Nyree Holmes, 18, was humiliated by a racist teacher for wearing a cultural piece of cloth and sent out of the graduating hall.
Nyree Holmes attended Cosumnes Oaks High School, most students are whites with some few blacks, in Elk Groove, Carlifornia. This merit scholar, shared his story on twitter after his “sweet bitter” experience on his graduation day.
He begun by saying “Blackness,” which means it all boils down to his color. Here is what he told the world:
Mat mason, walks up to me while I’m in line waiting to walk the stage. And he tells me to give it (referring to the Kente) to him. So I tell him “no this is mine”. Then mason proceeds to tell me that I cannot walk the stage with it on. And I respond “but I will”. He then proceeds to get several teachers to try to get me to take it off. I let them know that it is a cultural piece and I refused to be forced not to take pride in who I am. I then asked him if “his agenda was worth more than my cultural pride?” He then says that he has no agenda.
This racist teacher kept on harrassing the black teen and treatened to ask the police to “remove him” like he was some unwanted person.
However, Holmes stood on his grounds and refused to be intimidated by him and managed to go on stage to receive handshakes from dignitories at the ceremony.
“I go through shaking all the hands and smiling as if I won. Then when I get to the stairs I see 3 Sherriffs at the bottom of the stairs. They tell me to leave with them and I said “sure guys, let’s go”. As I was walking out, I called my mom to let her know that I’m being taken out by the police. I stopped to ask them if I can get my diploma and drop off my cap and gawn,” he added.
Incidentally, he was refused by these sheriffs. He had to wait until his dad came around who also tried to get his son’s diploma but was refused.
“Since they refuse to give it to me. And then they refuse to give it to him, so we’re sitting there like WTF do we do…,” he exclaimed.
Later, a security guard who was black got him into the exit to get his diploma. He then took a picture of him and said “much love brother, stay up and achieve more”.
Meanwhile, this proud African-American boy, will attend California State University, Fullerton this fall. He will major in cinema arts “to achieve my dream of becoming an impactful film director.”
He also advices his colleagues and fellow people of color. “I would also tell them to look upon the horrific experiences of those involved in the Civil Rights Movementin the ’60s for inspiration and the fact that we cannot stop seeking equality,” he says. “If we are forced to wear the European cap and gowns [then] we should be able to wear the African Kente Cloth.”
In a nation as multicultural as the US and our high level of democracy, such a thing should not happen at all. The boy shouldn’t have been intimidated at all but commended for being proud of who he is. We don’t need such racist teachers teaching our children the wrong things. He should be removed as soon as possible.
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