An unnamed Florida high school teacher was placed under investigation after he was heard gaslighting students about his version of the history of slavery and the use of the n-word.
According to International Business Times, the TikTok footage was filmed by an African American student named Hector, who goes by @elnegrosabrosoo and attends Island Coast High School in Cape Coral, Florida.
In the video shot in selfie mode, the unseen AP government teacher was heard claiming that Black slaves were not whipped by White people.
Hector laughed at the claim, which prompted the teacher to threaten to kick the student out of the class.
After insisting they have an "honest conversation," the teacher went on to equate the n-word to "being ignorant."
"It doesn't have any other meaning in any other vocabulary other than 'You are a stupid person. You are not well read. You are not well-educated.' That's what it means."
The TikTok video was shared on Twitter by @davenewworld_2, which you can see below.
How is this guy a teacher https://t.co/mQFFr3uTQy— Fifty Shades of Whey (@Fifty Shades of Whey)1613317819.0
The n-word is defined as an offensive term on Merriam-Webster and is "used as an insulting and contemptuous term for a Black person" and "for a member of any dark-skinned race."
Twitter users took issue with the teacher in the video giving contradicting definitions of the racial slur.
@davenewworld_2 The n word just means ignorant? Perhaps originally? Maybe once upon a time in a galaxy far far away… https://t.co/knmglljYZx— Ari Fadakar (@Ari Fadakar)1613331974.0
@BennyG10001 @davenewworld_2 Slaves were whipped by slave owners. The “N” word has never meant “an ignorant person… https://t.co/R1IvMFKm0y— I’m Sheriff Wyatt Derp (@I’m Sheriff Wyatt Derp)1613332665.0
@Amara_deMachado ok but slave owners definitely cracked slaves with whips. that's like ...basic knowledge. why deny… https://t.co/CJ1DvoJoyU— sagiterrorist (@sagiterrorist)1613333869.0
@tinytrumphand @davenewworld_2 It’s also, and this is important to note, not even true. That’s a common rumor that… https://t.co/V4YElRgu3J— The Mayor of Christmas (@The Mayor of Christmas)1613328863.0
@davenewworld_2 And this is an AP course? All those students should boycott that class until teacher is fired. That… https://t.co/4vSjWc953i— Dana (@Dana)1613320366.0
@davenewworld_2 As a teacher, I’d be fired ON THE SPOT. Saddest part, he’s teaching an AP class. Our kids deserve better. PERIOD.— •* Ty *• (@•* Ty *•)1613318017.0
@davenewworld_2 As a civil rights attorney of 38 years let me share my experience: “BLACK students get gaslighted w… https://t.co/SrgNJA50N8— Cameron Spradling (@Cameron Spradling)1613321854.0
@davenewworld_2 This hurt my heart. That teacher using his power to intimidate, demean and threaten this student is… https://t.co/NvCjItzw2T— Laura P (@Laura P)1613322658.0
@davenewworld_2 I grew up around racists & I can assure the teacher that the word was not used as a pejorative that… https://t.co/MhHuVBf6MG— John Rutledge (@John Rutledge)1613328574.0
The high school posted a tweet to announce an investigation was underway.
"Thank you for the information we are aware and it is currently under investigation."
Thank you for the information we are aware and it is currently under investigation.— Island Coast High (@Island Coast High)1613343082.0
But many on Twitter suggested the video was evidence enough for the teacher's dismissal.
@ichighschool No investigation needed, as it is on video. This is appalling and highly illegal.. especially on SCHO… https://t.co/HzzVNtGVAP— trisha *･゜ﾟ (@trisha *･゜ﾟ)1613355636.0
@ichighschool As an educator, I am furious. Everything he said was blatantly false and dangerous. He should be removed!— Brian Bailey (@Brian Bailey)1613347939.0
@ichighschool As a teacher, I am utterly disgusted by this. It should be a crime for what this person said and THRE… https://t.co/hiKTNeFp3v— Ann B! (@Ann B!)1613358429.0
@ichighschool I look forward to the update that the teacher is no longer employed because what he did was ABUSIVE t… https://t.co/Ndu0oag3V9— WhereisthedamnRickmovie (@WhereisthedamnRickmovie)1613349852.0
According to Merriam-Webster, the belief that the n-word ever referred to "an ignorant person" is fallacious.
"There is a widespread belief that the original meaning of nigger, as defined in dictionaries, was 'an ignorant person,' and a related belief that current dictionary definitions describing its use as a hateful, racist epithet are a recent change."
"We do not know the source of those beliefs, but they are not accurate."
"The word was first included in a Merriam-Webster dictionary in 1864, at which time it was defined as a synonym of Negro, with a note indicating that it was used 'in derision or depreciation.'"
The American company added the slur's meaning has never applied to "an ignorant person" in any previous or subsequent dictionary they published.