Mandy Oaklander, The Pitch, Nov. 11, 2010
When a child named Curtis Bowen was slapped by his teacher at Martin Luther King Jr., Elementary School, no one really heard about it. Except for President Obama, Vice President Biden, their wives, three senators, and more than 20 other officials.
They all were CC’ed on the whopping 40-page letter that Curtis’ mother, Lisa Henry Bowen, sent to school district superintendent John Covington. In it, Bowen makes mind-boggling demands for reparations. One recipient called the letter “one of the craziest things I’ve ever seen” and leaked it to the Internet. And Lisa Henry Bowen even created her own web site for the occasion: www.CurtisGotSlapped.com.
Lisa Henry Bowen, who copyrights her name and her son’s name throughout the letter, kicks it off by identifying herself as the “intellectual property owner” of fourth grader Curtis Bowen (C). She alleges that Curtis was caught horse playing and was slapped by a teacher named Ms. Curry. Lisa Henry tried to report the teacher to social services for child abuse, but was denied as Curtis’ skin wasn’t broken.
That sent Lisa Henry into a spiral of outrage. She calls Ms. Curry “one audacious white bitch with ‘balls'”, and then conducts some informal gonad comparisons. “I happen to have some big ‘balls’ too. And I ain’t afraid to use them.” (All emphasis hers, throughout.)
Mrs. Bowen uses her balls-to-the-wall logic to devise a way for the school district to repay her. She claims that Curry slapped 1/4 of Curtis’ “million dollar face.” Therefore, Lisa Henry encloses a homemade bill for a quarter of a million dollars. The $250K bill is issued to five educational entities, so she’s really demanding more than $1 million.
The weird part about Lisa Henry’s list of reparations is that most of them have nothing to do with her child being slapped. Sure, she makes a few perfunctory demands to improve the school district, including the introduction of a “We Don’t Hit Kids Here” campaign throughout Kansas City and a revocation of Ms. Curry’s teaching license. But she reserves the real meat of reparations for Curtis and herself.
Curtis shall receive, among many other things: $13,500 worth of Wal-Mart gift cards, a free college education, two trips to Disney World, nine years of private tennis lessons on the Plaza, season tickets to the opera, theater, and ballet, almost a decade’s worth of psychological counseling by “the best black child psychologist in the country,” a whole orchestra’s worth of new musical instruments, a three-week trip to Africa at a five-star hotel, and a personal audience with President Obama.
Lisa Henry’s demands are just as WTF-worthy. She demands the full payment of her mortgage, a new car, home remodeling, free psychological, dental, and medical care for the next nine years, and the cherry on the sundae:
“Independent consulting contract position with the Kansas City Missouri School district, for the next nine years. My consulting fee begins at $15,000 per month, minimum 6 months contract.”
Because nothing screams “hire me” like a maniacal 40-page threat.
The mother ironically rants to President Obama and Dr. Covington about how the educational system doesn’t “give a damn about black children.”
She almost loses it at the end:
“There was a time, in THIS AMERICA, when a white woman could get away with slapping black children around. There was a time, in THIS AMERICA, when a black woman had no choice, but to accept her children being slapped, whipped, rapped [sic, we think], abused, molested and psychologically tortured by this white supremacist society. . .There WAS a time. I AIN’T THAT BLACK MOTHER, THIS AIN’T THAT TIME!!!!!! THIS AIN’T THAT AMERICA!!!!!!!!”
A message to the haters: Lisa Henry Bowen (C) invites anyone who thinks she’s gone a little overboard to “KISS MY ENTIRE BLACK ASS!!!!!! I HAVEN’T BEGUN TO GO FAR ENOUGH!!!!!!!”