Was it a competition to see who could be offensive and ignorant in the most ways simultaneously? A disturbing, intentionally attention-grabbing dramatization meant to bring attention to domestic violence and America’s ongoing struggle with racism? Nope. Unfortunately, it was just an everyday school assembly.
At New York State’s Waverly High School, three students reportedly performed a satire of Chris Brown’s infamous beating of Rihanna. In blackface. In 2012. And no one seemed to have a problem with it. From Rolling Out:
The story has set the Web ablaze and some students and alumni are now speaking out against the offensive skit, which is, apparently, the second time in two years that the school has allowed a blackface performance.
“I think it’s unconscionable that such blatant racism has been tacitly approved two years in a row,” said Waverly alumni and Yale graduate Vlad Chituc. “The administration should be creating an environment where minorities are welcome, not the butts of racist jokes that make light of domestic violence.”
However, some students are defending the school and the performance.
“If Waverly gets called racist again I just might Chris Brown someone,” said a man named Danny.
The high school kids who put this this together might get a pass for lacking the awareness and context to understand the gravity of the issues raised by this skit. But given the way teachers and other adults endorsed the spectacle by standing by while it took place, we’re not very confident that any teachable moments about sensitivity or human decency are going to take place at Waverly. Let us know in the comments section: What would you tell the young “actors” who undoubtedly thought this performance was all in good fun?
Read more at Rolling Out.