A White student at Alta High School showed up for a spirit event and donned a white Klan hood, and a bi-racial student is all torqued off and has vented on his blog. Larz Cosby, a junior at Alta, thinks there was racist intent -- and he's also upset that a number of students seem supportive of the student who donned the hood. Reported on the Deseret News; KSL news video embedded below:
From Larz Crosby's blog comes this account of the incident:
On March 17, 2011 @ approximately 9:00am the school was gathering for our annual spirit bowl. I woke up excited because the first spirit bowl I attended was fun but this time I was going to actually participate.
While walking across the gym floor to find a seat, a student wearing a white hood with holes for eyes was jumping around. When his friends saw that I had noticed they began pointing and laughing. I immediately demanded that he remove the hood. He then approached me and began dancing in my face and taunting me. I snatch the hood and threw it behind me and his crowd of friends became very displeased with this. I found a seat, finally, and sat down next to a friend. She, her sister and her friend all asked me if I was ok. I told them I was ok, and then began to contemplate how I was going to handle the situation.
I felt numb! I had no idea that the KKK was part of my high school spirit bowl.
Cosby also reported that the same student was running in circles, "hailing Hitler".
Afterwards, Cosby seemed quite offended that the student was sitting in Spanish class as if nothing happened. He's also offended that a large group of students expressed support for the "offending" student on a Facebook page. Apparently, Cosby thinks the "offending" student ought to be witch-hunted and forced to endure Soviet-style diversity indoctrination. He claims that the chances of a non-White student being treated unethically at Alta High are "very high", although he admits that non-White students who have "conformed" have no problem with "bullying".
Perhaps the non-Whites who have "conformed" choose not to make race an issue, so they are more accepted as a result. Perhaps Larz Cosby has a history of copping an attitude about race all the time; some of the comments appended to his blog post imply this might be the case.
Canyons School District officials are concerned about the reports they're hearing and are taking the allegations seriously. The district's office of civil rights is looking into it, and based on the evidence it finds will come up with a course of action that could potentially include discipline for the student who allegedly donned the hood. A comment posted on Cosby's blog indicates the student has already been suspended for three days. Update March 30th: The student was suspended for seven days.
There's a mixed reaction to Cosby's post in the comments section (after the jump):
Posted by aint yo bizzness on March 19, 2011 at 3:34 am
dude you shouldnt be so butt hurt over a joke. i aint white and i go to alta, but you dont see me crying. i ignore mackay and hes just a tool. i dont think he really meant it though. do you really think he really hates colored people…? how is that you are the only colored person at alta getting all hurt about it?? IT WAS A JOKE. although what he did was stupid, you took it way too hard. i get critized alot, but i know people dont really mean it. its life bro, deal with it. and this is coming from a colored junior at alta! just get over it, its not a big deal at all. there are alot of fake tough guys at alta high school who think they can do whatever the fuck they want to others, and you just gotta fuck it. mackay is just one of them, and is why i dont like him. as goes with most of the football team ( which cant talk shit going 4-7). there just tools. and im sorry if anyone gets offended by what i say, its totally true. alta is known for douchebag guys. im just saying it was stupid, but dont get all butt hurt over some joke…
Posted by Anonymous on March 19, 2011 at 11:43 pm
I would like to remain anonymous but I know Mackay very well and was there. Him and his meathead friends seriously get along with just about everyone if you actually talk to them. They’re not racist and they just do stupid things cause they are trying to entertain everyone. He shouldn’t have put the hat on but let’s get real Larz he ran in a circle then took it off, it was on for about 2 minutes tops – it wasn’t appropriate but what your saying isn’t either, especially when you know it’s not true. I mean dude one of his best buddies is black! If you have a problem with Mackay tell him, you know he feels bad that it offended you but why don’t you tell him instead of trying to cause drama and he will realize he hurt someone by trying to be funny and he’ll knock it off! Common you’re talking like an adult, why don’t you be one.
Posted by Bready on March 21, 2011 at 4:08 am
dont think this blog accurately portrays what went on. I was there and saw everything first hand. The Junior class was told to wear white to the assembly while the seniors were to wear black. The spirit bowl is not taken lightly at Alta. The student did not bring the mask to pick on the “minority”. He simply did it to poke fun at the seniors. When Larz saw the mask, he took matters into his own hands grabbing the mask and throwing it down. Many other black kids walked by the mask and laughed because of the nature, “poking fun at seniors”. The kid then ran around the court when the Juniors beat the Seniors in a game. THERE WAS NO RACIAL SLUR intended. Larz then takes things one step farther calling his dad, who by the way called the police… Is this a way to handle things in high school. I talked to the kid after, he felt bad, but did not mean to offend larz or anyone else. Just a simple joke. This is High School. Let kids be kids.
Posted by senior at alta on March 21, 2011 at 5:26 pm
I personally know the person that was involved and have had the chance to speak with him since the incident. He feels terrible and had no idea that it would hurt someone like it did. He is already suspended for 3 days and after speaking with him multiple times about it, would do anything to take it back and do anything to make Larz feel comfortable again. I read these comments and see complete ignorance by so many people. Yes, albeit, what happened was extremely dumb, thoughtless, and did deserve a consequence. He truly learned his lesson, and I think that a 3 day suspension, all the negative publicity, and sites like this will haunt him enough to have not only him learn from his lesson, but also many others to come in the future. What was done was thoughtless, but I have known the boy who did this for over 14 years and he is in NO WAY a racist in any way shape or form. He has plenty of nonwhites in his extended family even, and what it comes down to is that he made a mistake.
If Larz, his family, or any of these supporters are truly wanting to pursue this and continue to bring more consequences upon the boy, I ask what purpose would this serve? You are already making this into an ENORMOUS ordeal and have proven your point about how terrible demonstrations and jokes like this are. Enough awareness has been spread, the question is, do you really want to torment and pursue to indict a boy that made a mistake and is doing everything in his power to make it better. I agree it is not a laughing matter, but to say that Alta High School or even Utah in general contains a lot of racists is absolutely farfetched. In fact, if you really want to go into the details, there has been more acts of reverse racism demonstrated in Utah over the last ten years. I commend Larz for not violently retaliating and expressing how he felt to administration and on this page, but the point has been made and lets all move on from this experience peacefully and more educated.
Looks like Crosby's getting some sound advice from some of his peers. No one's attempting to bring back Jim Crow to Salt Lake -- this incident should not be presented as a crisis. He should thicken up his skin and move on; he's fortunate enough to be in an upper middle class high school where he can get a good education. And his writing does show that he's received a good education.
Less attitude -- more gratitude.