Two Boston public school officials have resigned over text messages they sent to each other in October exposing feelings of anti-white racism.
Boston School Committee member Lorna Rivera, a professor of women’s studies at the University of Massachusetts Boston, resigned Friday over her racist messages.
“Sick of Westie whites,” Rivera wrote via text, referring to the Boston West Roxbury neighborhood, according to The Boston Globe. “Wait until the white racists start yelling at us,” she wrote in another message.
Once adamant she would stay on board, Chairwoman Alexandra Oliver-Dávila also resigned over her racial messages. “Whatever. They’re delusional. I hate WR [West Roxbury],” she wrote in response to Rivera’s text about “white racists.”
According to the Globe, the racially-charged text exchange occurred back in October on “the same night former School Committee chairman Michael Loconto was caught on Zoom making comments to his wife that seemed to make fun of the Asian names off people lined up for public comment.”
During the meeting, the committee voted to back a controversial proposal that dropped the admission test and instead based admission on MCAS scores, grades, and ZIP codes, Boston.com explained. The website outlined texts from Rivera and Oliver-Dávila about the meeting:
Oliver-Dávila: “Best school committee meeting ever. I’m trying not to cry.”
Rivera: “Wait until the white racists start yelling at us.”
Oliver-Dávila: “Whatever. They’re Delusional. I hate WR [West Roxbury]”
Rivera: “Sick of Westie whites”
Oliver-Dávila: “Me too. I really feel like saying that.”
Superintendent Brenda Cassellius said the texts between the two women were “disappointing and hurtful to the Boston Public Schools community, and to our larger efforts to combat racism in all forms.”
Though the pair have apologized for their texts, Rivera made clear in her resignation letter that she believes she was targeted for her identity and political leanings against things like the “patriarchy,” not her apparent anti-white racism. The Daily Caller highlighted:
“Nationally and locally, there are white supremacist groups that are coordinating efforts to ban the teaching of ethnic studies, diversity and inclusion activities, and other racial equity work in our public schools and universities,” Rivera wrote in her letter of resignation, according to Boston.com.
“I am being targeted as a Latina gender studies professor who teaches about racism, patriarchy, and oppression,” she added in the letter.
Rivera also claimed the bizarre delay in the uncovering of the text messages was part of a “right-wing” “inside job.”
“This is a right-wing coordinated effort to derail [the] BPS exam school vote,” she told the Globe. “The timing and leak of these texts were intentional and an inside job.”
According to Boston.com, Oliver-Dávila agreed, saying she “felt like it was strategy [to leak the texts] at this moment in time.”
“That means someone had [those texts] for a long time,” Oliver-Dávila added. “I do feel it’s being weaponized against the equity work that we’re doing.”
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