On a regular day in school, Charleston, SC high school student, Imani Herring was approached by a fellow student who asked if she’d seen a tweet about her. Imani hadn’t and when she read the derogatory tweet from another student, Ashley Partick, she was immediately outraged, “If Imani Herring makes one more smart got dam remark in Mr. Rogers class, shit will drop. I wish a N*gga would…”While this phrase, “I wish a n*gga would,” is heavily used in Hip-Hop culture, it obviously doesn’t have the same effect when a white teenage girl uses it.
While the student who wrote the racist tweet has faced disciplinary action of missing prom, graduation and has been placed on strict probation, no punishment she suffers will ever come close to Imani’s–who’s punishment for her darker skin is lifelong.
Imani is immediately seeing the impact racial-driven attacks have on an individual. She has now been faced with criticism from the media about Ashley’s punishment, claiming the teen was faced with unfair punishment for a tweet.
The media was irresponsible. It was one sided. It targeted me and my mom. My mom felt that I had been through enough. We never thought that I would be a victim again. THIS WAS NOT OKAY.
Since the release of the article, my life has been horrible. People have made me feel as though I did something wrong. During this week, as I walked the halls at school, very few adults spoke to me. They stared at me and I felt their eyes on me. Students either came up to me all day to ask me one of three things:
1. Why did you do this to Ashley?
2. Are you Imani Herring?
3. What was that article about you in the paper?