Keeping retirement weird. Racist bullying? Skokie’s kids are alright.

What should be the response of administration and the police to a racist physical threat made on social media by a student at a high school campus?

Students at Niles North High School in Chicago’s suburb of Skokie decided the response was insufficient.

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Hundreds of students staged a walkout when a racist threat from one of Niles North student was circulated on Snapchat.

Students at Niles North High School in north suburban Skokie walked out of class Friday afternoon to protest what they believed was a lack of discipline for a student who posted a racist message on social media.

School officials said they are still investigating the incident; information that the student received a one-day suspension was inaccurate, they said.

Earlier Friday morning, students at the school participated in an organized walkout in the morning with the encouragement of school officials in honor of Stand Against Racism Day, a national event sponsored by the YWCA, School District 219 said in a statement.

Later in the afternoon, some students staged an additional, unannounced walkout, school officials said.

“We came together in unity to show that together, we can organize against inequity, racism and other forms of injustice,” the students said in a statement provided by District 219. “We the students have the power to elicit change. We are the future and we are committed to continue to work toward equity at Niles North.”

The second walkout of the day was related to an incident on social media earlier in the week.

School officials said a student had posted a photo of a BB gun on Snapchat with a racist comment. The school notified the Skokie Police Department, which investigated and found that the post “did not pose a direct threat to the school.”

A screenshot of the student’s Snapchat post was included in a story about the incident on patch.com. On the photo are the words: “If youre a n—– I pull the trigger”

Did not pose a direct threat to the school?

Could the authorities miss the point by a longer shot?

I was thinking about Skokie the other day. Thirty years ago it was a town with mainly Jewish residents, including members of my own family. Many of Skokie’s Jews were survivors of the Nazi Death camps, what Sean Spicer called Holcaust Centers.

In 1977 the American Nazi Party provoked the Jews of Skokie by announcing they would march through the town.

The reason I was thinking about it are the similar provocations by the Alt.Right fascists and confrontations in Berkeley, California.

The racist and homophobe Anne Coulter was scheduled to speak at Cal last week. “The best thing you can do is ignore them,” students and protesters were told.

How does ignoring racism and the racists make them go away?

I remembered that they made a made-for-TV movie about the Nazis in Skokie.

Good for the students at Niles North.

They didn’t need a lecture from adults on how to respond to racist bullying.

They are peaceful and non-violent, but they are holding the adult authorities to account.

The kids are alright.

7 Replies to “Keeping retirement weird. Racist bullying? Skokie’s kids are alright.”

  1. The kids deserve a great round of applause for their action against racism. They put many adults to shame, particularly the morally deficient guy who now creeps around the White House. That also applies to too many bigoted members and supporters of his political party. It is they who should take the lead against bigotry and racism, instead they use them as political weapons to foment division. Bravo to the kids!

    1. You pay for their free tuition David. I’m tired of my tax dollars being given away for entitlements. How about they get to work, save for years and pay for their education as I did and did for my children. Nothing was given to me…nothing. AND….don’t spout off about white privilege. I wasn’t privileged, nor were my parents and their parents.

      1. You are not THAT tired of entitlements or you would be ranting here about the tax breaks and flat tax that benefit the rich. College for working people to you is an entitlement, but for the powerful tax breaks and freebies is just the way the system works. On a personal note, I worked my way through college by driving a cab. The only customers who consistently skipped out on paying the fare or didn’t tip were the rich ones. That is the way the system works.

      2. Dear Anonymous,
        You have a very simple, child-like view of American society. No one faults you for being so simple-minded, except when you deny that as a white person, you don’t have a certain amount of privilege over people of color. Has anyone every discriminated against you for being white? You may have had to compete against other whites for jobs, but African-Americans and others weren’t even in the running. By now, that ought to be common knowledge. Your skin color and mine gave us a leg up. Many of us who are white, honest, and of a certain age, including yours truly, would admit that they either witnessed acts of discrimination or participated in them. We were privileged then and we still are relative to people of color.

        Both my parents were working people who also worked very hard; they always had jobs that paid reasonably well. This was during the 1950’s, ’60’s, and early ’70’s. They helped me pay for my education at Illinois State University. In addition, I also had several summer jobs that paid very well: one in road construction and the other as a worker at Armour Meat Company’s spice department located at 87th and Greenwood. I got both jobs because I knew somebody. I was also very lucky because I personally never had to confront discrimination, but ironically, I got to know people at both of those jobs who were victims of it. At the time, I was oblivious to my white privilege, but after some “consciousness raising,” I too had to admit that I was endowed with some degree of it.

        Anomymous, the biggest flaw in your simple argument is that you attack the very people who are not taking anything from you; on the contrary, they also make tax contributions that benefit you. You fail to recognize the wealthy and überprivileged who have the money “to buy” state legislators, congressmen, senators, and even presidents to write and pass tax laws, plus other legislation that benefit them exclusively and are a detriment to you and the rest of us with middle incomes. One of the lessons that my parents instilled in me was a sense of fairness. It was that lesson in addition to consciousness raising that led me to confront my own degree of white privilege; and to fight for fairness and justice as hard as I can.

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