Georgetown University professor and progressive activist Michael Eric Dyson blamed “Trump’s white racist America” for his grandson being called the N-word at school last week.
Dyson’s six-year-old grandson Maxem claims a white classmate called him the N-word and threatened to shoot him at Washington DC’s Horace Mann Elementary School on April 29. Dyson responded thusly on Twitter:
Why am I heading to my 6 year-old grandson’s elementary school in affluent neighborhood in DC because a white kid called him a “nigger” & threatened to go get a gun & shoot him??? The kid not yet kicked out nor the police called ??? Welcome again to Trump’s white racist America.
— Michael Eric Dyson (@MichaelEDyson) April 30, 2019
The professor was particularly angry at the alleged culprit not being sent home immediately following the incident: “The child finished out the day, which is incredible to me,” he said.
The catalyst of the whole thing, according to the Atlanta Black Star, appears to be Maxem dashing to the front of the pizza line in the school cafeteria, which angered the (white) classmate.
The Black Star notes school officials did not elaborate on what disciplinary measures will be taken other than a parental meeting. In a letter to parents, Horace Mann Principal Liz Whisnant said “harmful language” and a physical threat were made by the accused student, but she disputed the N-word was used: “The incident did not include any language about race or ethnicity,” she wrote.
Nevertheless, Maxem said he is “sure what he heard,” the Black Star wrote.
CNSNews.com reports Dyson met with the white child’s parents and school officials last week:
He said his family “laid out in no uncertain terms the stakes of the situation – the physical and racial aggression, the individual and institutional culpability, the personal and existential consequences of such a threat to our beloved (grand)son, the responsibility of the school (system) to address such incidents, mechanisms that need to be in place to grapple with such incidents, a culture of white privilege and indifference to the harm of our children of color, and so on.”
School administrators, he said, “were thankfully in no way defensive, but offered constructive recommendations to right the situation and address the broader implications of racial hostility and violence throughout the school (system).”
As for the “offending” child’s parents, Dyson said, they were “visibly crushed by their child’s actions, owned up to the horror of what had occurred, pledged to further address their child’s behavior, and to make things right as much as they could.”
In a May 2 Twitter thread, the often-fiery Dyson offered thoughtful and constructive advice on setting up, and working through, parental meetings with school officials.