The responses to former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s peaceful protest of racial injustice in our country have been charged. The protest has effectively highlighted the racial divisions and ideologies of white supremacy in our country far beyond anything Kaepernick might have imagined when he decided to kneel during the performing of the national anthem. Recently, athletic-wear giant Nike signed Kaepernick to a multi-million-dollar contract and ad campaign that highlight his battle and sacrifices in the fight to make his voice—and millions of others’ voices—heard. The negative reactions to the Nike news has run the gamut from random idiots cutting and burning Nike gear they had already purchased to idiotic elected officials trying to ban Nike apparel in their districts. Nowhere has former San Francisco 49er Kaepernick driven racists madder than in Louisiana.
Louisiana has seen a mayor try to ban Nike from parks and rec, and some Pelican State police refused to volunteer for security detail for a local high school football team when the team decided to kneel in solidarity with Kaepernick’s message. More recently, a Louisiana math teacher at Slidell High School, Valerie Scogin, was let go after comments she wrote on the Facebook page of a graduate of the high school went bad-viral. Scogin pulled the posts down and apologized, but the damage had already been done, and her apology was not particularly contrite.
According to the Times-Picayune, Scogin had this to say:
"They don't have to live in that country. They could go back. But it was their own people selling them into slavery to begin with and tearing (treating) them even worse in those countries of origin.
"Want not to be stereotyped, tell people of that color to quit acting like animals and perpetuating the stereotype. Many are average people; the few ruin it."
According to the New Orleans Advocate, Scogin began arguing in comments with people and then, finally, apologized.
"Recently I posted a comment that may have been hurtful to some of you," Scogin wrote on her own Facebook page. "In my reaction out of frustration at another Facebook post, I made some remarks that were against my better judgement and sensibilities. I now wish I hadn't."
The issue here is not that her comment “may” have been hurtful to “some.” The issue is that her comment is hurtful to everyone—even if they don’t think it is. Louisiana is dealing with dwindling numbers of teachers of color working in their school system. Having a teaching staff that not only doesn’t represent the student body but is also bigoted towards an entire population of students is unacceptable.
The school released a statement on Tuesday saying that Scogin did not work there anymore.
"This process has been completed, and the teacher in question is no longer an employee of our School System," the statement read. "This incident does not reflect our district's values, mission and vision, and we remain committed to providing a school culture that is inclusive and meets the needs of all our students, employees and community."
Whether Scogin was fired or resigned isn’t specified. I’m sorry if some people may have been hurt by the public reaction to their bigotry. See how that sounds?