Students in Economics class at Milpitas High School this Halloween must have been confused when they saw their teacher walk in the door that day. The man seemed to be the same height as their teacher, he wore similar clothes, and his voice was spot on, but something just wasn't right. Their regular teacher David Carter was white, and the man standing in front of them talking about economics was black. Then it dawned on them, Mr. Carter, had decided to dress up in blackface as part of his Halloween costume in which he dressed up as African American rapper Common.
Common has become a national spokesperson for Microsoft and his commercials have been viewed millions of times. In the ads, Common speaks to the viewer and in his unique and lyrical way praises the power of artificial intelligence. Carter thought it would be a good idea to dress up in a similar outfit, paint his face black and
, as a video
that has now gone viral shows, stand at the front of the class and recite slogans from the Microsoft commercial
in an offensive accent that mocks black people.
The "terrible [imitation]"
was filmed by an MHS student and uploaded to social media where it quickly went viral. Now MHS administrators say they are taking action and have put Mr. Carter on administrative leave while they "investigate" the incident. But really, what is there to investigate?
As black people have been forced to re-explain almost every Halloween, black skin is not a costume, black people are not caricatures, and blackface is offensive.
Using it harkens back to the time of minstrel shows where white actors would dress up in blackface and portray African Americans in horribly racist ways. There are many ways to dress up as a famous person without having to paint yourself their skin color. People of color dress as white people all the time without wearing whiteface. White people can do the same. It's not hard. Doing otherwise is just plain hateful. Mr. Carter shouldn't be on leave, he should be fired. Clearly, if you have no business being an educator if you are too dumb to know that blackface is never ok. Tell Milpitas Unified School District Superintendent Cheryl Jordan to use common sense and send Mr. Carter packing. Sign the petition and stand against hate and ignorance.