JASON RANTZ

Rantz: School equity leader out after racist and vulgar TikTok videos spread

Oct 11, 2021, 6:00 PM | Updated: Oct 14, 2021, 10:13 am
tahoma, TikTok...

A local school district’s equity team leader is no longer in her role after parents discovered her racist and vulgar TikTok videos. But the school has known about her conduct for months.

On her social media channel, Alicia Busch routinely attacks and mocks white people. She labels them “amoral colonizers” and explains she wants to make them uncomfortable. Though she threatens people with physical violence in some videos, she also says, “there is no safe place for BIPOC to exist when whiteness is present.” She also claims that the “American dream is white supremacy.”

And as she and the district part ways, Busch still has the support of a Maple Valley school board candidate. She was the campaign manager up until this controversy earned too much traction.

Hateful, racist videos from an activist committed to equity

Busch is an active “anti-racist” activist in King County. Among her volunteer work, she was a leader on the Tahoma School District’s Equity Support Team.

The group aims to make sure Tahoma Schools are “welcoming, supportive and safe for every student and every adult” in the district. But given Busch’s comments about white people on her TikTok account, she fell far short of expectations.

“If you are a person of whiteness, I don’t give a <expletive>. I don’t give a <expletive> about your comfort, … your feelings, … about where you think your place is in the world. If my existence and my statements and actions cause you discomfort, then I am doing the right thing,” Busch says in one video.

Her TikTok account uses the moniker “pumpkinspicewhitneywhite” and has garnered a small following of just over 2,100 users. It’s unclear who found the videos, but they quickly spread in the district as parents called out the racism. The account is now private. The Jason Rantz Show on KTTH downloaded over a dozen videos before the channel was locked down.

Busch claims the American dream is “white supremacy”

Busch’s emotions on the video range from insufferably theatrical to self-righteously indignant. It’s vulgar, over-the-top, and bigoted.

“I’m not anti-white. I’m pro-accountability,” she claims before going on a vulgar rant in one video.

But she does appear to be “anti-white” based on the content of her videos.

“I should be used to this by now, but I’m not. There’s no safe place for BIPOC to exist when whiteness is present. There just isn’t,” she says, forlorn, into the camera.

In some videos, Busch wistfully speaks as she wanders around what appears to be her home. She says the “American dream” is an example of white supremacy.

“You too can achieve the American dream if only you work hard enough to conform to society’s norms. And by ‘society,’ I mean white supremacy. And if you assimilate enough and if you reject — reject — all of your non-American culture, history, background, generational trauma and just get over it, so that you again can achieve the American dream, which is white supremacy. Isn’t it lovely over here when you dehumanize yourself to the point where you are no longer recognizable. Not only are you not recognizable, but you have no culture of your own because it’s lost to the American dream.”

Critical race theorists and other race-radicals believe assimilation is a byproduct of white supremacy culture forced upon racial minorities by “oppressors.”

Busch is no fan of cops, either

Busch says in one video that she is on a “decolonization journey” to find her Okinawan roots. On that journey, she found a lot of hate for cops and America.

The activist complained in one video that she tried to call the police to “report racism,” but they laughed at her.

“I get laughed at because … ‘first Amendment rights,'” she said while mockingly using air quotes. “Police are not going to do <expletive> for us.”

Busch says she marches for all people of color who were shot by police — even if they were armed. It appears that she does not believe an officer can ever justify the use of force.

Busch is an equity leader for Tahoma School District

Busch was active on the Equity Team for the Tahoma School District. But her rageful posts suggest she should be nowhere near children or in any position of power on equity. After a barrage of parental complaints, she’s no longer involved.

She was one of three leaders on the Family Engagement Committee. The goal was to encourage “family participation and communication” across the district to “strengthen our support for student success.”

One community member, in an email to the district, said she didn’t think Busch was capable of promoting equity due to her views.

“She hates white people,” one couple wrote the district administration. “Fortunately for Tahoma, she has provided the video proof and shown you what she truly believes. Now is the time for Tahoma School District to not just speak about wanting equity, opportunity, and inclusion, but to prove it with action by removing racist people, like Alicia, from their volunteer and/or paid, and prominent positions.”

She’s out as an equity leader, but the school initially deflected

In a statement to the Jason Rantz Show on KTTH, a district spokesperson said the district and Busch agreed to separate, stressing she is a volunteer and not a paid employee.

“This afternoon, the volunteer offered to step away from the Equity Committee,” the spokesperson said. “The district and volunteer agreed that her withdrawal from this group is in the best interest of our students and Tahoma community at this time. We will continue working toward a school system that is welcoming, supportive and safe for every student and every adult.”

The spokesperson said they had learned about Busch’s videos the day before separating. But the district knew she was problematic since July when a parent complained that she was acting out on social media.

“I would like to formally file a complaint with the district regarding Alicia Busch,” one mother emailed the district on July 23, 2021. “Her behavior and gaslighting parents is unacceptable. We can no longer reach out to the equity committee for valid information without being accused of being racist, anti CRT, or even further, accusing parents of harming people?!”

Busch was a campaign manager for school board candidate

Busch is also trying to influence local schools on equity issues by managing the campaign for Maple Valley School Board Candidate Haley Pendergraft.

In a video statement posted to Facebook, Pendergraft defends her campaign manager.

“I thought long and hard about the people who I wanted to work with in this campaign. And for me, Alicia represents a person who has different lived experiences than I do. I think they’re great value in that,” Pendergraft said.

Pendergraft says Busch’s views are “valuable” and brushes them aside as merely “talking about her experiences as a person of color in society.”

Perhaps what Pendergraft finds valuable are the vicious attacks Busch leveled on her school board opponent.

In a statement to the Jason Rantz Show on KTTH, Pendergraft says that as of Oct. 9, two days after posting a defense of Busch, she’s now managing the campaign herself.

“I took over full control of my campaign on October 9th. I continue to run a campaign that is focused on the needs of ALL children and families in our Tahoma community,” she explained via email.

She did not, however, explain if Busch still volunteers in any way on her campaign.

Busch doubles down, calling her racism “my truth”

On what appears to be her personal Facebook page, Busch addressed the controversy over her TikTok account. She mostly doubles down on her hate. She writes (in part):

I understand that my approach and message might be abrasive. But it is my truth. I understand that my messages might be difficult to consume. It is difficult to live this reality.

It is not divisive to call attention to systems of oppression. It is not harmful to speak your truth. What is divisive and harmful, is to ignore oppression and abuse.

Busch did not respond to a request for comment made through the Pendergraft campaign.

Did you like this opinion piece? Then listen to the Jason Rantz Show weekday afternoons from 3-6 p.m. on KTTH 770 AM (HD Radio 97.3 FM HD-Channel 3). Subscribe to the podcast here. Follow @JasonRantz  on  Twitter,  Instagram, and Parler, and like me on Facebook

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Rantz: School equity leader out after racist and vulgar TikTok videos spread