Black Boys Are Good for Basketball AND Welfare Checks (VIDEO)

Black studentsYou send your kid to school to learn. You send your kid to school to develop social skills. You send your kid to school to be nurtured by the educators and staff who voluntarily made their careers working with children. 

Two out of three ain’t good enough for one parent, who is P-O’ed that his son’s high school basketball coach, Derek Howard, said the words “future welfare recipient” should be printed under the boy’s picture. Adding fuel to the fire: the boy he directed his witty commentary to is black.

As in black people are welfare recipients? Wink, wink, nudge, nudge. Get it?

Now both the funny-making coach and his shotgun mouth are being sued by Marcus Williams, Jr., a senior at Winnetonka High School in Missouri, who said he "felt belittled, crushed, and utterly discouraged" when the coach let his prejudiced slip show in public. And oh, on camera. Yes, the dummy said it on camera.  

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Well, they might be educating kids over there in North Kansas City School District but that doesn’t say much for the athletic department staffers. Rule number one in making racially inflammatory, politically incorrect remarks: avoid video documentation. It tends to repeat on ya. Maybe they ought to throw that into the sensitivity training over there.

Mad as hell — and rightfully so — the boy’s father filed a racial harassment complaint with the school on the heels of the incident, which Marcus says was the final straw in a two-year-long string of derogatory comments made by the coach about African-American students. That it’s 2011 and folks still feel at liberty to make those kinds of passing, brutish remarks isn’t surprising, but it sure is disheartening. It means another generation has to grow up with the burden of discrimination and pre-judgment on their shoulders.

That the man was in a position of influence and power, where he was ostensibly charged with encouraging and uplifting young people — yes, even the black ones — is even more reason to be outraged.

Now the coach is on paid administrative leave while the school district investigates, though I’m not confident that the outcome will be what it needs to be. In a perfect world full of justice and rightful retribution, that fool would be out on his bummy derriere faster than you can say unemployment check. But these kinds of matters typically get glossed over because the victim is often made into the villain for bringing the problem to the forefront in the first place.

As a matter of fact, poor Marcus has reportedly transferred out of Winnetonka High because he was receiving threats from angry classmates.

So this kid, in his senior year, has to move from his school because he called some jerky adult out for making hurtful and blanketed statements that he thought were funny. Yeah OK. Let me help the North Kansas City School District out with this belabored decision-making: fire that jerk. And if you’re going to hire folks with even just a tinge of prejudice, at least bring ones on board who can control it during school hours.

Does Derek Howard deserve to be fired? 

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