news school field trip to jmu gets karens bent out of shape over racial plays
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School field trip to JMU gets Karens bent out of shape over ‘racial plays’

jmu forbes center
Photo: James Madison University

A grandmother got upset because a third-grade field trip to see a performance of traditional Nigerian dance at JMU made her feel uncomfortable about being white, and now Rockingham County Public Schools is having to do something to make her feel better about herself.

That’s what we’re getting from our friends at WHSV-TV3, which has the story for the concerned local white community about a Dec. 8 field trip that “some parents found inappropriate,” according to the report.

The issue was raised at a Rockingham County School Board meeting by a woman, Paula Harold, who identified herself as a grandmother who attended a performance at the JMU School of Dance, which she said featured dance that seemed to her to be similar to twerking.

That’s not being racist at all there, comparing traditional Nigerian dance to twerking.

No, not at all.

“At the end of this they stood at the very edge of the stage and yelled at our children, 450 third-grade children, ‘I will not shut up, I will not be quiet, I will not lower my voice.’ They screamed at these children,” Harold said.

Yes, they screamed at the children.

That wasn’t part of the performance.

The college student dancers went out of their way to scream at third-graders.

If you were thinking this is what Glenn Youngkin used to get white folks who feel like they’re on the verge of being replaced to vote for him last fall, you win the pony.

“She just told me that they held a brown lady down by the head, the neck-head area, and were loud and they were shaking their bottoms at them and yelling,” said Sarah Wicks, a parent whose daughter attended the performance.

Sure, Jan, that’s exactly what your daughter told you.

That “they were shaking their bottoms at them and yelling.”

That’s what black folks do these days, you know, shake their bottoms at people and yell.

At least Wicks got to the point when she said the school system should “have no racial plays or at least not any kind of plays at the Forbes Center. I think they should ban the Forbes Center for now.”

Because we don’t want to have to think about racism, because we want to pretend that it doesn’t exist, because thinking about racism and how it exists makes us feel bad.

This is where we are now as a society, folks.

White people are the victims now.

The grandmother even raised issue with the Indigenous Land and Enslaved Peoples Acknowledgment statement that is read before performances at the Forbes Center.

“If you’ve attended the Forbes Center, you know the political thing that is said to the children that are seven years old about white racism, white people making slavery in this country and in this valley, annihilating Native Americans, white people, white people,” Harold said.

Um, well, this is the actual full Indigenous Land and Enslaved Peoples Acknowledgment statement that is read before performances at the Forbes Center, written by JMU’s Center for Faculty Innovation:

“We acknowledge that we are currently on the land of the Indigenous Siouan, Algonquian, and Haudenosaunee communities who lived here for many generations. We pay our respects to their elders, both past and present, and honor their connections, past, present and future, to the Shenandoah Valley.

“We acknowledge and pay respect to the enslaved peoples, bought and sold into forced labor. We honor all the descendants of the victims and survivors of the transatlantic slave trade.

“We recognize that the painful histories of white supremacy persist in the present-day racial realities and privileges at this university and in our communities. We invite all to commit to dismantling racism and oppression by creating change where we live and work.”

Notice how there’s nothing in that statement about “white people making slavery in this country and in this valley, annihilating Native Americans, white people, white people”?

Yeah.

But god forbid the seed get planted in kids’ heads that Indigenous peoples were displaced from their lands, which happened, that enslaved people built the wealth of our nation’s founders, which happened, that our history is unfortunately tied inextricably with white supremacy, which is true, that we need to work together to acknowledge these uncomfortable facts and create change.

Just so the Karens reading along can get up to speed: the change the dance troupe wants is just an end to the racism and the white supremacy.

They don’t want to burn down your house or anything.

They just want to have the same chance to work hard to get ahead that white folks have had since forever.

Wonder why it is that you have a problem with that idea?

Chris Graham

In addition to being the editor of Augusta Free Press, I've written seven books, including Poverty of Imagination and Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, both published in 2019, and The Worst Wrestling Pay-Per-View Ever, published in 2018. For my commentaries on news, sports and politics, go to my YouTube page, youtube.com/chrisgrahamAFP. Want to reach me? Try [email protected].