When Ravi K. Perry showed the video “The Unequal Opportunity Race” to Virginia’s Glen Allen High School for Black History Month, he believed his presentation would help open the eyes of its students.
The video, produced by the African American Policy Forum, shows a running track where runners of color are being held back, “while white athletes run laps around them,” describes Huffington Post Canada. The video’s purpose was to help young minds understand how structural racism, white privilege, slavery and genocide obstructs African-Americans and other people of color from achieving full equality in this country today.
Well instead, the reaction was less enlightenment and more white tears, with parents complaining to the school district calling the video “offensive,” which promoted administration to launch an investigation, apologize and ban the use of the video in any of the district’s schools.
But Perry, the president of the National Association for Ethnic Studies, is clear: He ain’t apologizing.
“Usually when there is criticism that means you must be doing something right. I will never apologize,” he told NBC 12 News. He added, “There is nothing to apologize for. I feel as though the principal of Glen Allen…the administrators should be awarded.”
Perry, continuing to be unbossed and unbothered, saying he plans on showing the video during future presentations elsewhere.
“There is nothing in that video that is inaccurate, and the fact that is not part of the curriculum in any substantive way. All Virginians should be embarrassed,” he said.
It’s quote ironic that Glen Allen High School parents and student body seem so offended by a video about the existence of structural racism and inequality, given that last October, the school, which is predominately white, blasted a 13-minute racist DuckTales parody over their loud speakers during a football game against John Marshall High School, a neighboring school that is predominately Black.
According to Raw Story, during the warm ups, everyone in the stadium could hear the following lyrics:
“I hate f*cking n****rs / n****rs suck d*ck,” one lyric says. “Look at n****rs trying to raise money / But they can’t ’cause they spend all their money / They’re n****rs and they’re so f*cking n****rs / I hate them.”
Glen Allen High School Principal Gwen E. Miller apologized, saying he has no idea how that song made it’s way into the school’s play list.
“Please know this unfortunate incident does not reflect the broader Glen Allen High School community. We are a diverse and inclusive community and are appalled that the instigator of this event has sent a message contrary to our beliefs and practices,” he wrote in a statement.
Sounds like Glen Allen High School was the ideal place for Perry’s lesson. Too bad his message fell on deaf ears.