Crazy Talk: Professional Black Women 'Slaves'

Tukwila School District
Tukwila School District

Nine employees of the Tukwila School District in Washington state have filed complaints of racial discrimination against their superintendent, Ethelda Burke, based on the inappropriate racial comments they say she made.

OK, this type of thing happens from time to time, right?

Right. But what makes this story a head-scratcher — and inexcusable if the allegations are true — is that Burke herself is black, MSNBC reports:

"She said to me you have to stop being a big, black man scaring our white drivers," says Doc Fells, driver trainer and dispatcher for the district. "And it numbed me."


A group of female staffers at Showalter Middle School says their superintendent once referred to them as slaves.

"I was pissed," says Marva Harris, school security officer.

"I couldn't believe my ears she would refer to professional African-American women as slaves," says teacher Sandra Goins.

J.D. Hill, athletic director and head of transportation, says Burke had a nickname for him.

"When I walked into her office she said 'Hey, J-Dark, how are you doing?' J-Dark was my name for Ethelda, my pet name for a month, in a professional environment," says Hill.


It's hard to imagine, especially in Tukwila, which has been recognized as the most diverse school in the country. Seventy percent of the kids are non-white.

Read more at MSNBC.

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