Blackface Rosa Parks Lady Explains Herself, Really Does Not Make Anything Better
Earlier this week, Lauren Pefferle, a special education assistant at Mabel Rush Elementary in Newberg, Oregon was suspended from her job after coming to school in blackface, in what she claimed was an homage to Rosa Parks, to protest the fact that school required that she and other unvaccinated staff do social distancing and stay at least six feet away from students. It wasn't even a vaccine mandate, as had been previously reported, it was social distancing.
Pefferle came forward on Friday to defend herself, but reportedly still "doesn't understand why her actions are causing offense and accusations of racism." Perhaps she could have asked one of the teachers at the school why that might be. Or one of the students, even.
Newberg teacher's aide explains why she wore blackfacewww.youtube.com
Here's the transcript:
[U]nvaccinated staff were being told by the Newburg school district administration leads that we could not work with students unless we were six feet apart, starting right away, starting Thursday afternoon.
So on Friday, September 17, I showed up to school, and I put on some dark makeup on the parts that were showing my skin, including my hands. And I came in hopes to represent Rosa Parks, who I admire for standing up during her time when segregation was taking place. I felt like I and others who are unvaccinated, we're starting to experience segregation.
Well that is just the worst Miss America question and answer round I have ever seen. Does she think it doesn't count as blackface because she also did her hands? Is that what is happening here?
It does seem entirely possible, after hearing her explanation, that this woman truly had no idea that blackface was racist. She probably really thought that people were going to look at her and go "Wow, we truly have gone too far. Thank you, Blackface Rosa Parks, for reminding us all that vaccinated or unvaccinated, we are all humans and should have an equal right to stand close to people regardless of whether or not we could be spreading a virus that could kill them and their entire family" and then gather round for one big group hug. I believe that she believed that.
In fact, I do not think there is much that I would put past Lauren Pefferle in terms of what stupid shit she might believe. If you told me she hadn't taken a COVID test because she didn't know how to study for it, I would not be surprised.
That being said — it is a privilege to be able to go through life being that ignorant. The fact that she has made it through life, into adulthood, without finding out what would be wrong with a white woman dressing up as Rosa Parks, in blackface, to protest a health mandate is a staggering condemnation of our system, particularly the education system she is somehow working in. Not only should she not have that job anymore, she should consider going back to elementary school so that she can learn these things.
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Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse