White Students In Blackface Perform Skit Of Chris Brown Beating Rihanna During Pep Rally
Three students at Waverly High School in New York donned blackface at a pep rally last week and re-enacted Chris Brown's alleged 2009 assault of then-girlfriend Rihanna.
The skit was performed in front of "an audience that included not only students but parents, faculty, and various members of the media and community leaders. None of them stopped the skit."
According to public records from 2010, more than 98 percent of the students at Waverly High School are white. Out of approximately 580 students, only 5 were black, 2 Native Americans, and 2 Asians. Waverly, N.Y., is also predominately white—97 percent of residents are white.
This isn't the first incident of blackface at the school, and past pep rally skits have been racially charged as well. There was another offensive skit in 2008 in which a teacher dressed as a Native American Indian and ran around the school gym making "war whoops" while being chased by someone dressed as a wolverine, the school's mascot.
On top of the racism in the Chris Brown/Rihanna skit, let's not forget that the situation is making light of beating women. Domestic violence is never a laughing matter: There are 2 million injuries and 1,300 deaths resulting from domestic violence each year nationwide, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, and African American women are 35 percent more likely than white women to be victims of domestic violence.
Vlad Chituc, a former student at Waverly High School and a Yale University graduate expressed disgust at the incident, saying: "I think it’s unconscionable that such blatant racism has been tacitly approved two years in a row. The administration should be creating an environment where minorities are welcome, not the butts of racist jokes that make light of domestic violence.”
It's safe to say that Waverly administrators should use more discretion when vetting their skits for future pep rallies and should be ashamed for fostering a community in which minorities and the domestic violence are the punchlines of jokes.
Sydney Hofferth is a Communications Intern for Campus Progress. You can follow her on twitter at @squidhoff10.
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