BREAKING NEWS: A few hours ago, Bomani X @AceBoonCoon updated his twitter feed with yet another one of his shocking discoveries on Google Maps. Yesterday the world took notice when he posted an image of his Google Maps results where he found that when he searched for the keyword ‘nigga’ or ‘nigger’ , the White House would come up. Unfortunately, President Obama and his family are not the only targets of this deplorable prank. When you run a Google Maps search for ‘nigger university’ you get search results for ‘Howard University,’ a private university in Washington, D.C.
I spoke with the 22 year old Bomani just a few minutes ago to find out how he came across this new discovery:
“I am a recent graduate of Howard University, and after finding the Google Maps results for ‘nigger house’ a group of us Howard Alumni were looking around Google Maps to see if there was more.”
“We were discussing the issue for quite a long time when we found ‘nigger university’ and it turns out that those results were for the University we just graduated from.”
Bomani went on to say that
“I felt very disheartened to find these results in 2015. I just graduated from Howard University you know? And to have graduated from such a prestigious university, and achieved something I can be proud of, this [discovery] made it feel like that accomplishment was being diminished.”
According to Wikipedia: Howard University is a federally chartered, private, coeducational, nonsectarian, historically black university in Washington, D.C. It is classified as a research university with high research activity.
Based on that description, one can only assume that the racist prankster singled out “historically black university” and decided to insult not only President Obama and his family, but everyone at Howard University and ultimately everyone of color. Surpassing that, I think it would be safe to say that anyone with basic human decency would be offended at the notion of putting down a group of people based on skin color.
Defacing Google Maps around the world for fun or to draw attention to a larger problem is nothing new. Read some of my previous blog entries to see for yourself. Publicly attacking an entire race of people accomplishes nothing but dividing humans from other humans, instead of finding commonalities which bring people together. This country has had a rocky past, as have most others. Our strength is in our ability to unite in spite of our differences. The more we dialogue and refuse to be divided, the stronger we will be.
Google Maps has disabled their MapMaker Product as of May 12th, yet more and more ‘bad edits’ and inaccurate data comes to light. Considering that Google rectify these various flaws, how many more institutions and historic landmarks need to be publicly defaced with the most vile and racist word in the English Language before Google actually fixes the problem?
There is already a petition to ask Google to fix the problem. Sign it, and lets see if we can at least prevent this from continuing to happen again.