Culture

White Students Wear Du-Rags And Cornrows In Racist Thug Day Celebration

After a long list of racist promposals already this year, this news out of Houston is shocking but unfortunately not surprising.

Around 30 white students at Memorial High School in Houston, Texas, sported cornrows, baggy sports jerseys, and gold chains on Tuesday for what many students called “Thug Day.”

The photos of students posing in the racist caricatures went viral after one student posted them to social media.

The tweet shows students wearing sweatbands and fake tattoos that read ”$wag” for Spirit week, and her tweet quickly went viral. Other photos show female students dressed in baggy pants, sporting fake face tattoos and handcuffs. As of Wednesday, the images had received over 20,000 retweets and more than 4,000 comments.

One student had enough and took to social media to call out the blatant racism.

Credit: @Rachellemmma / Twitter

Since taking to Twitter, other students have been harassing her and threatening her to pull the tweet. One person even posted her home address online.

Rachel Goodwin, the student who shared the photos, told Buzzfeed News that she felt unsafe returning to school and that after receiving a slew of death threats, the school allowed her to stay home.

The outfits sparked controversy online, with many criticizing the students for appropriating and mocking black culture.

Credit: @NorthStarTheGod / Twitter

“Black people with this hair are denied jobs, internships, and get harassed at their schools. Here, Memorial High School students, are using it as costume,” one Twitter user wrote. “It’s rude. It’s racist.”

It’s just another example of white students creating unsafe spaces for students of color.

In interviews with Buzzfeed News, many other students said the teens depicted in the photos are also upset by the online attention. According to them, some are also feeling unsafe to return to school.

Many on Twitter were quick to point out how non-POCs love to appropriate other cultures without understanding the experience behind it.

Credit: @Rachellemmma / Twitter

Goodwin told Buzzfeed News, “The kids wear du-rags and cornrows to be ‘thuggish’ but those things are not thuggish. They are cultural and part of people’s everyday life.”

Officials at Memorial High School released a statement regarding the racist interpretation of Spirit Week.

“While the majority of rising juniors followed the approved dress theme on Tuesday, any instance of an inappropriate or offensive dress violation will not be tolerated. Students found to be in violation of the Student Code of Conduct and dress code will be given a consequence,” a rep for Spring Branch Independent School District said.

Many current and former students are calling BS on the school’s response, saying that this incident is just another year in a long pattern.

Credit: @Rachellemmma / Twitter

From as early as 2015, students have been dressing up in offensive costumes, according to Rachel Goodwin, the student who posted the most recent photos online.

In a statement to the Huffington Post, Monica Day, a 2016 graduate, confirmed “thug day” has been happening for years, just under a different name. A few of the themed days for Spirit Week were “Swag Day” and “Senioritas Day” which, devolved into the same offensive costumes. She said on Senioritas Day many students wore sombreros and mustaches, and one female student wore a Border Patrol outfit.

According to another student, these students can’t blame ignorance because the school magazine just ran a cover story about cultural appropriation back in March.

And in 2016, a wall at the school was covered with racial slurs and anti-Semitic insults.

READ: A Student Holding A Racist Promposal Sign Is Banned From The School Dance And Good

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Five Migrant Girls Were Found Left Alone And Abandoned In The Texas Heat

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Five Migrant Girls Were Found Left Alone And Abandoned In The Texas Heat

This past March, according to El Pais, migrants crossed the Rio Grande at an all-time high not seen in the past 15 years. US government reports underlined that a total of 171,000 people arrived at the southern border of the United States in March. Eleven percent were minors who made the journey by themselves.

Reports say that this vulnerable group will continue to grow in size with recent shifts in the Biden administration child immigration policies. Five migrants girls recently found by the river recently became part of this group.

An onion farmer in Quemado recently reported that he found five migrant girls on his land.

The girls were each under the age of seven, the youngest was too small to even walk. Three of the girls are thought to be from Honduras, the other two are believed to have come from Guatemala.​ Jimmy Hobbs, the farmer who found the girls, said that he called the Border Patrol gave the children aid by giving them water and food and putting them in the shade.

“I don’t think they would have made it if I hadn’t found them,” Hobbs told US Rep. Tony Gonzalez (R-Texas) in a New York Post. “Because it got up to 103 yesterday.”

“My thoughts are that it needs to stop right now. There are going to be thousands. This is just five miles of the Rio Grande,” Hobbs’ wife added in their conversation with Gonzalez. “That’s a huge border. This is happening all up and down it. It can’t go on. It’s gonna be too hot. There’ll be a lot of deaths, a lot of suffering.” 

“It is heartbreaking to find such small children fending for themselves in the middle of nowhere,” Chief Border Patrol Agent Austin Skero II explained of the situation in an interview with ABC 7 Eyewitness News. “Unfortunately this happens far too often now. If not for our community and law enforcement partners, these little girls could have faced the more than 100-degree temperatures with no help.”

According to reports, the Customs and Border Protection stated that the five girls​ ​will be processed and placed in the custody of the Department of Health and Human Services.​

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A School District Employee Cut A Biracial Girl’s Hair Without Her Parents’ Permission

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A School District Employee Cut A Biracial Girl’s Hair Without Her Parents’ Permission

At a young age, Black women are often given the instruction to not allow “anyone to touch your hair” by their mothers or fathers. The direction is often given as a sort of shield. Don’t let anyone touch your hair can mean ‘don’t let anyone ruin the hard work I put into it’ but more underlining is the notion to not allow anyone to make you feel “other” because your hair is different from their own.

A father from Michigan has a new reason for delivering this message to his 7-year-old daughter.

On March 24, Jimmy Hoffmeyer’s daughter Jurnee came home from her school, Ganiard Elementary, with the right side of her hair sheered off by a classmate. According to USA Today, Jurnee’s schoolmate cut off two to three inches of Jurnee’s hair. That same day, Hoffmeyer brought Jurnee to a local hair salon to fix her hair. The stylist cut Jurnee’s hair in an asymmetrical cut and also provided the little girl with free haircuts until her hair finally grew back in length.

All seemed to have been fixed.

Then, two days later, Jurnee returned home from school with her hair cut on the other side.

Jurnee told her father that the school’s library employee cut off the other side. In an attempt to get answers, Hoffmeyer attempted to contact his daughter’s school over the phone. After several calls and no answers, he contacted the police.

According to USA Today, the Mount Pleasant Police Department told the oultet that Hoffmeyer contacted them but never filed a police report. 

Hoffmeyer went onto tell USA Today that an assistant at Jurnee’s school apologized to him for the incident before explaining that the school’s principal would not be able to speak with him until after spring break because he was out of the office. “On April 5, he said he received a call from the principal and was told the librarian would receive marks on her report but did not have the authority to do anything further,” reports USA Today. “Hoffmeyer said he received a call 45 minutes later from the district’s superintendent, Jennifer Verleger, who offered to send Jurnee an apology card in the mail.”

In response to the offer, Hoffmeyer said “An apology card to a 7-year-old who is humiliated and has to be around her classmates like this?”

The Mount Pleasant School District released a statement to parents that claimed “a student asked for her hair to be cut both times, first by a classmate and later by a library employee.”

The released letter was signed by Verlege and stated that Jurnee’s teacher knew that the library employee planned to cut her hair.

Both Jurnee’s teacher and the school librarian apologized for their actions.

Hoffmeyer, who is biracial told USA Today that “his classmate who cut his daughter’s hair and the librarian were both white, but he is trying hard not to make this situation about race. Jurnee’s mother is white.”

“It’s hard to come to any decision when you don’t have answers to why it was done,” Hoffmeyer told the outlet before revealing that he unenrolled Jurnee from her elementary school and she is now attending Vowles Elementary School.

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