So, former HISD elementary school teacher Angela Box spouted a lot of inflammatory shit during her appearances on the local right-wing cable-access show "Tommy's Garage." An apparent devotee of the Ted Nugent school of public discourse, Box saved some of her ugliest comments for -- you guessed it -- Muslims, with lines like, "Every normal human being in the world thinks that goat-fucking Muslims and boy-fucking Muslims are the evil of the world."
But it's what Box didn't say that's landed community activist Quanell X in trouble. It was Quanell who in November called a press conference outside Ray Daily Elementary, where Box taught third grade, to out Box as a racist and a bigot. But in his press release announcing the event, Quanell alleged that Box called President Barack Obama "a fucking nigger and black people dumb ass for voting for him."
Just one problem: Box never said that. Quanell later admitted his "publicist made a mistake," but the damage was done. (It probably didn't help that Quanell, instead of apologizing, gave Box the bizarre offer of $1,000 to debate him face-to-face.) Quanell's press release and news conference had succeeded in focusing attention on Box's many appearances on Tommy's Garage, putting her xenophobic comments on full display. Box ultimately resigned from her teaching job at HISD last month.
On Thursday Box sued Quanell X for defamation in a Harris County court, also listing as defendants the New Black Panther Nation, the New Black Muslim Movement, and two people described as trustees of the New Black Muslim Movement. Box's lawsuit claims the "malicious and defamatory statements and the press conference at Plaintiff's school - in front of her third grade students - created a hostile work environment and left Plaintiff no choice but to end her employment as a teacher." In her lawsuit, Box laments that she "will likely never be able to find employment as an educator again."
Quanell's n-word allegations, while untrue, set in motion the chain of events that ultimately led to Box's resignation. Soon after Quanell issued his presser, the Houston office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations called for HISD to launch an independent investigation into whether Box's blatantly anti-Muslim views had bled over into the classroom. The district faced increasing pressure to do something about Box in the weeks that followed.
And Box didn't just sound off against Muslims. In one appearance on the cable-access show, she called former gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis an "abortion barbie" (original, right?) and, following Davis' defeat in the November election, cracked a joke about Davis being "late-term aborted." As for Obama, she remarked, "I'm just going to say what everyone is thinking: can't Ebola just take one for the team and take out Obama." In another exchange, she said: "We have to remember, the Democrats own the ghettos. The Democrats own food stamps. The Democrats own Section 8. The Democrats own welfare." Those tolerant of Muslims she called "communist bitches."
Since her resignation from HISD, Box has set up a gofundme page to pay for legal fees, "public relations, web design" and "management." On the page, she says, "When one person is attacked for speaking the truth, we ALL are attacked."
That rings somewhat true in this case. It certainly seems that when Box speaks "the truth," all are attacked.
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