Another day, another high school student causing outrage because he or she thought it was a great idea to be on Snapchat in blackface.
According to the Chicago Tribune, the photo of the student at Oak Park and River Forest High School stirred up tensions and controversy after it showed the student in blackface with the caption “Vote me for BLU president.”
BLU is in reference to the school’s Black Leaders Union, which just adds another level of tastelessness to the stunt.
However, some community members are hoping to turn the situation into a learning moment, and have organized a forum discussion that will be titled “Why We Kneel” and will take place on Oct. 16 at 6 p.m. at L!VE Café.
“We have found ourselves in choppy water recently from swastikas appearing on schools and churches, to negative responses received due to our brave young men and women choosing to kneel to raise awareness about the racial inequities that exist in our society, to a report of a white OPRF student posing in blackface,” Oak Park and River Forest teacher and Suburban Unity Alliance founder Anthony Clark told the Tribune. “People rightfully will be upset about a student in blackface, but let’s use this uproar to not only address this particular issue, but the systemic issues that have disproportionally impacted real black and brown faces in Oak Park for decades.”
Clark said that he hopes that the forum, which is a collaboration between the alliance, the café and the school’s Black Leaders Union, can result in some tangible action steps to help make long-lasting and systemic changes in the community, including conversations at home and new policies in school, according to the Tribune.
“Conversations won’t be enough,” Clark said. “We have been talking long enough, and it is time for those in this community who believe in equity to step up.”
Read more at the Chicago Tribune.