Spelling Bees Bring Out the Best in the Kids. The Adults? Not So Much.

By Michelle Railey

Dateline: Greenwood, Indiana.

The Scripps National Spelling Bee is playing on the TV. It’s a bunch of really hard-working, studious, intelligent kids. And the middle-aged men in the next room can’t deal with the fact that some of them aren’t white as the new-driven snow.

They’re shouting at the TV. They’re shouting at kids to “go back” to wherever it is “they came from.” They’re, in all honesty, quite pissed when a white kid misspells a word. They’re more pissed when a less-white kid gets it right.

They don’t bother spelling the words themselves, of course. You can’t spell well by counting your toes and fingers.

They also don’t bother considering that these are kids. Really smart kids. But still, just kids.

I’m not very proud of Greenwood, Indiana right now.

What kind of person roots against, harangues, and disparages a 12-year-old on TV? And so blatantly because of skin color?

You say a noose was— twice— found on the National Mall this week?

If Greenwood, Indiana has any say at all, well, that’s just not surprising.

They’re kids. They’re our kids. And these adults? I don’t know who the hell they think they are.


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