Some painful subjects in this post.

I have no instructions for how to do this.

How to help.

What to teach.

How to go forward.

I am Cassandra: I warn and am shunned because it’s too dangerous and toxic.

I didn’t go nearly far enough.

But here’s the glaring issue with this: it would seem a collective, outspoken, and dangerous group of white parents openly encourage this with their children.

Kyle’s mom drove him there. Kyle’s mom cried her white lady tears. Kyle is the problem, yes, but the bigger issue is the white parents. Fathers who fly big, hate flags on their trucks, bumper stickers with call our Vice President a misogynist slur, continued, flagrant messaging of violence polluting the blue suburban skies with smoke and fire of hate.

That one I did not see coming, and feel ashamed and angry. But how did I miss this? They were right in front of me. Many of my thoughts these past few weeks are how and why I do not fit in with the “culture” of teaching right now. It’s taken me by surprise, too. I’ve spent my whole life navigating new schools, friendships, relationships, colloquialisms, customs, and the unwritten rules of hierarchies, and one missing chunk of my life schooling was how to deal with white women.

For example, years ago a white middle school boy kept showing pictures of Hitler to his Black classmates. He also had a sexualized train (choo-choo train) image on his desktop. The WW admin dismissed it as “just a train.” He did have a conversation with me about the Hitler photos. No consequences, though. He said his uncles told him all about Hitler, etc. Now here I am, a teacher he trusts, and I have no resources except my own guidance to help him.

But there are thousands of him out there, and white parents are growing increasingly more comfortable and empowered to support white supremacy.

Jump to the present day. Just taking stock on what I can do and consider; I keep reading, practicing, and bringing resources that are offered with love and gratitude. The gifts of knowledge from educators are bountiful. I am going to allow myself to rage at the slow progress of others. Just a bit. Because as Dr. José Medina reminds me, we’re all hot messes. And keep working.

I am resigned to never fully understanding the pioneer woman culture (this is an archetype I dreamed up and would like to explore further, so be patient with me). Oh, I might understand it, but will never accept it. The Pioneer Woman is Kyle’s mother. She’s the wife of the sports anchor. She’s the admin who won’t let me discuss the Mask You Live In*. She’s the PTA president who’s only present during the one year her white child is in the building. She’s everywhere.

But so am I.

Not sure how to close this post. There is no completion, really. Just promise me — we’ll be here together.


PS I tried to get an admin to use the Mask You Live In and it was promptly dismissed (see Pioneer Woman)*

2 thoughts on “defaced

  1. This is brilliant, once again. The problem isn’t Kyle. The problem is Kyle’s parents and mostly Kyle’s mother. You don’t drive your racist under age child to a protest march with a loaded gun. You don’t teach your child to hate. The problem is white women who take so much joy in beating black children that there was a law excusing it. I don’t care if you are the best bake sale PTA mom. I don’t want you in my school if you aren’t there for EVERY child.


    1. My husband hadn’t been following the story, simply to try to keep his peace and blood pressure down. I shared the details last night and the first question he asked was, “Why isn’t his mother in jail?”


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