Parents at an elite Manhattan prep school are rejecting an apology from the principal after a video which they felt was belittling and offensive towards white women as national controversy over how race and racism are discussed in classrooms continues to grow.
The New York Post reported that parents from the Spence School say their children were shown a video from the Showtime series “Zewe” in which comedian Zewe Fumudoh asks, “What percentage of white women do you hate? And there is a right answer.”
In the episode of the series, which was reportedly played to eight graders at the private school, Fumudoh also defines the term “Karen” as being synonymous with “obnoxious, angry and entitled, often racist, white women.”
Facing backlash, Principal Bodie Brizendine issued an apology letter to parents, explaining that the video was “not part of the Spence curriculum.”
“Our teacher and the School acknowledge that sharing a satirical video that made fun of white women was a significant mistake,” he added.
Parents, however, were not pleased and say that Brizendine was glossing over the incident.
One letter, which was backed by several parents and sent to the school, said Brizendine’s letter only compounded their anger over the fact that the show was played, as it failed to address what they’d really been concerned about.
“While I was upset after hearing what happened at Spence, the email from Bodie that followed really pushed me over the edge,” the letter stated. “Further, that the board has not weighed in on this matter gives the impression that the board shares the opinion that racism is indeed acceptable as long as it fits within the climate of the times.”
“Choosing to label the video as ‘satirical’ and that it ‘made fun of’ and ‘ridicules’ is a gross understatement,” it explained.
This comes at a time when many parents are growing concerned over the rhetoric on race that is being employed in classrooms, and say it normalizes anti-white rhetoric and emphasizes differences, rather than common ground, between students of varying ethnic backgrounds.
Spence parents are calling on their school to “step backward to jump off the bandwagon of this rhetoric” and focus on providing students with a well-rounded education.
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