Don’t wear blackface! It’s disrespectful! And especially don’t put blackface on a bunch of preschool kids!!!
The fact that we even have to type that out in 2023 is WILD, y’all. And yet here we are covering anther f**king crazy story coming out of Florida. This time, a preschool there put a bunch of 2-year-olds in blackface in order to celebrate Black History Month (?!) and then posted photos of the whole thing for parents to see. But, like, WHY??
This all started back on February 3 at Studio Kids Little River in the Miami area. On that day, the preschool put out a photo on their inter-school messaging app showing toddlers wearing what appeared to be dark paint on their faces. The photo was sent to parents as part of a broader message that celebrated the coming of Black History Month, according to CNN.
Immediately, one parent realized something was amiss. Knowing the disturbing minstrel show history of blackface, that parent shared screenshots of the message with another parent, who was later identified as Courtney Politis. The unnamed parent reportedly felt the photos were “sickening,” according to the news org, and sent them to Politis (who is Black, and pictured above) for clarification.
Politis has two children who attended the school, but according to CNN, they were not in the classroom where this occurred. The mom also found the photos disturbing, and reached out to the school to ask about them. Saying she was “flabbergasted” by the blackface images on toddlers, Politis explained to school owner Patricia Vitale that the pics were racist. Vitale — who TMZ reports is Argentinian — reportedly did not understand why the images were troubling and asked for further clarification.
After Politis explained the troubling history of blackface shows in America, Vitale sent a brief message of apology to parents of children at the school. The daycare lead explained the photos came about as part of an activity that had been meant to celebrate Black History Month in one of the school’s classrooms:
“We have not intended to offend anyone, and we’re very sorry about any inconvenience.”
Three days later, recognizing the story was not going away, Vitale sent another message to parents. According to CNN, this second message noted staffers would be receiving “additional training” in response to the incident:
“We wanted to let all the parents know that we met on Friday afternoon with all the teachers and staff. We went over several ethical and multicultural education points. I will teach the team a class covering all the necessary topics regarding US history and multicultural education … you may rest assured this will never happen again.”
Per the outlet, Politis said she was “disappointed” in the response and chose to pull her two children out of Studio Kids.
Speaking to CNN about the controversy and her family’s reaction to it, the frustrated mother said:
“You’re a certified, established institution, you should know better. I mean, ignorance about racism in 2023 is no longer ignorant, in my opinion.”
Regarding her decision to pull her kids out of school, Politis added:
“The bottom line is we can’t trust them with our children all apologies aside. I thought we would have more time before these sorts of things or racism or microaggressions would have to be experienced by our children. So the fact that I feel like I can’t protect my children from what’s happening is probably the most disappointing and upsetting of all of this.”
And in a follow-up interview with TMZ that was published on Wednesday, Politis added more commentary about what she feels should have been done.
She claimed to that news org the teacher initially involved in the incident was not fired. Courtney isn’t asking for the teacher to be canned, either. But she does want some kind of reprimand to come down:
“In the end, what we do with our children is our decision, kind of like what you do with your teacher is your decision. Pretty much asking what is the reprimand, how are you going to reprimand here. And I’m not asking to fire her, I am compassionate. I understand people need to make money. Eggs are expensive, gas is expensive, whatever. But you didn’t suspend the teacher for a month with no pay? Nothing? That teacher didn’t get reprimanded at all.”
Here is more on this crazy story, via CNN (below):
And you can see her comments to TMZ at the link HERE.
Reactions, Perezcious readers??
[Image via CNN/YouTube]