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J/S. Waters School North Carolina

Source: JS Waters School / J.S. Waters School

What is it about schools, white people and slavery reenactments?

One would think that all the news stories about students getting in trouble for their Snapchat slavery auctions and racist prom-posalsor teachers getting fired or suspended for slavery activitieswould deter all of these people and their return-to-Roots wet dreams from continuing to trivialize chattel slavery by reenacting Black oppression.

And yet here we are—again. 

According to the Charlotte News & Observer, the Chatham County school system in North Carolina has some ‘splaining to do after it was revealed that students engaged in a mock slavery action during which Black students were “sold” by white students as staff members watched and the whole slavery show and tell episode was filmed.

The whole display of flagrant caucasity was put on blast earlier this month when Ashley Palmer, the mother of a student at J.S. Waters School, which is “located about 50 miles southwest of Raleigh,” according to the Grio, posted on Facebook that her Black son had been involved in the negroes in chains school activity.

“My son experienced a slave auction by his classmates and when he opened up we were made aware that this type of stuff seems to be the norm so much that he didn’t think it was worth sharing.” Palmer wrote. “His friend ‘went for $350’ and another student was the Slavemaster because he ‘knew how to handle them.’

“We even have a video of students harmonizing the N-word,” she continued. “Since when were children so blatantly racist?”

Unfortunately but not surprisingly, this is just more evidence that the notion that racism will die out with older generations of white people is a whole lie.

From The Grio:

Palmer told ABC 11 that the incident occurred on the baseball field and that her 14-year-old son plays on the team. She said that when she told administrators, the students involved were suspended for one day. When they returned, Palmer said, one of the students hit her son with a baseball several times claiming that it was an accident.

“It’s a shame my child isn’t safe at school,” Palmer wrote in an update last Monday. “Where is the staff when this is happening? Now when my son gets fed up, will they protect him the way they have protected this other child?”

Again, according to the News & Observer, staff members were present when it happened.

Days after Palmer’s post, Chatham County Superintendent Dr. Anthony Jackson wrote a letter to students, parents and the community saying officials are aware of “recent incidents involving students using racially insensitive language and offensive imagery.”

“As a school system and community, we cannot be silent in the face of incidents and behavior that create an unsafe or uncomfortable environment for students in our schools,” Jackson wrote. “The core values espoused by this school system compel us to recognize and to interrupt any issues that demean or disrespect anyone on the basis of their race, gender, or sexual orientation.”

It’s a pretty standard “we acknowledge somebody f***** up” apology, but it does nothing to answer the question of why these incidents keep happening at predominately white schools. According to the News & Observer, J.S. Waters School is 68 percent white, 12 percent Black and 12 percent Hispanic.

There’s a reason Black people often feel unsafe in white spaces.

 

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