A black English teacher in Texas has been suspended and is expected to be fired after she issued a tweet that said, “Who the [expletive] made you dumb duck [expletive] crackers think I give a [expletive] about your opinions about my opinions RE: Ferguson? Kill yourselves.” Apparently, this insane tirade went unappreciated by Duncanville High School administrators.
The teacher, Vinita Hegwood, has been placed on administrative leave without pay, and district officials have said that she will be officially fired at the next school board meeting. Quite a career to throw away for the privilege of ranting on social media, but at least we can commend the district for taking the appropriate measures. Someone with that little judgment has no business being in a position of authority over children.
The decision to fire Hegwood comes as some surprise; public school officials often choose to stick together when things of this nature occur. Perhaps some of her earlier social media postings made the district rethink any possibility of “circling the wagons” in favor of the teacher. For instance, Hegwood tweeted a few days earlier: “As if I’m backing down from my words. You exhibit niggerish behavior, I’ma call you a nigga. You acting crackerish, I’ma call you a cracker.” My guess is that one didn’t go over really well, either. Hegwood had also made some tweets in favor of weed, also laced with profanity and a certain ghetto flavor one might wish were absent from the postings of an English teacher.
Should White People Be Silent on Ferguson?
More interesting than one racist teacher is the idea behind her original tweet. She seems to be alluding to a train of thought that is not all that uncommon amongst those who believe an injustice occurred in Ferguson, i.e., if you’re white, either agree with us or shut up.
Unfortunately, pesky things like “evidence” and “facts” have no place in the conversation when things get this racially charged. Are there systemic problems in Ferguson that have been exacerbated by racial tensions…perhaps even racism? It would seem so. But that doesn’t have anything to do with the specific matter at hand, which is whether or not Officer Darren Wilson was justified when he killed Michael Brown. And while we do not have access to the spectrum of evidence and testimony available to the grand jury, almost everything that has leaked to the public points in Wilson’s favor.
That’s the kind of thing I imagine Hegwood doesn’t want to hear. It’s the kind of thing the Ferguson protestors don’t want to hear. But it’s the truth. And in a political climate where many expect the city to riot regardless of the grand jury’s decision, the truth is needed more than ever.