Halloween always brings out the best in people. If by “best,” I mean “worst.” There’s the blackface. There’s the exploitation of culturally sacred Native American headdresses. And then there’s the group of Idaho teachers who decided it would be a great idea to dress up as a border wall and Mexicans and then TO POST IT ON THE DISTRICT’S SOCIAL MEDIA PAGE.
I wish I were kidding.
Some of Idaho’s Middleton Elementary School staff are today’s Racists of the Moment. Seven of them dressed up as a border wall with the words “Make America Great Again” splayed across it in none other than patriotic red, white, and blue lettering. Worse? A group of them also dressed up as Mexicans, with one woman going so far as to advertise her intentions with the word “MEXICAN” emblazoned across her sombrero.
Thanks for the clarification, Becky.
And are you ready for this? I don’t think you’re ready for this. THE IMAGES ACCOMPANIED A POST CELEBRATING THE SCHOOL’S “RESPECT character winners.” Respect, you say? Oh, the irony. It burns.
The images drew significant ire from community members, and the post has since been deleted. But we all know that once it’s on the internet, it’s there forever. Several people grabbed screenshots before the images’ deletion. That wasn’t very good premedatative thinking there, was it, Brenda?
In response, the district superintendent, Dr. Josh Middleton (whom I’m guessing is all sorts of “They did WHAT? They don’t pay me enough for this fucking shit” and is really lamenting that last name of his all of the sudden), recorded a Facebook live video apologizing for the teachers’ “lack of judgment,” which is fine, I guess, if you consider losing your damn mind out the back of your skull mere “lack of judgment.” Because there is no way anyone with a working brain could have thought this was OK. NO WAY.
His statement reads, in part:
I was shown those photos and [was] deeply troubled by the decision by our staff members to wear those costumes that are clearly insensitive and inappropriate. Do I think there was a malicious intent in this poor decision? No, I don’t. Was there a poor judgment involved? Absolutely. We are better than this. We embrace all students. We have a responsibility to teach and reach all students, period.
Just doing some mental reflection over here, wondering how the district’s 9.5 percent Hispanic and Latinx population feels about this right now. I bet they’re not so quick to accept the “no malicious intent” excuse. Because if you think it’s OK to dress up as and mock the heritage of a good portion of your community, not to mention the plight of thousands of people whose lives are so terrible, they’re willing to trek across the globe to seek refuge in a place where many citizens clearly also hate them, I’d say “malicious” is too kind of a term.
Oh, and don’t think the fact that this costume was borne out of our own President’s word vomit has escaped anyone. Racist costume inspired by racist policy proposals = racist policymaker. Full stop.
And if you’re wondering, no. Nobody’s been fired. The district is still conducting an “investigation,” presumably to figure out who hurt Tammy, Karen, Parker, Frank, and Debra so badly it made their insensitivity copulate with their ignorance.
To see the full images and to take action, see the Tweet below.
Another day, another racist costume. This is from Middletown School District in Idaho. Please call (208) 585-3027 to say
1) racism is unacceptable
2) they are creating and promoting a hostile learning environment to children
3) what is their plan to make it right? pic.twitter.com/DqUwvP3ROL
— unholy heidi (@heidiheilig) November 2, 2018