Mother Faces Jail Time for Booing ‘Racist’ Skit

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It’s rare that anyone would boo a children’s dance recital but that’s exactly what Jackie Carter, mother of a Kenwood Middle School girl in Arlington, VA, did when the Bowen McCauley Dance Company performed “Little Rabbit, Where’s Your Mammy?” Now, she faces up to one year in jail for her actions.

Jackie first saw the performance involving a white kid and his black mammy singing and dancing to the tune of “Little Rabbit” on the morning of April 29, 2011. She immediately reached out to school officials and the founder of the dance company with no success to discuss the skit which she said was “racist and offensive to African-Americans and African American women especially.” That afternoon, she returned for another performance during which she stood up and booed and also handed out letters of protest. When Jackie returned to see yet another performance  April 30 and began booing, she said she was attacked by Bowen McCauley staff members who began hitting her, blocking her from returning to her seat, and pulling her in different directions. Jackie was subsequently arrested and charged with disorderly conduct, a Class 1 misdemeanor which carries a penalty of up to one year in jail and a $2,500 fine. She told Afro her actions were justified:

“The principal told me the Bowen McCauley Dance Company was a partner of the school, therefore, he was not going to challenge it. They left me with no choice.”

The school principal continued to defend the skit in a letter to Kenwood parents on May 2 as well, writing:

“The word ‘mammy’ used in the song is a colloquial affectionate term for mother or grandmother and was used historically and still today in some areas by both African and White Americans, especially in the south. I recognize that the term mammy is sometimes viewed as an offensive term for a Black nursemaid in the southern U.S.”

Jackie, a long-time and well-known stage director in the DC area, isn’t buying it, and neither should anyone else. She wrote that the mammy scene centers on the image of the slave birthing women used as wet-nurses and “the many other unspeakable crimes committed against their enslaved minds, souls and bodies,” therefore it should not be performed. The school may not have listened but Jackie will have another chance to defend her point of view and her actions at her next hearing April 23.



44 Comment

  1. I just can not believe some people are so dumb and insensitive to other people feeling…Do they really believe what they are not exhibiting racial overtones……..

  2. Okay, that’s the dumbest shit I have ever heard. Oh wait. No it’s not. I’m hearing the most insane stuff everyday. No one I know in my family, friends, or co-workers use the word “mammy.” That’s complete nonsense. However, whites need to justify their ignorance and racism with such excuses. It’s so sickening beyond belief how they want to exploit and demean our history in America as “no big deal.”

  3. I’m glad she stood up for something. I’m sure there were other blacks who felt the same way but just sat there even after he started booing. I would have joined her. We have to start acting on the fact that there is power in the people..if we stand up together, we can change all the things that are wrong! I congratulate her!

  4. I feel contempt for educators who use a warped and racist event in history and justifies it in contemporary times. Racial climate is still hostile in this country. The principal is a much of a dolt as his staff. How do you offend an offense? Now, if we portrayed something in history about another group that is non-Black or Native American, we’d have all kinds of leagues up that school’s butts. Well, what do you want: Ole Virginny.

  5. Of course they knew what they were doing , but they are still trying to covering it up ….As if its not a big deal…..They seems to think its ok …..to make fun of things they shoudnt…… and try to make it sound….. as if they have did nothing wrong….WOW….this is their pattern they follow to keep from owning up to their wrong doing.

  6. It is open season on black people in this country. The Obama presidency has brought out the wolves out of sheep’s clothing and they do not care who they hurt and have no problems justifying their actions. They want to go back to the early 1900’s if possible.

  7. ” My God! What kind of world do we live in were a person of color can go to jail for asking for equality in all things. If she was white they would have supported her stand on this issue and called her a hero. Where are our black leaders when something like this happens the NAACP, Al sharpton, anyone out there beside’s this women who was willing to stand for something, because if we don’t we will fall for anything! What the fu***kind of stupid law is this…senting someone to jail for expressing their First Amendment Rights,oh yeah you only get this right when you are saying what they want to hear…so sad that in the year 2012 we are still fighting for the same rights since slavery.Seriously people iam getting so exhausted, physically and mentally burnt out over this nothing ever changes era we live in day to day…


  9. I applaud the sister as well. The major concern will be if the performance is allowed to be shown in public, particularly in a school forum. A greater problem is, if none of the staff members were charged with disorderly conduct and assault by mob for blocking, hitting, and pulling. Like most school, they should have cameras monitoring active, which will show the staff ganging up on one woman.

    We all need to rally as well by contacting the school district and dance company, emphasizing exactly the same points of Ms. Jackie.
    Apparently whites in the south still want to be known as kkkrackers, evil red neck callous racists

  10. My fb message to the dance company:
    Are you guys still performing the racially motivation “Little Rabbit, Where’s Your Mammy?” The performance concept is insensitive and encourages racial discrimination. The performance should be banned and your company should be forthcoming with issuing a public apology. Human kind would appreciation your cooperation with addressing this damaging issue immediately.

    • wiser. I love your comment. It is funny as hell, but really intelligent.

  11. This is sad!! These images deeply effect children. How can someone be so insensitive and cruel. Are these people so unhappy that it gives them joy to hurt others!

  12. I don’t know who the jackass was that wrote the statement, saying that mammy was a term of affection for a mother or grandmother in the south. That is a bold faced lie, the term refered to black women who were wet nurses as cows, and that is what it still means ask any farmer. I am so sick of undercover racists getting away with spreading poision too our children in our school systems. First these bastards try and tell our little girls that the only thing they will ever be is babies mommas on welfare, the devil is a liar. They tell our little boys they will only be thugs, murderers, drug addicts, and the only way they will ever have anything is too sell drugs and still we say or do nothing. Even the entertainment media is bias showing mostly black people on drugs and welfare and committing most of the crime.

    Again I say too you that the devil is a liar, wake up get behind this woman who ever she is help her get the finance to hire lawyers to fight this injustice. She had the courage to stand up and fight for your children and mind when every other coward kept their seat and said nothing. The way for injustice to prevail is for good people to do nothing.


    • I called my mother that trying to be funny, and she was offended. She told me that my mammy was between my legs!

  13. I admire the mother for standing up and speaking out against that type of ignorance.If there were other black folks there sitting in the audience at this so called event they should have stood up also
    and protested.

  14. Good for Ms. Carter! I only hope that the black community in D. C. will not sit idly by and allow to defend herself for fear of some sort of reprisal. Where were the men especially? According to the article she was, “…attacked by Bowen McCauley staff members who began hitting her, blocking her from returning to her seat, and pulling her in different directions.” I guarantee to you that if I had have been there that evening, if I had of been in the room when they were tossing her around and about I would most likely have ended up spending the night in jail.

  15. Racism is alive and well in AMERICA…the land of the free. The principal of Kenwood Middle School should be immediately suspended for exercising poor judgment. Welcome to the new post racial society in America. This country is racist as hell. Black people need to discuss this fact with there children as soon as the child is emotionally equipped to handle this REALITY

  16. how can she be arrested when that dance company attacked her for booing!

  17. This article is repulsive, these racist people really make me sick to my stomach. I live in the south and I have never heard anyone use that term, and as a term of affectionate endearment. That is the most asinine thing I have heard. These beasts think that they can say or do anything, and exhibit any kind of idiotic behavior, without any repercussions . These last three years have really bought out this animal’s fangs. Before,they were just foxes, now the wolf show’s it’s teeth, when a dog looks like it is smiling at you, is when it is most vicious and about to attack. Stop singing and start swinging. If a rabid dog attacks you, do you just stand there and sing we shall overcome, or do you do something.

  18. Are the white people today reincarnated from the 1800’s and missing their way of life when they had slave? I wish I would call my mother mammy I would get the mammy slapped right out of me. They are getting bolder and bolder day by day. These are the people who brought US over here on a boat, Sold US as animals, had sex with US, keep us locked up in chains, and now is getting mad with US because we don’t appreciate that we don’t love them or worship them. As my brother said the only way to hurt a white person (as a Black person) is to tell them that you don’t love them and have no respect for them. There is really no negative word to call them. If you call them a racist they will tell you you are one because you don’t like white people. YeaH, have a reason too. As far as in the South in 2012 I have never heard anybody call any black woman a mammy, at least not to their face. President Obama has really gave the reason to let the dogs out. Like they say “They shot old yaller”.

  19. It is a serious wake-up call for all peace loving people. More importantly it’s a sign of the times and unless we put them in check it will be open season on all African-American people. It has become increasing clear that the racist fringe of America now feel they can demean and belittle African-American people without fear of retaliation. Until and unless we stand up and take issue with it in “loud” and “forceful” terms, it will not get better it will only get worst. We need to call the racist out when ever and where ever he or she raises its ugly head. Its time to stop turning the other cheek!

  20. I’m a born & bred southern belle & I have NEVER heard anyone refer to someone they love as “mammy”. NEVER.

  21. Ditto on that Herman Hawkins! It is so good to hear of black folks with an insult level,
    coupled with the courage of conviction to act on it. Imagine the negative psychological
    impact this play had on black students and children who may have been witness to this
    slimely piece of hate mongling being passed off as art. Thank God Jackie, a real adult,
    with an insult level, was there to stunt further damage to the black children being humiliated
    and made to feel inferior with this racist slap stick routine. Kudos to her. As Wise suggested,
    it would help if the black community would chime in and help on this one by COMPLAINING.

  22. People need to get a grip with this word “mammy”. It’s pronounced MOMMY or MAMI. Same word. Africans in the US did NOT use the A sound as in “cat” “rat” etc. at the time. This was only recently introduced. It was always “mami” but europeans wrote the word as “mammy” to try to equate it with their own anglicized orthography.

    As to this woman facing jail time, the US is a POLICE STATE and a FASCIST state.

  23. Thank you all for your strong and encouraging words of support. It is needed. Please send emails of support for Jackie Carter to lgraham@lngwlaw.com and protest emails to SSpurr (at) courts.state.va (Steven Spurr, Clerk of the General District Court). Please send comments to the Afro American Newspaper at http://www.afro.com.

    Thanks again.

  24. Need your support

  25. Need your support contact lgraham@lngwlaw.com. Thank you.

  26. contact lgraham@lngwlaw.com. Thank you.

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