A Hispanic student recorded the comments, saying she was offended.
A high school teacher is in hot water after telling students at a school in Oklahoma that “to be white is to be racist, period.” The comments were made at Norman North High School and reported by TV station KFOR, which got its hands on an audio recording of the teacher making the statement.
“Am I racist? And I say, yeah. I don’t want to be. It’s not like I choose to be racist, but do I do things because of the way I was raised?” the unidentified teacher can be heard saying in the recording.
The student who recorded it also was unidentified. The remarks came during a lecture on healing the “racial divide” in the United States, and she started to record when she started taking offense to the lesson. The girl identifies herself as Hispanic and said she was offended to be called racist because of her skin color.
“Half of my family is Hispanic, so I just felt like, you know, him calling me racist just because I’m white … I mean, where’s your proof in that?” she told KFOR. “You start telling someone something over and over again that’s an opinion, and they start taking it as fact.”
Norman Public Schools Superintendent Joseph Siano said the following in a statement: “While discussing a variety of philosophical perspectives on culture, race and ethics, a teacher was attempting to convey to students in an elective philosophy course a perspective that had been shared at a university lecture he had attended. We regret that the discussion was poorly handled. When the district was notified of this concern it was immediately addressed. We are committed to ensuring inclusiveness in our schools.”