Another day, another racist video involving white kids wearing blackface. And, in typical form, white folks were coming up with the most imaginative ways to excuse the clearly racist behavior.
Hundreds of students at Homewood-Flossmoor High School in Chicago staged a walkout on Tuesday after a video surfaced on social media showing white students wearing blackface and directing the N-word toward a Black woman employee at a McDonald’s drive-thru.
The Daily Mail reported that the Black woman in the video is said to be “hurt, frustrated and embarrassed” by the encounter.
Following the release of the video, the school organized a meeting with the students involved and their parents. The mother of one of the students featured in the video defended the kids and blamed their actions on their ignorance, not racism.
“This is a very serious thing,” she told Patch on Monday. “As crazy as it sounds, it is not about race. We are not racist. The students didn’t even know what ‘blackface’ meant until they Googled it later. It was a complete dumb and childish act.”
One Homewood-Flossmoor student wasn’t buying that the boys didn’t know about the notorious history of the racist tradition.
“We learned about this stuff when we were in middle school. We learned about it when we were even younger than that,” Acque Warner, a senior, told WGN9 on Monday.
The school released a statement condemning the students involved and saying in part that the actions of those students “is contrary to our expectations, is being addressed quickly and appropriately and will not be tolerated.”
Some students and parents said they felt like the school needed to do more. During the walkout, protesters chanted “we want justice!” and “no place for blackface” as they walked down the street. Many participants expressed wanting change and more accountability as rumors swirled that the students involved would not be disciplined.
“They should be expelled,” senior Claudia Bowen told the Chicago Sun Times on Tuesday. “That’s unacceptable when they go to a school with a majority of black students.”
One former student said he hoped the protest would show the community that racism won’t be tolerated.
“This will show that both the students and the community of this area will not put up with this and will not tolerate it,” said Jason Hampton.
The school expressed support in their students’ right to protest and once the students headed back to class, the school also claimed they would have a school-wide conversation about race.