Students Reenact Chris Brown’s Assault on Rihanna In Blackface

Posted By Urban News Hour | October 19, 2012

New York – Chris Brown’s assault on Rihanna is re-enacted in a high school performance  by students in black-face. At Waverly High School,a pep rally performed a skit by three white students in blackface  causing accusations of school-wide racism and a disregard for the seriousness of domestic abuse.

Waverly alum Matt Dishler, posted a photo of the incident on CNN’s iReport . It went viral, thousands of views and dozens of comments, many calling the skit blatantly racist and blasting the idea of drawing laughs from domestic violence.

No one at the school attempted to stop the skit, and pep rally performances are pre-approved by the school each year, says Dishler.

Many, former students of Waverly High School are questioning, how this was allowed to happen?

“The administration should be creating an environment where minorities are welcome, not the butts of racist jokes that make light of domestic violence, and I think it’s unconscionable that such blatant racism has been tacitly approved two years in a row,” says Waverly alumni and Yale graduate Vlad Chituc.

The skit was one of several pop culture parodies performed last Friday at Waverly High School as part of an annual “Mr. Waverly” competition,” said Superintendent Joseph Yelich.

“The Waverly School District is committed to creating a positive atmosphere through all of our activities,” Yelich added.  “We will be meeting with Building Administrators, Advisors and students to examine our current activities and to develop future activities consistent with that commitment.

Blackface is a form of theatrical makeup used in minstrel shows in which performers created a stereotyped caricature of a black person. Because of the sterotyping which contributed to racist images and attitudes worldwide, the practice ended in the United States with the U.S. Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s.

Dishler said that while he doesn’t believe the students meant to offend, he was surprised administrators didn’t intervene, “There were adults who should have stood up and said, ‘Hey guys, this is not okay. Blackface is not okay. Is it illegal? No. But you should really not do that.'”

Rose Garrity, executive director of an agency that assists victims of domestic and sexual abuse points out, “They were trying to make something funny that is far from funny, and they were being incredibly racist while they were doing it. I doubt any of those children had any idea about the history of racism and minstrels or anything like that.”

“Domestic violence isn’t funny. Three women every day are killed in this country by the man they’re partnered with. It’s anything but funny.” says Rose Garrity.

Chris Brown was sentenced to five years of probation after pleading guilty to felony assault for the attack on Rihanna in 2009. Both singers are black.

 

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