A Temple University student took it upon himself to offend an entire community with one social media post. A TikTok video has been circulating the net of a white male, presumably named Liam McDowell, making a tasteless mockery of Temple’s predominately black North Philadelphia neighborhood. In the 15-second clip, McDowell can be seen in front of the camera with Temple’s campus in the background with the words “going to a city school and walking two blocks off campus for a party” at the bottom of the screen.
The video then transitions to have McDowell in front of a backdrop of homes neighboring the university, accompanied by audio from season 4 of the “Real House of Atlanta”’s “Too Late to Apollo-Gize” episode, where Nene Leakes says “whew chile, the ghetto.” McDowell is clearly implying that North Philly is ghetto. This is the same university that has a 54.2 percent white population, according to DataUsa, but is located in the heart of a neighborhood that is made of up of 49.8 percent black people, Factfinder.census.gov reports.
While McDowell appears to be making a joke, the Temple student was met with crickets, as very few were humored.
Without haste, people immediately took to social media to sound off on the blatant disrespect for the historic community and its’ residents.
“Just saw this tiktok and its so dry yall ever hear of Gentrification ?? like dont come to a school if youre going to make fun of the conditions locals are forced to live in bc theyre being pushing out all the f**king time,” one user wrote. She then challenged students who “make these jokes” to be “this bold” in front of those whom they’re mocking.
She continued, “I want all the students that make these jokes to go to a community meeting with locals who care a lot for their homes. i wonder if yall will be this bold then. some people are getting mad about my tweet but to be fair, that guy is 1) an adult, 2) a student who knew the temple area before coming (if not, should have looked it up) and still came here 3) an adult. if you’re going to post something on social media, know the consequences.”
Another person, who says they are a 5th year senior at Temple confirmed that this is typical behavior from the student body. “As a 5th year temple senior, this is unfortunately what most of the student body is like. Worse every year. Temple was once a school for the community but now wants to compete w Penn State as they further gentrify an already struggling community,” she wrote.
A third person tweeted that McDowell is an “Owl Team Leader,” which according to Temple’s website is an orientation leader that welcomes incoming students. A tweet has also alleged that he was “asked” to leave the Owl Team.
Interesting. See more reactions to the tactless video before.
I really don’t know what I expected from someone named Liam McDowell— Nick At Noon (@Mayer_of_none) December 11, 2019
hope he don’t get recognized walking to class😭😂😂— L G (@LexGxo) December 11, 2019
Idk why i cant rt or quote rt this— but my cousins never regret dog walking kids from Temple on their block for this very damn attitude— Steven Underwood 🎂1/12 (@blaqueword) December 11, 2019
Also yes too scared to even go out to these locations to film. Despicable— ben’s jammin pay for pussy (@BarelyOnTime) December 10, 2019
How you hate north philly but chose to go to college there?— PT. (@GGmalinj) December 11, 2019
You gotta be really white to use Black Memes made popular by Black People to shit on Black Communities that your school destroyed— ᖴᗩT ᔕᑌᑭᖇEᗰᗩᑕIᔕT (@fluffyblkboy) December 11, 2019
🤢🤢 i go here, and the amount of gentrification is ridiculous.— . (@oraaanges) December 11, 2019
Disgusting.— 🦑🏳️🌈 (@Aqua_Fag) December 11, 2019
And no place for others to live so they make them leave. Come to Newark you will find the same new, beautiful and unaffordable buildings, we are pushed away from the exclusive areas, but we are given... jobs?, arts?, supermarkets? ... we’re we can’t afford to buy food GTFOH.— Newark Speaks 2U (@muslimah_pr) December 11, 2019