PLEASE SPREAD THE WORD
My friend Sarah, is an incredibly intelligent, talented, athletic, and all around amazing girl.
She also happens to be black.
Now, I go to a school, where less than 1% of the school is black. We’re about 95% white, 4% asian, and 1% black and other minorities. This means that Sarah is one of only a handful of black kids in the school. Because there’s absolutely no diversity in our community (some of the deeds on the homes STILL say they can’t be sold to blacks or jews!), people think it’s okay to make offhandedly racist comments because there’s nobody around to offend, and no experience with diversity. Sarah’s told me how uncomfortable some of her classmates’ comments have made her, and I’ve seen it happening too.
That’s bad enough. But what happened to her a couple weeks ago is beyond ok.
Sarah is a member of our school’s waterpolo team, and a waterpolo tradition is for the juniors to make a video parodying certain traits of the outgoing seniors near the end of their last season. It’s supposed to be fun and lighthearted, and it’s done in the spirit of teamwork and friendship. Now, Sarah’s one of two outgoing seniors, and the other girl’s video was just that. Lighthearted, playful, nothing serious. But when it came time for Sarah’s video…
The scene consisted of two of her (white) teammates parodying Sarah’s race and stereotypical ‘blackness’. The girls stuffed their butts with pillows and danced to “Baby Got Back”, imitating gorillas as they danced. This is racial stereotyping and it is NOT OKAY.
It gets worse.
So understandably, Sarah’s upset, and hurt, and angry, because these girls she thought were her friends have mocked her for her insecurities, and her race. So she goes to her coach and to the administration, and do you know what they do?
Let me repeat that for you: THEY DO ABSOLUTELY NOTHING ABOUT THE FACT THAT SHE WAS BULLIED FOR HER RACE.
The school is REFUSING to punish the girls, and Sarah is being chastised for overreacting. And she’s trying to struggle through the end of her season, while the entire rest of the team is talking about her behind her back and she’s being forced to put up with their betrayal and her own immeasurable hurt.
At the very least, it’s bullying. But it’s so much more than that. Yes, these are stupid kids messing up. But this says so much about are community. This says that we live in a community where privilege is everything. Where it’s OK to make fun of someone not only FOR their race but BECAUSE of it. Where somebody’s hurt is being ignored because of their race, because they’re “too sensitive.” We are never taught tolerance and love and equality. We’re taught in such a way that the few black students feel uncomfortable when learning about the civil rights movement, and where they can fear and even expect racial profiling and bullying. That is NOT OK.
I don’t know what else to do. I’m having a lot of trouble dealing with the fact that I live in a community like this; I can’t even begin to imagine what Sarah’s going through. I want to support her in any way possible, and she’s so upset and has asked me to raise awareness of this.
Please please spread the word that this is UNACCEPTABLE.
If we don’t stand up for her, who will? Who’s going to stand up for all the kids after her who are going to suffer what she suffered? People think we’re in an equal society now, but we’re not. We have GOT to let them know that this is not acceptable. Please help. I know it’s a really long wall of text, but I’m hurting for my friend and I’m trying to help her in the only way I know how.
Thank you for your time. Please try to make a difference.
Reblogging this for a signal boost. School systems/administrators ignoring bullying and harassment is a large part of why I have issues going to people ‘in charge’ for help when I need it now.
Please take a moment to send emails to firstname.lastname@example.org (which is her principal) and to email@example.com.
Include where you are from and that you heard about the incident.
(is that supposed to say “how you heard about the incident?)
Anyway, this behavior is unacceptable and perhaps administration would do their job/recognize that this is unacceptable if they heard it from enough people.