Update: Cathleen Brennan, a spokesperson for Broward Schools, confirmed in a statement that the substitute teacher is no longer working there. "Broward County Public Schools respects and celebrates the diversity of our students, families, and communities and is committed to providing positive learning environments for all students. The school’s leadership responded quickly to this incident and the substitute teacher involved is no longer working at the school."
Emboldened by the President-elect's crusade to make America great again (for white people), Donald Trump's followers seem to be celebrating the election by harassing minorities. The Southern Poverty Law Center reports that the number of hateful incidents toward immigrants, Muslims, women, blacks, and LGBTQ folks (including swastika vandalism) has spiked since election day.
It can be terrifying and even dangerous to stand up to bigoted opinions, but one black female Oakland Park student has become an inspiration. In a viral video posted on Twitter Wednesday afternoon, a Northeast High student named Colby courageously calls out her substitute teacher, an old white guy who bears an uncanny resemblance to Lord Voldemort and Florida Governor Rick Scott.
"You say something about, 'Oh, I know there's too many Latinos or something like —" Colby argues from her seat.
"I didn't say that —" the substitute says.
The class erupts: "Yes, yes you did!" "You just said that!"
Colby doesn't stand down. "You said you don't want this to turn into a Latin country because there will be too many Latinos... "
According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, similar acts of intimidation and hate often occur in schools, colleges, and universities. Of the 701 incidents reported in the week following election day, the majority of this harassment was directed toward immigrants (206 reports) and black people (151).
Based on the video (which is no longer public on Twitter), the class seems to be comprised of mostly minority students. Some look down, others keep working, but Colby keeps holding her teacher to account for his allegedly racist statements toward Hispanic people. Quickly, the conversation devolves into a debate about race.
"White people control everything, and that's not fair," Colby says. "When anybody — when any other minority tries to say anything about it or change it, we're complaining or ungrateful."
We Believe Local Journalism is Critical to the Life of a City
Engaging with our readers is essential to New Times Broward-Palm Beach's mission. Make a financial contribution or sign up for a newsletter, and help us keep telling South Florida's stories with no paywalls.
Support Our Journalism
The white substitute seems to be out of ammunition and tries to deflect the racist blame onto the black student (a logical fallacy similar to "Whoever smelt it, dealt it"): "People who call other people racists are the racists themselves."
"White people control everything, and that's not fair!" Colby says. She then calls the white man "closed-minded."
"Don't tell me I'm closed-minded," he responds. "Just because I disagree with you doesn't mean I'm closed-minded."
New Times left a message with Broward Public Schools and Northeast High. We will update this post when we hear back.