A mother in Louisiana is speaking out after a high school student shared a Christmas photo of her black son with a racist caption, KTBS reports.
According to the station, a photo of two white teenagers carrying Shreveport resident Sharon Martin’s five-year-old child at a Christmas event at Byrd High School recently surfaced on Instagram with the controversial caption. A screenshot of the since-deleted photo reveals that the caption read, “A Ghetto Christmas Carol.”
“Really? Ghetto?” Martin told the station. “Why? Because he’s black?”
The mother said she did not appreciate the racist undertone that the caption contained.
“I don’t know if they were trying to be funny or what,” she said. “I don’t get it. I didn’t get it. Like why would they just write that? They could have left the ghetto part out and I would have been probably okay with it.”
Her son’s cousin, Danny Martin, voiced similar concerns over the caption.
“He’s five years old,” he said “He doesn’t know what’s going on. He doesn’t know what’s being said. He doesn’t know about all the comments, posts on social media. He doesn’t know that. So it’s my job as his cousin to protect him from seeing that and also to protect any other child that’s affected by this that’s been happening anywhere in Shreveport.”
The child’s mother added that she did not give the high school consent to take pictures of her son. It is unclear as to why the child was at the event in the first place.
“I don’t want my kids on any of that,” Martin said. “They’re not old enough to speak for themselves so, no.”
In response, the mother of the teenager who posted the caption issued a statement to the station, apologizing for the incident. KTBS did not identify either the mother or her son.
“Our son was referring to the title of a song that is popular among teens,” the statement read. “He had no intention of being malicious or hurtful to anyone, especially the child photographed, whom he has already written a letter to apologizing for the whole incident. Although, he did not intend to be hurtful toward anyone, his father and I feel that some counseling regarding cultural sensitivity is warranted.”
The Caddo Parish School Board, which oversees Byrd High School, also released its own statement to the station.
“The administration of Byrd was made aware of the post and immediately took action, contacting the parents of the student and the student,” the statement said. “The post has been taken down. Caddo Schools does not condone and strongly opposes the comments made by the student. While we cannot speak to individual student disciplinary actions, administration has addressed the situation.”
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