A BLACK high school cheerleader quit her cheer squad after her white teammates posed with a Confederate flag T-shirt.
The shirt – which read “I love Redneck Boys" – has come under heavy criticism as it portrayed the controversial Confederate battle flag.
Reagan Coleman, one of the two black cheerleaders on the Daphne High School cheer squad in Alabama, became upset after some of her teammates posed with the shirt last month.
In the photo, shared to social media on July 4, six white girls are seen standing with the shirt displaying the "racist" flag.
Four of the girls were on Reagan's cheer team.
Speaking to WKRG, Coleman described what came to mind when she looked at the photo: "I immediately see hate."
Her mom, Latitah Coleman, denounced the cheerleaders' usage of the Confederate flag.
She said: “There’s no two sides to that flag. That means hatred, That’s what it stands for – for us. We were oppressed with that flag.
"They used it when they burned crosses in our ancestors’ yards.
"When it was railed around on horses. I don’t know what history you’re reading, but if you read the U.S. history, it tells you exactly what that flag stands for and what it means, especially to African-Americans."
According to WKRG, the cheerleader who shared the photo to Instagram removed it within hours after the post was plagued by criticism.
In an interview with Fox News, Latitah expressed how she thought it was very "bold" of the cheerleaders to hold up a shirt with such a controversial history.
“You cheer for Black football players, you cheer for Black basketball players and you cheer with two Black cheerleaders on your side and this is what you put up," Latitah said.
The Confederate flag was previously used to represent the Confederacy during the Civil War.
It is now seen as a symbol of the oppression of civil rights.
Despite the mom's attempts, the cheerleaders' actions were not punished.
Reagan chose to quit the cheer team on the first day of practice – after her mom reached out to school administrators.
The teen told WKRG: "No matter how much I love something, no matter how passionate I am about something, I love myself more and I respect myself more and I could not be on that team."
Her reasoning for leaving the team is because of her school's "carelessness and inactivity."
According to Reagan, Daphne's Administration team "is very known for keeping things like this hidden and swept under the rug.
"I don’t want this to be another one of Daphne’s well kept secrets. Something has to be done, and these girls need to face consequences for their actions.”
Reagan recalled to WKRG that footage of a Daphne cheerleader saying the N-word recently circulated the internet – and another cheerleader reportedly called a classmate the offensive word on Snapchat.
A Change.org petition – created by Reagan and titled 'A Call to Reprimand Daphne High School’s Racist Cheerleaders' – has received more than 2,000 signatures.
In response to the backlash, Baldwin County Public Schools issued the following statement: “We are aware of the situation and it has been handled at the local school level."
It continued: "As with any student issue, federal law prohibits us from discussing disciplinary actions, if any, involving our students.
“Our system has implemented sensitivity programs and Superintendent Tyler has stressed that we have a zero tolerance for racism and bullying in our system."
Source: Read Full Article