'Cotton Picking' Homecoming Poster Goes Viral, Black Teen Is Blamed

Photo: Getty Images

"If I was Black I would be picking cotton, but I'm white so I'm picking you for [homecoming]?"

That's the message on a homecoming proposal poster made by students at a Kansas City, Missouri high school. A photo of two white teens holding the poster –– which featured a cluster of cotton balls –– was posted on social media last week has since gone viral.

Its message was apparently originally meant for a white girl and written by a white boy, both of whom are seen standing in the photo behind the poster. Now, one of the mothers of the teen's involved is placing part of the blame on a Black teen.

"It was the African American boy who actually made the sign, already marked up and took the picture," Rhonda Windholz told KSHB. Windholz said the unidentified Black teen –– who doesn't appear in the photo –– should bare some of the blame for the ordeal, and that her daughter shouldn't be blamed for participating in something she didn't know was racist.

Windholz told the outlet their family believes "all lives matter" and that her daughter just got "caught up in the excitement of being asked to her first ever homecoming."

Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas tweeted Tuesday (September 28) that the incident isn't isolated to the one photo and is related to the governor's push to remove the truth of America's past from schools.

"With another racism scandal at an area school each week, it is abundantly clear that rather than removing race from education and marginalizing the history of all people in our region, we need critically to empower our students to fight and call out racism," Lucas wrote.

Earlier in September, a different school in the area had to address a student-generated petition that called for slavery to be brought back.

School officials announced they're investigating the homecoming poster incident and are reaching out to families of color "to begin a conversation of support," KCUR reported.

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