Two weeks ago, the cover story of The Daily Tar Heel featured first-year Benjamin Davis, decked out in all yellow clothing and sitting on a yellow bed with a yellow laptop. Yellow is Davis' signature color, a hue that he associates with his happiness. Unfortunately, it is a color that others on this campus associate (derogatorily) with being Chinese.
On Sept. 21, UNC Chapel Hill's campus story on Snapchat featured a screenshot of Davis' photograph with the caption "if only he was Chinese."
Submissions to campus stories are apparently moderated by Snapchat to screen out photos or videos of inappropriate behavior, but this one must have slipped through the cracks — or, it was deemed appropriate.
Snapchat has run into problems with how the app has handled issues of race in the past (see the problematic "yellow face" and "Bob Marley" filters). However, our issue has less to do with the platform than it has to do with whichever jokester thought that the submission was humorous enough to share or create in the first place.
If it's not funny when a white person wears all white, what makes it funny when an East Asian person wears all yellow? It just isn't humorous. The joke isn't original, it isn't based on any truth and it certainly shouldn't be representative of the UNC campus. If a Chinese-American high school student opened Snapchat during his or her tour of campus and found that submission, would it affect his or her sense of belonging at this school?