A racist song has surfaced from two white students from Grapevine High School in Texas. The two-year-old recording from two unnamed female students includes numerous violent and troubling lines about black, Latino, and Asian-American students. A letter from the staff apologizes for its students' behavior but says it has "no legal authority over this event" because it was recorded during the summer, while school wasn't in session.
In other words, we're not going to see the swift, decisive, and warranted action taken after video surfaced of a similarly racist SAE fraternity chant at the University of Oklahoma.
Here's the staff letter in full:
And apologies from both of the students:
To my friends, peers, teachers and staff,
I want you to know I am deeply sorry for my actions and the part I played. While my intentions were never to offend anyone, I wasn’t thinking at the time about how awful this recording is or that it would get spread so widely. That was almost two years ago and we were just getting into social media at that time. Being new to social media then, I did not fully understand the swift and large impact that one posting can have. That does not excuse my behavior and I realize I made a huge mistake. I am so sorry to all the people who heard it and who I hurt by my actions.
The song does not portray in any way how I actually feel about people. I am a very open-minded person and I enjoy being part of a diverse family and diverse community. I am being raised to be respectful of all people, cultures and differences. My parents want you to know that this incident is not indicative of my true character. Our whole family is embarrassed by this. We are involved members of this community and we want to be positive contributors. My actions did not support our beliefs and I am dealing with that personally, within our family and with my friends and peers.
I understand the gravity of my actions and have learned from this experience. I hope you can find it in your hearts to forgive me. I love being part of this school and this community and I would be so grateful for your forgiveness.
Dear Students, Faculty, and Parents,
Especially all who have been affected by this week’s events regarding a highly offensive, racist rap that was brought to attention. The moment I heard that someone had heard and reported the rap to the principals office, I was fully aware that my life was about to change forever. I have gone over this day after day, thinking about what I was going to say to the people hurt, and utterly disgusted at the content of the recording. I understand that there are many unanswered questions and multiple versions of rumors regarding when, where, and why the rap was made. I have never been so utterly humiliated and ashamed in my entire life, because if you know me, you know you will never meet a human being with as much unconditional love and kindness in their heart as me.
First I will address all questions regarding the specifics. I am currently a junior in high school, and was a freshman at the time the song was recorded. It was a freestyle, meaning I just said whatever came to my head that would make people laugh. At this time in our lives, racism was not the talk of the country nor had we ever witnessed the true power of social media, twitter was still fresh and we had never heard of anyone getting in trouble for posting anything on social media, it was the beginning of this social era. I was 14 years old and was ignorant to the words coming out of my mouth. As kids, we hear racist jokes all times of the day. It’s what we’re around, it’s the jokes we heard.
The words that came out of my mouth were knives to your ears, and even listening back on it now, it sends me into a state of utter disbelief that this was me. I am doing my best to help people understand what might have been going through my head when I said these horrible things.
Teachers, Parents, and Students who have known me for many years know that this is the furthest representation of my character possible. In my own home, my entire life I have never heard a foul or judgemental word for another race ever leave my parents’ mouths. I myself have witnessed others spit racial slurs or comments and have been completely dumbfounded to the point of tears. The person I am, the person I will now be remembered as, the person who would do anything to take back the words that have hurt and offended so many has accepted the fact that when people are hurt, they want someone to be held responsible. They need someone punished.
The hurt in my heart for the students and parents who don’t know me and who have to hear something so horrible is overwhelming and is the worst punishment of all to me. All I can say at this point is that I am so deeply sorry for the foul, horrible words that have hurt so many. I pray that there is peace in your heart and understanding that I too am a person. I hope you have forgiveness in your heart when you imagine your child in a situation like this. I send nothing but my sincerest apologies and love to anyone with a sad heart. Just a few weeks ago I wrote an essay in my creative writing class, the topic being “culture.” It’s just a few short sentences but I poured my heart out on the page:
“When you look at the rainbow and see the colors that come together to create this beautiful arch of magic, that excites you every single time, despite the millions you’ve seen before, this is how every human life should be perceived. The magic that encompases diversity. The different shades of tan, brown, black, white, that act as primary colors such as red, blue, yellow, from which every color combination stems. From these three colors we can create an endless spectrum of possibility. The power of that in itself, is just- magic. To those who are colorblind in their beliefs and range of spectrum is limited- I say that I am truly sorry for the piece of you that is missing. The people who think only in one direction, unable to look to the left where there are beautiful forests of green, or to the right where powerful beasts walk the ground unrestrained by fear, or behind them where stories and legends all that is, can be explained. To those people who will never understand the magic of a rainbow, I pray it rains until you do.”
I am a good kid, I work hard, I laugh hard, and I love hard -- anyone, from anywhere, at anytime. I made a big mistake and if I had remembered it existed, it would have been destroyed as soon as its existence crossed my mind. I would do anything to take it back. I pray for your forgiveness, and open sincere hearts, and that you will believe me when I say, I am so so deeply sorry.
[via Daily Kos]