Two white female high school students from Texas emailed letters to classmates and teachers at their school apologizing for a racist song that they recorded, in which they can be heard rapping about lynching “n—gas,” according to Raw Story.
“N—gas, n—gas, n—gas, they always look at me, I want to kill them now, I want to hang them from a tree,” one of the girls raps at the beginning of the song, according to an audio recording posted by Daily Kos.
Both students attend Grapevine High School in Texas. Neither of their names has been released to the public.
The girls made mention of the stereotype that black men have larger-than-average penises and also made homophobic and racist comments about Hispanic and Asian-American students, according to Raw Story.
The recording was reportedly made in June 2013 but recently got leaked on social media. The students apologized in their emails and said that they’re not racists. The girls said that they did not understand the magnitude of social media at the time the recording was made and did not know how big an imprint the song could have on the school community and in their lives. They also said that in 2013, the country was not embroiled in a dialogue about race as it is today.
“At this time in our lives, racism was not the talk of the country nor had we ever witnessed the true power of social media," one student wrote, adding that “Twitter was still fresh and we had never heard of anyone getting in trouble for posting anything on social media, it was the beginning of this social era.”
“The song does not portray in any way how I actually feel about people,” the other student wrote. “I am a very open-minded person and I enjoy being part of a diverse family and diverse community. I am being raised to be respectful of all people, cultures and differences.”
One of the girls said that her verse was “a freestyle” and she said “whatever came to [her] head that would make people laugh.”
That same student went on to say that she and the other student were freshmen at the time the song was created and unfortunately had grown up hearing racist jokes. “I was 14 years old and was ignorant to the words coming out of my mouth. As kids, we hear racist jokes all times of the day. It’s what we’re around, it’s the jokes we heard.”
Shannon Tower, the school principal, expressed her disgust with the song in an email to parents but also said that since the song was recorded while school was not in session, the school didn’t have “legal authority” over the matter. Tower said that she met with student leaders to think of ways to discuss the song and to foster a culture of diversity at the school.