A Rhode Island principal retired after a video of him making racist remarks became public. The source behind the video, which was apparently secretly recorded, sent the clip to a local television station and to the local branch of the NAACP.
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In the recording, Principal Jay Brennan — who has been at Bishop Hendricken High School for decades — remarks “that way I could take care of all of the n*****s and the k***s.” The clip does not show what Brennan said before or after that statement. When local station, WPRI, received the footage, they forwarded it to the president of the school.
In an email obtained by the Providence Journal, the school’s president told parents that the video clip is “under review” but added that it “has no context and Mr. Brennan was being secretly recorded.” It goes on to say that “clearly such language is inappropriate. We will not tolerate inflammatory language in any context.” The president also noted that Principal Brennan has “continually modeled the goal of diversity within the school and during his tenure, Bishop Hendricken has become the most diverse it has ever been in its history.”
The local bishop, Thomas J. Tobin, also weighed in on the controversy in a statement saying that he was “stunned and profoundly sorry” to learn about Brennan’s statements. He went on to say that “racism is a sin, a grave sin and expressions of racism will simply not be tolerated by any employee of the Diocese of Providence.”
Jim Vincent, who leads the Providence branch of the NAACP, told WPRI that “I just don’t think a person of that authority should be talking like that. No matter where, no matter when,” he went on to say “it hurts. It’s painful. It conjures up a past that was horrific for people both in the black and the Jewish community.”
It’s unclear when the video was recorded and Brennan has not released a statement.