A woman from Shreveport, Louisiana is outraged after a photo of her five-year-old son being held by two white teens was captioned on social media as “A Ghetto Christmas Carol.”
According to KTBS, Sharon Martin’s son was at a holiday event at Byrd High School, which was where the photo was taken. It’s not clear why or how the child got to the event. She was mortified when she saw a pic with an offensive caption.
“‘Ghetto Christmas Carol.’ Really? Ghetto?” she told KTBS. “Why? Because he’s Black? I don’t get it. I didn’t get it.”
She continued, “Like, why would they just write that? They could’ve left the ghetto part out and I would’ve been probably okay with it.”
Danny Martin, the child’s cousin, was also upset. “He’s 5 years old,” he told the station. “He doesn’t know what’s going on. He doesn’t know about all the comments, posts on social media. He doesn’t know that. So it’s my job as his cousin to protect him from seeing that and also to protect any other child that’s affected by this.”
Martin, who wasn’t at the party, says she never gave the school consent for photos to be taken of her son.
In a statement to KTBS, the mother of the teen who posted the photo on Instagram tried to defend their child’s actions. “Our son was referring to the title of a song that is popular among teens,” the statement said, insisting he didn’t intend to be “malicious or hurtful to anyone, especially the child photographed.”
She did admit that her and her husband believe cultural sensitivity counseling “is warranted” for their son.
The Caddo Parish School Board, the overseers of Byrd High School, also responded, claiming it’s taking “immediate action.”