It seems as if not a week goes by where the media doesn’t highlight yet another instance of racial intolerance or violence someplace in the country. This is particularly problematic in our public schools, where racial divisions can cause unrest and calls for reform. That seemed to be the case in Missouri last week at Parkway Central High School in Chesterfield, a suburb to the west of St. Louis. Someone went into several student bathrooms and wrote racist graffiti on the walls, including a racial epithet disparaging Black people and a wish for Black people to be killed. Hundreds of students walked out in protest and cursed at the school administration for allowing such a thing to happen. An investigation was immediately launched and in rather short order, the perpetrator was identified and confessed. The fly in the ointment here was that the student who confessed is Black. (St. Louis Today)
School District officials on Tuesday announced a “not white” student admitted to writing racist graffiti in multiple bathrooms at Parkway Central High School last week.
A spokeswoman for the district later confirmed in an interview the student was Black. She said officials don’t know why the student committed the acts of vandalism, or used the racist slurs.
In a letter to district parents, students and staff, Superintendent Keith Marty said the student’s race “does not diminish the hurt it caused or the negative impact it has on our entire community.”
There are really only two possibilities to explore here. One is that the student is actually some sort of self-hating, wannabe Klansman who doesn’t really understand how the system operates or the requirements to join. Does that sound likely to you? (With apologies to Ron Stallworth.)
The other possibility is that this was yet another case of a Black student activist looking to stir up racial unrest. And if you can’t find some actual racist willing to commit a hate crime, you just commit one yourself and get the entire community riled up and ready for a fight.
What’s particularly amazing is the mealy-mouthed way the school administration reacted to the news. Rather than decrying such a damaging stunt and placing the blame correctly, they continued to insist that the skin color of the perpetrator isn’t the issue and the harm caused by the graffiti is still very real and needs to be addressed.
“We cannot presume the reasons a student would do this and it will be important to understand why this happened as we move forward,” Superintendent Keith Marty said.
If you have students who are legitimately writing hateful graffiti about other races and promoting violence in your school then you have a problem and you need to take action. If you have a student pulling a hoax like this just to try to stir up racial animosity and anger, you still have a problem, but it’s a very different sort of problem. You don’t need to start dragging everyone into racial sensitivity classes as a result of this. You need to get the known perpetrator into juvenile court.
This seems to be a recurring problem at Parkway Central High School. Just a few years ago, in 2017, a “non-white” student confessed to writing “White Lives Matter” and a slur against Black people in one of the bathrooms. If this is turning into a running theme, there needs to be some additional education taking place, but it’s not critical race theory that’s needed.