A New York student thought he was finally going to get his senior sweater to commemorate his last year in high school, but was sadly turned away after the administration revealed a shocking policy. According to the New York Daily News, the 17-year-old student whose name is Malcolm Xavier Combs, was prohibited from getting a sweater with “Malcolm X” embroidered on the back. Sure, that is an abbreviation of Combs’ name, but the school reportedly would not allow the customization due to the activist Malcolm X’s controversial history.
Christ The King High School official, Veronica Arbitello, reportedly pulled Combs out of class after finding out about his customized request. Arbitello reportedly told him that Malcolm X is someone that Combs doesn’t “want to be associated with,” NY Daily News reports.
“All I wanted was the X. My name is Malcolm Xavier Combs,” he told the publication. Combs also stated that Arbitello made fun of his name, telling her husband – who is the basketball coach at the high school – that he is the “new Malcolm X.” “I felt insulted,” Combs stated. “They just laughed at me… That’s my name.” Combs has since cancelled his order for the $40 sweater.
Combs’ parents have reportedly contacted the school administration to set up a meeting to discuss the situation. They have also invited Reverend Al Sharpton’s National Action Network (NAN) to attend the meeting. “This is absurd that in 2018 we have to teach school administration how to be culturally sensitive,” said the Rev. Kevin McCall, of NAN. “In the spirit of Malcolm X, we are calling cultural inclusion events with this school administration so that they can understand what it means to be black in America.”
“I’m asking for a legacy for the African-American students who come in after my son, so they won’t be ridiculed for their culture,” Combs’ mother, Mychelle told NY Daily News. “Malcolm X not only represented African-Americans, he also represented Muslims. I wonder if she has a problem with them as well.”