Thank you for raising your voice at your school’s Puerto Rican Day event. We are outraged that the blogger and former teacher known as Turtle Boy, who avoided an investigation into lewd and intimidating behavior toward a young woman by quitting his teaching job, has decided to target you.
That Aidan Kearney, director of Turtle Boy’s blog, either took it upon himself or allowed others to post numerous pictures lifted from a high-school student’s personal Facebook page is beyond inappropriate. His sexualizing comments are abhorrent. We call on our communities in Holyoke, throughout Massachusetts, and as far as word will spread to condemn this predator’s actions in the strongest possible terms. By exposing a young woman’s images to his virulent reactionary following, Aiden Kearney has compromised the safety and privacy that every child deserves.
We stand with you against the harassment and cruelty that Aiden Kearney is trying to foment. We condemn the sources, whoever they may be, who asked him to write this hit-piece. It is unforgivable that an adult in a position of authority over you, including teachers at your school, according to Aiden Kearney, would jeopardize your well-being by directing a known internet abuser to write about you.
You clearly are more academically gifted by far than Aiden Kearney, who despite being a teacher in the past, has no idea how to analyze poetry or history. We recognize that your poem is about racism, a topic that is far too heavy for some grown adults to handle, despite the fact that children of color must live with the impact of it every day.
It escaped Aiden Kearney’s notice that in the very recent wake of a massive storm that has left the majority of Puerto Rico’s residents without electricity or cell service, while family members are struggling to locate each other and an imperialist piece of legislation known as the Jones act is hindering international aid from reaching people who need it, the President of the United States of America can still refer to disaster relief as “debt” without a shadow of remorse.
It escaped Aiden Kearney’s notice that white supremacists were able to openly rally in Charlottesville, again, just two months after the last white supremacist rally in the same location during which a protester was killed in cold blood.
Aiden Kearney did not notice that as football players are protesting – peacefully, silently, kneeling down, harming no one – the Vice President of the United States made it a point to get up and leave, because their message that there is something wrong with police brutality is the something wrong with the situation to a white man who has the privilege of not caring.
But we hear you, and we believe you. You do not deserve the hatred of Aiden Kearney, nor anyone else. You deserve to be heard. The problems you address in your powerful poem are more important and more worth all of our time than the words of another privileged white man. You have our support, our admiration, and our thanks for using your platform to speak your truth.