ABC’s Raven-Symone has become controversial since she apparently shares the views of some Spring Valley High School students who believe that former South Carolina cop Ben Fields and Jane Doe both share some fault for what occurred in the infamous video. This opinion has a petition calling for ABC to have Raven-Symone fired, and the Black Lives Matter movement has begun protesting at the South Carolina State House.
In a related report by the Inquisitr, a second student named Niya Kenny was also arrested by the former resource officer, and she admits that she planned the Spring Valley High School video. In addition, the lawyer for both teen girls set up a GoFundMe fundraiser page for each separately, and over $43,000 will be given to the unnamed Jane Doe as of this publishing.
The View hosts often express some controversial ideas, and Raven-Symone has certainly earned that reputation already. Critics of Ben Fields say the white police officer slammed the black student onto the ground, causing multiple injuries before arresting her. Defenders of the S.C. cop say Jane Doe may have kicked her feet out, causing the school chair to slam backward.
Raven-Symone responded to the so-called Spring Valley High School assault by claiming Jane Doe “was told multiple times to get off her phone” by authorities in the school, including the teacher and principal. While Raven-Symone does say the officer’s actions were “ridiculous,” she says that “you’ve got to follow the rules in school.”
Perhaps due to the backlash over these comments, Raven-Symone did seem to backtrack a bit.
“There’s an issue with police officers in predominantly minority type of schools taking kids for disorderly conduct right to prison,” Raven-Symone said, according to E! Online. “That is a problem. You’re not even asking and figuring it out. That is a problem.”
Several weeks ago, Raven-Symone also generated some uproar when she said she would never hire anyone named “Watermelondrea,” which was a name in a YouTube video called “Top 60 Ghetto Black Names.”
“It’s just not gonna happen. I’m not gonna hire you,” she said.
According to Today, the View host later apologized for the remark, saying it expressed a “lack of empathy towards name discrimination.”
According to a petition on Change.org, ABC should have Raven-Symone fired.
“African Americans and black people around the diaspora need a voice representative of their views and not a voice representative of what white people want us to say. We need strong black role models in prominent positions on television [and] Raven Symone cannot provide that. That is why I ask that we petition to remove her from The View.”
The petition has already generated over 129,000 supporters. But Us Magazine reports that ABC is not buckling under the pressure.
“We love Raven,” the network said in a statement. “She is confident, genuine and opinionated, all qualities that make her a great addition to the panel.”
Spring Valley High School Students Support Ben Fields
It turns out that some students at the school have similar beliefs to Raven-Symone. Over 100 students staged a walkout last week while wearing T-shirts that read “Free Fields” or “#BringBackFields.”
— Lilcee_medic (@SVHS_SV) October 30, 2015
A Spring Valley High School student named Shatavia was asked by Rolling Out why they staged the walkout, and she claimed it was partially to protect the school’s reputation.
“Everyone went for their own reasons sir, some to support Fields, and others to show that we won’t let the media define us a bad,” she explained on Twitter. “Spring Valley’s name and reputation is being tarnished, for an incident involving one student and a RSO. We didn’t get media covered when we provided for the needy and raised funds, but we get a lot of media coverage for something tragic.”
Like Raven-Symone, the student also says former officer Ben Field was not the only person at fault.
“He’s not a bad man, now I’m not justifying his actions, because he was indeed wrong for what he did to the young lady, but he wasn’t the only one at fault,” she said.
Black Lives Matter Protest In South Carolina
Several civil rights groups in the southern state would probably disagree with what the Spring Valley High School student said. The group leaders say the firing of Ben Fields just isn’t enough. They also want the principal, teacher, and administrator fired and all misdemeanor charges against Jane Doe and Niya Kenny dropped.
“We’re here to let our community know, to let our youth know and to let our young Black children know that they are not going to be brutalized,” said Black Girls Lives Matter rally organizer Indeya Assatta, according to WLTX. “We are not going to allow them to be brutalized, we are not going to allow them to be intimidated or silenced, and let them know that their rights matter, just as much as anyone else’s lives matter.”
— Chenjerai Kumanyika (@catchatweetdown) November 1, 2015
Do you think ABC should have Raven-Symone fired for her comments about the Spring Valley High School video? What do you think about the list of demands made by Black Lives Matter?
[Image via Change.org]