The First Academy student Olivia Duncan took to Instagram to discuss the usage of the word “n**ger” and “n**ga.” Duncan attends this private Christian school in Orlando.
A social media frenzy resulted as Senior Justice Writer for the New York Daily News and Black Lives Matter advocate, Shaun King, received letters from former TFA students regarding the nature of the school that’s also affiliated with the First Baptist Church of Orlando, according to the Atlanta Black Star.
Shaun posted the anonymous letters online from the students who had written in stating that the school “discriminated against both black and gay youngsters,” according to the Orlando Sentinel.
“Today I’m going to begin posting many of the very painful letters I received from former students of The First Academy about their time there at the school. Each wanted me and the world to know that this racism was but a tiny reflection of the bigotry they experienced at the school.”
— Shaun King (@ShaunKing) August 25, 2016
A former First Academy student mentioned how they hang confederate flags from their cars and display them on their smart phones, according to Raw Story.
“The student body is very racist. They, for example, hang confederate flags from their cars, and place them as their iPhone backgrounds. They even, believe it or not, sculpt them and submit them into TFA art shows.”
King posted Olivia Duncan’s Instagram comments to his Twitter account and attached the anonymous letters of previous students’ experiences. The picture showed Olivia in a “Thinker” pose, looking like she’s pondering on the appropriate usage of each word.
“So….I have a question for all my fans. Everyone contribute even if u wouldn’t normally. Is it “n**ga” or “n**ger”…I think n**ga is more respectful and Duke thinks it isn’t suppose to be used as a respectful term. So. Like for n**ger comment for n**ga. Thanks everyone.”
The First Academy’s top administrator, Steve Whitaker, posted to the school’s website on how “deeply grieved” he was about the incident and also how the school was “appalled by such inappropriate comments.”
To read the statement from Dr. Steve Whitaker, Head of School, please visit the link below.https://t.co/WfdQHk8iTE
— The First Academy (@TheFirstAcademy) August 25, 2016
Olivia Duncan’s followers responded to her post talking about how they would use the word, saying that it depends on the nature of the friendship you have with your peers.
“Lmao both. If you’re best friends, you can say it with a hard ‘r’. But if you regularly chill, then you just say ni**a.”
According to Whitaker, they do plan on taking action to take care of the issue, taking ownership of the situation. He acknowledges there is some considerable work to be done, according to Atlanta Black Star.
The First Academy in Orlando hosts more than 1,400 students all the way from preschool to the 12th grade. It’s a college preparatory school located in southwest Orlando.
Beyond Whitaker’s statement, he had no other comments, nor answered any questions. He did add the following, according to the Orlando Sentinel.
“As we reflect on this situation, we have realized there is much work to do in the area of racial reconciliation that we must take ownership of. Have we done enough? The answer is no.”
The messages were posted back in June, and according to Whitaker, they damaged The First Academy’s mission at their venue. The mission being to create a venue that’s “safe and accepting for all of our students.”
So it sounds like there’s nothing to report beyond that. No details on what kind of action will be taken against Olivia Duncan regarding her Instagram comments. What kind of disciplinary action do you think should be taken in regards to her social media activity?
These kinds of blunders are appearing on the internet, via social media, and this isn’t the first time either. Playboy model Dani Mathers posted a Snapchat photo of a nude woman in a locker room, fat-shaming her, according to International Business Times. The social media sphere blew up and with it apologies from Mathers. But the damage was already dealt as she was banned from all L.A. Fitness gyms. She also lost her job on the L.A. radio show “Heidi and Frank.”
Remember, think before you post.
[Photo by Scott Barbour/Getty Images]