Student suspended over racist Christmas Facebook rant

Once upon a time, before Facebook and the Internet, your stupid racist opinions used to only be your own. Because you lacked the ability to instantly communicate with 500 million people, it was unlikely that some poorly constructed half-thought would find its way into the minds of your peers. That’s all changed now, and it seems as though when given a soapbox to express themselves, many human beings are choosing to display their real colors, and the process isn’t always pretty.

Take the recent suspension of young Natasha Burge from her high school in Windsor, Ontario for these comments she posted on her profile:

Natasha Burge, 19, reposted a comment Nov. 3 saying those who feel offended by Christmas celebrations and the singing of the national anthem at school should “please feel free to go back to your own f—–g country.”

Burge goes on to suggest walking through Kennedy Collegiate dressed up as Santa and “screaming merry christmas to the arabs, pakis, towel heads and whatever other race that doesnt like it.”

“It’s ridiculous. I get suspended over something I believe in — we should be allowed to say, ‘Merry Christmas,’

Yeah, you might have gotten in trouble for saying “Merry Christmas”, although I have this crazy suspicion that your “arab/paki/towel head” comment might have been the real clincher. I guess this racist teen from Ontario doesn’t even realize that telling immigrants that they can go fuck themselves if they don’t like Christmas isn’t the kind of talk that promotes school spirit. Who would have guessed!

Now, some of you might be upset that this girl’s right to free speech has been violated, and feel that what a person writes on their own profile should remain a private matter. I’m inclined to agree, although it’s becoming increasingly clear that our online identities are quickly merging with our physical reality. If the school decides that bigoted, racist or otherwise disparaging comments on Facebook can affect the way their institution operates, it’s rather difficult to argue against it. Kids use Facebook to advertise their interests, their beliefs, and their thoughts. When you choose to make public what you believe, this can have profound consequences. All I can tell you for certain is this perception that your online life is private is quickly evaporating. There may come a time when all that shit talk you’ve been slinging on the Internet might come back to bite you in the ass. Post at your own risk, people!

Comments (10)

  • avatar

    Richard

    This is a public school? I dunno, I’m a little torn. Freedom of speech is not a thing to take lightly in my opinion, I think it should be protected at all costs as the most fundamental of rights. And this wasn’t even in school, it was on her facebook page so… ya, I’m against this. As much of a cunt she is being, she has the right to be.

  • avatar

    L.Long

    Well I know that his educational level (intelligence) is rather low as everyone with even a minor brain knows that the material IS NOT a towel but a small sheet of material, so ‘towel head’ is completely wrong, they are ‘sheet heads’. Some people are so ignorant ;-}.

    Really though the main problem is just ignorant bigotry. bigotry because so many just dislike any who are not ‘like me’, and ignorant because they do not realize that even if Cheeses was born 25Dec that does not change the facts that so may others share this same period.

  • avatar

    Nolan

    As Canadians we have limitations on free speech; section 13.1 of the Canadian Human Rights Act states that it is discriminatory to communicate by phone or Internet any material “that is likely to expose a person or persons to hatred or contempt.”

    Communicating racism and bigotry is against the law in Canada. Not that it should be; it’s a better world when the crackpots let us know where they stand, but they can’t because their remarks will be investigated by the ludicrous Canadian Human Rights Commission who are looking to stop people from being offended, and those of us looking to spread the word about the crackpots also do so in the shadow of the CHRC.

    Canadians like to parrot ‘freedom of speech’ and proceed as if we’re on the same level as the Americans, but the reality is quite different.

  • avatar

    Brandon

    Oh come on, she got suspended due to the fact that she said “Merry Christmas” which has now been BANNED from saying because it offends Muslims! As an Arab myself, I do not find “Merry Christmas” offensive at all but some people in the Arab/Muslim community have ruined it for the people by getting the word CHRISTMAS banned. What this student said was out of anger and not totally meant to offend. If anything, I believe that both parties in this have offended. Some Muslim’s have offended those who do in fact celebrate Christmas, and this girl might have offended those who are Muslim or those who are of Arab decent! But c’mon you can’t tell me that you haven’t once made a racist comment when you have gotten mad or any rude comment towards someone faith/background/way of life, atleast once in your life! Everyone has, so who cares what this girl said, shes a proud celebrator of CHRISTMAS and wants to wish people a Merry CHRISTMAS and NOT a happy holiday.

  • avatar

    Richard

    Sadly Nolan is right. I should have said “she should have the right to be a cunt.”

    It’s sad how fucking pathetic most people are when it comes to free speech. Say what you want about the US, but at least they don’t compromise on their fundamental rights. I wish Canada was more like the US in that respect. “Expose to contempt” my ass. Fucking disgraceful. We need to get our shit together. Of course most people just don’t seem to get it and are subsequently completely wrong on this issue, for whatever reason. They support the limitations of our freedoms under some idealistic notion that stopping people from speaking their minds will lead to a more peaceful society.

  • avatar

    BlueIndependent

    Well, as someone from the US, I also agree that suspending this person – meaning taking them out of a situation in which they will be exposed to reasonable affronts to her ignorance – is not the right way to go. The social pressure to reform would have been sufficient, and even if it wasn’t within school, her social circle would have shrunk greatly, limiting her in ways she wouldn’t have the foresight to have been able to predict. There are those that would sympathize with her, but their circles would be smaller as well.

    What this rant sounds like to me is the sentiments of those raising her, boiling over because of some perceived slight that isn’t actually there. I may be improperly implicating others for what this teenager has said, but it’s not a leap of sociology to think that the younger set represent some of their parents’/guardians’ behaviors. From my perspective, it seems there is this cottage political industry in Canada of importing the ravings of US-based right-wing lunatics, just to see if the charges work elsewhere.

    This WoC stupidity has gone on many year longer than the minute or so it took for the very concept to be uttered in decent company. In fact, WoC is now part and parcel of the holiday tradition for conservatives. Just think of that: A new tradition they’ve created to blame everyone else for disrespecting them, and to tell us to shut the hell up. What holiday spirit they have!

  • avatar

    Hell's Guardian

    When Muslims complain about Christians celebrating X-Mas, who’s the real intollerant? Can’t atheists realize that? Christians were there way before Muslims, Canada is not a major Islamic country, and immigrants should respect the host country’s culture anyways. If a Canuckian goes to the sandbox and assembles a Christmas tree he would be whipped in the humps – is that what you want to happen in Canada too?

  • avatar

    Ted

    Im glad she got suspended, Merry Christmas is the stupidest saying
    I find it very offensive, I wear a turban as its part of my culture but I wouldnt
    Force others in our city to wear them, eventho in brampton we are the majority.
    Just no need to feed this rubish to children, lose Merry Christmas and these dumb
    Trees, you would be killed in my country if u did this nonsense. White people you need
    To smarten up or go to the u.s where this is ok!

  • avatar

    Jimmy T

    Ted, you are the reason she should be able to say Merry Christmas as much as you should be able to say whatever cultural/religious greeting you want. It is intolerant people like you for whom we have to be vigilant of. You bring your cultural intolerance here and start promoting it and our country fails. If we were to start banning cultural sayings/expression I’m afraid you would lose. Your majority in Brampton will not help you in the rest of Canada. Your wearing of a turban will would be banned before the saying of Merry Christmas. I however want MY country to remain free for all if they want to say Merry Christmas or wear a turban. Maybe you do need to go back to your country so you can feel comfortable that we Canadians could be “killed for this nonsense”.

  • avatar

    Jimmy T

    P.S. I am a staunch atheist. Not even minutely agnostic.

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