A Facebook post by an outraged Illinois kindergarten teacher that includes photographs and a video of white Homewood-Flossmoor High School students in blackface has sparked a promised school walk-out in protest of their actions.
A parent of one of the teens in racist blackface claims their son has received threats, according to Patch.
In a post to social media Sunday, educator Khy Lael Sline shared two photographs and a copy of what appears to be an edit of a Snapchat video. The photographs depict at least three high school students in blackface inside a car. The video shows them at a drive-thru and their interaction with a young female cashier.
A rally and school walkout was organized to protest the blackface incident and the school’s response.
Nearly 1,000 marched.
Here’s what you need to know:
Two Photos Show 3 White, Male Driving-Age Homewood-Flossmoor Students in Black Face Inside a Vehicle
Sline made the post on Facebook saying she’d been “made aware that HF students were riding around yesterday with black face on.” The post was shared on April 28 and so the event would have taken place Saturday April 27.
“I’m very disappointed that this would happen in this community. The history and effects of black face are well known. To see students in our communities taking part in this activity and disrespecting the black student population makes me wonder if HF truly cares about supporting a safe space for students of color,” she wrote.
“I urge my fellow alumni and friends with students currently in this district to voice your displeasure of this behavior and ensure that HF takes appropriate action. We need to make sure that the students in this school know that this type of racist behavior will not be tolerated in this community.”
Video of Students in Blackface at McDonald’s Drive-Up Window Where They Harassed a Female Worker, Made Crude Sexual References & Mockingly Affected Black English
In a disjointed and disturbing video, the teens, after harassing fast food workers, one affects his take on Black English speech, seen as racist and offensive.
“Hey man, I’ll see y’all later, man. I’ll see y’all later.”
And according to Sline, when the teens were “confronted about it being racist the boys respond saying something to the effect of,’“I’m not racist, I love black girls. They’re really thick,’ fetishizing black girls’ bodies and reducing the notion of not being racist towards sexual attraction to someone.”
What can be heard in the video clearly is one teen saying that he can smell the girl’s pu**y.
“That smelly pu**y energy …” one says in reference to the girl at the drive-thru window. A young female of color.
Sline said she earned that the “young lady they harassed at McDonald’s (and filmed themselves doing so) is extremely hurt, frustrated, and embarrassed. This was not a victimless infraction. Real lives have been affected.”
And another video taken from the inside of the McDonald’s was shared by a student in a comment thread on Facebook.
In a Letter to Parents, the District Superintendent & School Principal Say Blackface ‘Will Not Be Condoned’ & Action Will Be Taken, But It’s Not Clear What Type of Action
The letter from superintendent Dr. Von Mansfield and school principal Jerry Lee Anderson reads:
“On Sunday morning, we were made aware through emails and phone calls of several social media posts made by students that were highly offensive and culturally insensitive. The administration immediately requested a meeting and met with all of the families and students involved on Sunday afternoon. Due to student confidentiality laws, we are unable to discuss individual students and actions taken. However, we can share that the social media postings that were seen and heard were not representative of the high expectations we have for all students that attend our school. This type of behavior is contrary to our expectations, is being addressed quickly and appropriately and will not be tolerated.”
“It is important that our students and community clearly understand that this type of behavior will not be condoned at H-F and we will continue to take the appropriate and necessary actions to ensure all of our students are respected, feel protected and safe.”
Sline, a graduate of the school, wrote that she was “told that the students will be allowed in school tomorrow and that there will be no disciplinary action taken. The school is going to give the students who were in black face earlier dismissal from classes tomorrow to insure THEIR safety.”
A Protest Rally & March Was Held Tuesday With Students Chanting ‘No Place for Blackface’
Ronald Williams called on students and members of the community to join. And on Williams’ post, in the comment thread, he shares a video that is taken from inside the McDonald’s.
“I’m not going to tolerate this racism. Meet in the main Entrance at the South Building #zerotoleranceHF #HFStudentsForChange
Williams’ call for the greater community to be involved has been heard.
“CALL TO ACTION …”
A protest demanding that the students be expelled was called for.
“…to demand that these students are expelled, to demand that Homewood Flossmoor issues a public apology, and also demand that HF creates cultural sensitivity training and some other protective measures to address the trauma of the black HF students who are impacted by this racist action.”
Sline wrote, “I refuse to believe that the students were ignorant of what they were doing. Whether or not they knew the history of black face, they knew they were inciting an emotional response and were hurting people. I’m disappointed and disgusted by their behavior, the response from their families, and the response this far from the school.
HF needs to do better. The community as a whole relies on it. It is my belief that the center of the community is the school, but it starts from home. I can’t make a grown person stop getting their news from Facebook and open up a book so I choose to focus on the route that I believe will bring upon the most and best change.”
Activist Priest Fr. Michael Pfleger Stands With Student-Led Protests as Hundreds Marched & Rallied
Longtime activist priest Father Michael Pfleger posted he stands on support of Homewood-Flossmoor students protesting the white students in blackface not being disciplined and the school leadership’s response to keep the blackface-wearing students protected and their identities private.
“I stand in support of the Students of Homewood Flossmoor HS who are walking out in protest of the White students who in Blackface drove around and posted Racial comments on Social Media…The Administration MUST state publicly what actions they are taking. The Community deserves to know….The students were public about their actions and the Administration must make public their response…”
And the Midwest affiliate of the Anti Defamation League has weighed in.
“We are disturbed by this recent HS incident, but inspired by the response of student activists. We hope that school administrators continue to provide support and educate students about the history and harm of blackface.”
The ADL also provided a history and guidelines “and suggestions for discussion and teaching the history of blackface and its contemporary impact.”