When pageant planning began, White had been tasked with ensuring the children’s show would be received well among all groups and include diverse casting. After all, the school had recently been under attack on social media for poor casting choices in their Martin Luther King Day musical.
“I immediately realized that when it comes to Thanksgiving, we’re screwed,” said White. “There’s no way to do this pageant respectfully. The holiday and story itself is just riddled with racism.”
Unhappy with that comment, the school superintendent insisted White solve the show’s “diversity challenges,” and so he went to work on the school’s most innovative casting yet.
“I realized there was only one thing these parents love more than their own kids, and that’s cute kids in wheelchairs. I had to weaponize this strange obsession and use it to our advantage.”
It was in that moment that it all came together. Disabled six-year-old Jenson would roll across the stage during all the problematic scenes, drawing the parents’ eyes away from an otherwise cringeworthy performance.
It worked like a charm. As the boy wheeled around the stage, wearing an oversized belt buckle and turkeys on his armrests, the parents could not look away. They focused intently on his adorable oversized hat as his white classmates playing pilgrims spread smallpox to the white classmates playing Native Americans. When he did a cute little spin move, the audience completely missed the part where the Native Americans were assaulted and forced off of their land.
Before long, his deception work was complete and the audience could look back at the other children. The kids on stage shared a meal filled with big plates of prop corn and prop turkey. In the true spirit of Thanksgiving, the parents enthusiastically applauded, ignoring all the murder and other stuff that had just happened.