UVA race hoaxer gets deal with Dove as ‘fat liberation’ advocate
( College Fix )
A race hoaxer who falsely accused a fellow University of Virginia student of making insensitive comments has inked a new endorsement deal with the personal care products company Dove.
Zyahna Bryant (pictured) is now a “fat liberation” ambassador for Dove. Meanwhile, the student she accused continues to fight for her reputation through legal means.
Morgan Bettinger, a former student at the University of Virginia, is suing the university, alleging that it violated her First Amendment rights and discriminated against her on the basis of race.
It’s the latest part of her battle against the university that began when Bryant alleged in 2020 that Bettinger said protestors would make “good f*cking speed bumps” in a comment to a truck driver while the white student was trying to get through a Black Lives Matter protest.
Bryant made the claim in a post on social media that gained traction. Students soon called for Bettinger to be expelled. Several media outlets published Bryant’s allegations despite no evidence and no corroborating witnesses, and to this day have not taken the articles down nor issued a correction.
Bettinger’s lawsuit alleges that the University of Virginia has developed “an obsession with race, racism, and racialist policies and ideologies” which has fostered “a widespread and pervasive culture and environment of rampant race-based prejudice and bias as well as disparate treatment, discrimination, and harassment on the basis of race.”
Among the alleged proof of the university’s discriminatory conduct is UVA President Jim Ryan’s criticism against the Supreme Court’s ruling that affirmative action for college admissions is unconstitutional and the university’s practice of allowing segregated reunions and events.
The lawsuit then provided numerous alleged examples of the university’s leniency toward black students for offensive and racist acts compared to how Bettinger and other white individuals were treated.
Bettinger accused the University of Virginia of violating the Fourteenth Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause, Title VI of the Civil Rights Act, and the First Amendment among other statutes.
Her attorneys declined to comment.
“Our firm refers to the Complaint, which is publicly available and speaks for itself,” her legal team told The College Fix via email. “Our firm does not comment or appear in the press or media regarding clients or active litigation matters.”
Bettinger is also suing the Board of Visitors, UVA President Ryan, and former Associate Vice President and Dean of Students Allen Groves alongside the university.
The university did not respond to requests for comment on the lawsuit.
The series of events began on July 17, 2020. Black Lives Matter protesters were demonstrating in the aftermath of the death of George Floyd. Bettinger was driving home from work when she stopped because of a dump truck that was blocking the road while the protests occurred. Bettinger chose to park and go talk with the truck driver.
Bettinger claims to not recall what she said to the driver exactly, but that it was something like, “It’s a good thing that you are here, because otherwise these people would have been speed bumps.” Bettinger then proceeded to take a picture of the protests and go back to her car.
But as Bettinger headed back, she claims that protestors yelled insults at her and followed her back to her car. Soon after, Bryant made accusations against her, which went viral.
Investigations by the university began shortly thereafter. The University Judiciary Committee evidently agreed with Bettinger’s version of events, yet still found her “guilty of ‘threatening’ students.”
Then a second investigation was conducted, this time finding that there was insufficient evidence of Bettinger’s alleged wrongdoing. Even still, the university refused to expunge sanctions that had been placed against her, “which consisted of 50 hours of community service at an approved social justice organization, three hours of remedial education on police-community relations with a specified professor, and an apology letter to the student who criticized Bettinger on Twitter.”
This was despite the fact that Bryant had no corroborating evidence, even though Bettinger’s wrongdoing would have been in front of over 30 people.
The lawsuit argues Bettinger has suffered and will continue to suffer irreparable harm because of the university’s allegedly unlawful action and seeks multiple forms of relief, including a declaratory judgment that the university discriminated against her on the basis of race and violated her constitutional rights.