Stupid outcry over teacher’s ‘racist’ Obama mask (Opinion)
Talk about a delayed reaction.
It was all the way back in October at Science Park High School in Newark when students and teachers dressed in costumes for Halloween. Zombies, video game characters and everything in between graced the halls. But one white physical education teacher's costume now has people screaming racism and demanding justice and punishment.
Matthew Swartz wore an Obama mask with a red Make America Great Again hat and a black t-shirt with a picture of a snowflake. Above the snowflake were the words 'Don't Be A.'
Some students saw it as Mr. Swartz just bringing the two polar opposite ends of the political spectrum (and the national divide) together into one costume to goof around and be funny. Nothing more. Others saw this as blatant racism.
Sierra Etes, student-body president, told nj.com, "I was shocked. People were coming to me like, 'Did you see it? Did you see?' I didn't know what to do."
This apparently offended a lot of students, I suppose mostly it was that a white man would dare wear a mask of a black man. Maybe that combined with the commandeering of Obama's image and turning him into a Trump supporter?
The outrage came back to life at a big meeting at the school this month. Many parents were only hearing of the costume for the first time. Now a lot of those parents are calling for him to be punished if not outright removed from the classroom.
Halloween costumes often tend to be sarcastic, ironic or outright inappropriate. The living dead walking the school halls with fake blood smeared on them? Zombie costume. Now this Newark case doesn't strike me as the same as a white man wearing black face. Black face is done as an ignorant, generic portrayal of most any black person. This was a mask of one specific person, a famous person; a past president.
They've been selling Halloween masks of presidents ever since I can remember. This of course was the first president who was black. How do you portray Obama in a mask without portraying it with black skin? The man was, after all, black. I don't believe the point of an Obama mask is his blackness. I believe the point of an Obama mask is Obama. Now if the outrage is all on portraying Obama as a Trump supporter, does anyone really believe that silly costume changes the world? Shouldn't a negative reaction at most be, "Yeah, right, dumb, like that would ever happen." And be left at that?
Nope. In this politically correct, ridiculous world in which we live an Obama mask is now seen as total racism. Am I missing something here? Feel free to tell me if I have this wrong in the comment section below.
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