KATV's Sarafina Brooks
COMMENT STIRS PROTEST: A Facebook comment that many have attributed to high school teacher in Malvern.
is promising a report tonight about racially incendiary remarks on Facebook
that have been attributed to a high school teacher in Malvern.
The posts were sent to me as well. Among the nicest comments was a professed belief that President Obama is from Kenya
. He was born in Hawaii. Other comments refer to the president and Michelle Obama as "zoo escapees." One comment said, "I'm just glad to see that nasty chimp and her spider monkey husband gone for good."
The comments came in a thread related to racial remarks by Carl Paladino,
a Trump campaign official and Buffalo, N.Y. School Board member. He went so far as to wish death on the president from mad cow disease and suggested Michelle Obama was a man. Initially, he proudly took credit. He said he was being humorous. His own son has criticized the comments.
The person who allegedly made the remarks no longer has a public Facebook page, though screen shots of the comments are abundant. To date, I haven't seen definitive linkage between the suspected teacher and the remarks. At one point, for example, a Facebook comment claimed the man's account had been hacked.
I hope the KATV report gets to the bottom of it — that is whether the remarks were made by a public school teacher. In the meanwhile, Rizelle Aaron
, president of the Arkansas Conference of the NAACP,
has given a statement directed at the teacher and shared it with KATV. It said, in part:
There is no place in an educational system for someone in a public position of authority that is willing to publicly make the comments that you are alleged to have made.
Aaron said he would apologize if the remarks were wrongly attributed to the teacher. But he said the NAACP otherwise would do everything it could to see him terminated and that the NAACP would demonstrate in Malvern as it had when a member of the Blevins School Board
in Hempstead County circulated a photo of himself in blackface with a Black Lives Matter sign as a Halloween costume. That School Board member refused to resign and said he'd been exercising his constitutional rights.
If the Malvern teacher indeed made the remarks, he might also claim a constitutional right to speech. You'd hope school officials would at a minimum, find such an appalling lack of judgment a strong argument for non-renewal if not immediate suspension.
Malvern is where the court fight began to overturn state laws that discouraged interdistrict school transfers for racial reasons. When the suit was first brought, hundreds of Malvern students were illegally attending school in a white neighboring district and parents wanted to continue to do so. Court battles and legislation have now ended nearly all barriers to school transfer except in a handful of districts still under federal court orders on desegregation. Malvern could have chosen to exempt itself from the open transfer law, but did not. It's about 60 percent white.
PS: A nonprofit leader in West Virginia was fired
for referring to Michelle Obama as an "ape in heels."
UPDATE: evidence mounts that the idiot is for real. Malvern School District says on Facebook it is investigating.
Also, KATV provides another edited comment from the teacher.