“Racist” Black Spanish Teacher Fired for Using Word “Negro” in Class — For Real?

3j9rSeriously. This should be on the satirical news site The Onion, it’s so bad.
A junior high Spanish Teacher in the Bronx got terminated from her job because students complained that she used the word “negro” in class. Apparently, four students banded together and insisted that she used the word in a racially inflammatory manner. Let’s count the problems with this story here. Are you ready?

  1. In case you are unaware, the word for “black” in Spanish is, you guessed it, “negro.” So, it is fairly likely that the word negro has been used in every Spanish class in America and the rest of the world. As a matter of fact, you could make a strong argument that Spanish teachers everywhere should be terminated if they didn’t say the word negro in class, because teaching basic primary colors and their Spanish equivalents is pretty common in Spanish class.
  2. Negro is not exactly the most inflammatory word you can use. I mean, yeah, maybe calling blacks Negroes is not something you just do while you are going down the street, but it’s still quite a stone’s throw shy of another similar word that starts with an “N.”
  3. The school this lady that got canned at is bilingual.
  4. Oh yeah. The teacher is black herself.

So, in recap, a black Spanish teacher at a bilingual school got fired from her job because she used the word “negro” in class, which happens to the word for “black” in Spanish. In the Bronx no less.

We’re not saying that racism doesn’t exist and isn’t a real problem in our society still in 2013. But we are saying that maybe we could use a dose of common sense sometimes in the ways we proceed dealing with supposed racist remarks, actions, and anything else that fits under the ever-increasingly silly politically-correct umbrella.

3 thoughts on ““Racist” Black Spanish Teacher Fired for Using Word “Negro” in Class — For Real?”

  1. Are you Black? Did that teach actually identify as Black Hispanic? Yes, racism is very much prevalent in 2013, sad as that is. One of the things that continues to encourage it is people’s lack of understanding race altogether. No matter what your descendant looked like, racial and ethnic identity is a fluid thing. However, if you are descended from African slaves (ie: BLACK), then race is even more fluid, frustrating and misunderstood than usual.
    …especially in an highly populated major city with an enormous racial and ethnic background.

    Who the hell is to say that this teacher even considered herself Black? As much as white American believes that it has the capability to identify, and the right to classify, race for PoCs (people of color), that is simply not the case.
    If this teacher was Puerto Rican, Brazilian, etc – she could easily be Black and yet never identify as such.

    Ever heard of the Dominican Republic? Haiti? Two nations on the same island, both with populations majorly descended from African captives brought to the land to be slaves. Yet, if you ask, neither will admit to actually being Black. Dominicans consider themselves Spanish, and openly embrace colorism and adhereing to white ideals of beauty. This means it is perfectly normal and acceptable to treat lighter skinned, straight-haired, thin-lipped individuals better than their darker-skinned, kinky-haired, full-lipped brethen.

    This translates into better education, better social interaction, and better job choices…all on the basis of skin color? Hmm…I wonder why that sounds familiar.

    And Haiti is the exact opposite. Ask a Haitian what they are, and they will tell you they are African immediately. Displaced yes, but still African. Not African descended….but just African. And their culture despises the label Black, because they believe there is only shame in it.

    Again, these nations are on the same island. Yet, they ascribe to opposite extremes when it comes to their ethnic identity. The funny thing is, their beliefs are centered around a desperate attempt to be labled something besides Black.

    I said ALL that to say that race is complicated for all of us, but being apart of the Black race is especially difficult in this hemisphere. Being descended from a group of people who were considered chattel up until a little more than a century ago is hard enough. Dealing with the social, economic fallout of being descended from that group is really tough; especially in a society that has complete control over our image in the media, with little to no representation in the corporations that actually decide what to portray.

    However, the absolute most difficult part is being descended from a people that had their languages, cultures, and religions deliberately stripped from them. Because even now, this country is still a place that encourages identity to hinge on race. Because, even now, the average Black person cannot identify what country in Africa their ancestors are from. And, especially now, the average Black person cannot say they have no other race in their background other than African.

    Black is complicated. And without you being in that classroom and witnessing what happened, its not even appropriate for you to say that school overreacted.

    PS

    I’ve been called racist names by many Black Dominicans, Black Puerto Ricans, and Black Brazilians. I’ve been damned to hell for implying that these people are indeed Black in the first place.

    I’ve also studied Spanish for many years. Just like the English language, mood, events, familiarity, and setting have a large impact on what word is appropriate to use at what time. Also like the English language, the Spanish language has adapted and morphed right along with political correctness and culural awareness movements. School is considered a formal environment for any educator, and only the most informal of dialogue (ie: speaking to friends or family in the privacy of home) would bring up the word “negro” in reference to Black Americans.

    If this was the 60’s, and she was an immigrant, then I’d understand

    1. Why is it so hard to understand there is no other word for black in Spanish but “Negro”?
      Even if you’re talking about a person you say it that way. Él es negro, ella es negra. La gente de África es negra. The other day I was telling my friend that I really liked a black boy from Haiti who studies in my school: “Me gusta mucho el chico negro de intercambio, ojalá que sea gay”.
      You’re right about the racism in the Spanish America. The Spaniards set a caste system that basically screwed our minds. During the Spanish rule being black was pretty much like being a pariah. But, as the world changes and everything becomes more globalized, we are growing away from that. Younger generations are every time less racist.

    2. This long winded response is the stupidest thing I’ve read in a long time. When speaking Spanish, the word for the color back is negro. Thats it. It’s the word for a color. The end.

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