No matter where you live in the world, there are varying degrees of racism and oppression present. In cultures where fair skinned folks are in the majority, the racism can be as diverse as extreme acts of hate and violence, to micro-aggressive comments and emails. For one cello teacher, the "subtle racism" was actually way too "in your face" to ignore and she felt compelled to share the email a parent sent her on Twitter.
Seemingly concerned about her son coming home with an "ethnic stench," the parent emailed Twitter user "sxinxm_" and sandwiched her racial driven insults in between fluffy compliments (pro-tip: your compliments are rendered ineffective when you add a racist element to your message.)
The story is now going viral all across social media, and understandably so.
Clearly, the e-mail begins nice enough.
"On another note" ... then proceeds to vomit racism into the email and finishes off with a "Kind Regards."
No one is buying those "Kind Regards."
But the cello teacher was not about to let people panic, she came out the gates with an explanation that also dropped jaws. The student was regularly ravenous and being forced to diet.
Thankfully, she also shared her response to the parent in question.
Antonio is awesome.
Mom? Not so much.
And the final nail in Mama Racist's coffin.
Basically, almost every single one of us who isn't racist reacted like this:
Given the nature of the "WTF" factor, it's no surprise the post completely blew up. It's been shared to the Insane Parents subreddit (that's a place that should never be #goals if you're a parent,) where before the thread was officially closed it gained over 52,000 upvotes... and the original Twitter post was retweeted over a whopping 63,400 times along with earning more than 281,100 "likes."
Twitter user "sxinxm_" has been floating in and out of Twitter jail ever since.
Discussion of the email exchange has gone in multiple directions, including some concerns that when the cello teacher raised the flags about the child's potential malnutrition and gave the heads up that she had contacted social services, that the parents now had the opportunity to cover their tracks, so to speak.
I was kind of disgusted by it. She tried to “sandwich” those remarks between compliments.
Grant also said:
As a person of color, I deal with racism quite a lot. Whether it be “sly” remarks or stereotypes, it’s something I and many others deal with.
There’s not much advice I can give on how to respond to it besides don’t be a bystander if you see it happening and be strong. Every situation is different. If there’s something that bothers you, say or do something.
Zariya also included some sound advice for those who need to hear it:
Don’t be afraid of who you are. Whatever your race or ethnicity, that’s what makes you “you.” Show people how strong you are and find your voice. Little changes can help big problems.
Racism is an uncomfortable subject for everyone and shouldn’t be taken lightly. If you don’t see the issue with little remarks or big gestures, you’re part of the problem.
Reporter Masako Fukui has been discussing the "smelly food" component of racially charged perspectives for several years now. In an article she had published on ABC.net she wrote:
It’s virtually impossible to control our immediate responses to pungent odors, and the anatomy of our brains helps to explain this.
Other senses are largely processed within the neocortex, the ‘higher’ brain, while the sensory recognition of odors is more thoroughly plumbed into the limbic system, a collection of ‘lower’ brain regions that are critical for emotion and memory.
Whatever is tickling the nose hairs has a direct line to the sub-verbal, animalistic self. It’s exactly the amorphous nature of smell that makes it so powerful, and political. For when those odors that repel us are associated with race, the disgust we instinctively sense undermines our attempts to overcome racial prejudices.
A lot of people were outraged at the mother and her e-mail, while a lot of people were also just genuinely concerned about the kid.
There must be something magical about music teachers because I have a fondness in my hearts and memories for the music teachers I had growing up, too.
Because that's a thing.
She replied with a lot less swearing and insults than many of us would be inclined to reply with instead.
What do you think? Racist or not? Let us know in the comments.