Students Shocked And Hurt when Handmade Quilt is Deemed Racist By One City Councilwoman
High School Juniors from Piedmont Governors school were shocked and dismayed when they were presenting quilt that they labored over to the city council. They handmade the beautiful quilt and were trying to present it as a gift to the city council when they were rudely interrupted and shamed by one city councilwoman.
Courtesy of WDBJ-TV
The students were explaining what each of the squares meant. It was going very well, when suddenly Councilwoman Sharon Brooks-Hodge became offended. The student was explaining how they felt when they walked across the Philpott Dam, and how much they had learned. The student said, “We got to walk across the Philpott Dam and the small black person represents us before we learned all the information and then the bigger gold person is how he feels after he’s been enriched with all the different knowledge”
Well, Mrs. Brooks-Hodge was having none of that. She rudely interrupted the heartfelt presentation with “Excuse me. Um, why is the small black person the negative image?”
The student was taken aback but tried to explain it “It’s not negative. It’s just showing how much we increased.”
Mrs. Brooks-Hodge, wasn’t satisfied and continued, ” I take offense to that”
Another student chimed in, stating that they didn’t mean it to be offensive at all.
Sharon Brooks-Hodge continued Lambasting the students, and the teachers, causing one of the students to break out in tears as her teacher tried desperately to explain that it had nothing to do with race.
“Whoever reviewed that to make a small black person the before and the gold which you are afterwards, considering you only talked to 10 percent of black people in a city that’s 45 percent African-American, I take offense to that and I hope that you do not display that.”
WSET.com — Abc13
You can see the incident recorded here. The incident involving the square in question starts about the two-minute mark.
The students are still very upset. Councilman Danny Turner visited the school and apologized to the students, but the council has still refused to display the quilt. They have it in an office while they decide whether or not to display the handmade, quilt that the students though they would be pleased with. IF they decide to display the quilt there will be a disclaimer note attached to the quilt.
The NAACP of course piled on the situation, with the local Chapter commenting, “This young man had not received training on how offensive depictions like this were to people of color. If he had, this incident could have been avoided.”
This is utter nitpicking Bull. Those kids worked hard, and CLEARLY did not mean for the image to represent a black person. It is an obvious artistic representation of coming out of the dark into the light of knowledge. The councilwoman’s disparaging and obviously insensitive remarks, highlight how far we still have to go in the war against racism. There was NOTHING racist about the quilt, but a hyped up overly sensitive person, ruined the thoughtfulness of a gift given from the heart, all because of an imagined racial offense.
This country has become the sissy state if you ask me. If this type of garbage continues soon, we will have to ban black crayons for fear that it will offend someone. Or refrain from using the word, black friday, perhaps we should change the color of mourning to a different color. The quilt showed the change into golden, not white. The golden light of knowledge. It was a beautiful metaphor, that has now been ruined by an overzealous councilwoman. I think the school should take back the gift and give it to an organization that would be more appreciative, and display the hard work proudly as a labor of love.
I personally find this error in judgment so egregious, that Mrs. Brooks-Hodge should be relieved from duty. Clearly her over-sensitivity is affecting her ability to exercise good judgement.
If you would like to write Mrs. Brooks-Hodge to let the city council know what you think about their rejection of a gift given from the heart, you may do so . They also have a website. http://www.martinsville-va.gov/ I personally have written them and linked them to my article, and several others on the web that are ashamed of the shoddy treatment of their high school students.