After South African model Jessica Leandra dos Santos angrily tweeted about being allegedly harassed by a shop assistant yesterday, many were outraged at her choice of words. The 20-year-old called the man a “kaffir” an extremely offensive racist slur, causing many in the country to demand she be held accountable for her tweet.

One quick-thinking Twitter user catalogued dos Santos’ tweets and many of the reactions from those in South Africa.

Dos Santos’ deleted the tweet and asked her followers to “forget it,” saying she sent it in anger in response to being harassed.

Unfortunately for dos Santos, folks did not just forget it. Instead they combed her tweets and found yet another instance when the model had something offensive to say about black South Africans (she later deleted that tweet as well).

After many complained, FHM South Africa stripped the model of her title as the winner of its 2011 model competition and they’ve also decided they will no longer work with dos Santos in the future.

FHM South Africa issued a statement cutting ties with dos Santos:

“We have removed all pictures of her from our website and will have nothing to do with her in future. FHM is a proudly South African magazine and say “No” to racism.”

Dos Santos’ main sponsor, diet company QuickTrim, also dropped her as their spokeswoman, citing her tweets.

“Due to the severity of the remarks by #JessicaLeandra #QuickTrimSA herewith ends our sponsorship to her with immediate effect!” the company tweeted.

Dos Santos issued an apology again asserting that she was merely “acting in pure anger and frustration at the time” of her tweets, but that she realizes that there is “no excuse” for using the k-word and will use this experience as a learning experience.

Whether or not dos Santos can resurrect her once-rising career remains to be seen, but one thing is sure: the tweets are ALWAYS watching, and people need to think before they tweet.

  • Sasha

    A couple of things. South Africa is the rape capital of the world so with that being said, if I was being followed around and felt I was being sexually harrassed I would react with anger and fear as well. We all say things in anger and fear and EVERYONE has made a racist/ prejudiced remark in their life, she was just stupid by putting it online. Do I think she’s sorry? No she said exactly what she meant. She’s only sorry she got called out and lost several gigs in the process.

  • Tami Winfrey Harris

    No. This is not how equality works. Unfortunately, this sort of thinking is not uncommon. I’ve heard similar justifications for outbursts of bigotry, including racism, sexism and homophobia, that happens in the heat of passion.

    When you believe that a group of people intrinsically have value equal to your own, you believe it all the time and deep in your heart. This belief is not contingent on your being in a good mood. The belief doesn’t go away when a marginalized person makes you angry or annoys you. If you have it in you to use epithets when hurt, then you have it in you all the time.

    Someone who believes black people have value as human beings and that African ancestry is not a mark of dishonor would never call a black person “nigger” or “kaffir”. Ever. Because if you are not racist, you will be not racist even when a black person is, say, rude to you in a department store. If you believe that women are equal to men, then a woman who cuts you off in traffic doesn’t become “whore” or “bitch”. Equality of gender, race and sexuality are not situational things.

  • Robbie

    Even if you are mad that does not give her or anyone the right to use racist slur. Not everyone use that type of language.

  • iQgraphics

    I thought alaska was the rape capitol of the world.
    imma have to google that.

    “EVERYONE has made a racist/ prejudiced remark in their life”
    this is true

    This is a case of the over share, yet again.
    Twitter and facebook are policing your brains

  • Septembre

    I am very pleased with FHM and Quick Trim’s responses to Dos Santos’ racist tweets. Good for them!

    In response to Sasha and iQgraphics: “angry words/tweets speak calm thoughts.” Racial slurs should not be the first thing out of her mouth.

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