A white Illinois teenager has been disciplined nearly two years after he listed his Black schoolmate as a “slave for sale” on the popular selling platform, Craigslist.
The Naperville Central high school student, who has remained unnamed because he is a juvenile, was hit with two years’ probation and 100 hours of community service by Judge Anthony Coco after entering a guilty plea to two counts of felony hate crime and one count of misdemeanor disorderly conduct, DuPage County State’s Attorney Robert B. Berlin said in a press release.
Judge Coco also ordered the young man to undergo any counseling that seemed fit.
“Hate crimes have no place in a civilized society and will not be tolerated, regardless of the accused’s age,” Berlin stated. “Studies show that the victims of hate crimes can suffer from depression, increased anxiety, low self-esteem and insecurity among other things.”
He continued, “Everyone deserves the right to feel safe and welcome in our communities and my office will continue to charge and prosecute anyone, regardless of age, who engages in this type of behavior.”
The ad showed the Black student in what appeared to be a cafeteria under the words “Slave for sale (Naperville)” with the caption “Hardworking thick n—er slave. For da low.” It later went viral.
Classmates approached the Black student offering a dollar to buy him. “I’ll buy you for a dollar,” said one student.
The victim’s mother, Tamara Wallace, told local news station WLBT at the time that the two boys were once close friends and this wasn’t the first incident involving the unidentified young man.
“It seemed like in a matter of one post, everything that I’ve taught my child about his skin color, just seemed like it was diminished,” she told reporters.
Wallace also wanted more to be done. “When I heard about it, I thought the police should’ve been called,” she explained. “When the police heard about it, they felt like they should’ve been called.”
Shortly after the incident, Principal Bill Wiebrook sent a letter to parents informing them that the school was “aware of a racially insensitive electronic post and worked as quickly as possible to investigate and address this with the students involved.”
He maintained that “The sentiment being displayed is not reflective of NCHS” and that they hold “students accountable for their behavior, which includes appropriate disciplinary consequences.”