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Mother says school work sheet is racist
The Intelligencer ^ | October 27, 2009 | CHRISTINA KRISTOFIC

Posted on 11/19/2009 5:32:28 AM PST by SolidWood

When she was helping her son with his homework Saturday night, a Central Bucks mother noticed something that surprised and shocked her.

"I couldn't understand what I was looking at," said the woman, whose identity the newspaper has agreed not to disclose.

It was a work sheet called "Solving Equations using Multiplication and Division!" and it featured a photo of a black man wearing a straw hat, shirt and suspenders, with his mostly toothless mouth wide open. As if to underscore the man's stupidity, at the bottom of the picture was written, "No wai!!!"

The mother learned that her son, the only black student in his eighth-grade pre-algebra class at Lenape Middle School, was teased by another student when the assignment was distributed.

"One of the kids in the classroom turned around and said, 'Is that your father?' " she said.

"We are highly insulted and offended. We sent him to school to learn pre-algebra. He should be protected from this stuff, not have it thrown in his face...He gets enough (racial slurs) and negativity from the kids. To have the teacher encourage it?"

[...]

The boy's mother said she spent much of the weekend angry and in tears.

"It's very stressful to be an African-American in the community and you want to fit in and you want to embrace all of the things Central Bucks offers you," she said. "Who's protecting us here?"

Monday night, after meeting with the boy's family, NAACP Bucks County President John Jordan issued a written statement denouncing the events.

[...]

She plans to keep her son home from school until she feels as though it's safe to send him again.

(Excerpt) Read more at phillyburbs.com ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: isthatyourfather; mathishard; naacp; nowai; racebaiting; racism; whosurdaddy
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To: Izzy Dunne
"The idea that it's not "safe to go back to school" is just ridiculous."

Yes I agree with that. The mother is also "acting stupidly".

It is possible the teacher made an error but I doubt it. The teacher should have known it was insensitive. She is a teacher, they deal with this stuff all of the time. This picture fits the stereotypical mold of an uneducated black man with poor hygiene. Add to that a facial expression pretty close to an ape and tack on a caption ridiculing black speech.

To me it's obvious, and I am not one of those racially sensitive folks but I am sensitive to the feelings of a young child.

101 posted on 11/19/2009 6:39:51 AM PST by bluecollarman (Obama's amazing! One beer summit and he wins a Nobel Peace Prize.)
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To: Puppage
"Racist & racism have lost their meaning. Now, ANYTHING one doesn't like is racist."

Exactly. The "I am offended therefore there must be racism" line is wearing then and charges like this have actually diminished the words. I've been saying this for years on this very forum.

If the guy had been white with freckles, all would have been well. I am so weary of this crap that I almost don't care anymore.

102 posted on 11/19/2009 6:40:22 AM PST by JustaDumbBlonde (Live for Him ... He died for you)
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To: SolidWood

I wonder if this story is really true; or the usual plant.


103 posted on 11/19/2009 6:42:18 AM PST by freekitty (Give me back my conservative vote; then find me a real conservative to vote for)
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To: waiyu

Agreed about PC society... Submit! :-)


104 posted on 11/19/2009 6:43:28 AM PST by rhombus
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To: DemforBush
"I’m gonna back the mother on this one. It was an inappropriate pic to use."

There is a great deal of difference between "inappropriate" and "racist". The mother with whom you are agreeing has taken this way over the deep end. Keeping her child out of school because it isn't "safe"????? Please. Kids can be mean little things and that was also the case 40 years ago when I was in middle school.

105 posted on 11/19/2009 6:45:47 AM PST by JustaDumbBlonde (Live for Him ... He died for you)
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To: healy61
If all students were black, and there was one white student, and the picture was of a white toothless man, I would say the teacher intended to send a message to the black students and one message to the single white student. Yes, it would be racist

I would say you can't know what the teacher intended. To just assume we know something about intent without any more evidence than this picture is why we end up with vague hate crime legislation.

106 posted on 11/19/2009 6:46:03 AM PST by rhombus
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To: Owl_Eagle

LMAO!....your comment is great. All this sensitivity BS is way out of hand. From Gov Palin’s pic on Newsweek to this...So it’s nice to see humor. I feel like we are the equivalent to “Nero fiddling while Rome burned” BTW...I don’t believe this story. Photoshopping is way too easy and we already see the depth people/groups are willing to stoop to create problems that do not exist.


107 posted on 11/19/2009 6:49:12 AM PST by Outlaw Woman (I will die on my feet before I live on my knees.)
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To: SolidWood

one would say crap if this was a white guy ..which is the problem here for me


108 posted on 11/19/2009 6:50:58 AM PST by wardaddy (The movie Valkyrie was excellent...I was surprised. What a cast.)
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To: bluecollarman
"We say we want minorities to fit in and learn usable skills, how does this help?"

How exactly does it hurt? How would this have been better if the graphic depicted a white toothless hillbilly and would it have been racist if the little black boy giggled at the graphic and asked his classmate if that was his daddy? Don't we want all children to fit in to society, regardless of their color? Why keep making a big issue out of what color they happen to be?

109 posted on 11/19/2009 6:51:22 AM PST by JustaDumbBlonde (Live for Him ... He died for you)
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To: JustaDumbBlonde
I am so weary of this crap that I almost don't care anymore.

I couldn't agree more.

110 posted on 11/19/2009 6:51:44 AM PST by Puppage (You may disagree with what I have to say, but I shall defend to your death my right to say it)
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To: bluecollarman
It is possible the teacher made an error but I doubt it.

So you think it was a deliberate racial provocation?
The teacher just up and decided to use stereotypes to badger this kid?

I think it's more likely that the teacher thought absolutely nothing about race and went ahead with what was seen as a funny picture.

You could argue that she "should have" seen it coming, but that means we have to have race on our minds all the time. Isn't that what we're trying to get away from?

111 posted on 11/19/2009 6:52:13 AM PST by Izzy Dunne (Hello, I'm a TAGLINE virus. Please help me spread by copying me into YOUR tag line.)
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To: SolidWood

C’mon. That picture just makes African Americans look like bizarre fools. There’s no place for grotesque junk like that in a school. This ain’t the 1800’s.


112 posted on 11/19/2009 6:55:37 AM PST by popdonnelly (Yes, we disagree - no, we won't shut up - no, we won't quit.)
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To: icwhatudo

I agree that it should no be on a worksheet (any homework). But it is not racist. And as far as insensitive goes to bad. I find the whole Congress offensive and so do many others.


113 posted on 11/19/2009 6:56:52 AM PST by Ratman83
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To: Izzy Dunne
I think it's more likely that the teacher thought absolutely nothing about race and went ahead with what was seen as a funny picture.

Absolute agreement. Not everybody looks at the world through race-colored glasses. I don't want to live in a world where that happens.

114 posted on 11/19/2009 6:57:50 AM PST by paulycy (Demand Constitutionality.)
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To: SolidWood

It’s no secret there’s a BIG problem with the publishers of our public school books . They are agenda driven and rarely screened for there socialist agenda and this type of crap .


115 posted on 11/19/2009 7:00:20 AM PST by lionheart 247365 (-:{ GLEN BECK is 0bama's TRANSPARENCY CZAR }:-)
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To: SolidWood

phillyburbs.com is behind the times. This happened, and was widely reported, about a month ago.


116 posted on 11/19/2009 7:02:28 AM PST by SengirV
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To: SolidWood

I can’t believe there is a teacher out there with such poor judgement.

That teacher acted stupidly.


117 posted on 11/19/2009 7:03:33 AM PST by ladyjane
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To: Ghost of Philip Marlowe
"You know where this is headed...to a trial lawyer."

Probably. However, education systems, no matter how insensitive to needs and feelings of students, are extremely sensitive to their bottom line.

If mama gets lawyered up, suddenly this becomes worth bringing to the school board's attention.

I haven't taught for 35 years, but even then, principals tended to ignore teachers and parents. I taught for 3 different principals, only one of whom payed attention and was fair to everyone. The others catered to athletes and cut corners on real school events--i.e., placement testing required to take one whole day was pushed through in one morning, making them totally invalid.

If this were my child I would be soooo angry.

Where is she located--Atlanta area?

vaudine

118 posted on 11/19/2009 7:04:43 AM PST by vaudine
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To: Alice in Wonderland

Well, math classes are usually sorted to the student’s ability. Not all kids are ready for Algebra in middle school


119 posted on 11/19/2009 7:06:17 AM PST by denfurb (proud Mama, 6 girls and 1 boy)
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To: ozark hilljilly

I agree. I made lots of signs and hand outs for my racially/ethnically/nationality mixed Sunday School students and would never have used an image like that. Or even an image of a white “redneck” for that matter.

I stayed away from all white or all black crowd representations just because we were a really mixed congregation.

Kind of funny, we had 3 Methodist churches in town, one predominatly African-American, one Korean, and ours which was a mix of everyone including many diplomatic families from Europe and Africa, as well as whites, Asians, African-American. Three vastly different worship services tailored to the congregations.

There are plenty of appropriate graphics the teacher could have chosen. Mom should have approached the teacher and he should have apologized to her and maybe talked to the class about it, using his faux pas as a learning experience.


120 posted on 11/19/2009 7:06:47 AM PST by YankeeGirl
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To: NMEwithin

That’s OK. We still love you!!!


121 posted on 11/19/2009 7:07:45 AM PST by RexBeach
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To: vaudine

I would be angry too. And I’d want the teacher fired. But the NEA won’t allow even teachers like this to be fired.

The problem is that it is the TAXPAYER that pays these lawsuits eventually, just as it is other consumers that pay any reward that is given in trial-lawyer scams.

Everything is paid by the consumer eventually.

Offensive? Yes.

Worth a huge monetary payout? No.


122 posted on 11/19/2009 7:09:26 AM PST by Ghost of Philip Marlowe (Prepare for survival.)
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To: JustaDumbBlonde

You’re reading wayyyy too much into my post.


123 posted on 11/19/2009 7:11:19 AM PST by DemforBush (Now officially 100% ex-Democrat.)
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To: SolidWood
The boy's mother said she spent much of the weekend angry and in tears.

Poor, misery pimp-deluded woman. The emphasis in the picture is on the mouf and the surprise, not the blackness of the mouf.
124 posted on 11/19/2009 7:12:00 AM PST by aruanan
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To: Fred911
Why would an image like that be on an Algebra sheet???? Highly insensitive and racist.

How in the world do you get anything racist out of that photo? Or insensitive, for that matter?
125 posted on 11/19/2009 7:13:26 AM PST by aruanan
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To: DemforBush

I’m only reading what you wrote. In your own words, you are backing the mother on this one.


126 posted on 11/19/2009 7:15:14 AM PST by JustaDumbBlonde (Live for Him ... He died for you)
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To: SolidWood; All

What about this picture (stolen from another thread.)

Encouraging?
Condescending?
Funny?
Boring?
Politically Correct?
Neutral?

Why do you think that? Do you have to inject race into your decision making to figure out what you are going to say?

That's looking at the world through Politically Correct, Race-Colored Glasses.

All images are neutral unless they have words on them. You MUST bring your own experiences to an image.

What about the black guy with bad teeth? What if that is a treasured family photo of a beloved father who un-self-consciously makes jokes about his clearly misaligned teeth in good humor and would, himself, laugh at the math homework page? Would you allow yourself to see it as simply a funny picture if you were given *permission* by the person pictured? By a PC group like the NAACP?

The point is that we CANNOT detect racism from any picture, not even one with that particular caption. Maybe he's Jamaican and speaks (and spells) pidgin english. Then that spelling might be acceptable. You don't know. But you are scared.

The notion of racism comes from what is inside the viewer, not the picture itself. The picture is simply an image. You, the viewer, must supply the context in your own mind. You can choose how to view it, through race-colored glasses or not.

It would be much more fun and far friendlier to ignore all that PC crap and just admit that people are funny. Well, most people.... ;0)

127 posted on 11/19/2009 7:17:18 AM PST by paulycy (Demand Constitutionality.)
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To: SolidWood

That picture is a textbook (pun intended) case of crass insensitivity.


128 posted on 11/19/2009 7:17:50 AM PST by Darnright (There can never be a complete confidence in a power which is excessive. - Tacitus)
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To: squarebarb
It’s offensive and it is meant to offend black people. That was its purpose.

How could you possibly know that? It could have been meant to offend mostly toothless people or people who can't spell or people who, by poor oral hygiene, insult the proud tradition of wearing straw hats and suspenders.

Or it could have been used to show surprise without any racial intent at all.
129 posted on 11/19/2009 7:18:47 AM PST by aruanan
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To: SolidWood

If it’s true, it could be racist.

It is absolutely stupid.


130 posted on 11/19/2009 7:20:33 AM PST by Lee'sGhost (Johnny Rico picked the wrong girl!)
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To: SolidWood

That is just plain revolting.


131 posted on 11/19/2009 7:28:53 AM PST by BenLurkin
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To: Iron Munro; stylecouncilor

Iron don’t make me laugh. This is a serious topic.


132 posted on 11/19/2009 7:29:09 AM PST by windcliff
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To: SolidWood
As others have said, such pictures have no place in math lessons. I'm guessing this worksheet is from a series of worksheets with pictures. It would be interesting to see the other pictures to put this one in perspective. As a stand alone photo, it appears to be inappropriate. However if the other worksheets have funny pictures depicting white people, exclusion of a funny black man could be considered racist.

The real problem started with the other kid asking the black kid if the picture was of his father. My guess is that the little smart-ass would have asked the same question if the picture had been of Martin Luther King.

Any competent teacher would have realized such a photo could cause a problem in almost any middle school classroom. This one even ignored the issue when students complained. I hope the dunce is now happy with how things are playing out.

133 posted on 11/19/2009 7:29:50 AM PST by Fetid Facts (Under Democrats, "The law is a ass--a idiot.")
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To: rhombus

I know you don’t agree. I stand by my perception.


134 posted on 11/19/2009 7:29:50 AM PST by Lazamataz (DEFINITION: rac-ist (rA'sis't) 1. Anyone who disagrees with a liberal about any topic.)
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To: SolidWood

If that’s the actual pic—I don’t really blame the mother -that’s just stupid—and totally gratuitous. Why the hell don’t they just teach math?—they usually err on the side of sqishy PC and that’s wrong but this is just offensive and dumb for no reason. If (as is more likely) they show a stupid “hillbilly” caricature, I’d feel the same way.


135 posted on 11/19/2009 7:30:18 AM PST by Mac from Cleveland (Dreams from My Father--food, shelter, and education from some typical white folks)
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To: rhombus
So if the picture was of a white man, it wouldn’t be racist?

Exactly!

136 posted on 11/19/2009 7:31:39 AM PST by airborne (As long as Muslims are a "protected species", all Americans are an "endangered species".)
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To: SolidWood

To clarify, while I sympathize with the mother in being offended—I don’t approve of the drama and lawsuit sure to follow—the teacher is pretty damn stupid and needs at least an ass-chewing, and a short, sincere apology is owed the mother and kid, and then back to algebra.


137 posted on 11/19/2009 7:34:49 AM PST by Mac from Cleveland (Dreams from My Father--food, shelter, and education from some typical white folks)
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To: aruanan

One black kid in the class.....and the teacher puts a photo like that on a MATH test???

A better question for you might be in what context would that photo be approriate for any class of children???? Is there something positive about that image that I am missing?

Lets put it this way. If I were black, and the only black kid in the class......it wouldn’t make me feel good. Yeah, I question the teachers motives.


138 posted on 11/19/2009 7:37:19 AM PST by Fred911 (YOU GET WHAT YOU ACCEPT)
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To: wintertime
By the way, Saxon Math books have **no** photos whatsoever. NONE! Why are these educators trying to be “cute” about mathematics?

I was wondering myself how Saxon managed to actually teach me algebra without any offensive pictures or pictures at all...

139 posted on 11/19/2009 7:51:53 AM PST by JenB
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To: JustaDumbBlonde

Thanks to the PC nazis, like a number of the PC polizee on FR, seems many have loss their sense of humor.
This dimestore thin-skinned victim of Wacizm crap is stale ans old....surely the Racebaiting Industry can get some new material! Looks to me that the mother needs to move back to the projects where she can be sure to have her self worth vaidated. Instead what we will see is the lefty white guilt take over and make a mountain out of a POS.


140 posted on 11/19/2009 7:55:27 AM PST by iopscusa (El Vaquero. (SC Lowcountry Cowboy))
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To: Fred911
If I were black, and the only black kid in the class......it wouldn’t make me feel good. Yeah, I question the teachers motives.

Would you read racist intent into this image under the same circumstances? I'm not criticizing, I'm just curious what triggers the race card feelings in people.


141 posted on 11/19/2009 7:58:15 AM PST by paulycy (Demand Constitutionality.)
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To: ozark hilljilly

Yeah, WTF is that supposed to be? That’s a disgusting tasteless picture for a grade school math quiz.


142 posted on 11/19/2009 7:59:52 AM PST by Free Vulcan (No prisoners, no mercy. 2010 awaits...)
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To: SolidWood

That’s a stupid picture, and it has no business on a homework sheet.


143 posted on 11/19/2009 8:11:44 AM PST by mockingbyrd (Sarah speaks for me!)
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To: SolidWood

"It's insensitive, incomprehensible and indefensible!"

144 posted on 11/19/2009 9:33:40 AM PST by buccaneer81 (ECOMCON)
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To: rhombus

And wouldn’t it be a GOOD thing if it didn’t cross the teacher’s mind that someone would flip out and deem a picture of an ignorant toothless person who happens to be black as racist?

Absolutely NOT!!! We can’t have that sort of mindless
acceptance of equality going on, especially in our
indoctrination centers, imagine what that would do to
our diversity. /s


145 posted on 11/19/2009 12:14:29 PM PST by tet68 ( " We would not die in that man's company, that fears his fellowship to die with us...." Henry V.)
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To: tet68
Absolutely NOT!!! We can’t have that sort of mindless acceptance of equality going on, especially in our indoctrination centers, imagine what that would do to our diversity. /s

In fact, wouldn't it make sense if we were required to specify our race before posting? Hooray for diversity!

And speaking of diversity, what are the requirements for becoming Hispanic or Latino? Can't we all just opt in? I mean if the only requirement is that you have to have come from a place that was once colonized by Spain? Hell... that makes everyone in places like California or Florida Hispanic.

146 posted on 11/19/2009 12:23:53 PM PST by rhombus
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To: paulycy
The point is that we CANNOT detect racism from any picture, not even one with that particular caption. Maybe he's Jamaican and speaks (and spells) pidgin english. Then that spelling might be acceptable. You don't know. But you are scared.

The notion of racism comes from what is inside the viewer, not the picture itself. The picture is simply an image. You, the viewer, must supply the context in your own mind. You can choose how to view it, through race-colored glasses or not.

That's nice and all, but the original pic had a caption.

147 posted on 11/19/2009 1:21:18 PM PST by bluecollarman (Obama's amazing! One beer summit and he wins a Nobel Peace Prize.)
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To: paulycy

“Would you read racist intent into this image under the same circumstances? I’m not criticizing, I’m just curious what triggers the race card feelings in people.”

I wouldn’t, unless it had a questionable caption like “OH MAI GAWD YOUR FRIEND CAN MULTIPLY AND DIVIDE?????”. That would give me pause.

But I don’t find the picture itself offensive or racist at all.


148 posted on 11/19/2009 1:30:49 PM PST by bluecollarman (Obama's amazing! One beer summit and he wins a Nobel Peace Prize.)
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To: JustaDumbBlonde

“How would this have been better if the graphic depicted a white toothless hillbilly”

Hillbilly??? It would not have been better. Sir/madam...I am a hillbilly!!!


149 posted on 11/19/2009 1:48:56 PM PST by bluecollarman (Obama's amazing! One beer summit and he wins a Nobel Peace Prize.)
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To: SolidWood; All

To me, seems like a legitimate gripe. We’re as much too quick to label something not racist as others are to label it so... Now on the side of balance.

In tears all weekend and not sending the kid back to school until it’s safe??? Idiotic. Race-baiting...

We’re raising a nation of morons and panty-waists. If this is how his mother protects her child now then he won’t be able to go to the bathroom by himself when he grows up. Would that mean he’d be all wee-wee’d up?


150 posted on 11/19/2009 3:35:02 PM PST by Gordon Greene (www.fracturedrepublic.com - Evo's place much faith in something for which there is no proof. Crazy!)
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