Commentary: New York Teacher Receives Racist Hate Mail

The crazy letters sent over a patriotic song should make us all less than "proud to be Americans."

Posted: 06/12/2012 02:55 PM EDT

(Photo: Courtesy Facebook)

Racism, it turns out, is a lot like life itself. Little racists grow into full-grown racists. They find each other, fall in love, have children and before you know it, their bright-eyed babies grow into little racists themselves. And thus, the cycle begins again.

Unfortunately, Greta Hawkins, a Black New York City elementary school principal, incited the ire of those full-grown racists by taking the song “God Bless the U.S.A” (also known by its refrain, "Proud to be an American") out of a kindergarten graduation ceremony because she believed the lyrics to be “too mature” for the children and worried they might offend parents who aren’t U.S. citizens.

Whatever the varied opinions of Hawkins’ critics may be, nothing warranted what she experienced next.

After her decision about the song, Hawkins began receiving vicious hate mail the likes of which dredged up the most childish insults one could muster to offend Black people, the New York Daily News reports.

“You are a filthy, dirty, ugly subhuman gorilla,” read one of the letters.

And another low blow said, “Let’s hope that AIDS will do what sickle cell anemia failed to do, exterminate your whole simian race.”

Blacks weren’t the only ones targeted in the letters, which were apparently written in a strange child-like handwriting, but also attacked Mayor Bloomberg, who, along with schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott, supported Hawkins’ right to make such a decision regarding the song.

“N----- and their Jew commie bosses are the scum of the earth,” another letter read.

Now the NYPD hate-crimes task force is investigating the anonymous letters and while they may have not been sent by actual parents of students at the school, it is more than likely that the letter-sending racists have already done their part to contribute to the great cycle of ignorance that persists in our country and belies the inspiring lyrics of the very song they wished to see performed.

The opinions expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of BET Networks.

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