071003_crossword

As if the nooses in Jena, nooses in Maryland, the rape and torture of Megan Williams, Bill O’Reilly’s shock and awe at Blacks eating in a restaurant, the Palmdale four, and the white Louisiana students reenactment of Jena, weren’t enough to remind Blacks that they were Black, now comes this.

A fifth-grade teacher in Dunlap, Tennessee, 22 miles northwest of Chattanooga, assigned as homework, a crossword puzzle which used the word nigger as an answer to the puzzle. The teacher said the puzzle came from a website www.edhelper.com which has materials for use by teachers.

The clue is listed as: 17 Across "an insulting way to label a black person."

At least one parent complained and the teacher, who is white, apologized to the parents of her students, said Donald Johnson, principal of Sequatchie County Middle School.

A parent, Clifford Branan, said his son’s teacher assigned the homework Friday, as a supplement to "Sounder," a book his class is reading. The book is commonly used in classrooms nationwide to illustrate racial bigotry and sharecropping hardships through the eyes of a young Black boy.

Branan said he could not believe the puzzle with words like cabin, smokehouse and lantern also included the N-word along with its clue.

He said the word crosses the line between history and hate. "It’s not something you want to teach," Branan said.

"A mistake was made," Johnson said Tuesday. "This word should have never come up on a worksheet like this. I can’t defend it."

Johnson said the teacher, whom he declined to identify, "justifies it as a way to teach about how it was at that time."

The principal said he was unsure if any black students were given the assignment.

Here’s two for them: "A seven letter word commonly used to describe a donkey, but in this case a stupid teacher" or "A three word phrase commonly used to describe lower class whites who don’t get out often and are out of touch with the rest of the world’s progression." Leave answers below.