BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (WTHR) -- A message posted on a residence hall bulletin board is causing controversy at Indiana University.
The message, posted on a bulletin board for the Community Education Program in Foster Residence Center, asks "Can Santa Claus be a black man?" The display includes questions, with notepaper attached to respond, such as "If Santa is a black man, would you let him come down your chimney?" and "If Santa Claus is a black man, wouldn't he only visit the ghetto?"
The bulletin board sparked outrage and debate on social media Monday evening. A university spokesman said the display was created as part of a diversity program in the residence halls to "raise awareness and promote discussion on issues such as race, gender and sexual identity."
"The aim of this was to start a discussion around racial stereotypes, and while the intent was good the execution was misguided," said IU Associate Vice President of Public Affairs Mark Land in a statement. "This program has a good record of fostering debate among students on important issues, but this effort missed the mark."
The university had the display taken down Monday night.
"(We) apologize if the images offended anyone - that clearly wasn't the intent," Land wrote.
Regarding a controversial bulletin board at Foster Quad: There was a misguided effort to generate discussion about racial stereotypes. (1/3)— Indiana University (@IUBloomington) December 3, 2013
The sign is being removed. The intention was to educate, not offend, but we recognize the problem and apologize to everyone effected. (2/3)— Indiana University (@IUBloomington) December 3, 2013
This incident has generated a lot of discussion on important issues. Thank you to everyone who shared their concerns with us. (3/3)— Indiana University (@IUBloomington) December 3, 2013
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