The video, titled “Structural Discrimination: The Unequal Opportunity Race,” covers issues like racial profiling, manifest destiny and the “school to prison pipeline.”
“Dr. King gave his life so that America would be a place where we are judged by the content of our character not the color of our skin,” radio personality Craig Johnson told WWBT-TV. “Now we have poverty pimps being led by our current president Barack Obama who all they talk about is the color of skin.”
The video depicts four individuals of different ethnicities running a race. While two white individuals run the course, the other individuals are faced with road blocks like a pool of sharks and a police checkpoint. It ends with the statement: “Affirmative action helps level the playing field.”
One parent wrote a letter expressing concern that the video was causing tensions within the school.
“Y’all are privileged. Get the — blank — over it,” read one of numerous tweets about the topic, according to that same parent.
Other relatives of students had a different view.
“They are sitting there watching a video that is dividing them up from a racial standpoint. It’s a white guilt kind of video,” Don Blake, whose granddaughter attended the assembly, said. “I think somebody should be held accountable for this.”
“Force that person to stand on that stage and defend that video,” Johnson demanded. “I’m telling you … I will mop the floor with that person.”
After such widespread outcry, Henrico school officials released a statement:
The students participated in a presentation that involved American history and racial discourse. A segment of the video was one component of a thoughtful discussion in which all viewpoints were encouraged. As always, we are welcoming of feedback from students and their families, and we address concerns directly as they come forward.