After members of a Georgia high school marching band spelled out a racial slur during a halftime show last Friday, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that "many members of the Gwinnett County community" were "upset and saddened."
Here are some reactions on Twitter:
- "If I ever seen one of those white band mates at Brookwood in Gwinnett County just know I’ll be [sic] the s**t out of them," one user wrote. "Those kids need ass whoopings. I have that."
- "At times I attempt to convince myself that racism isn’t A BIG THING ... in youth/HS sports," another user said. "But then things like THIS happen. Thank you Brookwood HS for showing your True School Spirit!"
- "Brookwood has been a racist ass school forever why is anyone shocked," another remarked.
- "The hate is real," one user commented.
- "Inspired no doubt by the words & vitriol spouted by the Great Leader in the WH — what an embarrassment 4 all the good people of Georgia, of Gwinnet [sic] County & of Brookwood High School," another user said.
- "There should not remain one black student in the band, in the football team, or at Brookwood High School," another user offered.
Then the truth comes out
But it turns out the four Brookwood High School students who spelled out "c**n" using their instrument covers are minorities — two black, one Asian, and one Hispanic, according to a Monday letter the principal sent to students, parents, and the community.
The students from the Snellville school told administrators they thought spelling out the "completely unacceptable, racist term" would be "funny," the letter from William Bo Ford Jr. added.
But the students also admitted they "knew this racist term was not acceptable" and will "receive discipline consequences commensurate with their involvement in this incident," his letter also said.
"I am hurt and disappointed in these students and their actions that have stunned our community," Ford added in the letter. "As you all know, this is not who we are. Brookwood is proud to be an inclusive and accepting school community. This is a teachable moment for all of us, and students need to be aware that their actions and words have consequences."
How did others react?
“This shows a need for conversations about race,” Marlyn Tillman — a Gwinnett County parent and founder of Gwinnett SToPP, a nonprofit advocacy group — told the Journal-Constitution. “What propelled this? What lack of self-worth must these students have to do this?”
Image source: WGCL-TV video screenshot
Penny Poole, president of the Gwinnett NAACP chapter, told the paper that “what happened here is a microcosm of what’s going on nationally. These kids created a hostile environment and for [the students] to be so bold and brazen and unashamed is telling. They need to really know it won’t be tolerated.”
“It’s important for parents to talk to their kids so they understand the implicit meaning of words,” Brookwood parent Charity Kohl said, according to the Journal-Constitution. “We are a family and there shouldn’t be anything that we can’t talk through. Whether it was done on accident or on purpose, we’re better than that.”
(H/T: The College Fix)