Jimmy Galligan Biography — Wiki
Jimmy Galligan is a black Virginia student who says he has no regrets about sharing a video online of a white high school classmate using a racial slur that forced her to withdraw from her dream college. Galligan revealed to the New York Times how he had been in history class at Heritage High School last year when he received a text from a friend that included a video of classmate Mimi Groves using a racial epithet.
The three-second clip, sent by Groves to a friend on Snapchat in 2016, showed the then-15-year-old freshman looking into the camera saying ‘I can drive, n*****s’ as she was sitting in traffic.
Jimmy Galligan Age
Jimmy Galligan, of Leesburg, is 18 years old.
Jimmy Galligan insists he doesn’t regret getting his white classmate kicked out of her dream college
Jimmy Galligansaid he had flagged the clip to teachers and administrators but his complaints reportedly yielded no response. Frustrated and angry, Galligan said he decided to hold onto the video until he thought it was the right time to post it publicly. He posted it in June this year.
‘I wanted to get her where she would understand the severity of that word,’ 18-year-old Galligan, whose mother is black and father is white, told the Times.
‘If I never posted that video, nothing would have ever happened. I’m going to remind myself, you started something,’ he continued. ‘You taught someone a lesson.’
Groves’ video had originally circulated among some students at Heritage High shortly after she recorded it in 2016, but it reportedly did not cause much of a stir.
Galligan said the racial slur used by Groves had regularly been hurled in classrooms and in hallways during his time in the Loudon County School district.
He also said he hadn’t seen the video prior to receiving it last summer when both he and Groves were seniors.
What we know so far
Groves, a championship-winning cheerleader, was planning to attend the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, whose cheer team were reigning national champions. She was accepted into the team in May. Weeks later, following the Memorial Day police killing of George Floyd in Minnesota, racial injustice protests broke out across the nation. In response, in a public Instagram post in June, Groves urged people to ‘protest, donate, sign a petition, rally, and do something’ to help support the BLM movement.
One responder to the post, who Groves said she didn’t know, reportedly replied: ‘You have the audacity to post this, after saying the N-word.’ Groves said her confusion quickly turned to panic as friends began calling her and directing her to the outrage that was erupting on social media.
As it would later transpire, Galligan had publicly posted the Snapchat video from four years ago to Instagram earlier that afternoon, having waited until she had selected a college.
Within a matter of hours, the clip had been shared widely across social media, including on TikTok and Twitter. As views of the footage continued to mount, as did furious calls from members of the public demanding the University of Tennessee revoke its admission offer to Groves.
In the weeks that followed the killing of George Floyd, teenagers leveraging social media to call out classmates and peers for racist behavior became commonplace across the country. In many cases, anonymous pages on Instagram were set up devoted to holding classmates accountable, the Times reported.
In the case of Groves, within two days, she was kicked off the university’s cheer team and forced to withdraw from UT under pressure from admission officials, citing hundreds of emails and phone calls from outraged former and current students.
‘They’re angry, and they want to see some action,’ an administration official told Groves and her family, as reported by the Times.
What Jimmy Galligan says: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, Reddit
Galligan himself said he recalled being mocked with a racial slur by white classmates after their senior-year English teacher played an audio recording of the 1902 novella ‘Heart of Darkness’ that contained racist language. One of the classmates who mocked him, Galligan said, later went on to make threatening comments about Muslims in an Instagram post.
Galligan said he showed the footage to the principal who declined to take action on account of ‘free speech’.
‘It is shocking the extent to which students report the use of the N-word as the prevailing concern,’ the report read, according to the Times, adding that employees had ‘a low level of racial consciousness and racial literacy,’ while a lack of repercussions for hurtful language forced students into a ‘hostile learning environment.’
Reflecting on the backlash caused by her video, Groves said at the time she ‘didn’t understand the severity of the word, or the history and context behind it because I was so young.’ She continued by telling the Times the same slur she used regularly featured in the songs she and her friends listened to, but added: ‘I’m not using that as an excuse.’
‘It disgusts me that those words would ever come out of my mouth,’ she continued.
Groves and Galligan were reportedly once-friendly in high school but have never spoken about the incident directly. One of her friends, who is black, said Groves apologized for the video long before it went viral last summer. The friend, who wasn’t named, said she also defended Groves online.