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

A New Documentary Exposes The Massacre In Porvenir, Texas That Left 15 Mexican-Americans Dead

Entertainment

A New Documentary Exposes The Massacre In Porvenir, Texas That Left 15 Mexican-Americans Dead

porvenirmovie / Instagram

Porvenir is a Spanish word. If you break it down, por venir literally means to come, and the translation is the future. It’s also the name of what used to be a tiny town in Texas located right next to the Rio Grande on the border. The village of Porvenir in Texas, which is a town no more, had roots that reflect the brutal and deadly colonization that this country was built on. 

“Porvenir, Texas” is a new documentary on PBS that brings to light the massacre that happened on the border more than 100 years ago. 

Credit: porvenirmovie / Instagram

As the tense immigration crisis continues in this country today, the documentary “Porvenir, Texas” shows how this struggle has been part of our history since the inception of the United States of America. 

The story of the massacre cannot be told before discussing the war between the U.S. and Mexico. While the U.S. continued to expand in the southwest through its war with Mexico, the battle to live and remain in the country affected the most vulnerable people who weren’t part of the war at all. They were Mexicans who lived in Texas and along the border before it was ever part of the United States. However, after Mexico lost Texas to the United States, those living in Texas, became Americans overnight. That didn’t please the incoming residents — white people looking to make the country their home. 

The documentary exposes the brutal killing of 15 Mexican men — some who were American as well — which the U.S. tried to hide from history. 

Credit: porvenirmovie / Instagram

With the expansion of the U.S. throughout its new state of Texas, white ranchers staked their claim in areas that were owned by Mexican-Americans. Like gentrification today, Texas was also gentrified during the Wild West, which meant Mexicans, who were now Americans, were displaced because of higher taxes. 

With the revolution still going on in the Mexican border and new white ranchers taking over land, racial tensions were high. White people were told that all Mexicans were “bandits” and Mexican-Americans were in fear for their lives thinking they could be killed based on the color of their skin.

White people were killing Mexican-Americans outright with no consequences, and the film shows graphic images of that. 

Credit: porvenirmovie / Instagram

Here’s a summary of that fateful violent night as reported by NBC News: “In the early morning hours of Jan. 28, 1918, a group of ranchers, Texas Rangers, and U.S. Army cavalry soldiers entered the village and rousted the residents from their beds. They led away 15 unarmed men and boys of Mexican descent to a nearby bluff, where they shot and killed them. These victims ranged in age from 16 to 72, and some were American citizens. The town’s women and children fled across the border to Mexico for safety. The next day, the perpetrators returned and burned the village to the ground. Porvenir ceased to exist.”

We have no idea how many other Mexican-Americans were killed with such brutality during this period because there’s no record of it. The only reason the story of Porvenir can be told today is because of two men that documented what happened. 

Credit: porvenirmovie / Instagram

Harry Warren was a white teacher that worked with some of the community in Porvenir and wrote about what happened that night. He also was a witness to the bodies.  José Tomás (“J.T.”) Canales, who was a state legislator at the time, launched an investigation against the Rangers, and his depositions and testimony have been preserved as well. 

“There were many cases like Porvenir, where the initial response from the state was to try to fabricate what really took place,” Monica Muñoz Martinez, an assistant professor at Brown University and the founding member of the public history project Refusing To Forget, told NBC News. “It was not unusual for the state to try to justify such acts, by criminalizing the victims. Residents of Porvenir were described at times as squatters or bandits. None of this is true.”

Christina Fernandez Shapter produced the film and spoke about the importance of making sure these stories are never forgotten. 

Credit: jefegreenheart / Instagram

“I am Mexican American myself, I am from Texas, my family has been here for generations,” she told NBC News. “And I know we all have stories in our families, sometimes of land being taken from us or other injustices.”

Here’s a clip of the film.

Click here to watch the entire documentary. 

READ: This Exhibition Told The Stories Of Mexicans And Mexican-Americans Who Were Illegally Deported In The ’20s And ’30s

Woman Captured On Video Using Racial Slur Loses Job As Hollywood Costumer But Apologizes Because She Was Drunk

Things That Matter

Woman Captured On Video Using Racial Slur Loses Job As Hollywood Costumer But Apologizes Because She Was Drunk

*Warning: The video includes very graphic and offensive language.*

Heather Lynn Patton was a costume designer in Hollywood before she was caught on camera screaming racial slurs at a CVS in Eagle Rock. The video starts with the woman jumping up and down scream that she “hates n—ers.”

Heather Lynn Patton was caught on camera claiming she wants to kill black people.

Credit: @hi_jah / Twitter

The video is a very disturbing moment in the growing racial tensions in the U.S. Videos like this have become an ever-increasing presence in social media. We’ve seen people verbally attacking Black people for existing and brown people being harassed about their immigration status. Heather Lynn Patton is just the latest example of this racial tension in the country.

Patton was a costume designer in Hollywood but lost that job after the video was released.

Credit: @PattyArquette / Twitter

Patton is reported to have worked on two seasons the “Medium” starring Patricia Arquette. Several celebrities who have worked on projects with the racist woman have denounced her and her actions.

Patton took to Instagram to “apologize” by blaming it on her being intoxicated.

Credit: heatherlynnpatton / Instagram

While Patton tried to blame her racist outburst on being intoxicated, people are not letting her get away with it. Twitter users have spent the last couple of days letting their opinions be known about how being drunk is not an acceptable excuse.

Some people were quick to point out that she blamed her outburst on being drunk, yet got into her car to drive home.

Credit: @time4craic / Twitter

She basically admitted to drinking and driving after telling a store full of people that she would kill Black people if the law allowed. People are demanding justice after her outburst was spread all over social media.

Despite her apology, LAPD is investigating the threatening nature of her angry rant.

Credit: heatherlynnpatton / Instagram

According to The Washington Post, the LAPD is investigating the woman’s outburst as a hate incident. KTLA has reported that some of her neighbors have filed restraining orders against her because of her erratic and racist behavior.

You can watch Patton’s outburst below.

READ: A Viciously Racist Video Has Gone Viral In Which Two Girls Call For The Return Of Slavery And The KKK