Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Confederacy of Dunces

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (WTVD) -- Concerned parents told ABC11 Monday that a photo posted to the social media site Instagram has upset many students.

The picture was allegedly taken by an East Chapel Hill High School student. It shows two girls waving confederate flags. The person who posted the picture included the caption "South will rise."

Under that, someone commented "Already bought my first slave."

The school confirmed to ABC11 the photo was taken in Gettysburg during a school trip focused on the Civil War a few weeks ago.
Update: I saw a comment on the ABC11 post about how the person who posted "no, no" was one of the girls in the photo, who was horrified that people started posting racist stuff and didn't realize what that flag signified to some people. I think it's very possible OP didn't mean to make a racist statement, only to show a picture from their class trip. I also assumed the comments shown were by friends or fellow students, and represented a common attitude. This may well not be the case.  Again, I think it's important the school be very careful about it addresses this with the students, and doesn't hold them accountable for what more explicitly racists commenters on their post said.

Disgusting. Stupid. But ... does the school need to be involved in disciplining the kids who are in and took this picture? My first thought is this is something the kids' friends and parents should be able to deal with. That it happened on school trip and now East Chapel Hill High looks like a neo-Confederate enclave to the rest of the country, so they've got their reputation to consider.

I highlighted in the screengrab because what I'd have liked to have seen happen is for the kids's peers to have schooled them, publicly so that when the picture came down, we'd know it was because they were truly ashamed. I bet you would've seen the 'likes' come off as people realized what fools they looked like.

Hopefully, the lesson was learned.

As a parent raising kids in North Carolina, I hope we're teaching our kids to be the ones with the courage to publicly say "no, no" if (it's NC, so more likely when) they have classmates that do stupid crap like this some day.

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