Maya Peterson, the first black female student body president at the prestigious Lawrenceville School near Princeton, N.J., was stripped of her position after posting an Instagram mocking her rich, white, male classmates. Buzzfeed's Katie J. M. Baker obtained the Instagram — above — featuring Peterson dressed up as the typical "Lawrenceville boi."
Peterson added hashtags like #romney2016 and #confederate to drive the point home. According to Baker, who obtained the photo exclusively from Peterson herself, Peterson posted the photo after students complained about of photo of black students making the black power salute in the school yearbook. In the comments of her post, she wrote:
Yes, I am making a mockery of the right-wing, confederate-flag hanging, openly misogynistic Lawrentians. If that's a large portion of the school's male population, then I think the issue is not with my bringing attention to it in a lighthearted way, but rather why no one has brought attention to it before ...
To Buzzfeed, she added, "I understand why I hurt people's feelings, but I didn't become president to make sure rich white guys had more representation on campus. Let's be honest. They're not the ones that feel uncomfortable here."
Peterson announced her resignation in a school-wide email earlier this year. According to Buzzfeed, Peterson was told by officials that she would face disciplinary action if she didn't resign.
Black students at Lawrenceville, which costs $53,000 a year to attend, told Buzzfeed that there is still a major racial divide at the school. Baker reports:
Many [black students] said they had been called racial epithets, ranging from "Negro amigo" to "n***er," by white peers who didn't understand "why they couldn't say the word too."
One student said she overheard her white male classmates call black students on an opposing basketball team "Trayvon," after Trayvon Martin. Another pointed out a newspaper op-ed by a white student criticizing a Black History Month celebration for "descending" into a rap performance "crafted with too little, if any, subtlety."
When Peterson was elected, she told the school paper she hoped to make Lawrenceville a "truly unified and diverse" place.