Noose in the Locker Room: Racism Inside and Outside of the Santa Monica High School

My blog post at New Black Man (http://newblackman.blogspot.com/2011/06/noose-in-locker-room-racism-inside-and.html)

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

A Noose in the Locker Room: Racism Inside and Outside of the Santa Monica High School

by David J. Leonard

It was likely just another day for a Santa Monica High (CA) student when he headed to wrestling practice. Entering the locker room, things were anything but “normal.” A noose was inside the room nearby a wrestling practice dummy (the specifics are unclear based on current reporting). When an African American wrestler entered the room, he was then accosted by two teammates. According to a report from the Santa Monica Daily Press, “One grabbed him in what” was “described as a ‘bear hug,’ while the other slipped a lock through his belt loop and connected it to a nearby locker.” As they left the room, with the boy still attached to the locker, they shouted, “slave for sale.”

The noose, the reference to the boy as a “slave for sale” and the attack on the African American student did little to set off alarm bells from the school administration beyond damage control. According to the above newspaper account, they failed to notify the boy’s mother even while they contacted other parents connected to the wrestling team. Seemingly unconcerned about the impact of this attack on the boy, his family and the larger community of students of color at Santa Monica High School, their efforts appeared to be directed at helping (rather than punishing) and protecting the students who perpetrated these shameful acts. Some reported that at the request from school officials, pictures of the noose, for example, were erased from several student cell phones.

To read the complete post go to: NewBlackMan: A Noose in the Locker Room: Racism Inside and Outside of the Santa Monica High School.

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