The student news of St. Paul Academy and Summit School

The Rubicon

The student news of St. Paul Academy and Summit School

The Rubicon

The student news of St. Paul Academy and Summit School

The Rubicon

Ahead of summer programming, Moore addresses use of slurs within community

America & MOORE founder Eddie Moore, Jr. spoke at an assembly during X-period on May 15 in his first of two appearances on campus this year. His focus? To address the use of racial slurs. The program, titled “The Power/History of The N!Word: Is There a Message in the Madness?” invited discussion about the misconceptions around the origin of this racial slur while emphasizing its power to commit harm, one that Moore believes is greater than any other word.
“I think education and awareness are the best steps towards improving [the issue of racial slurs], which is why I think the assembly was really good for that,” junior Madelyn Moser said.
Moore is a motivational speaker and educator who has appeared on Wisconsin Public Radio and in the film I’m not Racist… Am I?
America & MOORE provides DEI training to strengthen antiracism within its clients, along with the White Privilege Conference and The Privilege Institute.
On the day preceding the assembly, Moore spoke with faculty, leadership teams and intercultural life groups on the Randolph and Davern campuses to discuss the use of prejudicial slurs in the community, review racial harassment policies, and answer questions.
“Dr. Moore was trying to promote… that this word should not be used,” Director of Intercultural Life Naomi Taylor said.
Moore proposed the possibility of a policy explicitly prohibiting the word’s use in the community, with the exception of allowing it in educational texts with the correct framing around it prior to reading. While SPA already has a racial harassment policy that the n-word follows under, this could be a separate, more specific policy.
Taylor anticipated that such a policy may raise the question of “..are there going to be other words or groups of words that people can say? Do [they] want a specific policy to a specific word being used, whereas can we have one that’s comprehensive knowing [what] falls under that?”
Seeking to destigmatize what he deemed a critical conversation, Moore kept the audience engaged with jokes while imploring them to reflect on the use of the slur within the school environment and the broader world.

I think that uses of racial slurs and racism, both indirect and direct, are prevalent in our community.

— Serene Kalugdan

“I think there was so much to unpack in terms of not only the history, but where [the n-word] shows up… and I think also breaking some myths. Like there’s a large myth out there that it’s derived, and encouraged and used from rap music. And in fact, it was used over 200 years prior to that,” Taylor said.
By exploring the use of the word within popular culture, especially the genre of rap music, Moore encouraged the audience to challenge their assumptions about its impact, especially on impressionable minds.
Drawing from his own experience, he revealed the images he had internalized from hearing the word throughout his life, stating that he always believed there was an ideal he had to live up to. He then encouraged the community to reflect on the pictures and feelings they associated with the slur, emphasizing that racism is taught rather than an intrinsic quality. As the assembly neared the end, Moore speculated on a final question: Can the use of the n-word ever be entirely eradicated?
Moore’s intended takeaway for the community was a sense of awareness and responsibility to understand the word’s history and how to interrupt it.
“If you are using that word, you’re understanding why you’re using that word and the implications of that. And the consequences that could follow,” Taylor said.
Before the assembly’s end, Taylor stepped onstage to remind the school community that Moore came to campus partially because of a tangible need: the use of slurs is a reality on campus. As students and faculty members filed out of the Huss auditorium, they were left to reflect on these words.
“I think that uses of racial slurs and racism, both indirect and direct, are prevalent in our community,” junior Serene Kalugdan said. “…since SPA’s staff and student body are dominated by white people, a lot of these issues are often filtered or belittled.”
This summer, Moore will return to campus for the AntiRacist Educator BootCamp, a three-day program designed to assist educators in addressing and disrupting systems of oppression in school. The BootCamp, in collaboration with America & MOORE and The Privilege Institute, takes place on the Randolph campus July 29-31.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
About the Contributor
Johanna Pierach
Johanna Pierach, In Depth Editor
My name is Johanna Pierach (she/her). I’m the In Depth Editor for The Rubicon. At school, I’m involved in the Junior Class Leadership Council, HerSpace, IRIS, and KnitWits. I also compete for the Cross Country, Nordic, and Track teams. I love to thrift and go to concerts. I can be reached at [email protected].

Comments (0)

Comments are welcomed on most stories at The Rubicon online. The Rubicon hopes this promotes thoughtful and meaningful discussion. We do not permit or publish libel or defamatory statements; comments that advertise or try to sell to the community; any copyrighted, trademarked or intellectual property of others; the use of profanity. Comments will be moderated, but not edited, and will post after they are approved by the Director of RubicOnline.  It is at the discretion of the staff to close the comments option on stories.
All The Rubicon Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.