The family of the black university student whose white girlfriend was ‘cut her off’ by her parents because of their relationship has spoken out in support of her decision to launch a GoFundMe page titled ‘Say No to Racism.’
The campaign brands her father a racist and asks for help with the college tuition fees she claims he will no longer pay.
Eighteen-year-old high school senior Allie Dowdle took the drastic action last week, writing online that her parents were ‘no longer supporting’ her future.
She wrote that they were instead ‘stripping’ her of all her resources, including her personal savings, car, phone and education, leaving her to pay for her college tuition after learning that she is dating 20-year-old Michael Swift.
Now, speaking exclusively to DailyMail.com from Swift’s family home in Collierville, Tennessee, Michael’s father, also Michael, 42, said: ‘We are supporting her.’
Swift, a former NFL player whose career saw him play cornerback for the San Diego Chargers, Carolina Panthers and Jacksonville Jaguars declined to comment further on his son’s year long relationship with Allie or the rift that has seen it thrust into the public eye.
But according to Michael’s uncle John Roberson, 66, a retired officer with Shelby County Sheriff’s Office, the Clemson University soccer player, and freshman student in sports communication, is taking the difficult situation ‘in his stride.’
He said: ‘It’s a sad situation and it’s just rough at this time for him but he’s taking it in his stride and I’m quite sure that things will get better as time moves on.’
Last week Allie’s father, Bill Dowdle, 45, insisted that his attitude was ‘never about race’ but admitted to the New York Daily News that issues with interracial dating in the South meant that his daughter’s relationship with Swift would not have been his ‘preference.’
Roberson said that he has never met Bill Dowdle and could not say if his actions were racially motivated but that he knows Allie well.
He said: ‘She’s an 18-year-old young lady and has to make her own decisions in life. The only thing I can say is that you can either go with it or go against it.
‘We just hope and pray that things get better and life continues to go well.
‘They (both) come from very good families and they’ll make the right decisions.’
Meanwhile Bill Dowdle’s uncle defended his nephew against his daughter’s allegations of racism.
Speaking from the family home in Cordova, Tennessee, Wayne Dowdle, 63 said: ‘I just know that the comments made are not true.
‘Racism is a tough word to use and to see your family members go through things and being falsely accused, I just hurt for them.’
Reflecting on Allie’s decision to shame her father so publicly he said: ‘We love Allie, she’s a sweet girl, and she’s a very smart girl.
‘We love her and we just love ’em through all the tough times they go through. It’s a family, personal problem and I guess that’s one way to do it.
‘But I hate to see him criticized for something that isn’t true. I hate it.’
Allie is currently a senior at Hutchison Academy in Memphis, a $20,000 a year private school for girls.
Swift attended the similarly exclusive school for boys, Memphis University School, nearby before enrolling as a freshman at Clemson University, South Carolina.
Allie launched her GoFundMe page on Thursday with the aim of raising $10,000 that she said would pay for the first year of her college tuition.
By Monday morning, just a few days after setting the ‘Allie’s Tuition – Say No To Racism’ page live, the total is more than triple that goal, at $31,545 with donations from 1,287 people.
According to Allie, she and Michael have been dating discreetly for the past year, but the situation deteriorated drastically over Christmas.
Her father is adamant that his disapproval stems only from the secrecy of the relationship and that Swift’s race has no bearing on it.
He told the New York Daily News that he cut his daughter off when it became clear to him that she was spoilt and ‘needed to go out into the world and grow up.’
Allie hasn’t stated where she plans to attend college, only that she has to have the funds by May 1.
She said that she is unable to get a job because she doesn’t have consistent transportation in her rural town of Eads which has a population of around 6,400 people.
Early Friday morning, Allie posted an update on her GoFundMe page saying that it wasn’t her ‘intention to deliberately hurt my family’.
‘My actions reflect my conscious decision to do what I believe is right.
‘To my family, I say once again I am genuinely sorry for any pain I have caused you, but I do not regret my decision to support my future through a GoFundMe campaign,’ she wrote.
She concluded her update by thanking all of those who donated to the campaign.
But several commenters said the push to have others pay for her education portrayed privilege.
User Marissa Kizer wrote on the page: ‘Sending a white girl from a middle-class family to college is not fighting racism.’
‘In fact, expecting to avoid work, student loans, etc. and be treated like a hero for dating a black guy seems pretty racist to me.’
SOURCE: Daily Mail, Laura Collins