Arizona High School Students’ Racist Photo: It’s Time to Retire the N-Word

racistPeople were horrified Friday when six white girls at Desert View High School in Phoenix decided to spell out a racial slur on their T-shirts, then post a photo of it to Snapchat where it went viral. My children attend that school, and know the girls involved. One of them has a black boyfriend, and at least a couple of the others have also dated black students. Outrage over the photo has gone national, and a petition asking to expel the students has acquired over 37,000 signatures. It is also asking to fire the principal, because there is a perception the school is only going to suspend the students for five days. The school has not formally announced the discipline, obviously under pressure to throw the book at the students. Rev. Jarrett Maupin, a young man who has fashioned himself into a sort of Al Sharpton of Arizona, is organizing a Black Lives Matter rally at the school Monday afternoon.

Here is the problem: Why do people still think it is acceptable to use such an offensive word and joke about it? I blame their parents. Society has become so politically correct that anyone with a pulse should know that using a word that actually is offensive is going to result in a backlash. These girls are 17 and 18 years old, old enough to know better. Unfortunately, parents don’t always monitor what their kids are watching on TV, listening to on their iPods and doing on the Internet. Watch a few too many movies with racial slurs in them, with no parental guidance explaining how inappropriate they are, and a teenager may treat them as a joke.

These students were reportedly bullies who would take photos of other teens, post them on social media and make fun of them. No one ever did anything or stopped them — including their parents. So they began to feel they could get away with anything. The sad thing is, if someone had stepped in and stopped the bullying, they probably wouldn’t have ever gone this far.

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