Berkeley High School Students Walk Out Against Racist Message on School Computers

November 6, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |



From a reader:

On Wednesday, November 4, at Berkeley High, a disgusting racist threat appeared on the homepage of the school library’s computers: “I HUNG A NIGGER BY HIS NECK IN MY BACK YARD. FUCK ALL THE NIGGERS IN THE WORLD. KKK FOREVER PUBLIC LYNCHING DECEMBER 9th 2015.” This happened at 12:30 p.m. in the afternoon. But it wasn’t until almost 10:30 p.m. at night that the school principal, in response to widespread shock and outrage, sent out a mass email to the Berkeley High School (BHS) community calling for an investigation. 

Berkeley High School Walkout November 5, 2015

Over 1,000 Berkeley High School (California) students walked out November 5 to protest racist threats posted on school library computers. Photo: special to Revolution

Next morning, November 5, over 1,000 Berkeley High students of all nationalities/races, led by the Black Student Union, walked out and marched, chanting “Black Lives Matter!” to the UC Berkeley campus where they were joined by the UC Berkeley BSU and others. This march was filled with righteous anger about a situation where Black students are being made to feel unsafe in their own school.

This is a country where white-supremacist mass murder and arson fires happen at Black churches—and where killer cops can get away with murder just by telling the racist lie that “I feared for my life,” even if their victim was a 12-year-old-boy like Tamir Rice. Just like in the Jim Crow South, where every Black person lived under a death sentence that might or might not be carried out, and every Black person was traumatized with the fear of lynching. How much has changed???

Berkeley High school walkout November 5, 2015

Berkeley High School students march to UC Berkeley campus, November 5, 2015. Photo: special to Revolution

One BHS student who helped to lead the walkout told Revolution newspaper: “I wasn’t shocked, cuz I know the climate and the era that we live in. Even though people say racism happened 400 years ago, it’s still prevalent and it’s still alive today. Back in the day people be walking around with cloths on their head and really trying to kill you. Today they wear police badges and police uniforms and judge gowns, and they try to kill you that way. The system’s fucked up and we all know it.”

What will it take to get to a society where Black lives really DO matter? It will take an actual revolution, to uproot this whole capitalist-imperialist system which has been built on white supremacy since day one. And right now, people need to fight! Nothing has, and nothing ever will change without struggle. Police murder and racist terror must STOP, and everyone’s gotta pick a side!

As one BHS student said at the rally, “This cannot stop here. This is not enough. This is not the end game. At Berkeley High, in Berkeley, California, we set the trends. We gonna keep this going. I don’t care how long it takes. We will see change.”



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