Things That Matter

An Ohio Teacher Used A Racist Meme About Dora The Explorer To Discuss Voter Eligibility

A West Geauga High School teacher in Ohio is being investigated for using a racist image in class. The teacher showed students a meme of Dora the Explorer portrayed as an undocumented immigrant during an 11th-grade Advanced Placement government class. 

Multiple parents called the school district to express outrage and vented about the incident on social media. Some parents even pointed out that besides being offensive the information the photo was supposed to convey was inaccurate, according to Fox 8

The teacher was put on leave pending an investigation but eventually reinstated by the superintendent. 

An Ohio teacher uses a racist meme about Dora the Explorer to discuss voter eligibility.

The teacher used two photos to demonstrate voter ineligibility. One showed the mugshot of an alt-right man with a felon, the other showed Dora the Explorer with the charges of “illegal border crossing” and “resisting arrest.” One of the upset parents, Stephanie Anderson, expressed that the lesson was inaccurate according to Fox 8. Anderson noted that undocumented citizens would obviously not be allowed to vote so listing their charges would be pointless. However, the offenses that are listed are not felons but misdemeanors. 

“I was outraged,” said Anderson, “Whether this teacher intended it to be a joke, something he found online it’s simply inappropriate and outrageous.”

“Seeing that white supremacist juxtaposed with a brown-skinned child who has a superimposed black eye, blood coming from her mouth with the offense of illegal border crossing and resisting arrest combined with 666 666666 is 100% inappropriate,” she said. “There are so many other more appropriate ways to get your point across.”

The Superintendent released a statement to parents. 

“We are investigating the matter related to the politically-insensitive slides allegedly contained in a teacher’s classroom presentation today. The teacher has been placed on leave pending the results of the investigation,” Superintendent Richard Markwardt, Ph. D wrote in a statement to parents. 

While the teacher was put on leave, Anderson was hopeful that the entire district understood the gravity of the situation. The mother, whose son was in the class, believes the classroom is not a place for a teacher to impose their personal political beliefs. 

“It’s not okay for either extreme,” said Anderson, “So whether you are very liberal or very conservative at either end of the spectrum, imparting your views on your students in a non-educationally beneficial way is unacceptable.”

The Washington Post followed up on the story and found that Markwardt had already finished investigating. He told the paper he recognized the inappropriateness of the imagery but didn’t think the teacher had any ill will and refused to terminate them. 

“I will not use what I regard as a lapse of judgment as the reason to damage the career of a good teacher,” Markwardt said. “That would be following one mistake with another.”

Anderson told the Washington Post that the school district has struggled with addressing diversity and inclusivity, but that she was satisfied with the school’s response. 

“I genuinely believe they’re taking measurable steps to ensure all the students in the district can come to school in an environment that’s free from harassment and discrimination,” Anderson said.

Markwardt said some individual staff members may require diversity training, but the district overall will continue to focus on the matter. 

“I perceive the use of the objectionable image as symptomatic of a general lack of attention to the diversity of individuals in a largely homogeneous school district,” he said.

The Dora meme is a decade old and you can thank Arizona SB 1070 for that. 

According to the BBC, the Dora meme first appeared in 2009 in response to Arizona Governor Jan Brewer’s SB 1070 Bill, which would propose the strictest immigration laws in the country. The bill that allowed law enforcement to demand documentation from anyone they thought “looked” undocumented and made it illegal to be caught without papers would eventually be struck down by the Supreme Court in 2012. The meme was used to illustrate the effects of the law, which some members of the right championed. 

University of Cincinnati sociology professor Erynn Masi de Casanova told the Washington Post that using a meme in like this in class can legitimize and trivialize the real lives of Latinxs. 

“Because Dora is what I call a ‘generic Latina’ stereotype, a fictional character without any identifiable national origin, people may feel comfortable projecting their ideas about Latinos onto her,” Casanova said.

However, Casanova did point out one silver lining to the disturbing incident. 

“It is heartening to me that students and parents were disturbed by this image that dehumanizes and makes light of immigrants’ struggles,” she said. “It seems they are learning something about empathy in spite of this teacher’s efforts to discourage it.”

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8 Of The Biggest Bombshells Dropped In Meghan and Harry’s Oprah Interview —’I was ashamed to say it at the time’

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8 Of The Biggest Bombshells Dropped In Meghan and Harry’s Oprah Interview —’I was ashamed to say it at the time’

Millions of eyes were on Meghan Markle, Prince Harry, and Oprah Winfrey on Sunday night when the three of them sat down for an exclusive interview. The interview was the first the couple has given together since they stepped away from official royal duties last year and the first time they spoke out about their life and experiences as royals.

Check out the biggest bombshells below.

The ‘Firm’ had a lot of “concerns” about Archie’s skin tone.

WINDSOR, UNITED KINGDOM – OCTOBER 25: Meghan, Duchess of Sussex and Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex attend a roundtable discussion on gender equality with The Queens Commonwealth Trust (QCT) and One Young World at Windsor Castle on October 25, 2019 in Windsor, England. (Photo by Jeremy Selwyn – WPA Pool/Getty Images)

In one of the most shocking revelations of Meghan and Harry’s interview, Meghan revealed that the royal family expressed “concerns and [had] conversations about how dark [Archie’s] skin might be when he’s born.” Later, Harry and Meghan underlined that Harry’s grandparents, Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip, were not the ones who made the comments.

It was also the Firm’s decision to not give Archie a title.

LONDON, ENGLAND – MARCH 09: Queen Elizabeth II, Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex and Sophie, Countess of Wessex attend the Commonwealth Day Service 2020 on March 9, 2020 in London, England. (Photo by Phil Harris – WPA Pool/Getty Images)

Meghan also revealed that while the public was told that she and Harry did not want their son to have a title, it was actually the firm that made the decision.

“They didn’t want him to be a prince . . . which would be different from protocol, and that he wasn’t going to receive security,” Meghan explained. “We have in tandem the conversation of, ‘He won’t be given security. He’s not going to be given a title.’ And also concerns and conversations about how dark his skin might be when he’s born.”

In her darkest days as a member of the Royal Family, Meghan said she contemplated taking her own life.

Britain’s Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex gesture during their visit to Canada House in thanks for the warm Canadian hospitality and support they received during their recent stay in Canada, in London on January 7, 2020. (Photo by DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS / various sources / AFP) (Photo by DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP via Getty Images)

“I was ashamed to say it at the time and ashamed to have to admit it to Harry. But I knew that if I didn’t say it — then I would do it,” she explained. “I just didn’t want to be alive anymore.” She went onto add that she “thought it would have solved everything for everyone.”

She also revealed that before a January 2019 outing with Prince Harry she told him about her thoughts. “I remember him saying, ‘I don’t think you can go,’ and I said, ‘I can’t be left alone.'”

Meghan added that she also asked for help from the palace and was told “there’s nothing we can do to protect you because you’re not a paid employee of the institution… it wouldn’t be good for the institution.”

The queen was not blind-sided by their exit, despite reports and suggestions.

Britain’s Sophie, Countess of Wessex, (L), Britain’s Meghan, Duchess of Sussex (C) and Vice Admiral Timothy Laurence (R) watch from a balcony as they attend the Remembrance Sunday ceremony at the Cenotaph on Whitehall in central London, on November 10, 2019. – Remembrance Sunday is an annual commemoration held on the closest Sunday to Armistice Day, November 11, the anniversary of the end of the First World War and services across Commonwealth countries remember servicemen and women who have fallen in the line of duty since WWI. (Photo by Tolga AKMEN / AFP) (Photo by TOLGA AKMEN/AFP via Getty Images)

Despite reports that Meghan and Harry’s decision to leave their posts as senior working royals was sudden, Harry said the opposite was true. 

“No, I never blindsided my grandmother,” he explained that he had three conversations about the subject with the Queen and two conversations with his father Prince Charles adding he had “I have too much respect for her.”

Kate was the one who made Meghan cry and not the other way around.

LONDON, ENGLAND – MARCH 09: Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex and Sophie, Countess of Wessex attend the Commonwealth Day Service 2020 on March 9, 2020 in London, England. (Photo by Phil Harris – WPA Pool/Getty Images)

Six months after their wedding, headlines reported a pre-wedding feud that left Kate Middleton in tears in 2018. In actuality “the reverse happened.” 

“I don’t say that to be disparaging to anyone, because it was a really hard week of the wedding, and she was upset about something,” she explained. “But she owned it, and she apologized and she brought me flowers and a note apologizing.” Meghan later called Kate a “good person” and lamented headlines that pit the two royal women against one another. 

Meghan was silenced. Punto.

WINDSOR, UNITED KINGDOM – OCTOBER 25: Meghan, Duchess of Sussex and Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex attend a roundtable discussion on gender equality with The Queens Commonwealth Trust (QCT) and One Young World at Windsor Castle on October 25, 2019 in Windsor, England. (Photo by Jeremy Selwyn – WPA Pool/Getty Images)

“Were you silent, or were you silenced?” Oprah asked at the top of the interview. In response, Meghan replied, “The latter.”

“That was really hard to reconcile because it was only once we were married and everything started to really worsen that I came to understand that not only was I not being protected, but that they were willing to lie to protect other members of the family,” she explained. “They weren’t willing to tell the truth to protect me and my husband.”

Later, Meghan shared that her biggest regret from her experience in the royal family was thinking she’d be protected by them. “I regret believing that because I think had I really seen that that wasn’t happening, I would have been able to do more, but I think I wasn’t supposed to see it,” she explained. “I wasn’t supposed to know and now because we’re actually on the other side, we’ve actually not just survived but are thriving.”

Meghan and Harry were married before the big wedding.

Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex dance as they arrive for a visit to the “Justice desk”, an NGO in the township of Nyanga in Cape Town, as they begin their tour of the region on September 23, 2019. – Britain’s Prince Harry and his wife Meghan arrived in South Africa on September 23, launching their first official family visit in the coastal city of Cape Town. The 10-day trip began with an education workshop in Nyanga, a township crippled by gang violence and crime that sits on the outskirts of the city. (Photo by Betram MALGAS / POOL / AFP) (Photo credit should read BETRAM MALGAS/AFP via Getty Images)

Meghan revealed that she and Harry actually were married in a civil ceremony in their backyard. The small wedding was overseen by just the Archbishop of Canterbury three days before their publicized 2018 wedding. “I think we were both really aware, even in advance of that just, this wasn’t our day,” she explained. “This was the day that was planned for the world.”

It’s a girl!

Prince Harry (2L), Duke of Sussex and Meghan (L), Duchess of Sussex arrive to visit the District Six museum in Cape Town on the first afternoon of their tour of the region on September 23, 2019. – Britain’s Prince Harry and his wife Meghan arrived in South Africa on September 23, launching their first official family visit in the coastal city of Cape Town. (Photo by HENK KRUGER / POOL / AFP) (Photo credit should read HENK KRUGER/AFP via Getty Images)

In the sweetest and most loving portion of the interview, Meghan and Harry revealed that they are expecting a girl.

“To have a boy then a girl — what more can you ask for?” Harry told Oprah.

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They Made Fun Of Her Accent During A Zoom Meeting But This Latina Councilwoman Clapped Back With Pride

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They Made Fun Of Her Accent During A Zoom Meeting But This Latina Councilwoman Clapped Back With Pride

Have you ever not spoken up out of fear for how people might judge your accent? Or maybe you’ve heard racial comments about how your abuelos or your tías speak?

Well, one Latina councilwoman knows exactly how so many of us feel after having experienced racist comments during a Zoom meeting on racial injustice amid her community’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout. But instead of remaining silent, she is urging anyone with an accent, especially Latinos in her community, to speak up and wear it with pride.

A chat about racism led to racist comments about Navarro’s accent.

A Maryland county was hosting a virtual meeting the racial disparities taking place amid the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, when two people giggled and mocked the accent of the county’s only Latina councilmembers.

During the, Nancy Navarro, a member of the Montgomery County Council, spoke passionately about the county’s coronavirus vaccine rollout, which she said is failing people of color. According to CDC data, Maryland ranks near the bottom when it comes to getting vaccines in people’s arms.

“For me personally, I’ve always had this interesting dilemma in my years of public service, which has been this bizarre disconnect in terms of who we are in Montgomery County,” Navarro, the first Latina and the only woman serving on the council, said. “We’re still perceived as a totally, we’re like some other hologram of a county that doesn’t look anything like who we actually are.” 

As Navarro spoke, there was some chatter and laughter in the background — two people who apparently thought they were muted were talking about Navarro’s accent. 

“I love how her accent comes out and pronounces words like she thinks they’re pronounced,” one person said, specifically calling out the way Navarro pronounced the words “represent” and “hologram.”

Navarro spoke up and urged anyone with an accent to wear it with pride.

Navarro wasn’t aware that the incident had happened until two staff members notified her of that the employees had said in the background.

“What happened to me on Tuesday was not an isolated incident, it fits a pattern of microaggressions and racist acts that wittingly and unwittingly make the workplace, and by extension, our community spaces hostile spaces for people of color,” Navarro told CBS News.

“Make no mistake, these dysfunctions are deeply ingrained in our county and in our country, racism has become a public health crisis,” Navarro added. “What hurt was that these employees are part of our team, charged with working daily with a diverse team of Council members and staff on initiatives that require a sensitivity to and respect for racial and ethnic differences.”

Since the incident happened, Navarro is urging Latino immigrants with a Spanish accent to “wear it with pride and keep moving forward.”

Navarro’s story is one that so many of us can relate to.

Like so many of us, our friends, and our family, Navarro’s story is one that is widely reflected in our community. She was born in Venezuela but came to the U.S. with her family when she was 10. Her family eventually returned to Venezuela but Navarro came back to the U.S. for college and moved to Maryland with her husband, where they’ve lived since the 1990s. Her story is 100% American.

Navarro hopes that this incident will drive people to consider the impact of their words and actions. And, ultimately, she hopes the council will strengthen its efforts to hire a staff that reflects the diversity in its community.

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