A North Texas high school has hit a racist trifecta: a “Rebels” mascot, “Dixie Belles and Jonny Rebs” student groups, and a softball coach suspended for making repeated racist remarks including describing a black player’s hair as “nappy and nasty.”
Over the weekend, more than a hundred students and alumni rallied at Richland High School in support of keeping the school’s Rebels mascot. Video of the rally shows several protesters proudly displaying the Confederate flag.
The rally was sparked after Reverend Kyev Tatum of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference filed complaints with the district and state after over the school’s rebel mascot and Dixie Belles and Johnny Rebs student groups, noting that the school district “is over 50 percent children of color.” The high school’s logo draws clear inspiration from the embattled flag.
Allan Hearrean, who was at the protest said to CBS-DFW that efforts to change the mascot are a “cultural cleansing of the South. They are removing anything that relates to anything Southern. Sooner or later being a Texan will be racist.” According to The Star-Telegram, the school banned the Confederate flag from school events in 1993.
The school was dealing with an additional charge of racism last week as well. In a letter obtained by the Star-Telegram, Principle Carla Rix reprimanded Brenda Jacobson, the Richland softball coach, after the school concluded she “may have made inappropriate comments to students based on race or skin color.”
Jacobson is accused of making repeated racist remarks including describing a black player’s hair as “nappy and nasty,” as well as saying that a black player wouldn’t do a certain drill “because there is water on the ground and black people don’t like water.”
Jacobson denies the remarks. She was placed on administrative leave for less than one school day. Her punishment did not include a suspension.
Meanwhile, nearly 7,000 people have liked a Facebook page in support of the mascot.