Racism is unfortunately a disease that doesn’t discriminate by age, as we’ve seen recently in many schools across America. The latest example comes by way of members on the California High School varsity cheer team after they were pictured posing with a Black mannequin head that was given the nickname “Kareem.”
“That is not something that we can accept, nor will we tolerate,” said San Ramon Valley Unified School District Superintendent Dr. John Malloy, who went on to add, “We don’t accept this. We understand that it’s wrong, and we also understand that it’s harming some members of our community more than others – especially those who may identify as Black or African American.” According to NBC Bay Area, the photo went viral after being reposted by Instagram account @TheBlackBayArea (seen above), which featured a caption that reads, “This is in San Ramon! Mind you they haven’t had a black girl on the varsity team since 2019 & it was only 1 girl! This year they have no black girls on varsity except the mascot the black doll head name Kareem” [sic].
More below on how the community has been reacting to the situation, via KNTV:
“A senior said it has been a hot and divisive topic on campus Monday.
‘They think it’s like a joke, or it’s funny or something like that, and they don’t realize that it actually has implications,’ said Aditya Sathyanarayanan.
A sentiment shared by a mom who lives in the neighborhood.
‘If they meant it as a statement, they should have clarified that. If they meant it as a joke, it’s not funny,’ said Angelica Tucker.
She has two young daughters who she believes might want to try out for the cheer team at California High someday and hopes this can be a teachable moment.
‘It can open up their eyes to the fact that there’s no representation that looks like them on the cheerleading squad, and maybe they will be the first ones to do it,’ said Tucker. “
So far the superintendent has only recommended expansion on its sensitivity training to assure that a similar incident doesn’t occur in the future. Let us know what you think should be done in a case like this.
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