Apology from University of Dubuque student who posted 'black face' picture

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DUBUQUE, Iowa (KCRG-TV9) - The University of Dubuque student who posted a picture of what appears to be "black face" is apologizing. Morgan Jakel gave a heart felt speech Wednesday night during a conversation held at UD in the afternoon.

University of Dubuque student Morgan Jakel apologized to students and the community on Wednesday, March 1, 2017 for a social media post. The post included a picture of her and another girl in what appeared to be black face. (Charlie Schurmann, KCRG-TV9

Someone posted the photo on social media. The picture shows two girls, who are white, wearing facial masks. A camera filter says "Celebrate Black History."

Some people who saw it say it's offensive and racist.

Students packed Blades Hall Chapel to have what President Jeff Bullock called "the uncomfortable conversation". Students lead it to talk about how the situation affected them.

Some students said action needs to be taken to prove the university really does have a zero tolerance policy about racism. Other students called the post a hate crime, and that the student who posted it knew exactly what she was doing.

Students believe Jakel is only sorry because she got caught.

However other students said it's one mistake.

Jakel choked back tears while she addressed students. She said she's from a rural community and had no idea what black face really is and the meaning behind it.

"Coming from a community of just 400 people and a class of 14, you can guess how diverse our school was, not at all," said Jakel. "Because of this, I have had close to no experience with African American culture. Until Monday, I was not familiar with the term "black face" or the definition. I have come to realize how horrible this picture was not just for UD, but for the surrounding community."

Jakel's friends say she's received death threats and messages encouraging her to take her own life.

Teachers who spoke say this is not only a lesson in race relations and racial history, but also in the dangers and reality of social media.

The President at the University of Dubuque calls this social media post done by two students 'disrespectful'. People shared the post online, and the president responded on Tuesday, February 28, 2017.