Other white women teachers. A word, please?
This teacher TikTok personality is receiving just criticism for her ageist, ableist, and appropriating AAVE.
A few of my favorite teacher friends on Twitter posted about her, and that’s the only reason why I saw her TikToks.
At one point in her life, she might have been popular, considered cool, funny, and a good friend. But nothing about her TikToks tell that story. Her work shows a racist bully, someone who is shallow and needy. And I’m not going to check her ID to verify if she’s really GenZ, anymore than I want her to weigh in about my age.
Her responses to criticisms are as defensive as her blatant white supremacy and privilege. She’s a brat.
Lynn Rice Scozzafava, among many others on Twitter, summed it up:
Let’s see:— Lynn Rice Scozzafava (@MrsScozzafava) August 4, 2021
Appropriation of AAVE ✅
Ableist handle ✅
Just overall horrid content✅✅✅
And for all that, I think the thing that strikes me the most is how racists use “joking” or comedy as their defense, and that someone those of us who criticize or ask for a reflection/apology are somehow deficit in our senses of humor. This teacher isn’t a comedian. She’s cringy. She’s “punching down” which is comedic death. It’s never funny. We’re still in the “stop hitting yourself” nation.
And while skilled comedians and satirists punch “up,” if what Meghan Mayer thinks she’s doing is ‘relatable’ to her students, she’s just wrong. She’s in the position of authority. She’s the white woman in the room using her privilege to appropriate and mock students. She is punching down, and hard, at her students. And to the other adults surrounding her and encouraging her, you’re just as complicit.
I’ve said some things to students that weren’t okay. “Jokes” that hit a sour note, didn’t land, and just plain hurt. I am not asking for absolution, atonement, or forgiveness. There is no forgiveness, there is only learning and geniune apologies, and the acknowledgement that I am wrong. And even if everyone in the room is laughing that doesn’t mean the humor isn’t mean spirited and downright cruel. The time of cruelty is still a marker of this epoch. The Meghans of the world are probably not going to change, reflect, and apologize. Their dopamine levels are too plugged into their power in their brains to do any of that.
And when these kinds of people don’t recognize the harm they do, or stop to reflect, or apologize, they may think they’ve gotten away with something. She took her big hurt back to TikTok:
There are plenty of teachers and educators on social media who have wonderful things to say and share. Let’s just consider and agree that if our humor is punching down, we’re stooping pretty damn low if teachers are aiming at children.