This High School Encouraged Racist Jokes. We Wish We Were Kidding.

latino bigotry racist jokes

A California high school encouraged students to make jokes about Latino stereotypes. For real. | Source


Would you want to go to a bigoted high school that deliberately discriminates against Latinos and actively encourages racist jokes? Now you can!

A high school in Anaheim, California is in hot water following complaints about what was, until recently, an annual event. The “‘Seniores’ and Señoritas” event, in which students sported costumes that were essentially depictions of derogatory Latino stereotypes, has finally come to an end. The event inevitably ended in a litany of racist jokes, with guys marching in wearing sombreros, students dressed as Border Control officers, gang members, and pregnant women. Because, you know, all Latinos are capable of are making tacos and babies.

Canyon High’s yearly Latino mockery took place in senior week each year up to now, when it received two formal complaints from former students. Can we just go through everything that’s so messed up about this really quickly?

One, this wasn’t a random party that some bigoted students threw. This was an official school event, and it was approved by the school administrators. This means that the school was perfectly okay with endorsing racist jokes and bigotry, and had no qualms about Latino stereotypes. Two, this means that taxpayer dollars–which might be your parents or even yours if you have an after school job–are being used to support racism against Latinos. Three, this district has been plagued with Latino bigotry for a while, even shooting down propositions to increase their voter representation. Four, how did they only get two complaints?

How is it that it never occurred to anyone that racist jokes during the event may be, well, racist, and therefore offensive and hurtful? And if it did occur to them, why didn’t it bother them enough to change or stop it from happening?

The biggest part of the problem lies in the fact that since it was a school sponsored event, students may not have even truly realized that racist jokes like these are damaging and hurtful to communities. If your principal or an authority figure says something is okay, it sort of … becomes okay, right? At least in your mind. And that’s why this is so dangerous. Because it’s essentially, even if on a small scale, institutionalized racism: Racism that an authority figure (or your peers) deems okay. Back in the day when blacks and whites had to use different water fountains and sit separately on the bus, a lot of people just accepted it as the norm–and even though it was completely unfair and screwed up, people went along with it.

Another issue is that for whatever reason, this district thought it was okay to promote bigotry specifically against the Latino community, and it worked, because it went on for a few years without a peep. Similar to the public’s reactions to the Sikh shootings, apparently racist jokes against the Latino community are fine because they’re Latino.

Now, just picture an annual school event where students showed up in blackface.

Exactly. This is just as wrong.

Do you think racist jokes should be okay in school–or anywhere? Do you think the district was wrong to host the Latino-themed event? Do you think the school was encouraging bigotry? Tell us in the comments!

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  • Ira

    The administrators should be made to resign. They are truly ignorant individuals for allowing this to take place on their campus.

  • Jules

    These comments have a point, but look at the position the media portrays Latinas and Latinos. I mean, they only have that to go off on, so why not?

  • Gabbers

    What. Whatwhatwhatwhat. I have lost my ability to even.

  • Carol

    I think that this shouldn’t be blamed on the school that much. Sure, they should work harder on controling the racist jokes and such, but, the actual event is not at fault. Every year my school has a culture fest where students where the traditional atire of their heritage; is this racist? No, the event is not, it promotes pride in your culture; it is only when students take it too far and make the racist jokes that it is racist.

  • Missy

    this is just truly ashame. what kind of example is that to set as a school administration??? i can’t believe they got away with that. this entire thing is just foul and seriously disrespectful. just ugh…unbelievable…

  • Janice

    That´s so ridiculous! I´m Mexican and this is really insulting! It´s just that: a stereotype! A false representation of a country!! (or in this case, of all the countries in Latinoamerica). They should be punished. At the end of the day, that´s called racism, as it´s mentioned in the article. It´s such a shame there are still human beings who discriminate against someone else for being from a different race, age, gender, sexual preference, etc. It´s so archaic!

    • Stefany A.

      Honestly I do not see it as you do, it is not like a group of administrators got together and said “Hey we should have a racist festivity!” Wow, really? No. I am a Mexican also, and I attend a high school in the Anaheim Union District, and if you knew anything about it you would know that they LOVE to help us Latinos because we are surpassing the academic levels that they expected from us. I know what it is to feel like you have to suppress your culture within you to fit in, because who wants to act or look Mexican with a bunch of Caucasian people? Well it is not like that with the Anaheim, we are heavily populated with Latinos for the most part and sometimes we like to celebrate who we are and what our heritage means for us, even in a humorous way. I think having ONE single day when you can have fun with your culture, and know that you can enjoy yourself and laugh at the stereotypes among all the races brings everyone together, in a sense. You do not always want to be restricted and have the stereotypes be hushed, you want to represent your culture in a place where you excel (school) and embrace the stereotypes, mock them and say, “You know what, I do not care. Say and laugh all you want, I am proud to be Latino/a.” So in reality you are the one who is thinking archaically, sorry.

  • Paula

    I think that it is a waste of time having events like that if people end up making it as a joke to make fun of different cultures.

  • ericarage

    When I first started reading this, i was thinking wearing sombreros is considered racist!? That’s crazy! Then I read the rest of the sentence. And I agree that it was sooo wrong of that school to encourage that!!!