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Boston museum sorry for racist ’no watermelons’ remark

  • 24 May 2019
  • Author: QT01
  • Number of views: 794
Boston museum sorry for racist ’no watermelons’ remark
The Boston Museum of Fine Arts has apologised after a teacher alleged her group of pupils suffered racist language and treatment during a visit.
Marvelyne Lamy said staff had followed the black and other minority 12 and 13-year-olds, yelling at them not to touch exhibits while ignoring white groups.
She said staff told the group: "No food, no drink, and no watermelon."
The term dates back to the US civil war and is considered derogatory when used in relation to the black community.
Boston Mayor Marty Walsh said the comments made by staff were "incredibly disturbing".
Ms Lamy, an English teacher at the Davis Leadership Academy in Boston, complained about the "racial profiling" of her class of black and minority pupils in a Facebook post. It has been shared more than 1,000 times.
"We were instructed not to touch any of the artefacts in the museum, yet the white students there touched the displays several times while security looked on without saying anything," she said.
"The minute one of our students followed suit, the security guards would yell at them that they should not touch exhibits."
Her students became agitated because of this treatment and she gathered them to leave as a result, she said.
Visitors at the museum also made racist and derogatory remarks about the pupils, Ms Lamy said.
"The worse part about all of this is seeing the hurt look on my children's faces as this was their first time experiencing racism first hand," she said.
In an open letter, the museum apologised and said Ms Lamy and her pupils had "encountered a range of challenging and unacceptable experiences that made them feel unwelcome".
The museum said it was investigating the incident and was "committed to being a place where all people trust that they will feel safe and treated with respect", they said.
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