Student at Prestigious Private School Filmed Making Racist Rant Says He Was Just Quoting Django Unchained
James Wilkinson, Daily Mail, April 19, 2016
A prestigious prep school in Maryland has dismissed a student after he was filmed making a racist rant in which he repeatedly used the word ‘n*****’ and threatened to lynch and set dogs on people.
The video, which was recorded at a party on April 9, exploded after it was posted on Twitter, resulting in a protest being held at the Potomac institution and the boy being expelled from the private Bullis School.
But the student, who is not being named, says that his comments were taken out of context and that he was ‘mocking’ how racism was portrayed in the Quentin Tarantino film Django Unchained according to NBC Washington.
The video, which was apparently shot without the student being aware, shows him speaking to a person off-camera.
‘It’s ’cause you’re n*****s,’ he says. ‘Whatup, n*****? I’m gonna f****** lynch your a**, he says.
‘You’re my f******* slave, I’m gonna get my dogs to beat your a**.’
At one point the camera swings around to show a white girl who looks shocked and embarrassed by the outpouring.
It is not clear what happened immediately before or after the video.
Angry students held a protest Thursday night, and a second protest planned for Friday was cancelled when the school asked 18 school leaders together to discuss a plan of action.
‘When the video was released I was pretty shocked,’ Bullis student Noah Gear, who is black, told NBC.
‘And just seeing what was said, I think it was an unfortunate situation all around, especially for the [student] community.’
Criticism on Twitter was more pointed. One user said, ‘Black Bullis students, get your diploma somewhere that you are appreciated, and your life is not threatened because of the color of your skin.’
But the student’s father told WUSA9 that his son had just watched the movie Django Unchained while researching a paper on racial violence, and that what was recorded in the video was neither the words nor the sentiments of his son.
And in a statement written to the school and hosted by NBC, the student said that ‘while I admit that my words were disgusting and offensive they were not my words in that I was attempting to portray parts of a movie and replicate their language.
‘My words were taken out of context and in no way did I intend for them to be perceived in the way that they were.
‘I would have never said those things if they were not in reference to a movie. They are in no way my opinion.’
He went on to confirm that he had been researching post-Civil War racial violence, that as a Jewish youth he ‘understands the results of hateful speech’ and that he ‘respects every one’ of Bullis’s student body.
He says he is hopeful that the school will allow him back to continue his studies and graduate.
Dr Gerald Boarman, the school’s head, told NBC, ‘One incident doesn’t define who we are. We’re not a perfect school but we’re working out our imperfections.’
The school has asked students and parents to join discussions and focus groups to raise awareness of racism next week.
Bullis School opened in 1930 and has a number of high-profile alumni including John Philips, lead singer of The Mamas and the Papas; Henry Rollins, author and lead singer of Black Flag; and Princess Iman Pahlavi of Iran, daughter of the last crown prince of Persia.