A bulletin board in a residence hall at Indiana University sparked outrage this week by asking if students would allow Santa Claus into their home if he was a black man.
"If Santa is a black man, would you let him come down your chimney?" asked the display from the school’s diversity program.
Students were encouraged to write their answers on the board.
The CommUnity Education posted other questions like “Did you ever play with a black Barbie doll?” and “If Santa Claus is a black man, wouldn’t he only visit the ghetto?”
The university admitted on its Twitter account late Monday that the campaign was a “misguided” attempted to foster discussion about racial stereotypes
“The sign is being removed. The intention was to educate, not offend, but we recognize the problem and apologize to everyone effected,” wrote @IUBloomington on Dec. 2.
“While the intent was good the execution was misguided," University spokesman Mark Land told WHTR. "This program has a good record of fostering debate among students on important issues, but this effort missed the mark."
Land admitted that, if seen out of context, the bulletin could easily be considered offensive.
“If you didn’t know any of the context — you just saw the bulletin board — it looked like someone had created a poster that had negative stereotypes about African Americans,” he said.
“This incident has generated a lot of discussion on important issues,” the school tweeted. “Thank you to everyone who shared their concerns with us.”