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A ‘Wigger’ Homecoming: Officials At Predominantly White High School Defend Theme Mocking Black People

By Tanya Somanader on August 3, 2011 at 3:30 pm

"A ‘Wigger’ Homecoming: Officials At Predominantly White High School Defend Theme Mocking Black People"

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Red Wing High School Students Are "The Wingers"

For homecoming in 2009, the student council at Red Wing High School in Red Wing, Minnesota decided to go with a “tropical theme” for the dance. Instead, 60 students at the “predominantly white school” attended homecoming dressed for “Wigger Wednesday,” wearing costumes that “from their perspective” looked “black.” These included “oversized sports Jerseys, low-slung pants, baseball hats cocked to the side, and ‘doo rags’ on their heads.” The term “Wigger” is a pejorative slang term for a white person who mimics mannerisms, language, fashions, and stereotypes associated with black culture. It is “a portmanteau of either wannabee or white and nigger” and, here, is demeaning of African-Americans by mocking what the students interpreted to be their culture.

By allowing a class to celebrate “Wigger” — or alternatively known there as “Wangsta” — Day, the high school has earned its very own federal class action lawsuit. Former Red Wing High School student Quera Pruitt, an African-American, filed the suit in Minnesota on behalf of an unnamed class of “all students who experienced discrimination as a result of Wigger Day” — a class that may include more than 40 people. The school principal and school district superintendent, however, still “den[y] the allegations that it has created a racially hostile environment.” The Huffington Post’s Steven Hoffer reports:

Red Wing principal Beth Borgen and school district superintendent Karsten Anderson, both defendants in the suit, say the school is committed to creating a learning an environment free from discrimination.

According to a 2009 article on KARE-11, students participating in “Wigger Day” that year were immediately sent to change their clothes, but no additional punishment followed.

[Pruitt's attorney Joshua] Williams, who is seeking $75,000 in damages for his client, did not know whether “Wigger Day” took place again in 2010.

A statement from Anderson obtained by HuffPost says the district “denies the allegations that it has created a racially hostile environment and looks forward to meeting these allegations in court.”

Of course, the fact that this day of racist revelry turns out to be a tradition at the school belies any diverse utopia school officials say they strive for. Williams notes that the school district actually admitted that “Wigger Day” “occurred in at least the ‘last couple of years‘” and yet still failed to prevent it from happening in 2009. Even though Pruitt and her mother “complained directly to school officials,” somehow the officials still want to deny the “racially offensive nature of Wigger Day.”

Some students at the high school showed their continued, “proud” support for “Wigger Wednesday” by creating a Facebook group that explicitly — quite explicitly — vows to “keep wigger wednesday [sic] goin” until someone — presumably Pruitt or the principal — “quits.”

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