Florida Teacher Under Investigation for Teaching That Slaves Weren’t Whipped and the N-Word Isn’t Racist

Illustration for article titled Florida Teacher Under Investigation for Teaching That Slaves Weren’t Whipped and the N-Word Isn’t Racist
Photo: Krivosheev Vitaly (Shutterstock)

When will white people stop being too fragile for Black history?

The Lee County School District in Florida is investigating an incident in which a high school teacher was recorded by a student giving a lecture in which he appears to be trying to convince impressionable young minds that slavery wasn’t all that cruel and that the n-word was never all that racist. Now, the unidentified “educator” never appears on camera and only his voice can be heard, so I can’t say for sure that he’s white—but he’s white. The caucasity levels on full display have white male mediocrity written all over them. Case in point: This teacher threatened to kick the Black student who recorded him out of class just for challenging his definitely white nonsense. This kind of behavior—during Black History Month, no less—will earn you your white card no matter your racial background, but I digress.

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From Insider:

The videos, which have millions of views in total, were posted to the social media app by a student Saturday who said the discussion took place in his Advanced Placement (AP) government class.

Island Coast High School, located in Cape Coral, Florida, said in a tweet Sunday that the TikToks were “under investigation.” A spokesperson for the district, Lee County, also confirmed the investigation to the Fort Myers News-Press in an email.

So, the Black student who recorded the worst Great Value Ben Shapiro Ted Talk ever posted three separate videos to TikTok.

The first video begins with a student discussing how white people would “crack the slaves with a whip,” at which point the very obviously white AF teacher interrupts and says, “They wouldn’t do that to the slaves.” The masked student who keeps the camera on his own face the whole time asks the teacher—who definitely thinks folk line dancing and the Electric Slide are indistinguishable—“How do you know that? Were you there?” Then the student laughs—because sometimes you have to laugh to keep from throwing chairs through a classroom window—and continues saying, “Like, how do you know?”

You don’t need to see the teacher on film to know that, at this point, he turned red in the face and got his Klan-dergarments all in a bunch before responding, “Let me help you out...before I kick you out.”

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“Let’s have an honest conversation,” he continued. “Not all of this ‘ha-ha hee-hee ho,’ let’s have an honest conversation about it—that’s what I want.”

But that’s not what he wanted.

I’m not even going to waste time going into the well-documented cruelty of the transatlantic slave trade, because—to quote my favorite reoccurring line from Game of Thrones— “it is known.” Any attempt at reframing the evilness of people who owned other people as property only shows white people’s desperation to push a narrative that says racism hasn’t just been eradicated from present-day America, but it was never really about racism in the first place—and that becomes even more evident in the second video.

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In the second video, the “teacher”—who definitely thinks Ku Klux Klan members are just adult boy scouts who win merit badges by mastering the noose knot—can be heard white-splaining to students that the n-word was never actually meant to be racist.

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“The n-word just means ignorant,” he said. “It doesn’t have any other meaning in any other vocabulary other than you are a stupid person. You are ignorant. You are not well-read. You are not well educated. That’s what it means.”

Even if all of that were true—which it’s not—it wouldn’t explain why the word has historically only been applied to one race of people. But that doesn’t matter because this was never an “honest conversation.” This was nothing more than white supremacy in the classroom.

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In fact, it becomes a display of white supremacy and patriarchy in the third video in which a female student can be heard referencing the idea that women don’t belong in the workplace because they belong “in the household cooking and cleaning.” The student calls the idea hate speech because it “attacks women.” The Al Bundy of Mr. Feenys responds saying, “To you, that’s hate speech.”

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“But that could be hate speech to a lot of other women because that would have offended me,” another student chimed in. “That would have offended a lot of the other girls in the room.”

The Black student—who recorded this whole thing while being visibly in awe of the racist and sexist-ass shit that is happening in his classroom—also chimed in saying the teacher should “apply it to the n-word too because that might be hate speech to me but it won’t be hate speech to you.” The “teacher” responds, “That’s a good point.”

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According to News-Press, the school board got wind of the videos and has launched an investigation.

“At this time, it has been sent to professional standards to be investigated,” Debbie Jordan, the school board’s chair, said. “We are definitely investigating this, as we would anything that would come before us.”

Zack Linly is a poet, performer, freelance writer, blogger and grown man lover of cartoons

DISCUSSION

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kidelo END QUALIFIED IMMUNITY

“The n-word just means ignorant,” he said. “It doesn’t have any other meaning in any other vocabulary other than you are a stupid person. You are ignorant. You are not well-read. You are not well educated. That’s what it means.”

Wat.