*A white male teacher in northern California has been placed on leave after he rocked blackface on Halloween, apparently imitating the rapper Common.
Milpitas High School put David Carter on administrative leave after a video was posted to Twitter showing him donning blackface in class.
Carter seems to be rapping about AI to a hip-hop beat in the video, a reference to Common serving as Microsoft’s artificial intelligence ambassador, Daily Mail reports.
“If anything, people were laughing before they got outraged because they were like: ‘That’s a terrible [imitation],” Milpitas High junior Karrington Kenney said.
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According to Kenney, the economics teacher went through the first two periods of class without incident. During break, administrators told Carter to “clean it off.”
Kenney tweeted video of the classroom scene Friday. “You wouldn’t expect something like this,” he said of the clip. “Especially from a teacher. Why would anyone do that?”
Milpitas Union School District officials condemned Carter’s actions.
“The actions were inappropriate, unprofessional and insensitive,” MUSD board president Chris Norwood, who is Black, wrote in a statement. “Unfortunately, Blackface still permeates global society today through social media, comedy and fashion.”
MUSD Superintendent Cheryl Jordan and Milpitas High Principal Francis Rojas issued a joint statement about Carter’s Halloween stunt.
“In a school community where we welcome learners and families from over 50 languages who represent cultures and religions throughout the world, and where our long-standing neighborhood, Sunnyhills, was established as the first city in the nation for planned integration, it hurts to know that this type of cultural insensitivity and lack of cultural awareness still hovers in the background,” they wrote.
Carter has reportedly been placed on leave pending further investigation, school officials said.