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Things that became racist in 2021 – No 133 Evergreen Trees

Tom Winnifrith
Thursday 15 April 2021

Since everything is racist it was only a matter of time before conifers joined cheese, sacking a librarian for burning library books, women’s hockey, fancying Priti Patel or Rishi Sunak, coffee, sand, pants, fried chicken, not dating a person of colour, dating a person of colour and so much else besides as being guilty of the worst of cardinal sins. The shocking revelation that your Christmas Tree might as well be a burning cross from the KKK comes from Portland Oregon in the United States of lunacy.

Recently renamed High School, Ida B. Wells-Barnett,  set up a committee comprising students, staff, and community members to decide on a new mascot. There were 420 suggestions and eventually they went for the evergreens.  Teacher Ellen Whatmore, a mascot committee member said the evergreens “are characterized by the life-giving force of their foliage, the strength of their massive trunk, and the depth of their roots—in an individual tree and as a forest of trees.”

Sounds like dreary liberal guff but hardly offensive. Silly Ellen babbled on “They provide shelter and sustenance. They have histories that preclude us and will continue in perpetuity after we are no more.” Still awake?

But little did those folks at the school know that evergreen trees were racist. As the Portland Public Schools Board of Education was set to vote on the new mascot, its director Michelle DePass raised concerns about the tree’s possible connotations with lynching in the early 20th century.

“I’m wondering if there was any concern with the imagery there, in using a tree … as our mascot? I think everyone comes with blind spots and I think that might’ve been a really big blind spot.”

The decision has been deferred while guilty white liberals and professional race baiters work out just how racist trees can be. Meanwhile I look with a growing suspicion at the Christmas tree here in this mixed race household, which sits in its pot in the garden as it does for 350 days a year before its brief Yuletide internment inside. I wonder  whether my Mrs might be hiding the deep offence she feels, every time she looks at it. Is it an act of white supremacy not to put it on the bonfire at once?

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About Tom Winnifrith
Tom Winnifrith is the editor of When he is not harvesting olives in Greece, he is (planning to) raise goats in Wales.
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