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Senior Yearbook Quote Sparks Racial Controversy (Photo)

| by Alex Scarr

A Florida teen has become the subject of a social media firestorm after posting a picture of her yearbook quote.

Savanna Tomlinson, a senior at a Florida high school, submitted the yearbook quote: "Anything is possible when you sound Caucasian on the phone."

A Twitter picture of the quote quickly went viral, garnering more than 58,000 retweets.

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Tomlinson explained to BuzzFeed that her quote was inspired by a post she saw on social media in which a man held up a plane ticket he apparently got for free after arguing with the airline. He claimed he used his "sounded white" voice.

"I just switched up the words a bit and put it in a more appropriate way and submitted it to my school's yearbook team," she said. Once it was submitted, printed and shared on social media, the quote quickly gained traction.

Some users on Twitter agreed with Tomlinson, comparing her experience to their own.

"It's the truth," wrote one user. "My wife worked in sales for years, would talk to people on the phone and they'd come in looking for the white girl."

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"I don't even know you and I'm ready to write y[o]u a letter of recommendation just from this statement," another user wrote, the Daily Mail notes.

Not everyone agreed with the premise that Tomlinson had stated.

"My mother in law was a Black attorney who had her own law firm and was extremely professional in her work," one BuzzFeed reader commented. "She NEVER used her 'white voice' to communicate with anyone. The woman was unapologetically Black and professional all at the same time."

"Not all white people are professional sounding in general or all of the time and this is of course true of all ethnicities," wrote another. "Instead of going along with those dumb***es that assume they're speaking to a white person, maybe don't apply race to that professional voice either."

Others disagreed with the apparent division that Tomlinson created.

"Do you not see how this fuels this race war?" one person tweeted, according to the Daily Mail. "Just wish it didn't have to always be white and black. We shouldn't be against each other."

Tomlinson acknowledged the stir created by the post, telling Daily Mail she expected people to have an opinion on her quote. Nevertheless, she believes the quote bears true.

"Personally I feel that people will indeed judge you and perceive you differently if you have a certain tone or pitch of voice," she said. "It's unfair some people are forced to present themselves in a certain light in order to have a good impression."

Sources: Daily Mail, BuzzFeed / Photo credit: Liz West/Flickr, Savy/Twitter via Daily Mail

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