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Thu Mar 22, 2012, 02:33 PM

North Carolina school: 'African American attire' letter was 'poorly worded'

North Carolina school: 'African American attire' letter was 'poorly worded'
By msnbc.com staff

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – A North Carolina school district acknowledged Wednesday that it sent home a “poorly worded” letter asking children to dress in “African American attire” or animal prints to celebrate Black History Month.

The letter went home with a group of children from Western Union Elementary School in advance of the school’s Feb. 28 celebration, according to the Charlotte Observer.

The letter suggested that if students didn’t have “African American attire,” they could wear animal-print clothing or shirts with zebras, elephants or giraffes on them.

In a statement, Union County Public Schools’ Chief Communications Officer Luan Ingram said the letter “while it was well-intended, it was poorly worded. We are reminding all of our principals to be very sensitive in word choices when communicating with parents concerning different ethnic groups and cultures that make up our world.”

http://usnews.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/03/21/10798510-north-carolina-school-african-american-attire-letter-was-poorly-worded

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Arrow 17 replies Author Time Post
Reply North Carolina school: 'African American attire' letter was 'poorly worded' (Original post)
Liberal_in_LA Mar 2012 OP
Skinner Mar 2012 #1
Ian David Mar 2012 #7
cali Mar 2012 #12
rfranklin Mar 2012 #15
kestrel91316 Mar 2012 #2
onenote Mar 2012 #6
Ian David Mar 2012 #10
Ian David Mar 2012 #13
onenote Mar 2012 #14
Ian David Mar 2012 #8
a kennedy Mar 2012 #9
Enrique Mar 2012 #3
Iggo Mar 2012 #4
dballance Mar 2012 #5
Solly Mack Mar 2012 #11
immoderate Mar 2012 #16
Prometheus Bound Mar 2012 #17

Response to Liberal_in_LA (Original post)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 02:37 PM

1. WTF?

"poorly worded"?

How does one word that better?

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Response to Skinner (Reply #1)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 02:54 PM

7. Not sure if this would help, but how about...

"Wear attire that celebrates African-American heritage, history or ancestry in a respectful and dignified manner. "

If he would have left it with that, instead of playing The Lion King over and over in his head while he wrote the letter, that would have sufficed.




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Response to Ian David (Reply #7)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 02:58 PM

12. yep. that would be good.

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Response to Skinner (Reply #1)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 03:15 PM

15. African American attire? Would that be a hoodie and a fistful of Skittles?

 

and maybe a pair of Nike Zooms?

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Response to Liberal_in_LA (Original post)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 02:38 PM

2. This is what happens when racist people try to fake being nonracist. FAIL.

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Response to kestrel91316 (Reply #2)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 02:50 PM

6. Do you think the "racist" principal should be fired?

http://wues.ucps.k12.nc.us/php/principal.php

My take on this, from what I've read (which isn't much) is that it was a well-intentioned, but tone deaf attempt to mark Black History month at an elementary school by asking students to wear clothing that reflected African heritage/ancestry.

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Response to onenote (Reply #6)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 02:57 PM

10. I'm inclined to agree. Bless his heart, he meant well. n/t

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Response to onenote (Reply #6)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 03:00 PM

13. Am I correct in understanding that the principal is an African-American woman?

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Response to Ian David (Reply #13)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 03:04 PM

14. Apparently so.

Again, I think that this was an occasion where good intentions met up with inartful execution.

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Response to kestrel91316 (Reply #2)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 02:56 PM

8. The good news is, he was at least trying to ACT non-racist. It's kind of progress. Maybe. n/t

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Response to kestrel91316 (Reply #2)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 02:57 PM

9. Exactly.....

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Response to Liberal_in_LA (Original post)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 02:39 PM

3. we meant no blah clothes n/t

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Response to Liberal_in_LA (Original post)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 02:40 PM

4. Oh.

Oh wow.

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Response to Liberal_in_LA (Original post)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 02:46 PM

5. So White Hoods and robes will be okay...

So will the school be sending out letters inviting the kids to wear white hoods and robes for "White Pride" day?

Wear animal prints? My god, did they watch Disney and sing "Circle of Life" too much??

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Response to Liberal_in_LA (Original post)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 02:58 PM

11. Wow.

Just damn.

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Response to Liberal_in_LA (Original post)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 03:19 PM

16. I am sympathetic, I believe they meant well...

I want to be sensitive to afro- African-American, black, colored people's of color ah, sensibilities, but I'm not black. Our filters and world views are personal, but our society has complex systems of indoctrination. Just like I want to avoid all offensive behaviors specific to women, but there's that area where where my lack of experience as a woman blinds me to some inadvertent (I assure you) offense.

In short, the person who wrote this, should have run it by their best friends, who no doubt, are black.

On edit: I understand the principal of this school is black. It was on my mind when I wrote the above to say that could have come from, or gotten by, some black folks. Put simply -- submit to editor!

--imm

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Response to immoderate (Reply #16)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 03:56 PM

17. The person who wrote it is black.

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