Officials at a DC-area middle school are calling video of students participating in a chant that includes the n-word a “teachable moment for the community.”
In footage shared widely across social media, a group of children on a Montgomery County, MD school bus can be heard chanting “1-2-3-4, how many niggers are in my store?” According to the Washington Post, the video was recorded on September 20 by a 13-year-old black student at Robert Frost Middle School, who was shocked to hear the chant. It was then uploaded to Twitter by her father.
In an interview with the Post, the student’s father, Brandon Long, said his daughter told him that the students participating in the chant had ignored the bus driver’s earlier attempts to quiet them down.
“It shows a lack of empathy to other people’s feelings,” Long told the paper. “It was a poor choice. They did it again knowing this time that they were reprimanded for doing something wrong and that they were being recorded. To me, if you were reprimanded and you knew you were wrong, to do it again shows a lack of care about consequences.”
As multiple outlets have pointed out, the chant itself is nearly identical to one featured in a popular—and widely remixed—video from several years ago, in which four black men appear to be mocking a white clerk’s supposed suspicion over their presence in a convenience store.