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Linda White, Mississippi Science Teacher, Under Fire For Calling Obama ‘A Muslim’

29 October 2012 Huffington Post 5 Comments Email This Post Email This Post

Linda White, Mississippi Science Teacher, Under Fire For Calling Obama ‘A Muslim’

Eighth grade science teacher Linda White is under fire for calling President Barack Obama Muslim.

According to Myisha Lewis-Reed, the mother of a student at Clinton Junior High School in Mississippi, White told her students that president should not be re-elected because he’s Muslim, WJTV reports. Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney, however, should be elected to office because he’s “a good Christian.”

To be sure, Obama is Christian and has spoken widely about his faith.

While school officials agree with Lewis-Reed that White’s comments were not appropriate for the classroom, Superintendent Phil Burchfield did not provide comment to the station on how White will be disciplined.

Over the years, particularly during election season, educators have repeatedly sparked controversy for bringing politics into the classroom. In 2009, a video surfaced of students from a Burlington, N.J. “singing the praises of President Obama.” The song was reportedly part of a school project, and included lines like “Obama loves the little children,” touting the president’s “great plans” to “make this country’s economy No. 1 again.”

The principal reportedly received death threats as a result, and the state department of education launched an investigation into the incident.

In May, Spencer, N.C. teacher Tanya Dixon-Neely was placed on paid suspension after she was caught on tape telling a student that he could be arrested for saying negative things about the president. In the video that subsequently went viral on the Internet, the student says that Obama and Romney are “just men.” The North Rowan High School social studies teacher disagreed.

“Listen, let me tell you something, you will not disrespect the president of the United States in this classroom,” Dixon Neely is heard saying. “Do you realize that people were arrested for saying things bad about Bush? Do you realize you are not supposed to slander the president?”

And just this month, Philadelphia high school sophomore Samantha Pawlucy made national headlines after geometry teacher Lynette Gaymon mocked the student for waring a Mitt Romney T-shirt. The geometry teacher at Charles Carroll High reportedly told the teen to take her shirt off because she’s in a “Democratic school,” adding that wearing the pro-Romney shirt is analogous to the teacher, who is black, wearing a KKK shirt.

The educator received death threats following the incident and has since apologized for her remarks, but Samantha and her siblings are still transferring from Carroll High. Romney also made a personal phone call to the family, but Samantha missed the gesture.

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5 Comments »

  1. Salaam,

    As a native Mississippian, and human, and a Jew, I find this deplorable. First of all I don’t care what religion our President is (or even if he/she doesn’t have one) as long as the job gets done.

    President Obama happens not to be of the Islam faith but that’s a moot point.

    When an 8th grade public school teacher feels cart blanche to instruct of such absurdities, it is damaging, not just to her, not just to the students, but the entire state.

    The state relies on tourism. Can you imagine planning a family trip if you’re from anywhere and saying, “Wow, cool, lets choose Ms as that’s where the Islamophobes live!!”

    I read somewhere that 30+% of Mississippians believe President Obama is Muslim.

    I always like to ask them, “Does it matter to you that Muhammad Ali or Kareem Abdul Jabbar (two of America’s most beloved sports heroes) are Muslim?

    To them “Well that’s very different”.

    OK then.

    If you have Tweetdeck, start a thread “Mississippi” and you’ll see how this kind of thing, African American racism, closing womens health care facilities, etc is keeping tourists far far away from Ms. When I left, I spent a lot of wasted energy defending my beloved home state. It had come such a dramatically long way since the 1960’s.

    I finally gave up and admitted I was wrong What a waste of 3 long years of trying to convince the world it had truly changed. It has, in a very small way (since the 1960s) but nowhere what I thought.

    I still see the dog whistles about President Obama and realize much of the racism is still there, it is just it’s wrapped in pinstiped suits, the sheets are in the closet.

    If it is any consolation I know plenty of Christians, Jews and a myriad of other religious persons there who don’t have this kind of hate. They simply don’t have a voice anymore either for fear of being blacklisted.

    Sincerely,

    Rick

  2. Teachers are supposed to be good role model to our children,it just shows how racist some people are …..The school teacher need to do some research and put her religion aside ,to think she’s a christian I done heard it all .

  3. @ LTCCartoons I’m sure the the teacher truly believes Obama is a muslim, and that this reality poses a threat to the nation. This campaign started in earnest even before his election, when millions of an anti Islamic DVD were mass mailed to the American electorate. Since then, the GOP and Tea Party have continued to package him as a sinister leader who is actively working to destroy the American way of life, and promote Sharia at every turn. Sound familiar?

    Sadly, you can find active Islamaphobes from CA to VA. And too many US congressmen spew the same hysterical rhetoric. This past summer, Joe Walsh went on a tirade about the certainty of another 9-11 days after the Sikh tragedy. His remarks were followed, coincidentally, by two attacks at muslim places of worship, in the immediate Chicago vicinity where he spoke.

    Yes, racism in many forms, is still entwined in our American culture and institutions. But citizens are in denial about this reality; 70% of the population think it does not exist anymore or is not a problem.

    So is the teacher speaking out of true hate or ignorance? Is she a victim of poor education herself? For that possibility I hold out hope, as that equation is subject to change, by the majority, like you and me, who seek to live in peace with their community, reagrdless of the details of any one person’s identity or life circumstance.

    Salaam.

  4. Not voting for Obama is not about being Muslim but being a Black intelligent MAN. The teacher didn’t want to be open about that so she used the religion to discriminate the President. America must face the truth and stop being a racial SICK country.

    God bless OBAMA, God bless America

  5. who cares what religion or race he is, he is still screwing up this country.

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