The Crusader Newspaper Group

Homewood parents get support after Blackface incident

Crusader Staff Report

Reverend Janette Wilson, National Executive Director of PUSH For Excellence and the Rainbow PUSH Coalition, headed by Reverend Jesse L. Jackson, Sr., Tuesday announced their support of the Homewood-Flossmoor High School student walk out protesting a video of white classmates in blackface.

“I think it is great that young people took the initiative to protest injustice whenever and wherever it occurs,” said Rev. Wilson. “We urge them to register and vote if they will be 18 by the next election so they can help shape public policy.”

Wilson vowed to work with the Homewood-Flossmoor High School students to help them organize the appropriate changes so that the Homewood-Flossmoor community may become a model for the nation.

Parents and students are invited to meet with Rev. Jackson and Rev. Wilson at the Rainbow PUSH Coalition headquarters, 930 E. 50th St., 9 a.m., Saturday, May 4.

Last weekend, parents at Homewood-Flossmoor High School were upset after several videos emerged  showing white students in blackface.

Tensions are high at the school as officials investigate the incident that involved four white boys who were captured on video wearing red sweatshirts with the school’s Vikings team name and mascot on them. All four were in blackface as they ordered food from a drive thru at a fast food restaurant.

Within hours, the posts had been shared thousands of times.

CBS 2 Chicago, which first reported the story, showed the video during its morning newscast on Tuesday. Because the boys were minors, the station blurred their images, but the black paint smeared on their faces was clearly visible. The school told the television station it is taking this incident very seriously, but questions remain whether the students involved will be disciplined.

The school said in a statement that the posts were “highly offensive and culturally insensitive.” But due to confidentiality laws the district can’t discuss discipline and noted that the incident took place outside school property.

Sophomore Aniyah Askew told CBS 2 that the posts brought her to tears.

“To me it’s just disgusting to see that people that I associate with, I sit with in class and laugh with, have spent time with, that they would do something like that,” Askew said.

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