UW-Madison Student Apologizes For Racist Rant Caught On Video

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A University of Wisconsin-Madison student has issued an apology nearly one month after she suggested Black people pick cotton in fields until they "die of thirst" in a video that surfaced online.

In an email to UW-Madison newspaper The Daily Cardinal, Audrey Godlewski apologized for the "harmful actions and comments" she made in the video last month, per the Daily Beast.

“My words were utterly disgusting and unacceptable, whether in public or private. This is completely inexcusable, and I accept full responsibility for the pain and anger that I have caused across campus," Godlewski said on Monday (June 5). "Moreover, I know that no words can undo the hurt I have caused throughout the community, and for that, I am deeply sorry. I commit myself to further reflection and learning to ensure I do not cause similar hurt in the future. Finally, I would like to apologize to the friends and family in my life that were directly affected by my choices."

Godlewski's racist rant sparked protests on campus and calls for the university to acknowledge racial inequities and expel her.

“F*ck you. I’m going to kill myself,” Godlewski said in the video. “I hope everyone f*cking misses me because I’m going to go back and haunt every f*cking little n**** who f*cking did me wrong. I literally hate all of them. I’ll make them pick f*cking cotton in the fields all day long until they f*cking die of thirst. Their bodies are going to dry out because of how much cotton they’re picking for me.”

Warning: Explicit

It's unclear what led to the rant or how it began circulating on social media.

The university previously condemned the video but said it couldn't expel the student because the First Amendment "protects a person’s right to say very offensive and hateful things."

"Some have called for the speaker of these racist words to be expelled. Some have called for worse. Simply stated, the law does not allow the university to take punitive action for words like these spoken in private spaces, even when those words are racist and hateful,” UW-Madison said at the time.

UW-Madison student group BLK PWR Coalition, which led Black student town halls and demonstrations in the wake of Godlewski's racist video, addressed her recent apology in a statement to The Daily Beast.

“Although The Coalition is glad that she recognizes the harm that she caused our community, we are disappointed that she didn’t directly apologize to us — the BLK PWR Coalition, and UW-Madison’s Black population,” the group wrote. “Instead, she chose to release her apology to campus media before consulting with the people whom her comments directly impacted. The Coalition knows that white supremacy is bigger than her comments; What she ignited is the foundation on which this university stands.

“We hope that she and all white students, faculty, staff, and administrators rid themselves of white supremacist ideologies and microaggressions. We hope that they join Black students as we continue to demand and conjure systematic change for ourselves and future generations.”

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