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Cher offers to help sue after black security guard is fired for using N-word ‘justifiably’

(Photos: Screengrab/Dominik Bindl/Getty Images)

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Hundreds of students in one Wisconsin community protested this week after their high school terminated a black security guard and father of three for the apparently dire sin of asking a misbehaving youth to stop calling him a racial slur.

“Marlon Anderson was a security assistant here at West High School for three years,” a reporter with Madison station WISC reported Thursday. “He worked within the district for 11 years. He has three sons, one who is president of the Black Student Union here at West.”

“Several students, supporters of Anderson and Anderson himself say he never should have been fired because he was just using the n-word asking a student to call him the n-word.”

The problem, apparently, is that Anderson used the n-word himself when asking the unnamed student, also black, to stop using the word in referencing him.

In a statement e-mail to parents on Thursday, school principal Karen Boran wrote that “racial slurs are not acceptable in our schools,” period:

But Anderson and his supporters, including students at West High School, have pushed back on the school’s draconian policy decision by arguing that context does matter.

In a viral Facebook post uploaded after his termination, Anderson explained that after being called a “b—-h a– n—a” by an unnamed student, he responded by saying, “Do not call me n—a.”

Speaking with WISC, he said that he made a “conscious decision” at the time to use the n-word when responding to the troublesome kid so as to convey an important point.

“Anderson knows the power of words to lift students up,” WISC reported, adding that he has a habit of saying things like “You’re the best,” “You’re the greatest” and “You can conquer the world” to the students because he loves kids.

Listen to the station’s interview with him below:


(Source: WISC)

When Anderson used the word that got him fired, he was hoping to again employ the power of words to get the student calling him the n-word to stop.

“That’s part of my passion. I love kids. … I made a conscious decision to address the word because it is an epidemic. Our kids use it every day,” he said.

And for some reason, the district appears to tolerate their use of the term.

“You have no tolerance for a word, but yet you let students call me that word 15 times without correcting that behavior,” he said.

As of Saturday afternoon, he remained fired, though efforts by students and other locals, including his former colleagues, to get him rehired were actively underway.

“Hundreds of students — as well as dozens of West High teachers and staff — walked from the high school on Regent Street to the Madison Metropolitan School District’s Doyle Administration Building on Dayton Street near the Kohl Center,” local station WMTV reported.

“Protesters on Friday called school officials to reexamine the tolerance policy, which they say can be unfair to minorities.”

Students and parents alike also launched a Change.org petition that was up to over 10,000 signers by noon Saturday.

Claudia Mena, a West High student who reportedly helped organize the walkout, said that the goal wasn’t just to get Anderson’s job back but to also address the underlying racism inherent in students’ frequent use of the n-word.

“We’ve seen a lot of racism not just at West [High School] but all around Madison. And so this is really starting to say that racism needs to end in Madison,” she said.

The irony is that the district genuinely believes it’s the one fighting racism via its policies, never mind the fact that its policies have led to a black father of three winding up unemployed, as noted by Christian Schneider, whose daughter attends West High School:

Anderson has reportedly filed an appeal through Madison Teachers Inc, a local teachers’ union.

And he’s got a new temporary gig to keep him busy until (and if) he gets his job back.

“Also on Friday, the Boys & Girls Club of Dane County said it has hired Anderson as their new Director of Program Operations. His first day on the job is Monday, and the position will be available until Anderson can get his old job back,” WMTV reported.

This story has also gotten the attention of Cher, a world-renowned actress and singer who posted on Twitter in support of Anderson. She even offered to pony up the cash for legal fees if the man felt like suing the school district.

Invoking the memory of the recently-deceased Democratic Representative Elijah Cummings, Cher expressed her extreme disappointment that a man of color would be fired from his job for asking a student not to use a racial slur.

Twitter users lauded her decision to stand up for Anderson:

Vivek Saxena

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