White fragility is a hell of a drug.
It’s the origin story of “all lives matter.” It’s why white people who are just now discovering the existence of critical race theory—a thing that has existed in academia for decades and is backed by volumes of research—are now trying to ban it into oblivion without taking even a minute out of their day to research it for themselves. It’s why white people—despite always having been overwhelmingly represented in every aspect of our popular culture (TV, film, broadcasting, etc.) and in American history curricula—continue to decry the existence of Black media and entertainment platforms and Black History Month because: “How come there’s no White History Month?” And it’s why any kind of Black affirmation automatically sends a lot of them deep into their white teary-ass feelings.
Meet Heartland Middle School student Latrell Taft of Edmond, Okla. KFOR 4 reports that Edmond Public Schools officials have opened an investigation into a teacher who Latrell alleges called him “racist,” berated him, and launched into a fragile-ass tirade about the need for a White History Month because, apparently, she’s only awake in February and hibernates the other 11 months of the year. All of this was reportedly over a T-shirt Latrell wore to school that offended the teacher’s brittle, color-redacted sensibilities.
So what did the T-shirt read? Please tell me it was at least something worth the uproar. Tell me it read, “Kill Whitey,” or “Death to the non-melanated.” Hell, I’ll take a Coca-Cola brand T-shirt with “Be less white” written across the chest.
Nah, this can’t be right. Please—in the name of the father, the son and the holy King T’Challa of Wakanda—tell me this “educator” didn’t get her Confederate flag pantaloons all in a bunch over a T-shirt that read *checks notes* “Black King.”
“She said that if she had a shirt that said white queen it would have been racist,” Taft told KFOR. “Then after that, she said we need a white history month. I said Black people don’t have enough recognition and we barely learn about Black people in February at my school.”
Where on Angela Bassett’s green Earth do white people find the caucasity?
Even if you subscribe to the idea that Black people can be racist towards white people, how exactly is a shirt with two words that don’t even mention white people racially offensive? Why is it so hard for them to understand that because they haven’t been taught in schools that their entire history in America began with slavery and ended with Martin Luther King Jr., there’s no context for them to affirm whiteness through phrases like “White Queen” or king?
But Latrell said the display of conservative snowflake-dom didn’t end there. He told KFOR that the majority of his classmates sided with the white supremacist who signs their report cards.
“He does have peers who look like him, but very few,” Latrell’s mother, Melisa Shirley, said. Shirley added she was initially “brushed off” after she alerted school officials to the teacher’s conduct but within 24 hours, Edmond Public Schools released the following statement:
“Edmond Public Schools is aware of an incident in a classroom at Heartland Middle School involving a district employee and a 7th-grade student who wore a t-shirt featuring an outline of Africa and the words ‘Black King’ written on the front.
Upon becoming aware of the incident, the school site and the district began a prompt investigation which is ongoing. District staff is also in contact with the parent of the student.
If it is determined that the student was the target of discrimination, bullying, or racism, appropriate and swift action will be taken as required by District policy.
Edmond Public Schools prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, national origin, disability, and religion, and complies with all federal and state civil rights laws. Furthermore, the district has taken numerous steps to address discrimination in Edmond schools, including providing professional development for staff on the issue of unconscious bias and ensuring equity for all. The district administration is continuing to assess the need for more training and professional development in this important area.”
Latrell told ABC affiliate KOCO 5 that he “felt embarrassed and left out” as he witnessed his classmates ganging up on him and joining the teacher in calling him racist and expressing their own fragile-ass needs for a White History Month.
So much for racism dying off with older generations of white people. White fragility is apparently passed on to the youth like old hand-me-downs.
It’s not surprising, just frustrating for our Black kings and queens.