Seattle Public School Auctioning Off a "White Trash Tea" Party

Comments

1
Not to mention that the highly-racist term "white trash" should be eliminated from speech or print in and around all educational facilities. The implication is that all who aren't white are ALREADY trash. Buh.
2
"It'll be a great day when the Air Force has to hold a bake sale to buy a bomber."
3
What's wrong with crock pots? I have twelve of them: Three mini's, three standards, and three "Big Berthas" (That's what I call them) all in Harvest Gold, Cherry Red and Avocado. Additionally, I have a "Spirit of '76" one (with a Ye Olde Colonial theme!), a red brick patterned one, and one that looks like hardwood (if you don't look too close)

I also have something called a "Potluck Cooker", but I really classify that as more of a roaster oven than a crock pot - although it has the standard "high" and "low" settings.

Crock Pots are a wonderful kitchen accessory - a working girl's dream, and a real energy saver to boot. I won't have them maligned like this, especially by some Magnoliaites.

4
I dunno - I think a Twinkle Trifle sounds delightful. So much better than Divinity...
5
@1

I agree. Someone introduced the term. It caught on like wildfire. And unlike the rightful shifting of the N word to Black person, too many people find "white trash" comical. It's here to stay.
6
Common sense tells you to keep that kind of talk out of official school business, but I don't think I've ever heard anyone use the term "white trash" outside of embracing their own roots. Still... YOU DON'T GET TO SAY, MAGNOLIA!

Maybe there's a monocled aristocrat taking his Rolls out to Cheney to throw epithets and Grey Poupon at the common folk, but I've, regrettably, yet to see that.
7
Mme. Vel-DuRay: I agree. I'd word my objection more along the lines of "shut up, you snotty bitches," but your more measured response is better.

@4 yes. The words "twinkie trifle" gave me a food boner.
8
@3 Agreed. Crock Pots are amazing. How dare someone learn to cook delicious food instead of eating out.
9
Whenever you want to use the term "white trash", just use the word "white". It works better 100% of the time.
10
#1 - Fascinating. You took an anti-white slur and somehow came to the conclusion that it's insulting to non-whites. I guess they really are always the victims, no matter what.
11
@3 and @8, there's a certain middle class culture of people (in every color) who abuse their crockpots with processed gastro-travesties, that's all. Doritos pie, and so on. The sort of food that tastes good because there're 3 kinds of MSG, not because they were slow-cooked.
12
They probably just thought they were making fun of Southerners, because apparently that is totally okay, judging from some of the TV shows on these days.
13
The supply of practically free crockpots at Goodwill is staggering. No one should ever pay retail for one.
14
Before Amy Sadaris had us in stitches with her irreverent and wonderful cookbook and entertaining guide "I Like You : Hospitality Under The Influence" there was The White Trash Cook Book. The auction item is clearly a nod at the cookbook, not a stab at the economically disenfranchised. Poor judgement? Perhaps. Bad taste? In the eye of the beholder. Making this story a race based argument? Inaccurate and off target. There are real social justice issues out there, this just isn't one of them.
15
As someone who sat on a PTA board for three years, I can understand the need to raise money. We raise over 150 thousand dollars a year to cover what the school district cannot.

As someone who was also from the "wrong side of the tracks", I simply do not have words for how much this sickened me. It's not the white trash thing, that seems pretty harmless. Totally unprofessional and stupid to allow through but not racist.

What gets me is the wink-wink lets pretend to be poor theme. These people need to engage in a thought exercise in what it would be like to try and raise a family on a $200/month food budget, with no spare money for anything else but rent and bills. Imagine what it would be like to have to send your kids to school with these asshole's kids, who have every apple product and have no concept of real need. Maybe Blaine needs to spend some time learning empathy and understanding poverty. And grow the fuck up.

Then I invite them to look at that ad again and try and defend it.
16
Thank you #15 for adding some intelligence to the commentary. The people at Blaine were essentially saying, "lets pretend we are poor, it will be really funny! Safeway sales? Haha!" Yet kids at their school and all over the city are struggling. Way to teach kids about empathy. Just the fact that someone sanctioned it in a PTA sponsored public school event is shocking. Have a private party and keep your stupidity to yourselves.
17
Too bad the State of Washington & City of Seattle waste our education dollars on a high cost/low value administration and frivolous "make everybody feel good" programs instead of spending the dollars to support the schools and teachers. Interesting to note that according to the Seattle School District's 2012 Budget Report: C-Blaine's budget per student is the lowest of any K-8 school in the city. Is this fair? I guess their PTA has to raise more money in order to make up for the shortfall.
18
Dear 17,
School funding is an issue with every public school in this country. And it's a distraction here. The Blaine school district had to have an insensitive, classist Let-Them-Eat-Cake event because they have a large shortfall? Well, not according to the mothers "on the RIGHT side of the tracks". You might assume they're doing just fine. Yes, all schools have to raise money. Public, private, ALL. Point of this is how obnoxious one particular event was. Let's not make it sound like these PTA parents are victims of something more than any other family in this country.
19
Dear 18,

The issue of school funding is not a distraction but the real issue here. Bottom line is the Seattle School District does not fund the Blaine equally. Blaine receives 20% less per student, on average, than the other Seattle K-8 students. Don't dodge the question. You want equality right? Then why shouldn't tax dollars be spent equally on all the students in the school district? You may want to bash the Blaine PTA, but Magnolia is a net exporter of tax/levy dollars that go to fund the rest of the School District.
20
Dear 17,

Your "assumption" that the "mothers on the RIGHT side of the tracks" makes you worse than any racist or snob, it makes you just simply an ass. How dare you make assumptions about who these people are, you are making an assumption about where people live....there are STILL kids bused to this school, there are still free and reduced lunch kids at this school, HOW DO YOU KNOW IT WASN"T THEIR MOMS WHO PLANNED THIS PARTY? You don't, so stop making assumptions that simply make you the ass!
21
Dear 20, I KNOW who hosted the party. No assumptions. Fact. But thanks for the rant.
22
@20 The only asses here are the people responsible for allowing this party to be advertised at all. It was an incredible breach of professionalism, and displayed for everyone to see a serious class and empathy problem at Blaine.

As for claims that the issue of school funding is the real issue here, you are also incorrect. Lots of schools, including mine, raise incredible amounts of money to support our students, and we are able to do it without tasteless crap like this.

I again call on the Blaine PTA to publicly admit to this mistake, without trying to justify it with claims of need for money. Every school needs money. But not every school advertises the modern equivalent of a blackface party to get it. "Let's eat on safeway purchased flatware!" *wretch* Imagine how low income south seattle schools feel for a moment, won't you? Can you imagine one of them hosting a party with the headline 'let's party like we're in the 98199'?

No you cant. Because the parents of those schools are too busy trying to survive. They don't even have time to whine about how their school gets slightly less funding.

Blaine PTA: Own up to this, and the problems it has exposed in your culture. Use at as a learning experience with your children. Stop setting a bad example by trying to justify this because you have to have an auction to to make your school feel like it belongs in the 98199.
23
Whether or not this was good judgement for a public school auction is one thing.

But why should the poor be immune from being made fun of? Why should anyone?

And fyi, you folks from Seattle use the word "empathy" more than guys from New Jersey grab their balls and say "fuggedaboudit."

Your hypersensitive, white-guilt driven narcissism is tiresome. And you weren't even rewarded with a TV show about it. Portland was.

Suckers.
24
Whether or not this was good judgement for a public school auction is one thing.

But why should the poor be immune from being made fun of? Why should anyone?

And fyi, you folks from Seattle use the word "empathy" more than guys from New Jersey grab their balls and say "fuggedaboudit."

Your hypersensitive, white-guilt driven narcissism is tiresome. And you didn't even get a TV show about your hypersensitive, white-guilt driven narcissism. Portland did.

Suckers.
25
March 13, 2013
Let me start by saying that I am truly sorry for any offense that anyone has taken to the “White Trash Tea Party” that was to be offered at our school auction. There was never any intent by the auction committee to offend, mock, be insensitive or advocate racism in anyway, as has been purported via e-mail and through the Stranger Blogs.
The entire school gala was run by a volunteer committee comprised of thirteen parents of very different ethnic and economic backgrounds.
In hindsight, we should have never let this party be described in such a way. But, many pairs of eyes reviewed this and not one of them went to a place of hatred, racism or elitism.
I, myself, am a second generation Filipino American who is married to an Irish American. Clearly, I’m not the whitest person in the neighborhood as has been insinuated. My family, like many others, have faced financial hardship the past few years due to the economy. We live paycheck to paycheck like the majority of our neighbors and as anyone who knows me, knows that having four matching hubcaps would make my day. The insinuation that those who live in Magnolia believe that they are of a certain class is absolutely ridiculous. I fully recognize that we are fortunate to live in a wonderful community and would never look down upon those who are less fortunate.
Regarding community, what upsets me the most is that there are parents who would rather contact a news organization rather than communicate directly with the PTA board? I would like to thank the TWO parents who communicated directly with us. If our actions were not fast enough, I am sorry. The party was pulled the next morning after having a chance to speak to the party host, whose children happen to be a Hispanic/African American/Caucasian mix. The party theme was NOT her idea. As a new parent to Blaine, she was simply trying to get involved by offering a venue in which the suggested party could be held. The party was never offered at the event and it was removed the PTA website. My co-chair and I spent all day Friday setting up a party for 300 people and had not even read the comments being posted on The Stranger.
Why anyone would want to have our school publicly portrayed in such a way does not make sense to me. This has been the trend all year. When there has been a concern, the immediate response has been to send off an e-mail to rant about the issue rather than actually COMMUNICATE with the parties involved. That is why my personal position all year has been to not communicate via e-mail over matters of importance, but to make myself available via phone or over a cup of coffee. In my opinion, much is lost when trying to convey your message through the written word versus a one on one conversation.
Also, why involve other school PTA’s when you don’t have the facts? The fact that this controversy was not only submitted to The Stranger, but also forwarded to other schools is beyond reproach.
This has been a year of challenge in many respects. We have a few parents who seem to be unhappy with the education and environment that their children are experiencing. I truly do not understand this. The most important thing to me is that my children are happy and getting a wonderful education. They are getting exactly that with the educators and administrators at Catharine Blaine. For that, I am truly thankful.
Some would like to place the blame for this unfortunate incident on the PTA board leadership. So much so as to try and have them removed from their seat. This is truly unfounded. If any blame is to be placed, it lies with the fundraising chairs. It was our ultimate responsibility to review all items being offered and we obviously failed at recognizing the discord this would create. The only thing our PTA board leadership has done in this situation is to completely have our backs. She was trying to help us get through the weekend and pull off a successful event, which we thankfully did.
I may sound defensive. Maybe I am. But, anyone who knows me (and those truly are the only ones whose opinion of me matters) knows that I care deeply about my children and all the children at Catharine Blaine and would never do anything intentionally to bring about all of these negative feelings. The fact that anyone would believe that I am a racist or would mock the poor leaves me feeling saddened. I know at the end of the day that I am none of these things. I am at peace with who I am and the efforts I have put forth as a proud member of the Catharine Blaine PTA.