When the campus culture wars made their way to an elite private school in New York City, former Fox News darling Megyn Kelly could not be stopped from getting involved.
Kelly was up in arms after the mother of a middle-school aged child wrote an open letter to the board, administrators, faculty and parents of the Spence School condemning a history teacher for showing an episode of comedian Ziwe Fumodoh’s Showtime series. The episode in question discussed “the phenomenon of white women,” and included a focus group for women named Karen, per its description.
In her three-page letter, Gabriela Baron wrote that the episode of Ziwe’s show that was played in class “exemplifies hate speech against white women.” She added that her daughter didn’t have a choice of whether or not to watch the episode, which she said was astounding, appalling, and deeply insulting.
“After watching the video I feel like I have been gut-punched and I am extremely angry," Baron wrote. "Angry that our daughter’s last day at Spence—my alma mater and the school I thought I would one day see her graduate from—ended on this note."
Kelly first became involved last year in the "war" against the so-called indoctrination of youth in schools when she announced she was pulling her own kids out of their respective private schools — including Spence — because they had taken a “hard left.” So, it’s not exactly shocking that Kelly would join Baron in solidarity with all the white women who came before them to complain to the manager.
Via Twitter, Kelly, known for her often controversial and racist comments over her career in media, had Baron’s back. “(Another) Spence parent pulls her kid after grossly racist episode attacking white women is forced on girls in class,” Kelly wrote alongside screenshots of Baron’s letter. “We just left this school bc of its growing far-left indoctrination. This is a place we’ve loved-breaks my heart they’re doing this.” Straight from the woman who argued Santa is white. Weird hill to die on, but ok.
The campus culture wars have been ongoing for several years since far right activists began hosting speaking tours at colleges and universities nationwide in 2015. While they were often met with protests — and sometimes militant direct action — conservatives used the opportunity to launch a campaign to complain that free speech was under attack.
They are once again on the offensive, but with a different angle this time following a summer of uprisings with demands for racial justice and police abolition. It all started last year when the battle over teaching critical race theory in schools had conservatives on edge over school districts allegedly “indoctrinating” their children. Since then, conservative groups and parents — with help from a far right media apparatus obsessed with upholding white innocence (think, Breitbart and Fox News) — are now swarming school boards nationwide with their gripes about schools centering conversations around race and racism in the classroom.
As for the Karens at the Spence School, Baron wrote, “Spence needs to do better than this and I believe that the family of every student in that class is owed an apology from the school. Racism is racism.” She also added that she hopes the school will one day be “great again,” in a message echoing that of the former president. Of course, much in the same way that references to a once-great America conveniently ignored how the glories of the past were only accessible to the elite few, it's hard to see how a school that costs $57,385 per year to attend was ever great for anyone but the very rich.