White, liberal, elitist mother exploits daughter and classmates to shut down play at Ithaca High School

Last fall, Ithaca High School chose "The Hunchback of Notre Dame," based on the Disney movie, as their upcoming spring musical.  That's when a high school senior's mother, Eliza VanCort, who describes herself on twitter as a "devoted Mama, nasty businesswoman, thankful artist, and proud feminist," wrote a letter to school administrators stating she and her daughter were excited that the school had chosen a musical with a "woman of color" in the leading role.  Eliza also wrote she would be following the production of "Hunchback" closely.

Eliza VanCort's involvement in Ithaca High School's play months before the spring opening rates high on the absurdity meter until we look at Mrs. VanCort's leftist politics.

The owner of a public relations, media[,] and communications consulting business and founder of the Actors Workshop of Ithaca, VanCort stumped for Obama in 2008 and, according to her social media posts, sees white people as racist and America as the great oppressor.

So, it was fortunate for Mrs. VanCort that a white student was soon cast as Esmerelda in the school's Disney version of 'Hunchback.'  Soon, her 17-year old daughter Annabella Mead-VanCort organized four of her fellow Ithaca High students to form Students United Ithaca.  The group began a campaign against the production culminating in a letter written to a local publication, entitled "Conscience Casting."

Allegedly penned by Annabella and co-signed by 20 students, the letter reveals how the left, in this case represented by Mrs. VanCort, teach their white children not only to view themselves as inherently racist and America as a breeding ground for racism, but to hate their fellow white classmates. 

From the letter in Tompkins Weekly:

The young woman who was cast in the role has hazel eyes, blonde hair and is the epitome of whiteness.  At best, this is cultural appropriation.  At worst, it is whitewashing, a casting practice which has its roots in minstrelsy.  It also reinforces the damaging narrative that only white power structures can save oppressed people, rather than people of color having the fortitude to do so themselves.

On January 23, the school board met to discuss the Disney play.  The panel heard from student-activists; parents; and the father of the blond, hazel-eyed student cast as Esmerelda.  The father, Mike Ellis, told the board, "My daughter does not want to be the face of whitewashing...even though it involved a sacrifice on my daughter's part, I think the questions they're asking are good, important questions that any school should want to ask itself."

Mr. Ellis's capitulation to the mob mentality of the students and activists who spoke before him, with his comments applauded by those in the audience snapping their fingers, begins here:

It's a must-see to understand the goal of those who promulgate the white privilege lie.  Students United Ithaca and their mentors are not interested in just asking questions.  They make it clear that Mr. Ellis's "whiteness" prohibits him from daring to defend his daughter's talent and her right to be in the play.

(The full three-hour video can be viewed at the end of this piece.)

The group ended their letter with this:

The arts are the place where we create narratives about society.  This casting cannot stand.  Not now, not ever.  We call upon the adults in the ICSD, the adults who hold the power, to step in and right this situation.

1) Choose a different show and hold new auditions.

2) Do the Hunchback of Notre Dame, but recruit the many talented black and brown female students at IHS who have received the message that IHS musicals are the playground of the white privileged students of our school.

On January 24, the Ithaca City School District canceled "The Hunchback of Notre Dame." 

A list of 10 demands followed the cancelation on the Students United Ithaca January 25 Facebook page.  Number 9:

STOP ignoring and denying that you have created a white centered program run by white adults for the benefit of white children. White children should also be educated about interrupting these practices of White supremacy. Hollow lip service about equality is shameful and the eyes of our concerned community are now focused on you.

For Annabella's mother, who began this divisive action at her daughter's school, it's not about people of color having the same opportunities as whites; they already do.  It's about destroying our Republic using race as a cudgel.  She and her ilk know that K-12 schools are easy pickings, with local school boards figuratively beaten into silence with the threat of being called "racist" if they do not comply with the left's agenda.

Fortunately, many Americans of all colors and creeds are outraged at the politically motivated, agenda-driven indoctrination happening at our nation's schools.  After acquiescing to the students' demands to cancel the play, The New York Times reported that the Ithaca Board of Education received "angry" voicemail messages and emails from irate residents.  The vice president of the Ithaca Board of Education wrote in an email that he "was very concerned about all the vitriol directed at the students." 

Topping the vice president's concern was one of the Students United Ithaca members, Maddie Carroll.  Carroll was given a part in the play but quit out of protest before the cancelation.  Maddie is suddenly worried about her future.  "This is very, very surreal," she said.  "It's a lot to handle for a 17-year-old who is in high school right now, applying to college, trying to get ready for that stuff."

Mrs. VanCort, who willfully exploited these teens, including her own daughter, is feeling none of the heat.  VanCort stated on her Facebook page she is proud of these "brave young people."

Complete meeting of the school board:

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