You can always tell how racist a person or institution is by their response to allegations of racism.
For example, high school students in Rome, Georgia, said they were subjected to white schoolmates waving around Confederate flags and using racial slurs and school officials refused to do anything about it. As a result of the school’s inaction, the students said they planned a protest and that’s when school officials finally took action—against the protesters.
“I feel the Confederate flag should not be flown at all. It is a racist symbol and it makes me feel disrespected,” Jaylynn Murray, a student organizer at Coosa High School, told CBS 46.
Students at the school said the issue wasn’t just about the Confederate flag incident, which reportedly took place during a “farm day” event at Coosa, but it’s also about the school’s general policy regarding controversial flags or apparel. Students said Black Lives Matter merchandise isn’t allowed but flags representing the fight to preserve slavery are deemed acceptable.
“I felt really disrespected how the school didn’t do anything about it and when we are not allowed to wear BLM stuff and they are allowed to carry a racist flag around,” student organizer Deziya Fain said.
So, student organizers started planning a demonstration to send the message that turning a blind eye to racism is also racism and will not be tolerated. But before that protest could even happen, a school official announced over the intercom that protesters would be disciplined. Those protesters, who, again, are teenage high school students, were also threatened with police presence.
“The administration is aware of tomorrow’s planned protest,” an official said in a recording of the announcement provided by a parent to CBS 46. “Police will be present here at school and if students insist on encouraging this kind of activity they will be disciplined for encouraging unrest.”
Does it even need to be explained all the ways this is a trash response?
Besides the automatic conflating of protests with civil unrest when the two are in no way synonymous, to threaten racial protesters with police presence knowing that cops are often at the center of racial protests is beyond callous and irresponsible.
It’s like—tell me you don’t care about your Black students without telling me you don’t care about your Black students.
According to Newsweek, students planned a silent protest anyway on October 8, the day after the announcement, and sure enough, they were suspended—well, some of them were.
A number of Black students said they were suspended for protesting while white and Hispanic students who joined them were not. Some white students confirmed this was the case.
“They didn’t suspend her; they didn’t suspend me,” Lilyan Huckaby, who is white, told CBS. “We both disrupted all the eighth-grade classes.”
Newsweek reported that Floyd County Schools Superintendent Glenn White confirmed that the Confederate flag incident did happen but denied that no disciplinary action was taken against the students—while not offering any details as to what actions were taken.