Although the latest story of blatant racism making national headlines hails from New York, roots can be traced back to the Greater Philadelphia Region.
Aaron Schlossberg, the attorney receiving backlash from all sides following his tirade inside a Midtown Manhattan eatery, is actually a Philadelphia native who attended prestigious all-boys Main Line preparatory, the Haverford School.
According to Schlossberg’s LinkedIn page, he attended the institution from 1983-94 – essentially kindergarten to 12th grade – and was a part of the school’s cum laude society.
It’s a dark spot on a school that is proactively working to create a more diverse and inclusive environment, as reported in Haverford School’s own student newspaper, The Index.
A report in the publication dated March 8, highlighted an assembly that was held in the aftermath of what the administration referred to as “increasing concerns over the use of racially insensitive language both on and off [campus] and some reports of some social situations in which there were exclusionary practices, perhaps attributed to race,” according to the school’s dean of students, Mark Fifer.
It was also noted that in the months leading up to the assembly, led by Fifer, Matt Green, head of Haverford’s Upper School, which serves students from grades 8-12, and English school teacher Luqman Kolade, the administration noted an “uptick of complaints about racial slurs and racially insensitive language.”
A historically predominantly white institution, only 28 percent of its makeup caters to students of color. However, the school does offer grants and scholarships at a rate of $7.7 million in need-based tuition assistance with an average grant of $23,000 annually. The school itself can run upward of $38,000 annually to attend grades pre-K to 12.
Schlossberg is the antithesis of what the school is trying to represent, but arguably its most extreme case of an alumnus tied to the ongoing saga of racism, bigotry and anti-equality sentiment empowered by the election of Donald Trump as president. Schlossberg’s most recent tirade is just among a slew that have been uncovered since the story broke.
He’s attended white nationalist rallies, allegedly assaulted people on the streets of Manhattan, spewing insensitive comments, and has routinely berated Hispanics, his latest inside that Fresh Kitchen, upset over employees talking to a customer in Spanish.
But it’s probably the story of Willie Morris, that arrives as one of the more shocking run-ins with Schlossberg. Morris took to YouTube to recall an encounter he’d had with Schlossberg in 2016, where the attorney threatens to call the police on Morris – a recurrence we’re now finding a theme among racists in America – in addition to hurling insults at Morris, most notably calling the Massachusetts-born man an “ugly fucking foreigner.”
Morris took it in stride, saying after the video was posted about Schlossberg’s ugly fucking foreigner comment: “the first part is debatable, but the second part is not.”‘
In the aftermath of the Starbucks incident in which two African-American males were taken into custody by police after a manager called the cops on them for using the bathroom without purchasing anything, there was a hope that Philly wouldn’t have another tie to a incident of racism and insensitivity on a national scale.
However, it looks like the Greater Philadelphia Region sadly has to claim ties to educating the latest embarrassment to society.