Over a decade ago a white teacher from Louisville, Kentucky, who was originally suspended for using the N-word in conversing with a student, went on to become the subject of a notorious hip-hop mashup.
At the time, Valley Traditional High School teacher Paul Dawson recalled a conversation he had with a black student via WHAS11 News and said verbatim what he told him. “I was just kind of stunned a second, well then get away from the door, n***a.”
The latter part of the 2006 quote was remixed into a mashup several years later. Waka Flocka Flame’s “Hard in the Paint” cuts out to Dawson everytime he uses the N-word.
The mashup has been making its rounds on Twitter more frequently recently. Admittedly, it is kind of funny, however if you don’t have context of what happened, this viral mashup can be subconsciously dangerous. Even the follow-up parody of the situation done by The Boondocks provoked some rather disturbing comments under the YouTube rip of it.
The remix is also part of the viral “Thug Life” series of mashups. Most of the videos “Thug Life” creates are of white people, young or old, doing something that would be considered gangster or “thug.” This treads treacherous waters because it normalizes the ideology that using terms or actions associated with what black people supposedly say or do is somehow thuggish.
Using slang is “something thugs do” or simply using the N-word normally is thug activity. The Dawson mashup is a perfect example of this. It’s also disturbing that the mashup reveals he’s speaking with a black female reporter. This one of a little girl calling each of her parents a “b***h n****a” is another example and subconsciously attempts to normalize racism.
After Dawson was suspended, reports say that he resigned from being a drama teacher at the school. Keysean Chavers, the young man Dawson called the N-word, is now grown up and has two kids, according to Facebook. Renee Murphy, who was the reporter who covered the controversy is still at WHAS11 but is now an anchor at the network.
Check out the infamous Waka Flocka/Paul Dawson mashup, the Boondocks’ variation and the original news package below.
(Photo: Suzi Pratt/WireImage)