An ongoing “hate crime” controversy in Maplewood, New Jersey, brings Leftist fantasies about evil, racist “Amerikkka” once again to the fore. The family of Sumayyah Wyatt, a second-grade Muslim student at Maplewood’s Seth Boyden Elementary School, is claiming that a rogue “Islamophobic” teacher tore off their daughter’s hijab, traumatizing the little girl. Hijab-wearing Olympic medalist Ibtihaj Muhammad, a Maplewood native, said: “This is abuse. Schools should be a haven for all of our kids to feel safe, welcome and protected — no matter their faith.”
The Hamas-linked Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) is demanding the teacher’s head – figuratively, of course. However, the teacher denies everythin, and has had to ask the police for protection after receiving death threats. There does seem to have been a hate crime committed, but who the victim really is has not yet been made fully clear.
CAIR-NJ Executive Director Selaedin Maksut has no doubt, however, declaring: “We call for the immediate firing of the teacher. Anything less is an insult to the students and parents of Maplewood. Forcefully stripping off the religious headscarf of a Muslim girl is not only exceptionally disrespectful behavior but also a humiliating and traumatic experience. Muslim students already deal with bullying from peers, it’s unthinkable that a teacher would add to their distress. Islamophobia in our public schools must be addressed in New Jersey and nationwide. Classrooms are a place for students to feel safe and welcome, not fear practicing their faith.”
It is indeed unthinkable. It’s also virtually inconceivable. In its story on the controversy, WABC wrote: “The allegations have many in the community asking, how does this happen in 2021?” Good question. The idea that there would be a second-grade teacher in any school in the country in 2021 who would feel free to rip off a Muslim student’s hijab simply doesn’t accord with the real world. But in the Left’s world, we’re not living in 2021 at all, or if we are, it is a nightmare version of 1955, with “white supremacists” running rampant, terrorizing defenseless People of Color whose just grievances are laughed at by rogue cops and racist judges. Women are forced to deny their true aspirations and resign themselves to lives of housework and children they can’t abort. “Hate” is a family value, with ethnic and religious minorities regularly subjected to incomprehension, abuse, ridicule, and worse.
If that world ever existed, it is long gone, but not as far as Leftist pundits and opinion-makers are concerned. Jenn M. Jackson, whose website says she is a “queer genderflux androgynous Black woman” and who is also an assistant professor of political science at Syracuse University with a book published by Random House, tweeted Saturday that she lives “under a white supremacist state.” Jackson doesn’t live in South Africa in 1965; she actually thinks, or wants us to think, that America during the regime of Old Joe Biden’s handlers is a “white supremacist state.”
In the same vein, CAIR routinely paints a picture of America as a “racist,” “Islamophobic” nest of bigots and hatemongers. This is understandable: Victim status is currency today, and being the victim of hate crimes is what makes one rich. When those hate crimes do not exist in sufficient numbers, they have to be invented.
Sumayyah Wyatt’s mother, Cassandra Wyatt, is sure this one is real. She says that the teacher tore off Sumayyah’s hijab right in front of the whole class. “She had to know that was a hijab,” said Cassandra Wyatt. “She has to pay for that. I’d love for her to apologize to my daughter, and then my daughter would feel better.” Their attorney stated: “Ultimately, the teacher succeeds in pulling the hijab off her head, followed by a bizarre statement which is, ‘Your hair is beautiful.’ It is incredibly disturbing. It is very, very, symbolic of disregard of her religion and certainly something that has affected my clients overall.”
However, the teacher’s own attorney, Samantha Harris, tells a sharply different story: “This is not a story about a teacher who forcibly removed a student’s hijab. This is a story about social media, misinformation, and what happens when people publicize rumors without any knowledge of or regard for the truth. [The teacher] did not, as has been alleged, forcibly remove a student’s hijab or tell a student that she should not have to wear a hijab. In accordance with school policy, [the teacher] directed a student in her class to pull down the hood on what appeared to be a hooded sweatshirt because it was blocking her eyes – and immediately rescinded that request when she realized that the student was wearing the hood in place of, rather than on top of, her usual hijab. The misinformation shared on social media has caused tremendous harm to [the teacher] – a teacher who, after more than 30 years of devoting her heart and soul to children of all backgrounds, has now had to ask for police protection due to the threats she is receiving following the dissemination of false information on social media.”
Who is telling the truth? The teacher’s explanation is certainly more in line with the way the culture really works today. In any case, South Orange Maplewood School District is investigating and issued the usual platitudes: “The district takes matters of discrimination extremely seriously. We remain committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion throughout our schools, including providing anti-bias and anti-racism training for all educators in the district on a regular basis.”
Great. But what South Orange Maplewood School District might really need is Victimhood Manipulation Discernment Training, plus a dose of two of spine strengthener. So do other districts all over the country. But no one is offering that. If it is confirmed that this teacher has been falsely targeted, she won’t receive any acknowledgment or compensation for having her life threatened and career ruined. That’s the more likely hate crime here.