A middle school choir’s performance of a controversial song exposes the hypocrisy of the left and raises questions about the influence of progressive educators on our children’s education.
Parents attending the Springfield Middle School’s fall concert expected an enjoyable evening, but their anticipation turned to disbelief and outrage when they heard the children singing “Cotton Needs Pickin’.” This song, performed shortly after students in the district were seen posing with a Confederate flag, sparked controversy and led to many parents leaving the auditorium during their child’s eighth-grade choir performance.
Nicole Maulsby, a Cuban parent of a student at the school, expressed her indignation on Facebook. She recorded and shared the contentious choir performance online, revealing to the public what the school’s educators had allowed. Her African American husband, Alonzo, was so offended that he left the auditorium during the performance.
Maulsby and others felt that the song, which celebrates cotton-picking workers, had racist undertones and was an endorsement of slavery in the South. Many people who viewed the Facebook video agreed, suggesting that the teachers were using the eighth-grade students to promote a racist message and further white supremacy in the community.
Springfield Schools Superintendent Matt Geha, however, denied any racist intent behind the song. He stated that it was taken from a book of American folk songs and that he had not received any direct complaints after the performance. He did acknowledge the growing number of complaints on Facebook but attributed the song choice to the school’s curriculum.
“I know that timing can sound bad, but it’s a historical component for what the choir department had to use for their curriculum.”
Despite the superintendent’s explanation, the song’s lyrics, such as “Cotton needs pickin’ so bad, we’re going to pick all over this field,” struck Maulsby and others as an ill-advised attempt to promote a racist message. The school’s recent involvement with the Confederate flag controversy and racial slurs used in the parking lot across the street only fueled these suspicions.
The song’s performance was particularly ill-timed, given the community’s recent race-related disputes. Just a month prior, male members of a Christian youth organization called Young Life had posted videos and photos of themselves with the Confederate flag during a rally.
The flag is a historical symbol of the states that seceded from the United States in an effort to maintain African American enslavement. These same Christian youths also shared racially offensive content on their Snapchat feeds.
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