A handful of songs posted to popular music sharing site SoundCloud are under investigation by a Maryland school district after students flagged the songs for racially offensive lyrics.
Students at Mardela Middle and High School in the town of Mardela Springs alerted teachers to the songs, which contained “extremely offensive” and racist rhetoric, local station WBOC reported. School officials then contacted the Wicomico County Board of Education to investigate.
The songs, posted by a SoundCloud user “Lil Plantation,” included titles like “Whips Don’t Hurt ‘Em,” “Whip Hands Free” and “All Slaves Are The Same.”
“The whips won’t hurt them,” the lyrics to “Whips Don’t Hurt ‘Em” read. “New n—–s keep picking my crops, but the slaves can’t touch me so I’m not worried. All alone, living on my own so I show no mercy, I show no mercy.”
The song continues: “Whip my plants and the slaves keep screaming ‘please don’t whip me, please don’t whip me.’ Yeah.”
Activist Jaamad Gould, who graduated from Mardela High, condemned the offensive lyrics.
“The fact that you’re comfortable telling people to listen to something that you know is derogatory, that you know is offensive, that you know is something that you know you shouldn’t be saying,” Mardela said of the songs’ author. “And you’re laughing and joking about it that, to me, speaks on what his mind state is.”
The school board is now investigating who might be behind the racist media, though many in the community suspect it was uploaded and shared by a Mardela student. The songs have since scrubbed from the website.
“Glad they took it off the site,” a Facebook user commented. “Hateful trash kids … check some of those mainstream lyrics while we are looking at these problems.”
“Those lyrics contain hate speech,” another user wrote. “It is obvious that there are those out there who don’t agree, or want to ignore that fact and that’s showing something bad on their part. I’m glad my parents didn’t raise a racist …”
Critics questioned why the school board was investigating in the first place, while others argued that the lyrics, while offensive, are constitutionally protected speech.
“What I don’t understand how does this have anything to do with Mardela High School?” one woman wrote. “If someone did this on their own private time then why is the school involved? I personally think is another way to try and make MHS look bad.”
“This is a slippery slope when it comes to the first amendment,” another user chimed in. “Just keep that In mind when calling to ban songs with offensive lyrics.”
Looking on the bright side, Gould told WBOC said he hopes this controversy will spark much-needed discussions about racism in the community.
“This is in our community because kids do not hate people based on the color of their skin from birth, it’s something that they learned,” he said. “Which means that their parents who live in this community are teaching that to their kids.”
Wicomico County School district officials said the person(s) behind the racist songs will be held accountable and disciplined “in accordance with the code of conduct.”
For now, local authorities are not involved and said matter is being handled solely by the school district.
Watch more in the video below.
Three songs posted to the music sharing site, Soundcloud are currently under investigation by the Wicomico County Board of Education.
Posted by Brooke Reese WBOC on Tuesday, January 8, 2019