Terrell Finner usually doesn’t joke around when it comes to his education. The self-described ’20-something’ with roots in Texas is currently working on his post-baccalaureate pre-medical studies at Columbia University and, according to his LinkedIn profile, in 2015 he graduated from Penn State University, where he won several academic and Greek life awards, while he worked toward obtaining a degree in health policy and administration.
When he’s not hitting the books, Finner can often be found posting on Twitter, where one of his jokes recently went viral. Using the handle @_KingAres, he posted two photos of himself pretending to be in a hospital bed with a sheet draped over him, a homemade hospital bracelet looped around his wrist, a laptop cord strategically placed over his arm and headphones pushed into his nose. “I'm emailing these pics to my chem prof bc I had a nosebleed & had to be hospitalized & can't take this midterm Wed,” he tweeted.
The tweet was obviously a joke - one of the photos had the end of his laptop charger prominently featured and the other had a text overlay that read “God got me,” but they proved to be an online sensation. Finner’s joke was retweeted nearly 20,000 times and liked by more than 20,500 users since it was posted on Feb. 14.
Though Finner hasn’t said how well he did on his midterm, he did speak out against some of the comments and press he’s received since the joke went viral. After the Daily Mail reported on his tweet, he noted that many of the comments were related to his race and doubting his accomplishments.
“[Commenters] said I was only at Columbia [because] of affirmative active which if I was, Columbia is doing a terrible job at instituting,” he tweeted. “Said I was on a basketball scholarship...too bad I can't play a lick of basketball… And questioned how by any means could a black man who enjoys joking around with his friends on social media EVER get into an Ivy… This is why I grind. To keep making you racist bastards mad. So, stay mad.”
Despite the criticism, Finner is still working hard and using his Twitter account to make jokes and promote social and racial justice, which he also writes about on his blog, Black Wellness.