A Missouri high school homecoming sign bearing racist, anti-Black language and shown off by two white teens is being blamed in part on an “African American boy” by the mother of a student who appeared in the viral photo.
Olathe South High School in Kansas City is at the center of racist internet infamy because of the sign that served as both an invitation to homecoming festivities and an indication of attitudes about race at the school.
The sign in question, presented by a white boy to a white girl, had printed on it: “If I was Black, I would be picking cotton, but I’m white so I’m picking you” for homecoming. It included checkboxes for yes or no, with the former checked off.
The photo quickly went viral, resulting in a swift condemnation from Olathe’s principal in Friday, local news outlet KSHB reported.
“I felt it was important to share that we are working to thoroughly investigate the situation and contact all parties involved, including student guardians,” Olathe South Principal Dale Longenecker wrote in a note to parents before adding: “The type of behavior displayed in the social media post does not meet the expectations of our core values. Any behavior like this will be immediately addressed in accordance with our Student Code of Conduct.”
The mother of the girl who appeared in the video has spoken out since the principal’s note went out and said her daughter is getting death threats.
Rhonda Windholz said her daughter is not entirely to blame and unwittingly participated in something that she did not realize was racist. Amazingly, Windholz added placed more blame on a Black student who was not pictured than she diod for her daughter and the unidentified boy who posed with the sign long enough for a photo to be taken.
“It was the African-American boy who actually made the sign, already marked up and took the picture,” Windholz said in a self-described effort to “shed some light on the situation.”
Windholz specifically told KSHB that her family believes “all lives matter,” loaded language that is widely construed as a back-handed response to the Black Lives Matter movement, whether she knows it or not.
Windholz apologized and chalked it up to her daughter’s youthful exuberance during homecoming season.
“Caught up in the excitement of being asked to her first ever homecoming, our daughter held the sign that was given to her,” Windholz continued. “It was only after actually comprehending the situation, that she realized what was happening. She blatantly said no!! By then, it was too late.”
Windholz added: “Please know that we have diversity in our own family and believe that all lives matter.”
In 2021, when high school students are well familiar with Google, it is unconscionable how anyone could ever think such a sign is OK, regardless of race. But to try to place the blame on someone — a Black person — who wasn’t even in the photo in the first place is arguably even more indefensible considering the larger context to the situation.
'Karens' Gone Wild: Videos Show Privileged White Women Can't Stop Trying To Police Black People
1. ‘Stay In Your Hood’: Dog Park ‘Karen’
Source:@FredTJoseph/twitter 1 of 35
At the dog park in Brooklyn with my fiancé and this white woman was threatening to call police and told us to “stay in our hood” because she had our dog confused with another dog who had been barking loudly. So, I started recording and she tried to slap the phone out my hand. pic.twitter.com/9MXwMiU3Qb— Frederick Joseph (@FredTJoseph) September 26, 2021
2. School Committee ‘Karen’
2 of 35
3. Tigger flag Karen
3 of 35
Nosy woman complains about a flag pic.twitter.com/srQk12YmW9— Fifty Shades of Whey (@davenewworld_2) August 9, 2021
4. Victoria's Secret Karen
4 of 35
Karen charges at a black woman and then turns on white woman tears when she realizes she’s being recorded. 1/3 pic.twitter.com/9gzksgorLN— chris evans (@chris_notcapn) July 12, 2021
5. Mailbox Karen
5 of 35
I wish a Karen would roll up and call herself taking a package from my house because she suspects “something is going on in there.”— Bishop Talbert Swan (@TalbertSwan) July 7, 2021
What is wrong with these white women? pic.twitter.com/ROX3zLPcTY
6. Karen goes shopping at Ross
6 of 35
This happened at a Ross Dress for Less…— Michael Harriot (@michaelharriot) June 13, 2021
Told you. pic.twitter.com/FkSLsgxPUc
7. Karen Defaces Monument To Only Black Member Of Lewis And Clark Expedition7 of 35
8. Judith Ann Black, racist Burger King Whopper KarenSource:Sumter County Sheriff’s Office 8 of 35
9. Stephanie Denaro, AKA "Bagel Karen"
9 of 35
RACIST Anti-Masker Karen Calls Black Bakery worker B**** Ass N-word for denying service. pic.twitter.com/nRsF95RFmK— Karen (@crazykarens) March 24, 2021
10. Courtside Karen
10 of 35
PRAY FOR LEBRON pic.twitter.com/Z8oAhl2kqf— Barstool Sports (@barstoolsports) February 2, 2021
11. Arlo SoHo Karen
11 of 35
Wow! This woman made baseless claims against @keyonharrold and his 14yo son at @arlohotels Arlo SoHo — then assaulted them, scratching Keyon & tackling his boy. Worse, the hotel manager defended & empowered her actions, and refused to apologize after her claims were proven wrong! pic.twitter.com/LqHboiAEd6— Ben Crump (@AttorneyCrump) December 27, 2020
12. Trader Joe's 'Karen'
12 of 35
This is a Trader Joe’s today. In Los Angeles. Cases are through the roof in California. Is there any way to reach these people?— Read Pedagogy of the Oppressed by Paulo Freire (@JoshuaPotash) June 27, 2020
13. 'Karen' the angry neighbor
13 of 35
hey guys!! this is my new neighbor!! pic.twitter.com/yZxsQD1daS— bailey (@bailey3jenkins) June 27, 2020
14. ‘Karen’ Pulls Gun On Black Woman And Daughter After Chipotle Argument14 of 35
15. Nurse ‘Karen’ Fired
15 of 35
Caron Jones — that’s Caron with a “K” as in “Karen” 👩🏼⚕️ — also called the Black Lives Matter movement a "ploy" for Black votes before the North Carolina nurse got fired for her racist social media posts.https://t.co/WQn68gNToF— NewsOne (@newsone) July 1, 2020
16. St. Louis 'Karen'16 of 35
17. ‘Karen’s Husband’ Investigated After Calling Cops On Black Men17 of 35
18. Convenience Store ‘Karen’
18 of 35
It was the I’m the wrong nigga for me 😭 pic.twitter.com/2Rv33NNn2k— HEAVYY ON IT 🗣💕 (@HeavyyCampp) June 25, 2020
19. Nurse ‘Karen’ Loses Her Job For ‘Black Privilege’ Video19 of 35
20. Seattle ‘Karen’ Has A Total Meltdown After Black Driver Records Her ‘White Tears’
20 of 35
"I HAVE A BLACK HUSBAND!"— NewsOne (@newsone) June 23, 2020
A "Karen" in Seattle identified as Leah completely lost it when Karlos Dillard, a Black man, confronted and recorded her after he says he was the victim of her racist road rage.
The video has gone viral as Karening gets worse.https://t.co/X5ryYpQlhF
21. Officer ‘Karen’ Is Slammed For Crying White Tears Over McDonald’s Wait21 of 35
22. Kroger ‘Karen’ Blocks Black Mother From Pulling Out Of Parking Lot Over ‘Gatorade’22 of 35
23. San Francisco ‘Karen’ Who Called Cops Over ‘BLM’ Art
23 of 35
A white couple call the police on me, a person of color, for stencilling a #BLM chalk message on my own front retaining wall. “Karen” lies and says she knows that I don’t live in my own house, because she knows the person who lives here. #blacklivesmatter pic.twitter.com/rOpHvKVwgP— James Juanillo (@jaimetoons) June 12, 2020
24. Karen the "Shorewood Spitter"24 of 35
25. Karen's husband
25 of 35
26. Karen's other husband26 of 35
27.27 of 35
28 of 35
Racism rots your brain pic.twitter.com/OuzPmyRN6d— Khary Penebaker (@kharyp) May 17, 2020
29 of 35
On the next episode of “are white people ok? 👀”.... meet Red Lobster Karen 🦞 pic.twitter.com/ElgRipPyrU— Lives in a Police State. ✊🏽🦺🌈 (@angel_felixv) May 13, 2020
30.30 of 35
31 of 35
I can’t believe this is real. This lady went out to video shame everyone who dared to have fun in the sun at the beach and then she yelled at a Trader Joe’s worker over social distancing.— Robby Starbuck (@robbystarbuck) May 18, 2020
Karen needs to just stay home and leave the rest of us alone... 🙄🤦🏻♂️pic.twitter.com/QUeZkRSudW
32.32 of 35
33 of 35
K*ren: "Arrest me"— Scottie PIPM (@scottiepipm) April 23, 2020
K*ren: 😲 pic.twitter.com/5NJnPsSj8k
34 of 35
I’m baffled. Just saw this on the news. Woman who drove 1.5 hours to go to the beach with her family complains about other people at the beach who have done the same as her. Does she not see she’s part of the problem #StayAtHomeSaveLives #COVIDIDIOTS pic.twitter.com/iowllyZEk2— Colm McAfee (@mcafee77) May 17, 2020
35 of 35
Mom Blames Daughter’s ‘Picking Cotton’ Homecoming Sign On Black Student As Racist Photo Goes Viral was originally published on newsone.com