A white teacher at Oklahoma’s Norman North High School sparked a racial profiling controversy by stating during his lecture that “to be white is to be racist.” The statement upset several students, and the recording of his speech brought the attention of the press and the students’ families.
During what was initially meant to be a lecture on methods of healing the ever-increasing racial divide, the teacher started making some statements that were considered offensive by his students. One member of the class decided to record the teacher to gather proof of the racial insensitivity that he demonstrated during the philosophy course.
On the recording, it can be heard that after stating that “to be white is to be racist,” the teacher continued by saying that he does not “choose to be racist,” but rather he does things based on the education he received as a child.
Joseph Siano, Norman Public Schools superintendent, declared that the teacher had no intention of coming off as racist, but rather that the conversation was not handled correctly.
According to Siano, the teacher in question was only trying to explain a notion that he heard at a university lecture. He was only trying to apply a philosophical concept of the perspective on ethics, culture, and race. However, the discussion plan was poorly handled, and the students walked away with the impression that their teacher is racist.
Other students that participated in the lecture declared that the recording only offers half the truth, distorting what happened during the philosophy class. They state that the things that their teacher said were taken out of context and that neither the school nor the teacher has shown any signs of racist behavior.
The group of students that stand by the teacher that was accused of sparking a racial profiling controversy believe that he was trying to build a solid argument against prejudice and institutionalized racism.
As of yet, there is no word of the consequences of the man’s poorly constructed lecture. However, seeing as the class is divided in two, some supporting his claims of trying to make a point and bring awareness to the dangers of racism, others believing that he was profiling the entire white race, it is easy to conclude that the school management has a hard time untangling the situation.
Image source: Wikipedia
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