Another day, another inside job. Understandably, officials at Parkway Central High School in Chesterfield, Mo., are not releasing the identity, including the race, of the “nonwhite” student who on Nov. 15 scrawled “White Lives Matter” followed by the N-word on a mirror in the girls room because she is a minor.
What is not understandable — or forgivable — is the response of the administration upon learning that the incident was a hoax. According to St. Louis Fox affiliate KTVI, Principal Timothy McCarthy wrote in an email to the community:
This incident caused significant harm to and within our school community by provoking feelings of hurt and distrust. The use of the N-word, in the context of the message on the bathroom mirror, provoked feelings of hate, not love. As I stated last week, actions and speech which degrade an individual’s human dignity have no place in school; they have no place at Central High.
It’s appropriate for the principal to mention hate and distrust in his letter home. Both are exemplified in the actions of the confused teen responsible for the graffiti. But simply to bury those terms in a nebulous paragraph that fails to describe the crime, much less assign blame for it, only guarantees future repetitions.
Perhaps McCarthy’s worst offense, however, is his intimation that there is a valid, even loving context for using the word nigger.
The station is no better, noting elsewhere in the article that “school officials did not disclose the student’s motive for the graffiti.” What does Kevin S. Held, who wrote the piece, imagine the motive might be if it’s not to perpetrate the myth that racism against blacks is more overt and prevalent than it obviously is.