It is the year of our Lord, 2022, and folks are still out here pretending they don’t know the racist history of Black people being referred to as monkeys. And some of these folks have the nerve to call themselves educators.
Shanda Wiggins, the mother of a student at the Oakbrook Middle School in Dorchester County, South Carolina, told ABC 15 News her eighth-grade son came home from school upset that his teacher allegedly referred to a Black teacher in a neighboring classroom as “the monkey next door.”
During a meeting with administrators, the unidentified teacher admitted to calling the Black teacher a monkey, but she said she meant it in an endearing, totally-not-racist way.
“I guess she feels that because that’s her friend she can talk that way,” Wiggins said. “The assistant principal, she said that sometimes kids don’t understand adult-to-adult conversation… But when you’re speaking with a classroom full of children, referencing the teacher that way— that’s wrong. Yeah, I was shocked when she said it.”
Imagine even commenting on what “kids don’t understand” while commenting on an adult who doesn’t understand the difference between well-known racial slurs and playful talk between colleagues.
“No right-thinking parent or person would want their child subjected to this kind of thought pattern or racially stereotypical talk by a teacher at such a tender age of the child,” said Wiggins’ attorney.
Anyway, according to Wiggins, her son’s teacher “had also asked the class to participate in a cotton picking activity where she brought in raw cotton for the class.”
Yeah—that tracks. If you’re so oblivious that you don’t understand that calling your Black co-worker a monkey, regardless of intent, might land you in the hot seat, you’re probably the type of person that thinks slavery reenactment makes for a good classroom activity.
So, the teacher is now reportedly under investigation, but the district won’t say anything more than that.
“Dorchester School District Two takes every allegation seriously,” DSDT said in a statement. “We are currently investigating an alleged incident at Oakbrook Middle School. We do not comment on personnel matters.”