Indiana School Speaker Under Fire After Telling Female Students If They Eventually Have To 'Get On A Pole,' Then That's Life
A community organization in Indiana is demanding an apology after Amp Harris' offensive comments.
September 27, 2019 at 2:01 pm
Students at Shortridge High School in Indiana are demanding an apology from community promoter Amp Harris after he compared them to Cardi B.
The students heard the comments during a 90-minute program which featured Harris, along with comedian Mike Epps and Indiana Pacers player Myles Turner.
Titled "Making the Right Play in Life," the event was supposed to uplift the students.
— IPS (@IPSSchools) September 26, 2019
Harris was talking about making sacrifices in life when he decided to use Cardi B as an example.
“Cardi B understood that in order for her to get to her destiny, she understood that [she] had to put a lot of work in," Harris said. "It’s not a glamorous job, I don’t wish none of you young ladies to get on a pole, but if you did, you gotta do what you gotta do.”
Harris' comments were met with groans from the crowd, but he continued to talk to the students and asked for respect.
"There are still guidelines that you have to follow," Harris said. "[Cardi B] took that we look [down] on and now she is speaking for people that are running for the President of the United States. That says a lot about Cardi B. That talks about her understanding of knowing what it takes and understanding that it might look bad today, but if you stay disciplined it's going to get better. "
Shortridge Now, a community organization which is representing the students, said Harris' comments perpetuate stereotypes about Black women.
Harris also addressed the girls and said most of them don't have respect for themselves.
“Ninety-nine percent of y’all do not have respect for yourselves,” Harris said. “You wouldn’t let boys say and do the things that they do [if you had self-respect].”
Shortridge Now said many girls were upset by the comments and the assumption that girls are asking for sexual harassment and assault from their male peers.
"This perpetuation of rape culture does not belong at Shortridge High School," Shortridge Now said. "The message of the panel reflected a culture of shaming of young women who had not followed the behaviors that the panelists conveyed as appropriate."
According to Shortridge Now's statement, the event also included several references to prayer which offended students who aren't Christians.
Shortridge Now said it's demanding an apology from the panelists and the IPS district administrators who put together the event. They're also urging IPS to cancel further plans to continue the program at other high schools.
According to Black Indy Live, this is the second time Harris angered community members in recent months.
Harris faced criticism for his comments during Black Expo when he said nobody in the community helped him get to where he was at, Black Indy Live reported.