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Do the White Thing (again)

June 12, 2007

These folks are teachers and administrators at the Riverdale (CA) Christian Academy. They decided to immerse their kids in an historical period so as to teach them about slavery and how to be better Christians by empathizing with those downtrodden folks their savior claimed to have died for.

Is that Zero Mostel?

“The slaves served lemonade — It was a RIOT” (not exactly the kind of riot I was looking for, but . . .) Wait, if they’re slaves, shouldn’t they be giving it away?
I thought Babe Ruth was dead.
He caught a runaway.
Oh, wait, it was a wacky theme party for the graduating seniors? Oh.

The blackface and acronism (Yankees jersey?) is bad enough. However, this shit was put on by teachers. Yes, religious leaders (one of the pastors of the associated church participated), but — BUT — this was done by educators with the full faith and support of the school. This makes one wonder what these teachers were teaching in the classroom. If it’s a “riot” to be served lemonade by fake Black slaves, then the part in history class about slave rebellions must have been L-O-L funny (btw these pics deserve to be lolr-ed if anyone cares to make a go)

This affiliated church is an Assembly of God church, a splinter group designed to create a more homogenous membership, you know, where you can just be yourself and laugh at slavery.

Yes, Dave Chappelle, Robert Townsend, blah blah blah. It isn’t just simply a matter of not complaining when Black people make jokes about slavery and only complaining when White people do it. Surely if you’re capable of connecting to the Internet you can understand the concept of creating humor out of pain (Townsend’s depiction of fake slaves in the “Black Acting School” skit from Hollywood Shuffle is one of the funniest and most pointed criticisms of institutional racism in his chosen field there is, Chappelle be damned). This here party is not that. This is a group of people, religious affiliation notwithstanding, charged with educating young people, and apparently failing pretty miserably. I’m sure their kids are a fine bunch of upstanding citizens with full enfranchisement and a very high Abercrombie bill. I’m sure many of them will grab the American bull by the horns and go all the way with a brass ring jammed in their back pockets. Now, I wont be surprised if in the future one of them is caught on camera calling some brown skinned kid “macaca” during their run for mayor of Bakersfield.

That’s the problem. Forget about me overreacting (I know that thought is circulating through your brains). I can see by their impish grins they’re just trying to have a little fun (in the privacy of their private insitution). They’re supposed to be educating kids.

I suppose they are.

This post hit the internets yseterday (see more here and here and here). I don’t know that there has been any blowback. I wonder if the parents complained? I haven’t heard. The original place where the pictures were found don’t have them up anymore, and the school’s web site is/was down. The school administrators made a formal apology. The principal explained the matter away by claiming, besides the usual “it was only a joke” stuff, that this was a roast of the graduating students to make fun of their mannerisms. Now, you think he’s claiming his kids are acting like slaves, like you know, building the White House, or acting “Black.” At what exactly does puttin’ on the Cleopatra make-up poke fun?

Gankage from Racialicious, etc

Note: Don’t waste your time if you plan to mention or reference Steve Gilliard in this thread. Post will be deleted. You can go make those associations elsewhere. I considered doing the same for any post that asks “What about when rappers . . .” or mentions any Wayans family member.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. Lesley permalink
    June 12, 2007 9:40 am

    Personally, I think it’s really silly to hear some white person say that it’s not right for black people to use the “n word” or make make some racist comment or joke when “we’re not allowed to.” WTF does what someone else say have anything to do with it? Is it okay for Chappelle to make the joke? I don’t know and it’s not really my business to care. But this…this I do need to care about. This all kinds of wrong perpetrated by people who ought to know better.

  2. democommie permalink
    June 13, 2007 6:07 pm


    There was an “Aunt Jemima” party at the Tyler,TX chapter of Lambda Chi Alpha (if memory serves), some months back. The “brothers” and some ladies, dressed up in “Black wear” (my term) and partied into the wee hours, eating fried chicken and drinkin, malt liqour. Photos were up on the fraternity web site. I sent several e-mails to folks, among them the fraternity’s national office and the Truman Library Association (Harry Truman is listed as a “Famous Lambda Chi” on the Nat’l Orgs website. I asked the folks at the Truman Library if they thought Mr. Truman would be happy to be associated with such blatantly racist activity in this day and age (full disclosure, I don’t know what Harry’s own feelings were). The answers I received were as bland and meaningless as those I get from my internet provider when I make a complaint.

    Reading this post has reminded me that I should re-visit the situation.


  1. mushin no shin » Blog Archive » Be sure to include commentary, wouldn’t want to confuse the General
  2. Nashville is Talking » Racist or Playacting?

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