Coach Ryan really lost his damn mind pic.twitter.com/2k2DUI16Ow
— lizzie mcguire (@ellienick2) May 4, 2017
Louisiana school officials are investigating after a viral video showed a white substitute teacher whipping out the N-word, and telling students that it is no big deal.
Footage posted to Twitter on Thursday depicts him and a black student getting into a … passionate argument over the racial slur.
“That’s racist as sh-t,” the student said. “Why can you not understand that it’s racist for a white man to say ‘n—-r’ to a black man? It’s f–king racist.”
The student rhetorically asked white classmates if they’d say it.
“F–k no, they wouldn’t say ‘n—-r,’” he said.
The teacher, named as “Coach Ryan” in the original Twitter post, argued that the N-word isn’t a big deal anymore.
“Do you know what a commoditized word is?” he said, claiming that this slur lost its original meaning through overuse. “The word has been commoditized so that anyone can use it, and it’s not a negative connotation.”
The student didn’t buy that.
“For you to say it to me is negative,” he said.
“Coach Ryan” said that singers [he presumably meant rappers] use it in songs.
“By black men,” the student countered. “By black men.” He pointed out that even Eminem, a white rapper, never uses the slur in his songs.
The teacher didn’t buy that.
“If you say a word, it means friend,” he said. “If I say a word, it means something different.”
“That’s not true.”
You can see the full video above, but the highlight is when the teacher says “Nobody says ‘n—-r.”
“You just said it!” the flustered student shot back.
All in all, the teacher argued the student overreacted and was hung up on the word.
A spokesperson for Benjamin Franklin High School in New Orleans confirmed to LawNewz.com that yes, that was one of their substitute teachers in the video, and they’re investigating it. However, they did not give the teacher’s name and said they couldn’t comment on the matter until their probe wrapped up.
We obtained a school statement from Friday which said the incident happened Thursday, and that the employee has been placed on leave.
“The investigation will gather information leading up to the brief video that was posted on social media, and will gain additional first-hand information,” they said. “With the investigation underway, we ask the public to respect this process.”
We will update once they reach a conclusion.
The New Orleans Times-Picayune originally linked the video to the school. An alumnus started a petition in response on Thursday. Angry with the teacher’s actions, he will withhold donations until the school does something.
Principal Patrick Windham told the Times-Picayune that the students came to his office for a sit-in, and it transformed into an hour-long assembly in the auditorium. He said students had “a very good dialogue about the difficulties and the issues that still exist around race, around identity, around the things that aren’t resolved.”
Update – May 5, 4:19 p.m.: We added information from a May 5 statement by the school.
[Screengrab via Twitter]