Student Who Destroyed A Classmate’s College Dreams With 3-Second Video Has No Regrets — ‘I Taught Her A Lesson’

Written by K. Walker on December 28, 2020

“Cancel culture” doesn’t just hit the high-profile people anymore, it’s become mainstream.

A young woman’s college dreams were shattered because of a stupid mistake that she made when she was a high school freshman. Her former classmate made sure of that.

The New York Times published an article about the aftermath of the 3-second viral video, and it was very sympathetic towards the young man who shared the video rather than the young woman who had her future destroyed. It was titled, “A Racial Slur, a Viral Video, and a Reckoning.”

The article reports that Jimmy Galligan, now 18. said that there was a permissive culture at the school where both he and Groves attended, Heritage High School, that turned a blind eye to racism, and that he had gone to the administration several times to complain, but never got anywhere. It also noted that Leesburg, Virginia, where this sordid tale takes place is “named for an ancestor of the Confederate general Robert E. Lee and whose school system had fought an order to desegregate for more than a decade after the Supreme Court’s landmark ruling.”

The article is framed to cast Mimi Groves, now 19, in a negative light.

In 2016, Groves had just received her learner’s permit and sent a Snapchat message to a friend. It was a 3-second video where she looked directly into the camera and said, “I can drive, n*****s.” And yes, this was the dreaded “hard-R” word not the adjusted version with the “er” removed and replaced with an “a” as is often done in rap music.

Galligan saw the video for the first time when it was sent to him while he was sitting in History class last year. He decided to hang onto it and “make it public when the time was right.” He said, “I wanted to get her where she would understand the severity of that word.”

He decided that the “right” moment was when Groves posted a message of support for Black Lives Matter on Instagram in the wake of the death of George Floyd and the protests that followed. She urged her followers to “protest, donate, sign a petition, rally, do something.”

Groves said that she received a reply to her post from someone she didn’t know that said, “You have the audacity to post this, after saying the N-word.”

She then started getting calls and messages from friends that the 3-second video of her 15-year old self was being shared on social media and was causing a firestorm.

Just one month before the video went viral, Groves had been accepted into her dream college. As a varsity cheerleader, she wanted to attend the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, because their cheer team is the current reigning national champion.

However, once the social media furor began, the university started to get complaints. Administrators said that they received “hundreds of emails and phone calls from outraged alumni, students and the public.” They quickly caved. She was immediately removed from the cheer squad. Then, Admissions officials gave Groves two options — she could withdraw, or they would rescind the offer of admission. It wasn’t much of a choice.

The consequences were swift. Over the next two days, Ms. Groves was removed from the university’s cheer team. She then withdrew from the school under pressure from admissions officials, who told her they had received hundreds of emails and phone calls from outraged alumni, students and the public.

“They’re angry, and they want to see some action,” an admissions official told Ms. Groves and her family, according to a recording of the emotional call reviewed by The New York Times.

The Times isn’t completely one-sided, it does admit that there is a problem with being “canceled” by anyone for any reason, but then they go back to the problem of the rampant racism that is apparently going unchecked in schools in Virginia.

In one sense, the public shaming of Ms. Groves underscores the power of social media to hold people of all ages accountable, with consequences at times including harassment and both online and real-world “cancellation.” But the story behind the backlash also reveals a more complex portrait of behavior that for generations had gone unchecked in schools in one of the nation’s wealthiest counties, where Black students said they had long been subjected to ridicule. “Go pick cotton,” some said they were told in class by white students.

Racism is always awful, and it’s appalling that this sort of thing is happening in Virginia in 2020, but this young woman’s future was destroyed because of a stupid 3-second video she posted when she was 15 years old.

For her part, Mimi Groves is quick to apologize and says that it was a stupid thing that she did and she didn’t realize how bad the word was because she was a kid and, though it’s no excuse, the word is pervasive in popular music.

Ms. Groves said the video began as a private Snapchat message to a friend. “At the time, I didn’t understand the severity of the word, or the history and context behind it because I was so young,” she said in a recent interview, adding that the slur was in “all the songs we listened to, and I’m not using that as an excuse.”…

…“It honestly disgusts me that those words would come out of my mouth,” Mimi Groves said of her video. “How can you convince somebody that has never met you and the only thing they’ve ever seen of you is that three-second clip?”

Ms. Groves said racial slurs and hate speech were not tolerated by her parents, who had warned their children to never post anything online that they would not say in person or want their parents and teachers to read.

But that was months ago. What has happened since then? Well, Galligan has gone on to University in California and Groves is taking community college courses online living with her parents.

In the months since Mr. Galligan posted the video, he has begun his freshman year at Vanguard University in California and Ms. Groves has enrolled in online classes at a nearby community college. Though they had been friendly earlier in high school, they have not spoken about the video or the fallout.

At home, Ms. Groves’s bedroom is festooned by a collection of cheer trophies, medals and a set of red pompoms — reminders of what could have been. Her despair has given way to resignation. “I’ve learned how quickly social media can take something they know very little about, twist the truth and potentially ruin somebody’s life,” she said.

Galligan, it should be noted is mixed — his mother is black and his father is white.

His problem with the n-word extends to his own family, but only occasionally, apparently.

Mr. Galligan thinks a lot about race, and the implications of racial slurs. He said his father was often the only white person at maternal family gatherings, where “the N-word is a term that is thrown around sometimes” by Black relatives. A few years ago, he said his father said it aloud, prompting Mr. Galligan and his sister to quietly take him aside and explain that it was unacceptable, even when joking around.

So, wait… Is he worried that his father is somehow racist for using a word that Galligan admits is flung around by members of his mother’s family?

If a word is a racial slur that we all determine to be unacceptable, then we can’t have two standards for it. Either trying to “reclaim” the word is acceptable for everyone or it is unacceptable for anyone to say. You can’t have it both ways.

Still, Galligan thinks it’s a good thing that we have different standards based on race. He’s very happy that white TikTok users are now no longer singing along to the n-word in rap songs and are instead putting up a finger to their closed lips. Galligan said, “Small things like that really do make a difference.”

But Galligan would be fine with a black teen rapping all of the words, right?

How about we have one standard for everyone instead of race-based standards? By the way, does this mean that Galligan censors his own language or not, since he’s mixed? Nobody at the Times bothered to ask him, so we’ll never know.

For his role, Mr. Galligan said he had no regrets. “If I never posted that video, nothing would have ever happened,” he said. And because the internet never forgets, the clip will always be available to watch.

“I’m going to remind myself, you started something,” he said with satisfaction. “You taught someone a lesson.”
Source: New York Times

Galligan is of the opinion that individuals should be held accountable for everything that they post online, even the stupid things that teenagers post to their friends…unless that same act isn’t stupid based on their race.

What kind of regressive thinking is that? The same kind that is taught in schools and is pervasive in “woke” colleges.

James Lindsay, co-founder of New Discourses and one of the academic trio that had fake, shoddy “woke” papers published in academic journals has been sounding the alarm about Critical Race Theory and “wokeism” for a long time.

He took an interest in this story and faced a whole lot of backlash because he said that Galligan’s behavior was “psychopathy.”

Lindsay continues to warn that there is no grace or forgiveness with the woke, only cancelation.

But, because his social media reach is so vast, there might be a happy end for Mimi Groves after all.

There should always be room for redemption, especially when there is remorse.

It’s also important to remember that the New York Times’s sympathetic figure, Jimmy Galligan, has no remorse.

ClashDaily's Associate Editor since August 2016. Self-described political junkie, anti-Third Wave Feminist, and a nightmare to the 'intersectional' crowd. Mrs. Walker has taken a stand against 'white privilege' education in public schools. She's also an amateur Playwright, former Drama teacher, and staunch defender of the Oxford comma. Follow her humble musings on Twitter: @TheMrsKnowItAll