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Bil Browning

Because Domestic Violence & Racism Is Funny, Y'all

Filed By Bil Browning | October 16, 2012 6:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Living
Tags: blackface, positive atmosphere, Waverly High School

Nothing says "hilarious" like white students at a high school pep rally donning blackface to re-enact Chris Brown beating Rihanna. Why? Because it's funny, Waverly-High-School.jpegy'all. Obviously.

...The lion's share of the iReport comments--along with students' and alumni's Facebook statuses and tweets--have been in defense of the routine, accusing those who have reacted negatively to the story as being "idiots," "absurd," and "ignorant." Mostly, they seem to be angry at the allegations of racism. And sure, it's true that the students who performed the skit are only kids, and their poor choice of "costume" could perhaps have more to do with ignorance than ill intentions.

So while the racial aspect of the incident is indeed problematic, what is perhaps more troubling is that a group of teenage boys attempted to win a popularity contest (literally) by pretending to beat the crap out of a girl--and nobody seems to care. While everybody is so busy arguing about blackface, very few are even mentioning how fucked up it is that domestic violence was considered, by both students and adults, to be appropriate material for satire.

Pep rallies are supposed to be light-hearted and silly. Boys dress up in cheerleaders' skirts and someone makes a joke about how strict a certain teacher is. Somehow, the severe battery of a woman just doesn't fit into that kind of jovial tone.

The school district's superintendent is obviously taking this very seriously. He put out a statement saying, "The Waverly School District is committed to creating a positive atmosphere through our activities. I will be working with our building administrators, our staff and our students to examine our current activities and develop future activities consistent with our commitment."

Which is, of course, why last year a different group of students "performed" in blackface too without repercussion. Racism creates a "positive atmosphere" - especially in a town with a 97% white population. Thank Jeebus they threw in some good old domestic violence; that makes it super positive. Or something.


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