If you ask any teenager from 1978, 1998 or 2018, they will eagerly explain how racism is dying because their generation generally doesn’t care about race that much. Trust them, the youth will show us the way.
Or maybe not.
Two separate videos obtained by The Root showing an obviously intelligent white teenager yelling the n-word as if it were a vocal exercise or a teeth-whitening experiment has made the rounds at an Alabama high school, causing concern among parents and students who were apparently unaware that they lived in Alabama.
“God, I love the word nigger! It’s a freaking great word!” screams the student in the video. Sources told The Root that the videos were originally posted in a private group chat but eventually found their way onto social media before they were removed.
A second video shows the student responding to the backlash by expounding with her extremely poignant wit and intelligence:
All you fucking niggas in that groupchat that got butthurt by that, go fuck yourself, because it’s the 21st century. You can sit there an call me a cracker? Congratulations! I’m white. You’re black. Good observation. Okay?
You’re fucking retarded.. No one cares that you’re black, Okay? All these black people sitting there talking about: ‘Oh my god, everyone is gonna sit there and shoot be me because...’ No one gives a freaking damn that you are black, okay?
I rest my case.
The star of the video is a student at Spain Park High School, in the Birmingham suburb of Hoover, Ala. You may remember some of Birmingham’s from their 1960's hits like jailing Martin Luther King Jr., turning firehoses and police dogs on children or blasting the 16th Street Baptist Church with dynamite.
Well, Birmingham was an affluent, mostly-white city back then. Now it’s nearly three-quarters black. Birmingham’s affluent whites now live in Hoover which is nearly 70 percent white and boasts a median household income that is more than twice that of Birmingham’s. So when this video surfaced of a student using racial slurs, the school system leaped into action.
Nah, I’m just kidding
“We don’t embrace any conversations that are unfair, unkind, demeaning derogatory, and racist in nature,” Hoover City School Superintendent Dr. Kathy Murphy told WBRC before noting that the video wasn’t made on campus during school hours. “This does not make it more palatable to us that a student would be on such a rant, but it didn’t happen at the school or on our devices.”
However, the district announced that it had just hired a Director of Equity and Educational Initiatives to address problems like this, which is an admirable response considering how fast they acted ..
But it was not a response to this incident.
In a separate email, a Spain Park parent alerted The Root to an earlier incident involving race at Spain Park High School where an employee of the school allegedly said of black players during a football game that: “Their kind doesn’t belong on the field.” The remark was made to a group of parents according to WBRC and two parents who spoke to The Root separately.
The Root has also obtained an email from one of the concerned parents, written to other Spain Park parents only hours after the alleged incident of racism occurred at the football game:
I was going to wait until tomorrow to share this but I have the presence of mind to send this email to everyone tonight.
Dear Fellow Jag Parents,
It is rather disturbing to think that after being silent for four years of watching a video for “Moms Night Out” that an incident such as tonight would never occur. In hindsight it is a true reflection of the shared thoughts among many of the coaches and others. That video doesn’t show representation of not one coach of color, out of all of the players there is not one NFL player represented even though 80 percent of the league is African American. What togetherness or diversity is shown or represented for the players and parents that work so tirelessly to support all of the athletes day in and out?
Hearing someone respond to another person with the phrase “your kind” resonates a anger and hatred directly sorely at someone who is a person of color. I don’t expect any parent to understand how that statement is offensive because no one who is not a person of color could ever imagine the constant ridicule and blatant disrespect just because of your skin color. Tonight has been a revelation that uncovers a divide deeper than wins and loses its a divide that is clear and very unsettling. To not address this would be a travesty of justice. I will not and can not in good faith align myself with an organization that does not represent respect and honor for all people!
A Human Being!
If superintendent Murphy’s name sounds familiar, you might know it from The Root, where we reported a story earlier this year about a high school teacher in Hoover who told a student playing Tupac music to “turn the nigger tunes off.”
Or maybe you remember Hoover City Schools from stories about the district’s attempt to reduce its minority population by charging students fees to ride school buses until former Attorney General Eric Holder and the NAACP stepped in.
You might also remember another that case also involved a beef between Holder and a small place in Alabama. Maybe you’re good at geography, so you know Hoover is in Shelby County, Ala., the place that initiated the lawsuit that would eventually lead to the Supreme Court dismantling the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
Yep, that’s the same “Shelby” in Shelby v Holder.
So if you’re wondering where racism comes from and how it is passed down from generation to generation, look no further than the good folks of Hoover, Ala., okay?
I rest my case.