Student ejected from ceremony for graduating while black

Very well put. The analogies used here like a kid with his face in a punch bowl or swastikas are missing the point by a fucking mile. This is a culturally appropriate expression that is not disruptive, not hate speech, and not damaging. Unlike every other example trotted out.

It’s just soo stupid. There is a fucking thing called nuance.


I agree. I find the comparisons to wearing a swastika a little bit offensive, actually. Then again, there probably is some people who see an expression of African pride to actually be hate speech… Maybe some of them are running this school?


Think about the only dumber thing than ejecting the kid is the headline of the article.

Thanks for making it dumb for us bb. We wouldn’t have understood if the issue had been conformity with racial overtones. Thanks for making it simple so we can get straight to congratulating ourselves for knowing better and being better people than those bad old school administrators and cops.

Truly, thank you.


No. The question is on what non-arbitrary and not-first-amendment-violating basis do you exclude the swastika and accept the African heritage indicator? That’s the question to be answered. Not do you like swastikas better than African heritage indicators? Not, Are you afraid of African heritage?


Do you think LEOs should have been called to drag him out of there? And do you agree that it’s more likely that happened because he’s black?


The question is on what non-arbitrary and not-first-amendment-violating basis do you exclude the swastika and accept the African heritage indicator? That’s the question to be answered.

One is hatred the other is pride. Question answered, right?


My point was there was a big difference between the two. [edited, as I mis-read your last sentence]. Also, (although there are non-Nazi versions of the swastika) most read it as a celebration of mass murder. As @japhroaig indicated, celebrating pride in one’s heritage is not the same thing and wearing a symbol associated with one of the most horrific attempted genocides in modern history. It’s closer to compare it to a symbol of one’s faith or a symbol of one’s heritage. Would people be wigging out over a celtic torque or a big cross? the cops would not be called for that, I imagine.


I have no basis to make a judgment about how this particular set of school administrators makes their decisions. I know the school is more than two-thirds minority. I know that school officials often work pretty strictly on the basis of policy in the face of open defiance. But that’s really all I know about the situation.

You may know more, but it seems to me that a lot of folks are impugning the motives of folks here on the basis of their own assumption that all that really matters here is that the student in question is black and their own impulse to congratulate themselves on knowing better than these benighted morons at the High School. I think that, probably, a lot more enters into the incident and that the rounds of self-congratulation have gotten more than a little bit tiresome.

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Yes: “I, the authority approve of this expression and disapprove of that one.” Yes, that absolutely gets you by any First Amendment challenge.

Hey thanks man. Really weird but eh.

I am sure the administrators and LEOs involved are all good people. Similar to how people that enforced segregation were likely good people. I don’t impugn the individuals, but I do question their motives, ethics, and actions. We all make mistakes due to internal biases, and this seems to be a fucking stupid one.


This isn’t a first amendment challenge. Expression is regulated at the discretion of the school the moment you walk in. That is settled. You don’t have full first amendment rights at school. Full stop.

In the school context, the United States Supreme Court has identified three major relevant considerations:[6]

The extent to which the student speech in question poses a substantial threat of disruption (Tinker v. Des Moines Indep. Cmty. Sch. Dist.).

Whether the speech is offensive to prevailing community standards (Bethel School District v. Fraser).

Whether the speech, if allowed as part of a school activity or function, would be contrary to the basic educational mission of the school (Hazelwood v. Kuhlmeier).


The cross is to make sure the ‘christian’ republicans can’t remove it.


The first amendment exists (partly) to prevent public authority from using its power to arbitrarily suppress certain forms of expression based on the content of that expression. No one denies there’s a difference between one expression and another. But that isn’t the issue. The issue is on what constitutionally allowable basis is one allowed and another excluded. Constitutionally allowable, in most cases, would mean content independent.

How about “clothing from your cultural heritage is allowed”? That also allows the swastika if you are Hindu/Jain/Buddhist, but not if you are a white supremacist.


I’m afraid you don’t understand how that authority can be exercised. If you forbid, say, political expression, you have to forbid all political expression, not just the political expression you don’t like. If you forbid religion or heritage touting at graduation, you have to forbid all religion and heritage touting. The application of that authority has to be broad, even-handed, and non-arbitrary. You don’t just get to pick what expression you like and allow it while shutting up those you dislike.

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That’s just not true. See updated post above.


Isn’t this precisely what happened in this case - the supression of constitutionally protected speech? The school wanted to enforce their dress code, in their capacity as a public authority. And they called in a cop to eject the kid from his own graduation. Someone could have allowed it, because it was not offensive in anyway nor was it distracting. But instead, they called the cops. The likelihood of this happening to others not conforming to the dress is likely rather low, I’d guess.

I do object to the notion that this young man’s kente cloth and the swastika are on the same level (when not in the context that @the_borderer indicated), which some have compared. [quote=“oranpkelley, post:93, topic:78756”]
You don’t just get to pick what expression you like and allow it while shutting up those you dislike.

Maybe they shouldn’t have excluded any of these cultural expressions. But we don’t have a comparision from this particular school regarding other cultural forms, so we don’t know if they would have disallowed a hijab or a yarmulke or a cross. We just know they called the cops on a kid who refused to remove a symbol of his black heritage.


Has anyone ever answered you? WILL anyone ever answer you?


A far as I know, and I could be wrong, the Jain/buddhist/hindus as well as the navijo people kinda removed themselves from the swastika because of the nazi connotations it now has to everyone. IE they saw a thing so horrible they realized them trying to go ‘but we had it first and it meant something different’ wouldn’t exactly do much more than sound lame, so… away it goes now. You win hitler, keep it and go fuck off in a ditch somewhere.