UPDATE December 4, 2014 10:45 a.m.: The HISD Board of Education signed off on Angela Box's resignation Thursday morning in a special meeting. HISD says that Box, whose resignation will take effect immediately, will receive the equivalent of three months' pay.
The controversial HISD teacher who made disparaging comments about Muslims on a local conservative cable access TV show is now challenging community activist Quanell X for accusing her of being a racist.
Angela Box, a third-grade teacher at HISD's Ray K. Daily Elementary School on the West side of Houston, was accused by Quanell X late last week of using the "N word" while referring to President Obama in a press conference in front of the school.
It was a charge Box vehemently denied, and it turns out she was telling the truth. Quanell addressed the war over the "N word" accusation Wednesday, saying that it turns out his "publicist made a mistake." Box is now demanding an apology from the community leader.
"This is a lie," she said. "I demand that Quanell X apologize to me."
The Character Defamation Stress Diet is EFFECTIVE! So: see if you can get a hack reporter and race hustler publicly lie about YOU!.#liars
— Angela Box (@TheBoxThatRoxx) November 20, 2014
But Quanell is refusing to apologize, offering Box $1,000 to debate him face-to-face instead. The host of Tommy's Garage, the cable access show that sometimes hosts Box, countered that challenge with $1,000 of his own during Wednesday's taping.
The cast also offered up offered clips from the show to counter the recent anti-Muslim accusations against Box. On one of the clips, Tommy, the host of the conservative show, points to a female Muslim pilot who flashes on a TV screen.
He then proclaims, "She led the first strikes on ISIS." Box responds, saying "Could we please, pretty please trade her in for Obama? And we'll throw in Joe Biden too!"
On the surface, it appears to be positive exchange. What you don't see, however, are the comments that follow.
In the moments following Box's comment, Tommy and another panelist exchange some very enlightened chatter about how the female soldier manages to lead those strikes "without a burka," which they say is impressive.
There's also some chatter about "boobs on the ground" before Tommy says, "I'd take her right now!"
That's when Box replies, saying "Even with that thing on her head!"
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That thing is a hijab, guys. Not a thing, but a hijab, which is a religious garment worn by a Muslim woman beyond the age of puberty in the presence of adult males outside of their immediate family. The panel then follows that up with some crass talk about a cockpit, and then they move on.
Was Quanell X wrong about his "N word" accusations? It would sure seems so. But what Box and her supporters have still not addressed is the blatant xenophobia on display, of which there is videotaped proof. And Box still makes no bones about dropping divisive terms like "goat-fucking Muslims" or "bacon-haters" on the show.
HISD says that a number of parents pulled their children from Box's classroom following the accusations. The Houston office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations has also called for the district to launch an independent investigation into whether a teacher's blatantly anti-Muslim views have bled over into the classroom.
Meanwhile, Box doesn't seem to be faring too poorly on the publicity circuit. She found her way on to Michael Berry's show earlier this week, and has been quite active on Twitter since word of the accusations spread.