White Supremacy at Work: LA's Zaila Avant-Garde Is the First Black American to Win the Scripps National Spelling Bee

AP Photo/John Raoux

Say her name: “Zaila Avant-Garde”. Avant-Garde means an intellectual class that develops new or experimental concepts, especially in the arts. Words such as, “radical”, and “unorthodox” are often attributed to this class. The avant-garde push boundaries, and reject what is culturally accepted as conventional wisdom or the status quo.

How appropriate that this beautiful, Black girl would be the one who shatters the lies being shoved down children’s throats at the behest of their betters, under the guise of fighting structural racism and white supremacy.

Rock on, Zaila Avant-Garde, the First Black American Winner of The 2021 Scripps National Spelling Bee.

From the Associated Press:

Zaila Avant-garde understood the significance of what she was doing as she stood on the Scripps National Spelling Bee stage, peppering pronouncer Jacques Bailly with questions about Greek and Latin roots.

Zaila knew she would be the first African American winner of the bee. She knew Black kids around the country were watching Thursday night’s ESPN2 telecast, waiting to be inspired and hoping to follow in the footsteps of someone who looked like them. She even thought of MacNolia Cox, who in 1936 became the first Black finalist at the bee and wasn’t allowed to stay in the same hotel as the rest of the spellers.

But she never let the moment become too big for her, and when she heard what turned out to be her winning word — “Murraya,” a genus of tropical Asiatic and Australian trees — she beamed with confidence. It was over.

Declared the champion, Zaila jumped and twirled with joy, only flinching in surprise when confetti was shot onto the stage.

“I was pretty relaxed on the subject of Murraya and pretty much any other word I got,” Zaila said.

What’s this about understanding the significance of history? According to our critical race theory experts in the national teachers unions, this type of history is not taught to our poor, Black children. By their definition, isn’t a Spelling Bee a tool of oppression, and a symbol of white patriarchy? Why it was only a few weeks ago, that anti-racist academics were telling us that grammar is racist!

Indiana University of Pennsylvania English professor Cristina Sánchez-Martín stated that her efforts are designed to contribute to “undoing Whiteness” in university students’ writing.

“The repeated references to ‘correct grammar’ and ‘standard language’ reinforce master narratives of English only as White and monolingualism and a deficit view of multilingualism,” said Sánchez-Martín.

Zaila Avant-Garde said, “Hold my Red Bull”, and this Black child from Louisiana showed them how it is so not. Avant-Garde didn’t need to undo Whiteness so-called, because excellence, hard work, and accomplishment, knows no color barrier. Avant-Garde’s stellar achievement has proved this. Most children are groomed from a young age for such competitions. Avant-Garde only started on the Bee circuit a few years ago—and spelling isn’t even the 14-year-old’s main focus!

Zaila has other priorities, which perhaps explains how she came to dominate this year’s bee. The 14-year-old from Harvey, Louisiana, is a basketball prodigy who owns three Guinness world records for dribbling multiple balls simultaneously and hopes to one day play in the WNBA or even coach in the NBA. She described spelling as a side hobby, even though she routinely practiced for seven hours a day.

“I kind of thought I would never be into spelling again, but I’m also happy that I’m going to make a clean break from it,” Zaila said. “I can go out, like my Guinness world records, just leave it right there, and walk off.”

Many of top Scripps spellers start competing as young as kindergarten. Zaila only started a few years ago, after her father, Jawara Spacetime, watched the bee on TV and realized his daughter’s affinity for doing complicated math in her head could translate well to spelling. She progressed quickly enough to make it to nationals in 2019 but bowed out in the preliminary rounds.

That’s when she started to take it more seriously and began working with a private coach, Cole Shafer-Ray, a 20-year-old Yale student and the 2015 Scripps runner-up.

“Usually to be as good as Zaila, you have to be well-connected in the spelling community. You have to have been doing it for many years,” Shafer-Ray said. “It was like a mystery, like, ‘Is this person even real?’”

She is real, all right, and now she is living history, as well as a basketball and math prodigy. What is the world coming to! A Black child with a vision for their life beyond being an activist athlete. This renders a crushing blow to CRT and its tenets—Thank. God.

Avant-Garde gets to take home over $50,000 in cash and prizes, including a Merriam-Webster reference library with an additional cash prize of $2,500 dollars. Avant-Garde will also receive $400 dollars worth of reference works from Encyclopædia Britannica, including a 1768 Encyclopædia Britannica © Replica Set and a three-year membership to Britannica Online © Premium.

More white supremacist literature and tools of oppression—Ibram X. Kendi must be pulling out his dreadlocks.

The runner-up and third-place finishers were both girls of Indian descent: Chaitra Thummala, a 12-year-old from Frisco, TX, and Bhavana Madini, a 13-year-old from Plainview, NY. Students of East Asian descent have dominated The Scripps Spelling Bee for years, and school boards like the ones in California and Virginia have instituted racist policies that target these children under the guise that they have an unfair advantage over other students (read, Black and Hispanic students).

No one had an advantage over Avant-Garde. Chaitra Thummala even had the same private coach in Cole Shafer-Ray; isn’t it amazing how “privilege” makes little difference when someone simply works harder, and smarter? Equality of opportunity can, and should be given. Equality of outcome? That cannot be guaranteed, especially when someone has an Avant-Garde approach.

“Zaila deserved it. She’s always been better than me,” Chaitra said. “I could review a lot more words. I could get a stronger work ethic.”

Work ethic? Better keep that under wraps, Chaitra Thummala; the Woke CRT police will come after you for deprogramming.

Congratulations, Zaila Avant-Garde.