Black staff: Black school superintendent is racist

MeMe - Raises Her Hand (-_-) (Mommy Of A Toddler And Teen) - posted on 03/21/2012 ( 4 moms have responded )




TUKWILA, Wash. — Nine employees of the Tukwila School District have filed complaints of racial discrimination against their superintendent, Ethelda Burke.

Their attorney filed the complaints with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

They each have a story about the comments they've endured. They range from vice principals, to teachers, to dispatchers.

"She said to me you have to stop being a big, black man scaring our white drivers," says Doc Fells, driver trainer and dispatcher for the district. "And it numbed me."

A group of female staffers at Showalter Middle School says their superintendent once referred to them as slaves.

"I was pissed," says Marva Harris, school security officer.

"I couldn't believe my ears she would refer to professional African-American women as slaves," says teacher Sandra Goins.

J.D. Hill, athletic director and head of transportation, says Burke had a nickname for him.

"When I walked into her office she said 'Hey, J-Dark, how are you doing?' J-Dark was my name for Ethelda, my pet name for a month, in a professional environment," says Hill.

It's hard to imagine, especially in Tukwila, which has been recognized as the most diverse school in the country. Seventy percent of the kids are non-white.

But the allegations are even more shocking because Burke is black herself.

"You want to celebrate her," says Hill.

It wasn't until coworkers started talking to each other that they realized there was a widespread problem. And they admit their superintendent's race made them reluctant to put a stop to it.

"For me, I feel a sense of betrayal," says Harris. "That I'm betraying her, because she's a black woman."

"If she wasn't a person of color, me personally, I would have gone after her long before now," says Ritchie Coleman, a bus driver.

The district, the superintendent, and the board declined to comment citing personnel issues.

Burke came to the district in 2007 from Tacoma.

Joan Mell, the attorney representing the employees has written a letter asking the board for Burke's immediate suspension.

WHAT?? Wow...

I say HELL no, no one should feel "bad" about going after her racist self. This is racism and should not be tolerated regardless if they are of the same colour as you. She should have been called out, long ago. As soon as the insults started coming in, something should have been done about it.

IMO, skin colour means absolutely nothing. You could be green for all I care (Ok, I might look twice but goodness). It just doesn't matter this day in age. Everyone of all colours and ethnicity are equal and should be treated as such.

What's your thought on this. Are they correct to feel "bad" about going against her?


[deleted account]

the people that say everyone's racist against them can totally be racist too! and it should not be accepted either! damn double standards. they shouldn't feel bad. if they feel bad about calling her racist they can call it harassment, it's all the same in my book. racism is harassment, imo. i hope they win their case.

[deleted account]

I have a black neighbor who does this. She says she is part of a movement by minorities to embrace racial slurs in order to take the power out of them.

I can see her stance, but personally, I'm not a fan. The article didn't mention any remarks from the person in question, so it is difficult to say if she is part of the same "movement" (I put it in quotes because I have yet to read anything or meet anyone else who knows anything about it, aside from said neighbor).

My neighbor likes to call me "Pale Apple" because I am Native American (Tsalagi), but I am very pale (due to a skin disorder, and genes from my 4 white ancestors). I don't mind, it sounds kind of pretty when she says it, and I love her to death, but I know what "apple" means, and I'm not crazy about embracing that--I'm wondering what my tribe would think if they knew I was letting her call me that and not putting up a fuss, you know?

Jodi - posted on 03/21/2012




I don't think they should feel bad...but I guess I can understand it. If I were working under a white supremacist (sp?) or someone from the KKK, you can bet your bottom I'd turn them in in a heartbeat or less for making racial slurs against me or anyone else. And I seriously doubt that I would have one little atom of guilt in my body.


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