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karrington_kk/Twitter

Teacher put on leave after wearing blackface to impersonate Common

A student posted the video on Twitter.

Nov 5, 2019, 5:29 pm

IRL

Tiffanie Drayton 

Tiffanie Drayton

A California teacher clearly missed the internet’s repeated warning not to wear blackface for Halloween, and his choice to do so may cost him his job.

A student recorded a 23-second video of the teacher wearing blackface in class.

“Sooooooooo… one of our WHITE teachers at mhs yesterday decided to paint his face so look like common the rapper yesterday,” Twitter user @karrington_kk wrote, along with the clip.

In the clip, the teacher raps and mimics Common’s artificial intelligence ads for Microsoft.

https://twitter.com/karrington_kk/status/1190417147572322304?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.usatoday.com%2Fstory%2Fnews%2Feducation%2F2019%2F11%2F05%2Fcalifornia-teacher-wore-blackface-rapper-common-costume-leave%2F4164635002%2F

She later added that the “school just told him to clean up.”

https://twitter.com/karrington_kk/status/1190423655626338304

The video has been viewed over 500,000 since it was originally posted, prompting the school in question, Milpitas High School, to take action against the teacher (who has yet to be identified) by putting him on leave.

The school’s principal, Francis Rojas, and the district’s superintendent, Cheryl Jordan, released a joint statement addressing the controversy. In the statement, they said that blackface “has a historical and present-day connotation of racism that demeans those of African ancestry.”

“In a school community where we welcome learners and families from over 50 languages who represent cultures and religions throughout the world … it hurts to know that this type of cultural insensitivity and lack of cultural awareness still hovers in the background,” they further explained.

Many were confused by the teacher’s decision to wear blackface, especially in light of the outcry against the practice as of late.
“I just don’t get it, there have been memes and everything this year telling people not to do blackface. There’s always one,” Twitter user @LedgerTaylor wrote in response to the story.

Yet, despite the obvious repercussions and repeated warning to not wear blackface for Halloween, white people seem to be very hesitant to stop the practice. A Pew Research study from earlier this year found that one-third of Americans (mostly white and Republican) still believe it is appropriate to wear blackface as a part of a Halloween costume.

The teacher was apparently a part of that group willing to risk their reputation and livelihood in the name of racist Halloween getups.

The Daily Dot has reached out to Milpitas High School.

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H/T USA TODAY

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*First Published: Nov 5, 2019, 5:29 pm