It’s A Good Thing This Principal Who Called A Powder Puff Team In Black Face ‘Nothing Racial’ Doesn’t Teach History

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powder puff team in black faceHere’s today’s installment of Seriously What The F**k Were They Thinking…No Seriously…People Don’t Do This…Don’t They Have Any Awareness About What Has And Is Happening In Our World…Please Please Don’t Be Real…Okay You Win, My Heart Is Dead And Cold.

At a “powder-puff” football game (a term which in and of itself fills me with rage, and we aren’t even at the really offensive part yet) at Sullivan High School in Missouri, the team played their game in black face, because racism is adorable.

According to the school’s principal, Jennifer Schmidt, this isn’t a big deal. From USA Today:

…I thought, ‘Oh, they don’t mean anything by it. Just let it go. No one thinks anything of it,’” Sullivan principal Jennifer Schmidt told the Riverfront Times. “I didn’t think anyone did. Evidently, someone did.”

Yes. Someone did. And that someone is everyone who isn’t racist.

As is usual these days, the incident came to light after photos of all the all-white girls squad were posted on Facebook. Schmidt argues that face paint is a powder-puff tradition, meant to intimidate underclassmen. Plus, the school’s colors are black and gold, so…we’re cool, right? Here’s Schmidt again in the Riverfront Times:

“So that’s what they wore,” says Schmidt. “There was nothing racial about it. They didn’t have any other intention other than to just try to intimidate the underclassmen.”

See? They didn’t mean anything by it! And that, my friends, is this week’s example of tone-deaf white privilege. The fact that the girls, their parents, their coaches, and their school’s principal can allow these white girls to play in black face and say that they didn’t mean anything by it what people who are unaware of and/or don’t care about the history of racism in this country and their role in it. Because they don’t have to. Because they’re white. “We didn’t mean to be racist, it’s just that black faces are intimidating…oh, wait a second. Now I see what you’re saying.”

As for the future, Schmidt says,”I can assure you they will not be wearing black face paint again. In fact, we’re probably just going to end the face-paint thing, and nobody wears any at all.” Thank you for that firm, decisive stance against racism. How about we do something else that’s more important than the issue of whether or not these girls wear face paint? Like an assembly on modern racism (you’re not that far from Ferguson, you know. I smell a field trip!)? Or a lesson about the history of black face and why it is completely inappropriate and not a costume?

This is a great learning opportunity for this school. The girls involved are apparently “embarrassed and shocked” by the reaction to these photos. And that’s good, but it would be insanely short-sighted to think that the problem begins and ends with a dozen high school seniors. Bring in the parents, the rest of the school, and the community into this. Because the only thing worse than allowing black face at school is allowing black face at school and learning nothing from it.

(Photo: Twitter)