Not your best moment, Keystone State. Just last week, Pennsylvania was in the news when gun-loving small town police chief Mark Kessler’s expletive-infused rants against “libtards” went viral – and cost him his job. Now, Coatesville Area School District superintendent Richard Como and Director of Athletics and Activities Jim Donato have gained national attention for their abrupt departures from their positions – and the slew of hateful and racist messages discovered on their district-issued cell phones. Board president Neil Campbell has called the texts “sickening and obviously unacceptable.”
The incendiary messages, which all date from this past June, are a regular cavalcade of bigotry. And a source told the Philadelphia Inquirer Monday that “What has been made public represents a fraction of the messages between the men.” In one exchange, the two riff on how “All should have whatever first names they want… then last name is [n-word]!” Over the course of their messages, they also speculate in details on other people’s sex lives, discuss a “Jew red haired ESL” teacher, “that ape,” “cotton pickers” and a “skinny bitch,” among others. Intriguingly, there’s also a reference to a “MAJOR sneak” who “made at least 1500 – 2000 on kickback.” But to be honest, my favorite is the damming understatement that “This fucking phone! No idea how to work!”
Actually, it was "This fucking phone! NO IDEA how to work!" Given that these were school district phones, and that a district IT worker discovered the texts while switching hardware, I'd agree that they were clueless as well as racist, sexist, and otherwise complete morons.
Imagine what chance you'd have to get a good education with people like that in charge - unless, of course, you were a straight, white Christian football player. This was the school superintendent and the athletics director, but do you really think they were the only two Neanderthals with this kind of thinking? They were just the two who got caught. (Some of the texts are here. Warning: you may lose all hope in humanity.)
I think about things like this whenever I hear some loon claim that white men - or just white Christian men - are the only ones who really suffer discrimination these days. Yeah, right. Because it's minorities who hold all the powerful positions in America, huh?
But at least this is enough to get people fired, these days. We do progress, if slowly.