How to keep a lid on ‘dark academia’ outfits
In the past year, we’ve seen a spate of new outfits from schools across the country that are encouraging kids to wear black to the academy.
It’s not just the academy itself, but the school and college coaches and administrators that need to take a stand.
As an organization, the Episcopal Academy of Texas has had its fair share of problems over the past couple of years.
Its football team is under investigation for allegedly not paying players their guaranteed salaries, for example.
The school’s basketball team, which recently won a national championship, has had several incidents of sexual misconduct on the field.
But, unlike the other incidents, the academy did not respond with a formal statement condemning these acts.
In addition, the organization has been criticized for not taking action when other organizations and institutions have made similar accusations of abuse against athletes, and for not standing up for players who have been victims of abuse themselves.
Some of these allegations have resulted in lawsuits against the academy and the school.
But it’s unclear how many of these lawsuits are successful.
A federal investigation into the Episcopal academy is underway, and the Episcopal school is under a state investigation into allegations that its coaches and students engaged in sexual misconduct.
But the issue of blackface and dark academia outfits is far more complex.
“The academy has always been a place where students, coaches, and parents come together and talk about issues related to race and ethnicity,” said Kate Anderson, executive director of the Episcopal Association, a parent group for Episcopalians.
I think the problem is more about the people who are participating in these outfits, and who are perpetuating the culture that is perpetuating racism and racism-related issues,” she added.
For many students, the blackface outfit and dark academic outfit represent a “toxic” environment where they’re told they’re not welcome and expected to be a certain way, Anderson said.
And as a black female who has attended the academy, I’m not the only one who has seen this happen.
In 2016, I was a student at the academy when the school hosted a Halloween party that featured an ensemble of Blackface students dressed as a clown.
After I was escorted out of the event, I heard stories from fellow students about the clowns that were dressed in blackface, and how they were told to be quiet or leave the hall, Anderson told me.
My fellow students told me that they felt like they were being told to not be who they were.
And when they did leave the building, the clown outfit was gone, she said.
The next day, I wrote an op-ed for the newspaper, telling the story of the incident, and I told the newspaper how I felt about the students who were dressed as clowns and how I would continue to be silent about these events because I don’t want to lose my kids at an academy that I love.
What do you think?
Do you think the blackfaced clown outfit and the dark academic outfits are part of a toxic environment for students?
Share your thoughts in the comments section below.
What do your peers think?
Is this a problem with the academy?
Do they think the costumes and the incidents are an isolated incident, or are there other instances of racial discrimination that you think might be a bigger issue?
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