It seems that fake “hate” crimes are in vogue these days. Understandably, officials at Parkway Central High School in Chesterfield, Mo., are not releasing the identity, including the race, of a “nonwhite” student who allegedly scrawled “White Lives Matter” on November 15. That declaration was 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 administration’s response upon learning the incident was a hoax. According to St. Louis Fox affiliate KTVI, Principal Timothy McCarthy wrote the following in an email to the local 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 alleged crime, much less assign blame for it, only guarantees more of the same type of actions.
Perhaps McCarthy’s worst offense, however, is his intimation that there is a valid, even loving context for using the word we dare not utter or spell.
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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.
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