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Ohio teacher tells black student: ‘We do not need another black president’

White Teacher Tells Black Student ‘We Don’t Need Another Black President’
White Teacher Tells Black Student ‘We Don’t Need Another Black President’
(credit: KAZUHIRO NOGI/AFP/Getty Images)

An Ohio teacher has been suspended for allegedly telling an African-American student that the country does “not need another black president.”

According to a report that appeared in CBS Cleveland on Thursday, the Fairfield City Schools Board agreed on Monday to suspend 13-year Freshman School teacher, Gil Voigt, without pay.

Fairfield City Schools Board President Dan Murray called the suspension the first necessary step for termination. Voigt has 10 days to ask for a hearing before the school board or a referee.

Murray also said:

He was talking to some students and said some things that were racially insensitive.”

We take diversity in our school district very seriously with tolerance of people who are different. We just felt this teacher had crossed the line.

Fairfield City Schools Superintendent Paul Otten told the Journal-News that the incident actually occurred earlier in the month when Voigt was addressing an African-American student who apparently had some presidential aspirations.

That is when Voigt reportedly told the African-American student: “We do not need another black president.”

Now the logical, follow-up response to this kind of comment about not needing another black president would be to ask the question: What kind of president does the country need? If a black president is politically undesirable, does that mean that the political opposite, another white president, is what the country needs?

Voigt and his supporters would probably argue that they are not necessarily saying that, but when every other president from George Washington to George W. Bush has been a white male, it is certainly plausible that another white president was being suggested by Voigt.

Telling an African-American student or any student that the country does not need a president who looks like them is preposterously questionable and absolutely unprofessional.

Basically, Voigt might as well have been telling the African-American student to go back to colored water fountains or to the proverbial back of the bus. Jim Crow would be proud.

Voigt’s comment sounds very much like a response to a question that radio host Rush Limbaugh asked in 2009, when he pondered: “Can this nation really have an African-American president?”

According to Limbaugh, “any criticism of an African-American president’s policies or statements or misstatements is racist, and that’s it!”

Although, conservatives across the board have not allowed these charges of racism to slow them down politically or rhetorically in their criticisms and sometimes outright attacks on President Obama.

And in response to Voigt’s comments, maybe the African-American student should have asked if the country needs another white president based on the most recent, political debacles of the previous Bush administration, because it flies in the face of the idea that the country will automatically do better under the stewardship of a white president.

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