Jane Oranika’s video response to Donald Trump‘s presidential victory had people pretty upset. The video shows Oranika applying light concealer to her skin while making satirical comments about the experience of being white.
In an interview with Buzzfeed, Oranika explains that she and her colleagues had a running joke that if Trump was elected, they would have nothing to worry about because they were Caucasian (referencing a sketch by popular internet persona, Joanne the Scammer).
— ✖️ (@oranicuhh) November 9, 2016
The video went viral and some Twitter users were not happy.
— Landen Gullberg (@GREBLLUG) November 17, 2016
This is racist, she is doing “white-face”—if black-face is bad, then so is white-face.
Report and block. https://t.co/Jl83s3j7v3
— Teenage Dream (@Ann_Tagonist_) November 16, 2016
Report and block is exactly what people did, as Twitter suspended Oranika’s account for five days. Apparently, someone didn’t inform these people that “white-face” isn’t actually a thing.
According to Twitter, however, her account was suspended due to “pornographic” images. “Our rules prohibit pornography in profile and header images. When violations are reported to us, we’ll notify the user, temporarily suspend the account, and reinstate it after the image is changed,” a Twitter rep told Buzzfeed.
Oranika’s header did indeed feature a watercolour image that could perhaps be in violation to the Twitter policies, but she maintains that when she logged back in, there were no changes made to the account.
“[When] I got my page back, my header and avi were the same. I changed it [the header image] a couple days ago [by choice] because if I got reported again, I wanted to make sure there was no grey area where they could say my account was sketchy.”
Oranika still feels like the video was the reason for the suspension, but believes the problem goes far beyond Twitter’s support team. In an interview with Teen Vogue, she states:
“I feel like everyone knows this year’s election had everything to do with racism. If they don’t, they’re so far gone and deluded, that I have no advice for them but to soul-search. No one wants to say it because to admit there’s a problem presents the responsibility of creating a solution. Too many people would be inconvenienced by addressing institutional racism, so they’d rather sit on the issue. I think it’s selfish and eye-opening.”