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Yes that really happened. In 2014. But hey, "he was joking". Of course.

Roosevelt High School student Jabre White, 17, recalled to The Des Moines Register the way his teacher, Shawn McCurtain, had told the class to head downstairs for a final exam in economics in mid-May.

“Yes, sir,” Jabre White remembered telling the teacher.

“You meant to say, ‘Yes, sir, master,’” McCurtain allegedly replied.

Jabre's mother wasn't having it ( nor would any parent I know including me) and appropriately contacted school officials. Their response was less than satisfying.

Nicholle White said that she contacted school officials after finding out about the incident, but they never would tell her what disciplinary action was taken. So, the mother took her story to the Register‘s “Reader’s Watchdog” column.

I suppose I should be glad that the teacher didn't try to come up with a context for this. Predictably, once called on it :

McCurtain called her to apologize, and said that he meant the remarks as a joke.
Yuk yuk. Of course he still works for the district.

While this isn't the response I might have wanted my own son to give, I can fully understand Jabre's response to his "teacher" which was:

“Who the f*ck are you talking to?” Jabre White reportedly told McCurtain. “You’re nobody’s master, and this is not the slave days.”
It's 2014. Really.

I have to go into a meeting so will be away from the diary. I hope the discussion will continue . Will be back later to catch up.

As a general response to some of the comments in re: context and this being a normal course of teen vs adult sarcasm etc. I disagree. We can make up as many other examples that didn't happen or we can discuss what did happen. If there is a context then it is very specifically the fact that a white teacher felt comfortable saying this to a black student given the very known and specific context of this country's history of slavery and race.

Originally posted to The Underground Lair of Vita Brevis on Tue Jun 10, 2014 at 08:05 AM PDT.

Also republished by Black Kos community, Barriers and Bridges, and White Privilege Working Group.

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