When Will Smith slapped Chris Rock over a tasteless but relatively soft joke at the expense of Jada Pinkett-Smith, a lot of Black folks were suddenly on team “violence is never the answer. Well, I’d wager most of those Black people would feel differently about a Black student in Georgia who slapped a white student for calling him the N-word, reminding us that sometimes—people just need to be slapped.
According to 11 Alive, it all started at Locust Grove High School in Locust Grove, Ga. The Henry County high school is investigating the incident in which a Black male student slapped a white female student for calling him the racial slur. The Black student involved in the incident, which was caught on camera, was suspended over the altercation, according to WSB-TV 2, which prompted a student walkout organized in part by Locust Grove senior Layla Moreau.
From 11 Alive:
“I’ve been called an N-word myself,” Layla Moreau said.
Moreau said she feels uncomfortable being a Black student at a predominantly white high school.
“We decided to take action against it because this is not the first time at that school or a school in Henry County,” Moreau said.
Parents tell 11Alive the male student received punishment for slapping the female student, while the girl who said the N-word initially did not.
“It shouldn’t be two different treatments,” Moreau said. “Give the same treatment for everybody and not based on their skin color.”
The students aren’t the only ones upset by the handling of the incident. Komisha Davis, whose 15-year-old daughter attends the school, said in response to the incident, “Racism in any shape or form isn’t okay.”
“For you to hear that your child is not safe at a place you send her to every day, that’s devastating,” Davis continued, adding that she’s thinking about pulling her daughter out of the school after learning of other alleged racist incidents that happened there.
“For you to hear that your child is not safe at a place you send her to every day, that’s devastating,” she said.
So, while we shouldn’t be condoning violence between students—and, particularly, a male student slapping a female student—the moral of the story here is, the “violence is never the answer” narrative doesn’t work when racism or other forms of prejudice, would go unchecked otherwise.