A black student at Minneapolis' predominantly white Red Wing High School has filed a federal class-action lawsuit against her school for supporting an annual "Wigger Day" celebration.
How exactly is Wigger Day celebrated, you might ask? According to Quera Pruitt's complaint, students wore clothes and behaved in a manner that "from their perspective, mimicked black culture." It goes on to explain that "Wigger is a pejorative slang term for a white person who emulates the mannerisms, language and fashions associated with African-American culture," and that the costumes included oversized sports jerseys, low-slung pants, baseball hats cocked to the side, do-rags and gang signs.
And evidently the teachers and administrators were OK with this. The lawsuit claims that the school's failure to respond to Pruitt's mother's concerns about the annual event caused the teenager depression and other forms of emotional distress.
According to the Huffington Post, a statement from District Superintendent Karen Anderson, a defendant in the case, "denies the allegations that [the district] has created a racially hostile environment and looks forward to meeting these allegations in court."
In a culture in which brand-new examples of subtle and not-so-subtle racist stereotypes seem to surface every day, you can barely blame the kids involved for being clueless about how this ridiculous event might affect their black classmates. This could have been an opportunity for them to learn something without having to take the matter to court.
But the reaction of the adults involved (turning a blind eye, followed by defensiveness and denial) perfectly exemplifies why we don't expect things to improve anytime soon when it comes to "w-word"-themed events or the countless other ways that ignorance makes its way into our daily lives.
In other news: VIDEO: Why Buchanan Called Obama 'Your Boy.'