Two white New Jersey girls turned civil rights icon Rosa Parks’ name into a racial slur to insult a black athlete after a rowing competition.
Myasia Joga says two rowers from another school racially harassed her Sunday after she was separated from her teammates on a jitney bus ride back to the other side of Lake Lenape after finishing their race, reported The Press of Atlantic City.
The 16-year-old Myasia, a junior at Absegami High School, hurried to catch up with her teammates after a race but decided to wait for the next shuttle bus after the first jitney became too crowded, and she rode with students from Mainland Regional High School.
“They thought that I was on the jitney, but I wasn’t,” Myasia said. “I waited for the last one to arrive. I got on there into the front seat in the front row and then the driver drove by and stopped, and that’s when the Mainland crew got on and crowded the bus, so I was like cornered in the front row.”
Myasia, the only girl on the bus, said two Mainland rowers called her “Rosa Parks,” referring to the black woman who famously refused to give up her seat to a white passenger in Montgomery, Alabama — and then called her the N-word.
“That was the most unforgettable few moments of my life and crew,” Myasia told WCAU-TV.
The teen and her mother tried to address the situation immediately after it happened, but they still haven’t gotten an apology.
“At that time I just wanted my daughter to feel comfortable,” said the girl’s mother, Uly’es Joga. “It could have possibly been settled there, but we waited an hour and a half for them to come, and they never came.”
Mainland Superintendent Mark Marrone told The Press that the school conducted an investigation immediately after learning of the allegations, and both girls have been disciplined.
“On behalf of the Mainland Regional High School, and especially the high school’s crew program, we would like to publicly apologize for the unacceptable comments made by two of our student athletes to an Absegami High School crew team member during an event this weekend,” Marrone said.
Myasia said the incident was uncomfortable and unforgettable.
“We row through it every day, every year,” she said.