Stop Giving White Kids a Slap on the Wrist for Being Racist

Ladies and gentlemen, the kids are not alright. In fact, they’re baby racists perpetuating hateful ideologies and getting away with it.   Over the past few days, there have been a couple of incidents where White students decided to publicly express their disdain for Black and Jewish people.   One was the Alabama high school students who posted a video on social media saying they “just need niggers gone” and other horrible things.   https://twitter.com/yourrightscamp/status/1103456683253149696   The other incident was the students in California who engaged in underaged drinking, used their Solo cups to make swastikas and took pictures hailing Hitler.   https://twitter.com/NPR/status/1102967506329878528   I’m not at all surprised about this B.S.—these kids are learning how to be bigots from social media, their peers and their parents. And these days, I’m just not shocked when racist White people do racist stuff.   Frankly, I think there are other things to be infuriated by. Like, how these students feel emboldened to freely post racist videos and pictures on social media and the slap on the wrist they receive as “punishment.”   But most importantly, I’m concerned about the mental and physical well-being of Black, Latinx, Jewish and LGBTQ students who go to school with these kids. How are they supposed to carry on and be productive in spaces with people who clearly harbor hate towards them?   I mean, these kids have gone to sports games and been heckled with racist and homophobic taunts.   An 11-year-old Black boy refusing to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance in school was ultimately arrested. Sounds a lot like that school-to-prison pipeline thing to me.   https://twitter.com/washingtonpost/status/1097226454297968640   And if we want to throw in threats of violence and hate crimes, a White student in New York was caught on Snapchat talking about how he wanted to lynch Black people while in another racially charged bullying incident a student in California assaulted his classmate in .   Neither of these students were charged. In fact, the student who assaulted his classmate was merely transferred to another classroom away from his victim.   But this Black student in Oklahoma who knocked a MAGA hat off of another student’s head is facing criminal charges and people are calling that a hate crime. Another one bites the school-to-prison pipeline dust.   https://twitter.com/Condor_Law/status/1100511471769800704   Meanwhile, to address the situations in Alabama and California, the police are holding their usual investigations and the students at Spain Park and Newport Harbor High Schools had to attend assemblies to discuss the racist videos and anti-semitism. Whoop-de-do.   https://twitter.com/Multi_American/status/1102759723294588928   Look, I’m not condoning any forms of violence or aggression but I understand students feeling angst or the need to defend themselves when faced with physical, verbal or symbolic racism. And with a rise in hate crimes in schools, we can probably expect things to get worse before they get better.   I honestly don’t know what the remedy will be but I cannot stress enough how much I don’t want your apologies for being racist or raising racist kids.   https://twitter.com/hannahdaffin/status/1102591032368209920   I’m not interested in hearing politicians condemn racist acts when they have the power to impact education policy linked to diversity, inclusion and cultural competency.   https://twitter.com/AsmCottie/status/1102387241333092352   And I’m definitely not interested in hearing people making excuses for lopsided disciplinary practices when it’s a well-known fact that White students have it easier when it comes to discipline.   So here’s what y’all can do. Try your best to raise your kids to be decent human beings by breaking generational cycles of prejudice and racism.   Make schools the safe spaces they were intended to be. Mandate more culturally diverse and rich curricula, thoughtful conflict resolution and develop community partnerships to compensate for where they fall short in resources and professional development.   Insist that White students who display signs of aggression and racism face the same punishments that Black kids face and not just the threat of these acts following them for the rest of their lives.   https://twitter.com/nikkibamdad/status/1102306574674980864   And when students tell you they’re the targets of some kind of harassment, believe them and nip the issues in the bud.   Parents need to fix this. Schools need to fix this, policy needs to fix this, America needs to fix this!  
Tanesha Peeples
Tanesha Peeples is driven by one question in her work—“If not me, then who?” As the former Deputy Director of Activist Development for brightbeam, Tanesha merges the worlds of communications and grassroots activism to push for change in the public education system. Her passion for community and relentless mission for justice and liberation drive her in uplifting and amplifying the voices and ...

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