These white folks just don’t learn. A California high school teacher who dressed up as Common for Halloween decided he needed to rock blackface to complete his costume. He was placed on administrative leave school officials revealed.
A student who goes by the handle @karington_kk filmed the racist spectacle and shared it on her Twitter account on Friday (Nov.1). In the 23-second clip, the teacher can be seen pretending to Common mocking the rappers Microsoft AI commercial in front of the class. The caption for the Tweet read:
“Sooooooooo… one of our WHITE teachers at mhs yesterday decided to paint his face so look like common the rapper yesterday,”
The student who shared the video is not an actual student of the teacher in question Buzzfeed News reports. She received the clip from her friend, whose mother also works as a teacher in Milpitas Unified School District. As for her reasoning for sharing the troubling video, @karington_kk told the internet publication:
“We decided to post this to bring this to the eye of the public,” the user said. “He genuinely thought it was okay to come to school like this.”
In a statement to BuzzFeed News, school officials revealed Tuesday(Nov.5) he has been placed on leave.
“The employee has been placed on administrative leave pending an investigation,” said Scott Forstner, the communications specialist of Milpitas Unified School District in Milpitas, north of San Jose.”
The teacher’s name has not been revealed due to the school instructing BuzzFeed News not to share it because the situation was “a confidential personnel matter.”
The principal of the school, Francis Rojas and Superintendent Cheryl Jordan, sent out a memo to parents and faculty about the incident on Sunday.
“Blackface paint has a historical and present-day connotation of racism that demeans those of African ancestry,” the memo reads, with a link to a History.com page about the racist origins of blackface. “The act was disparaging to our students, parents, colleagues, and the Milpitas community we serve.”
“We strive to embed our instruction with cultural and historical content so that our students see themselves in what they learn, and can be proud of who they are,” said Jordan and Rojas. “We are committed to building an inclusive learning community for our students together with you.”
The costume would have been great without the blackface. You can peep the original Microsoft commercial featuring Common below.
Photo: ALEX EDELMAN / Getty