Columbia College Chicago administrators are investigating an incident in which a student sent a racist private message to the Facebook page of a Pilsen bar after he was kicked out last weekend.
Columbia’s chief of staff, Laurent Pernot, confirmed the college is looking into the incident and would follow its usual protocol for possible discipline.
”Obviously, we have a diverse student body, we foster a climate of tolerance, but we cannot comment on specific incidents and specific student situations,” Pernot said.
The student, whom the Chicago Sun-Times is not naming, sent the private message to Harbee Liquors & Tavern, 1345 W. 18th St., after a night out last Saturday.
The message, which included the n-word, was made public by a Facebook user who had access to the bar’s Facebook page and posted a screenshot of the message to their own account. Several people took those photos and posted them on Columbia’s Facebook page, urging the college to take disciplinary action.
“Lol I didn’t know Pilzen was so ghetto that you didn’t realize you should treat a white boy with respect,” the student wrote to the bar at 2:37 a.m. early Sunday. “Well you’ll learn. I have lots of photos of the blood on my shirt and how you only returned part of the contents of my wallet. My dad has promised me his legal team will start the suit against your business on Monday morning. Amazing that you n------ really thought you could get away with treating me like that.”
The student couldn’t be reached for comment Wednesday.
A manager at Harbee declined to comment Wednesday other than to say the student reached out to the bar the next day and apologized for his actions. Harbee’s owner could not be reached.
Columbia College’s student newspaper, The Chronicle, reported that it spoke to the student, who confirmed to the newspaper that he sent the messages and said he was “very drunk” that night. The Chronicle reported he thought he had been robbed, beat up and dragged out of the bar. Later, he told the newspaper, he found out the police were called because he was the one “going out of control.”
“I’m really ashamed. I don’t know how I used that sort of language, and I’m really disturbed that it came out of me in that state,” the student told The Chronicle.