Things That Matter

Students At This High School Apparently Thought It Was OK To Drag A Black Mannequin By A Rope At Their Homecoming Game

Psychologists have said that the brain is not fully developed until the age of 25, which implies that people’s action before that age may be impaired of proper judgment. In other words, kids will be kids, right? However, some of the most absurd actions aren’t caused by kids, they also come from adults who should know better.

For some weird reason, both students and adults that work at school feel the need to act out for the worse during school hours. Remember the school staff that dressed up as the border wall? Or the other school staff that wore stereotypical Mexican costumes on their IDs? The racism continues. 

Students at Damonte Ranch High School in Reno, Nevada, used a black mannequin and dragged it with a rope during a homecoming game.

On Sept. 20, students Damonte Ranch High School changed up their homecoming routine without alleging informing school officials about what they planned to do. 

The initial gag would be that Damonte Ranch students would have a cowboy figure who would be lassoing a knight figure in order to represent their opposer that evening — McQueen High School — whose school colors are gray and blue. However, the students allegedly could not get a gray mannequin for the stunt, so they got a black mannequin instead. 

The report, from the school, states: “The class advisors approved a plan to purchase a blowup cowboy/horse and then lasso a student wearing knight armor and then stand on the float. According to the (redacted), it was later decided to purchase a blowup mannequin instead of dressing up a student. The (redacted) said (redacted) was unaware that there was a change in the original plan. The (redacted) tried to purchase a gray mannequin on Amazon, but the only one available was black. The students dressed a black blowup mannequin as a Lancer knight, using paper to show it’s armor, shield, helmet, and sword. The Blow up “Lancer Knight” was lassoed around the waist and was to be standing on the float during the float parade. According to the (redacted), they couldn’t keep the mannequin standing on the float and that’s why it ended up being dragged behind the student dressed in the blow up cowboy/horse.”

Just wow!

As soon as the stunt went down, showing the black mannequin being pulled by a rope, people were horrified as they witnessed it.

“Y’all don’t teach black history in our Reno Schools or something? I though y’all were better than that,” someone said on social media

Washoe County School District interim Superintendent Kristen McNeill said as soon she found out about the incident, she immediately launched an investigation 

“This is not who we are,” McNeill said in an interview with the Reno Gazette-Journal earlier this week. “It doesn’t represent Damonte or our district.” She added, “I get high school competition. This is not a friendly competition in my strong opinion.

According to the New York Post, Lonnie Feemster, president of the Reno-Sparks National Association for the Advancement of Colored People NAACP), went even further by saying, “It is troubling that children are so poorly educated that they did not immediately know that the hanging of a black doll is hurtful and frightening.”

The school has apologized for this offensive display of racism, which evokes how African-American people have been mistreated, abused, and killed, in U.S. history. 

“We completely understand how this was perceived and this could be offensive to anyone in attendance at the game,” a school official said in a statement to The New York Post. “This is a valuable learning experience and lifelong lesson for our Damonte Ranch students and staff.”

One thing the school could have perhaps done during this appalling display is put a stop to it as soon as it was happening. Isn’t there school staff at these events? Is that why there are chaperones to make sure students don’t act out in bad ways? Seems to us, these kids were running wild doing whatever they please during school events and on the school campus. 

READ: A San Diego High School Faces Controversy Over Yearbook Showing Teachers In Stereotypical Mexican Attire

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Racists Caught On Video Shouting “White Lives Matter” And Giving Nazi Salute To Couple

Things That Matter

Racists Caught On Video Shouting “White Lives Matter” And Giving Nazi Salute To Couple

Izzeee.e / Instagram

In the wake of George Floyd’s murder, the country has been grappling with racial inequality and police brutality – trying to figure out how to move forward into a country that knows Black lives matter.

However, it also seems that racist encounters are on the rise, or at least they’re more commonly being caught on camera. Another white couple, this time in California, has gone viral for their racist attack on a couple after an alleged road rage incident. The encounter, all of which was caught on camera, was enough proof to land the racist couple behind bars on hate crime and vandalism charges.

A man gave a Nazi salute and a woman shouted “white lives matter” in an encounter with a couple in California.

A nasty racist encounter in Torrance was caught on cameras as a Black couple was abused at a red light by a white man and woman yelling “Only white lives matter!”

Itzel Lopez and her boyfriend were sitting at a red light in Torrance, CA, when a white couple stormed out of their pickup truck. That’s when Lopez started recording. In the video, a white woman can be seen standing on the passenger side, flipping dual middle fingers at Lopez and her boyfriend, who is Black. She yells “white lives matter (expletive)” and then “only white lives matter.”

The man, who was standing on the driver’s side, fluttered his hand in a wave then yelled “white power!” and made a Nazi salute. Then he grabbed a shovel and slammed it against the car as Lopez’s boyfriend backed up and sped away.

Lopez, who posted the video to Instagram, wrote: “Today on my 25th birthday I was a victim of racism and so was my boyfriend who is black. We were being harassed for miles.”

For Lopez, 25, the firsthand experience of hate was jarring. “I experience racism in a extremely traumatic way,” she wrote in the Instagram video’s caption.

“We were just in shock. We didn’t know what was going on,” Lopez told KTLA.

The racist couple have since been charged with a hate crime and vandalism of property.

Credit: Torrance Police Department

Not long after driving away, Lopez and her boyfriend found the couple’s truck outside a Starbucks and recorded the license plate. The following day they reported the incident to the Torrance Police Department. In a news release the department said the crime started as a “road rage situation.” 

And thanks to the video, the white couple, Gregory and Rachel Howell, both 29, were arrested on hate crime and vandalism charges, police said. In an interview with KTLA before the arrest, Lopez said she wanted justice.

“I don’t want them to just go freely and continue to do this to someone else,” she said.

As the U.S. confronts racial inequality, racist incidents and hate crimes have been increasingly caught on camera.

Sadly but not surprisingly, racist incidents like this are far too common across the country. And as the U.S. grapples with mass protests against racial inequality since the murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis police, it seems that incidences like this are on the rise.

In June, a self-identified Ku Klux Klan leader was charged with a hate crime after driving through peaceful protesters in Richmond, while in Wisconsin, a school district called for hate crime charges against a white woman who spat on a Black student during a peaceful Black Lives Matter demonstration.

A report from the Census Bureau found these hate crimes and other racist interactions have taken a toll on the mental health of African Americans, with the rate of those reporting significant anxiety and depression jumping from 36 to 41 percent.

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Here’s Everything You Should Know About The Problematic And Racist Statues Being Torn Down Across The Country

Things That Matter

Here’s Everything You Should Know About The Problematic And Racist Statues Being Torn Down Across The Country

Drew Angerer / Getty Images

So many of the headlines about the recent protests in the wake of George Floyd’s murder have been about “senseless” property destruction. But several of the damaged sites have a perfectly sensible and very visceral connection to the protester’s chief issue: anti-Black racism.

Protests have burned down buildings and toppled statutes that have stood for years as blatant reminders of the country’s history of chattel slavery, racial injustice, and the war that was fought to uphold it.

“In many cases, preserving history was not the true goal of these displays,” former Southern Poverty Law Center president Richard Cohen said of the center’s 2016 report that found at least 1,500 US government-backed tributes to the Confederacy

“Rather, many of them were part of an effort to glorify a cause that was manifestly unjust — a cause that has been whitewashed by revisionist propaganda that began almost as soon as the Civil War ended. Other displays were intended as acts of defiance by white supremacists opposed to equality for African Americans during the civil rights movement.”

So how do you remove a racist monument? This week, the world is witnessing all the satisfyingly destructive ways

All around the country, protesters are removing statutes – but who were these historical figures?

Protesters in Richmond, Virginia, toppled a statue of Jefferson Davis. Earlier in the week, they dragged one of Christopher Columbus into a pond. A bronze monument of slave trader Edward Colston in Bristol, England, met a watery demise (it’s since been fished out). An Egyptologist shared step-by-step instructions for how one might pull down an obelisk with ropes and brute force. In Boston, a statue of Columbus was beheaded.

The viral removals of monuments symbolizing racial terror are a push back on a culture that values violence and embeds false narratives about history into its landscapes – especially when it comes to America’s history as a slave-owning nation.

But who or what were these statutes memorializing and why do protesters want them taken down? Below we’ll detail some of the more common statues that are being torn down across the U.S.

Juan de Oñate

Credit: Susan Montoya Bryan / Getty Images

A conquistador and the first Spanish governor of New Mexico, Oñate sought to colonize the Acoma Pueblo, and when spiritual leader Zutacapan learned of the plans, a battle ensued, killing a dozen of Oñate’s men, including his nephew.

Oñate responded by exacting a massacre, leaving 800 dead, 300 of them women and children. Twenty-four men older than 25 had their right feet chopped off, and were enslaved for 20 years, along with many other Acoma, some as young as 12.

Jefferson Davis

In Richmond, Virginia and Minneapolis, MN, statues honoring the Confederate leader, Jefferson Davis, have finally been brought down. Many know about Davis’ history as president of the Confederacy: he lead a rebellion against his own country, owned hundreds of slaves, and fought to preserve his right to do so. He’s long been a target of protesters who have worked in city after city to have monuments built to this man taken down.

Junipero Serra

Credit: David Shmalz / Getty Images

Serra was active in the Spanish Inquisition and later led the first team of Spanish missionaries to California in 1769, which contributed to the killing and enslavement of thousands of native people and stripped many more of their cultural identity.

Part of dealing with current issues of systemic racism, many advocates have said, must include confronting the country’s colonial legacy of slavery and genocide. And it begins with symbols.

Symbols of Spanish colonialism can be found throughout California, largest among them the state’s 21 missions and the many statues dedicated to those who founded them.

Ulysses Grant

Credit: Michell Eberhart / Public Domain / Army.Gov

As president, Grant broke the KKK and fought for Black voting rights with a tenacity few other presidents have rivaled. 

But Grant’s legacy also has less admirable aspects. Grant’s wife had legal ownership of several Black people when he married her, and he himself kept a person in slavery for a year before freeing him at the start of the Civil War.

As president, Grant’s policy towards Native American people could easily be described as cultural genocide. He instigated an illegal and bloody war against the Lakota people of the Black Hills, and used federal force to push Native people onto reservations and to slaughter the buffalo they relied on for food. “American Indians experienced some of the worst massacres and grossest injustices in history while Ulysses S Grant was in office,” Alysa Landry writes at Indian Country Today

Francis Scott Key

Credit: Jose Barrios / Getty Images

Francis Scott Key, the author of America’s national anthem, not only personally enslaved people but also tried to silence the free speech of abolitionists, using his position as district attorney for Washington DC in the 1830s to launch high-profile cases attacking the abolitionist movement.

In San Francisco, protesters dragged the Key statue through the grass and were going to dump it in a nearby fountain, until they were told the fountain was a memorial to the Aids epidemic and stopped, a witness tweeted.

Theodore Roosevelt

Credit: Scott Heins / Getty Images

Theodore Roosevelt is often looked upon fondly by many Americans. He advocated for the preservation of America’s national parks and worked hard to ensure economic prosperity. But to others, the former President symbolizes colonial expansion and racial discrimination.

So, in New York, the American Museum of Natural History will remove a prominent statue of Theodore Roosevelt from its entrance.

“The American Museum of Natural History has asked to remove the Theodore Roosevelt statue because it explicitly depicts Black and Indigenous people as subjugated and racially inferior,” de Blasio said in a written statement. “The City supports the Museum’s request. It is the right decision and the right time to remove this problematic statue.”

Robert Byrd

Credit: White House.gov

Robert Byrd was the longest serving U.S. Senator. But before he kicked off his long political career, he wrote a letter decrying then-President Truman’s efforts to integrate the military. He’d rather see his country crumble, he wrote, than fight “with a negro by my side.”

Perhaps this isn’t surprising from a onetime exalted cyclops of the Ku Klux Klan. Even after he supposedly renounced the Klan, he filibustered the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and was the only senator who voted against the confirmations of the country’s two black Supreme Court justices, Thurgood Marshall and Clarence Thomas.

In his later years, he referred to same-sex marriage as “aberrant behavior” and told an interviewer in 2001, “There are white n***ers. I’ve seen a lot of white n***ers in my time.”

Christoper Columbus

Ok, sure, we all know who Christoper Columbus is and the horrific acts that he committed against Indigenous Americans. But to many, he is still the founder of the “New World” and if often praised for the “discovery” of the Americas. His expeditions are all too often seen as a great triumph as they brought great wealth and riches to Spain and other European countries – through exploiting Indigenous people.

Thankfully, more recent histories of the adventurer have focused on the slave trade in the Americas and the imported European diseases which wiped out Indigenous peoples of the Caribbean region and American continents.

Historians have credited Columbus’ “discovery” of the Americas as the beginning of the slaughter of 3 million people – and his statue in North End Park in Boston, US, was decapitated on June 10.

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