Minnesota High School Taken To Court Over “Wigger Day”

In a baffling lack of oversight that incited a federal class-action lawsuit, a Minnesota school district allowed students to hold an unofficial Homecoming event called “Wigger Wednesday” at Red Wing High School in 2009. The suit alleges that some 60 students came to school that day wearing “oversized sports jerseys, low-slung pants, baseball hats cocked to the side and ‘doo rags'” and “mimick[ed] black culture.” More from Huffington Post:

The plaintiff, former Red Wing High School student Quera Pruitt, an African American, claims that the school’s lack of intervention caused her “severe emotional distress including depression, loss of sleep, stress, crying, humiliation, anxiety, and shame.”…

Pruitt’s attorney, Joshua Williams, says her family hoped the incident would be addressed following “Wigger Day” 2008. While it was never an officially-sanctioned school event, the family discovered “Wigger Wednesday” was something of a tradition.

After the 2009 incident, “[Pruitt’s] mom came up to the school, attempted to reach out to the school board, the superintendent, and the principal, but Red Wing’s response was essentially to sweep this under the rug and act like it didn’t happen,” Williams told The Huffington Post.

According to Williams, Pruitt became depressed, quit the cheerleading squad, left student council, skipped her senior prom and even considered dropping out of school.

Students at Red Wing also called the day “Wangsta Day,” and created a Facebook group for the event. The district denies allegations that it created a racially hostile environment and has stated that it “looks forward” to its defense in court. TC mark

image – miggslives

Related

More From Thought Catalog

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jacob-Marek/696640989 Jacob Marek

    somewhat surprising this wasn’t from the anoka school district…

  • ian

    This is nothing new…the few highschools I attended all had some kind of dress hip-hop/gangster day during spirit week.

    • Guesty

      well, then, fuck all your high schools too

  • victoria elliott

    the facebook event page is making me really sad can’t do it

  • http://www.facebook.com/abrownhaines Alaina Haines

    And every time I think progress is made, I encounter something like this. 

    • Jeffdanho

      Could you elaborate on how this is against progress?

      • Customconcern

        the way I see it, “wigger” is a contraction of either “white nigger” or “wannabe nigger”, both of which are pretty icky terms and are, you know, racially hostile.  Not to mention the whole misappropriation of inner city black culture thing. 

      • Fwyuhgf6ewf

        misappropriation? hmm…hmmm…

      • Customconcern

         tr.v. to appropriate wrongly. 

      • Customconcern

        ha, but misappropriation is the noun, of course. oops. 

  • gju

    i dont like all those people who posted on that facebook wall

  • http://staugustinian.wordpress.com/ STaugustine

    The “Friendly” racists are the most insidious

  • Maxwell Smart

    So how can the school keep a large group of students from dressing a certain way if it’s not in the code of conduct? I think if they had intervened, the headline would read “Minnesota High School Taken to Court for Banning Hip-Hop Fashion.”

    • http://www.fabblab.blogspot.com Arushi Khosla

      EXACTLY. 

  • Sophia

    I don’t really understand how the school district did anything wrong by not stopping kids’ ability to choose what they wear. People need to grow a thicker skin.

    • Customconcern

      Or maybe just a whiter skin, amirite? 

  • Customconcern

    there are some suicide-inducingly stupid people on that facebook group 

  • http://www.fabblab.blogspot.com Arushi Khosla

    This is what was posted on the Facebook page under News:

    News:Hey guys, this whole thing has gotten blown out of proportion. This wigger wednesday was our homecoming winger wednesday but we thought it would be funnier if a bunch of goofy white guys dressed up in some costumes that made us look stupid. We weren’t even close to making fun of any minorities, we were making fun of ourselves. For all of you who have tried to turn this into some racial thing, leave the group and take your opinion elsewhere. This group was meant for the kids who went to red wing highschool and thought wigger, wangsta, or winger wednesday was a fun day to screw around and rile up the administration. For those of you with an issue with this, take a step back, look at the rest of the world and tell me this is worth making into an issue. I’m not updating this group because of what it has become, and for all the reporters trying to make a story out of this, please leave it alone. I think it’s caused enough damage already. Thank you.———————I’m not really sure what you guys expected the school to do. Geez. 

    • Customconcern

      tl;dr “if you have dissenting opinions go away because we don’t want to hear them” 

  • http://www.fabblab.blogspot.com Arushi Khosla

    And isn’t wigger a term used to make fun of white people? They’re just kids laughing at each other, I mean… 

    • Customconcern

      Wigger= white nigger or wannabe nigger. Kind of not right. 

      On the facebook group I tried to talk to a few people; one girl told me that nigger just meant black person and wasn’t racially offensive unless it was intended to be that way. It was at that point that I started wailing and headbutting my monitor as hard as I could. 

      • hedonistrush

        a) Are you Shawna Sheeba from that thread?
        b) I feel that people have too much of a tendency to get offended by things that aren’t necessarily event meant to be offensive. Case in point, these kids aren’t mimicking the “culture” as such, just dressing that way to make fun of each OTHER. Not of black people!
        I agree that maybe they could’ve worded it a little more delicately but lets face it, most kids aren’t thinking and rethinking about that. Like the facebook news clipping, they didn’t mean to be offensive, they were just kidding around it. Everyone needs to relax and not escalate this to a point where its hideously blown out of proportion. 
        c) This girl who dropped out of everything is just kind of random. Even if it did deeply offend her sensibilities, it doesn’t warrant quitting your life because a couple of kids were making jokes about each other and demanding to be heard on a national forum. Money and fame beckon, methinks and thats the main reason for doing what she did. 

        This is just my personal opinion, of course. 

      • Customconcern

        Dressing like people they are not, from a culture they do not belong to,  in order to make fun of each OTHER? Really? Maybe they should go the whole way and wear blackface as well? 

      • Customconcern

        just to reiterate: white people dressing like black people in order to make fun of white people. got it. 

  • http://thebottomlessmimosa.com Sydney

    The lack of racial sensitivity from the comments here is bothersome, because I would assume most of you would identify yourselves as progressive twenty somethings.

    The kids dressing silly, “ghetto”, or in hip hop clothing may induce eye-rolling but its hardly offensive. The term “wigger” is.

    Nigger and every variation of the word (nigga, wigga, nizzle etc.),  is highly offensive and should not be tolerated, particularly by a school. I know that the black community’s stance can be confusing on this issue, rappers insert it into every popular song but will not hesitate to come after you if they catch a non-minority repeating it but that’s another issue.

    When white people use the n-word or its variations it triggers an intense, inexplicable, emotional reaction in most black people. Simply put, it fucking hurts, a lot. We can’t even look at you the same way after we see that. Please try to understand, and if you can’t do that simply respect it. 

    White people, I love you, I really do, but we have a long way to go. 

    • CarmenOhio

      I agree about the word “wigger”.  It is clearly derived from the N-word so the school is plain wrong.  I believe it stands for “white N-word”.  However, with this logic in mind, they would hardly be any better off calling it “Wangsta Wednesday” like some of the students apparently did, or “Ghetto Wednesday”.  Although, to be an honest white man, I would not care if a predominantly black school had a dress-up day focusing on white culture.  But that would all change if the words “bracker” or “blonkey” were involved.  The school needs to avoid controversial ideas pertaining to race for its own good.  It simply divides students rather than unifying them.  I am a progressive thinker, but I am fully aware that many people do not think  as freely as do I so, with that in mind, I recommend keeping things as PC as possible.  Geez, just educate the kids while they’re at school. 

      *There is a difference between referencing a racial culture  and a non-racial culture.  Therefore, it is in poor taste to use a word derived from a racially derogative word (N-word) instead of simply a non-racial culture like hip hop.  Just call it hip hop day.  Case closed.

  • jack

    every wednesday is wigger wednesday

  • Jhamin

    I would only like to say that the photo of the “Typical High School” that shows up in the summary for this article has lockers exposed to the outside air and therefore is clearly a stock photo from a southern school.
    Actual Minnesotans know that such things are simply not possible in the frigid northern steppes.

  • Abbey

    *Red Neck High School

blog comments powered by Disqus