The Real discussed a viral video that’s been making headlines over the last few days. A community meeting meant to address concerns over racism in a Michigan school district got ugly when a white parent “asked” a Latino parent a racist question. Community members had gotten together to discuss a racist incident involving Saline High School students in which three black classmates were the target of offensive comments on SnapChat.
At the meeting, Adrian Iraola, a parent who immigrated to the U.S. from Mexico in the 80’s, recalled his son’s experience of racism at school. “I went to his bedroom to say good night, and he was crying because of the abuse that he was enduring in this school system,” Iraola explained at the school board meeting Monday.
Iraola was then suddenly interrupted by a white parent, Tom Burtell, who said, “Then why didn’t you stay in Mexico?” Burtell’s statement drew audible gasps and shock from parents in attendance, many of whom turned to challenge him and his comments, then proceeded to ask him to leave.
He did not leave and doubled down on his racism, even going as far as to play the victim himself. “Try being white and walk in a black neighborhood, see what happens.”
[His son’s response]Matt Burtell, a former student of Saline High School, called out his own racist father on Facebook.
“Today my father asked a deliberately racist question at the Saline Area Schools diversity and inclusion meeting. His views of hate in no way represent my own.”
He added, “I stand in solidarity with the refugees and immigrants of the world.”
More media coverage behind the cut.
Diosito give me strength.
A Latino man was describing the abuse his children received at school.— Washington Examiner (@dcexaminer) February 4, 2020
Another parent yelled: "Why didn’t you stay in Mexico?” pic.twitter.com/IoPKQOKWAZ
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