 

“I did something really, really bad,” Holly Barber told the New York Post as she prepared to return home to Marlton. “I don’t know what to do and I feel horrible. I’m wrong and there’s just no excuse for what I did.”

RELATED ARTICLE: Questlove learns fascinating truth about family ancestry on 'Finding Your Roots' 

Barber published the videos on her secondary "finstagram" account, which is a secondary Instagram account some create to conceal their identities and activities on the social media platform. Barber's first video, uploaded by a Twitter user aiming to expose her racism, shows the Alpha Phi sorority member at a sink saying she "f***ing hates n******."

The second video shows Barber in a car with several other sorority sisters. They laugh along with her while she responds to critics of the first video and bizarrely claims a right to use the N-word because she's from New Jersey.

Backlash against Barber's videos has predictably been overwhelming. The international Alpha Phi organization kicked Barber out of the sorority and the University of Alabama, calling the remarks "ignorant and disturbing,"ultimately decided to cut ties with her.

Among those who responded Thursday to the aftermath of the videos was The Roots drummer and DJ Amir "Questlove" Thompson, who said the expulsion means little and that more should be made of the girls who backed Barber up.

As the New York Post noted Wednesday, one of the sorority sisters can be heard telling Barber not to post the second video, but for the most part, the group in the car appears to cheer on the provocative and hateful speech. 

Some on Twitter agreed with Questlove's assessment that Barber's sorority sisters are culpable, too, for failing to intervene. Others felt badly for Alpha Phi members whose reputations are tarnished by Barber's actions. 

Alabama's chapter of Alpha Phi previously faced criticism for a 2015 recruitment video featuring almost exclusively white women dressed in minimal attire. 

"Alpha Phi is a diverse, values-based organization and condemns the language and opinions in these videos," said Linda Kahangi, executive director of Alpha Phi International Fraternity, in a statement Wednesday. "They are offensive and hateful to both our own members and to other members of the Greek and campus community."