White Virginia Mom: Critical Race Theory Turned My Black Son Black
Here’s the latest pathetic entry in the critical race theory panic: Virginia mother Melissa Riley, currently in the running for the whitest woman alive, is suing her 13-year-old Black son’s school district because its antiracism program has given him a case of the "uppities."
\u201che wasn\u2019t like this before\u2026 he\u2019s in 8th grade\u201d\nma\u2019am i believe puberty is who you want to sue— sklapr\u00e9 (@sklapr\u00e9) 1652747259
During her Fox News interview (of course), Riley insisted her son was nice and docile before the Albemarle School District exposed him to voodoo “critical race theory,” and now he’s sullen and difficult. Perhaps she’s never met a teenager before, but it’s possible that puberty’s the true culprit here. Before she blamed the school, she could’ve at least checked if her son had started wearing a mood-altering red kryptonite ring.
Riley told host Jesse Watters, an empathetic ear for America’s Black youth, that her son now sees himself “just as a Black man. He’s seeing things that don’t go his way as racism. And he is finding safety in numbers now."
Not sure what she means about “safety in numbers.” Maybe he’s bringing other Black kids to the house now. She probably didn’t sign up for that when she had sex with a Black man 14 years ago.
Growing up in the Charlottesville area, Riley said her son never really saw himself as different from the other kids in school. Sure, his skin tone was a little darker — his dad is black and Riley is white and Native American — but Riley never thought it was appropriate to box him in with stifling racial classifications.
I was a Black kid in the South and race is not something you can escape, even if your school doesn't directly mention it. The idea that white kids would never bring it up and you can enjoy a blissfully color-evasive existence is incredibly naive. Middle school is a tough time for all kids, especially if you’re noticeably different. Riley clearly isn’t offering a supportive environment for her son’s Blackness, which we guess she sees as only skin deep. She shows nothing but contempt for cultural Blackness. She’s apparently terrified her cute, “raceless” baby will turn into a troublemaker, like the rest of us.
She suggested that Henley Middle School’s antiracist training has rendered her son shiftless. He tries to get out of chores and other household responsibilities. This is all very shocking and unusual behavior for a 13-year-old kid. When she asked him to clean up his room, (she says) he called her a racist. We know how much children of all creeds and colors enjoy tidying their living space.
Riley claims her son is using racism "as an excuse because they have told him that that's how people see him, as a Black man, that the world is against and [he] sees it as a negative now.” Putting aside the racial aspect, this is all normal adolescent behavior. Teens get angsty. Nirvana’s Nevermind wasn’t critical race theory.
She doesn’t see how she helps foster any perception that Blackness is inherently negative. Believe me, it’s a bummer to first experience racism. You're being attacked for no reason, but at least you're not the only one. You have a rich culture with cookouts and great music. Riley only offers her son borrowed whiteness. That only leads to self-loathing.
When Riley complained to the school about how they were Blackening up her kid, she was told he could assume a leadership role as a “Black spokesman for the Black community.” She wanted no part of this and considered “safe spaces” for Black students no different from segregation. Look, I can sympathize with the clueless white lady up to a point. Way too much well-meaning antiracist training uses overly academic and odd terminology that’s off-putting to normal people.
Henley’s antiracist program, which is called “Courageous Conversations About Race,” was launched in response to George Floyd’s murder in 2020. Despite all the talk about a “national reckoning on race,” the resulting white backlash has been significant and a political jackpot for Republicans.
The conservative nonprofit legal firm Alliance Defending Freedom filed a lawsuit in December on Riley’s behalf, claiming Henley’s program violated her parental rights and some other nonsense. A circuit judge dismissed the case but ADF plans to appeal.
I can only wish Riley’s son the best.
Yr Wonkette is 100 percent ad-free and entirely supported by reader donations. That's you! Please click the clickie, if you are able.
Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He writes make believe for Cafe Nordo, an immersive theatre space in Seattle. Once, he wrote a novel called “Mahogany Slade,” which you should read or at least buy. He's also on the board of the Portland Playhouse theatre. His son describes him as a “play typer guy."