The XX Factor

For Their Civic Participation, Girl Scout Troop Rewarded With Racist Abuse 

One troop member, Arianna Spurlock, pointed out the irony of the Girl Scouts being called “animals” when they were advocating for animals.

Screenshot via WMAR Baltimore

This past spring, a group of Girl Scouts went to a public meeting in Cecil County, Maryland, to protest what they saw as inhumane conditions at the local animal shelter. Apparently, their reward for this spirited youthful foray into civic participation was to have a bunch of adults yell gross, racist things at them. Now, video of the incident has started to circulate online, and this week, ABC 2 in Baltimore reported on the incident, interviewing the girls who claim they were called “animals” and told to “go back to Baltimore.”

Things started when Chesapeake Bay Troop 176 arrived at the public meeting with handmade signs and asked questions about how the animals were being treated in the local shelter, which has recently been under fire for cramped conditions. The audio ABC 2 captures shows that things got heated immediately (one of the troop leaders was accused of pursuing a vendetta against the shelter, or something), and a gang of adults angrily followed the girls out of the meeting. “You guys, no racial comments, OK?” you can hear a troop leader saying on the audio. “Saying that they belong in Baltimore because they’re black, that is wrong. Please don’t say that OK?”

A Buddy for Life Inc., which runs the shelter in question, posted a statement on Facebook disavowing responsibility for the incident and reiterating the allegations of vendetta; one of the troop leaders, it argues, has “personal reasons stemming from dissatisfaction with a case where the law did not provide the outcome she wanted.”

That may be true! Let’s redirect the conversation toward that hazy grievance and away from the spectacle of adults screaming racial abuse at little girls. 

This incident comes on the heels of the pool party debacle in McKinney, Texas, which highlighted police abuse against black teens and children, and which also started when adults decided to hurl racial abuse at minors doing things they disapprove of, such as swimming in a pool or advocating in defense of cute animals.