A white New Orleans teacher who insisted he could use the most notorious racial slur to define African Americans was angrily confronted by students in a viral video.
In the video, recorded Thursday by students at Ben Franklin High School, the permanent substitute teacher can be seen explaining his position as students angrily and profanely challenged him.
“That’s racist as sh*t,” one black student says to the teacher, identified only as “Coach Ryan.” “Why can you not understand that it’s racist for a white man to say ‘n****r’ to a black man? It’s f*cking racist.”
The student then turns to a white classmate and asks if he’d ever use the racial slur, and the other boy agrees he would not, and the black teen then rhetorically asks the rest of his classmates if they would.
“F*ck no, they wouldn’t say ‘n****r,’” he tells the teacher.
The teacher asks the teen if he knows what a “commoditized word” means, and the student asks him to explain the term.
“It’s a word that’s used so many times that it doesn’t mean its original meaning,” the teacher says. “The word has been commoditized so that anyone can use it, and it’s not a negative connotation.”
The student argues that it would have a negative connotation for the teacher to use it to describe him, but the teacher asks why rappers use the racial slur in songs.
“If you say the word, it means friend, but if I say the word, it means something different,” the teacher says.
The teenager tries to explain the difference between the full word, n****r, and the truncated colloquialism, n***a.
“Nobody says n****r,” the teacher says, as the teen explodes and his classmates giggle nervously.
“Don’t f*cking say that,” the boy says. “You can’t say ‘n****r’ or ‘f*cking n****r’ … you’re my f*cking teacher, don’t say that sh*t.”
The teacher tries to argue that he could use the word as part of an academic lesson on its history, but the student angrily slams a book down on a desk and tells the teacher to stop using the racial slur.
“Please, it’s a word,” the teacher says. “You cannot go through life acting like a word can affect you.”
Students went after class to the principal’s office to stage a sit-in, but that turned into an impromptu, hour-long assembly on race and racism, the RawStory reported.
Another Franklin teacher also used a racial slur during this school year, students said on social media.
Franklin alumni started an online petition after the latest incident pledging to withhold donations until meaningful action was taken by the school.
School officials said an investigation of the incident could take several days before any potential disciplinary action was taken, according to the report.
Watch the video below:
Coach Ryan really lost his damn mind pic.twitter.com/2k2DUI16Ow
— lizzie mcguire (@ellienick2) May 4, 2017