An Ivy League professor specializing in children’s and young adult literature verbally went after a large group of people on Sunday after the release of a video showing an encounter between teenagers from Kentucky and a Native-American activist in Washington, D.C., last Friday.
A screed by University of Pennsylvania associate professor Ebony Elizabeth Thomas is no longer publicly visible.
But in a series of tweets responding to the viral video, Thomas said in part, “That’s the smiling face of Whiteness. It always hides a knife behind its back,” as Campus Reform noted.
“That knife says this: ‘You must forgive us. You must educate us. Or else.”
In her tweeted remarks, the professor called the video “visual trauma.” She charged that “unless you kiss Whiteness’ ring,” the so-called “or else” would surely happen.
“What choice do you have, but to bind up your still-bleeding wounds, and say with your lips ‘I forgive you’ even as you curse White supremacy in your heart and soul and mind,” she also wrote. She teaches in the graduation school of education at UPenn, in the school’s literacy, culture, and international education division.
In its piece about the issue, Campus Reform said it reached out to Thomas for comment but did not receive a response in time for publication.
When an edited video was first released, it seemed to show a group of high school teenagers aggressively taunting a Native-American man near the Lincoln Memorial — which turned out to be false.
The students were in D.C. for the annual March for Life, a pro-life rally, and some of them wore “Make America Great Again” hats. And when the larger story unfolded, it was revealed a separate group was hurling racial and sexual epithets at the boys, taunting them and mocking them.
The Native-American man, Nathan Phillips — originally cast in the victim’s role — was the one who approached the kids, beating a drum inches from the face of teenager Nick Sandmann.
Later, more lengthy videos revealed multiple inconsistencies in the man’s story about the encounter.
The collateral damage from the encounter, thanks in large part to the epic speed and intensity with which the Twitter mob spread the inaccurate version of the story, has been profound.
The boys and their families have received death threats. Their school was closed over security concerns yesterday. Their names have been dragged through the mud. But that did not appear to be a factor for the professor at the University of Pennsylvania.
EXCLUSIVE on the new #LauraIngrahamPodcast — the Covington Catholic students threatened by the leftist internet mob will be meeting with @realDonaldTrump at the White House as early as tomorrow. @iTunes @PodcastOne
— Laura Ingraham (@IngrahamAngle) January 22, 2019
The teens, as the video clearly shows, did nothing more than keep their composure and stand there while waiting for a bus to take them back home after the event they attended.
Ironically, the professor expressed her weariness over “whiteness endlessly forgiving its own transgressions.” The problem? The transgressors were not the boys. It is not the boys who require forgiveness in this scenario.
Thomas runs a Twitter account and blog called “Humanizing Stories.” It’s described as “dispatches on children’s & YA lit, media & comics.”
Thomas’ book called “The Dark Fantastic” is due for release in May.
The book, as its publisher’s description makes clear, “reveals the diversity crisis in children’s and young adult media as not only a lack of representation, but a lack of imagination.”