Parks of Aledo residents, who said they woke up Monday morning to numerous flyers found scattered around the neighbor depicting a “Great Sale of Slaves,” are doing their own investigation into who may have distributed the documents, which were also found near the high school and McAnally Elementary campuses.
The flyer depicts a date of the sale as Tuesday, April 20, and lists several “slaves” along with descriptions, including racial slurs, and pricing.
Resident Traci Parsons said she received a text around 7:30 Monday morning from an Aledo mom with a screenshot of the flyer, and began reaching out to other parents, as well as the Aledo ISD chief of police.
An Aledo ISD spokesperson said the district is aware of the flyer and is investigating the incident.
"This type of material is absolutely inappropriate, unacceptable and wrong," AISD Director of Communications Mercedes Mayer said. "After learning about it, we immediately involved our Aledo ISD Police Department to review security footage and take other steps to investigate who distributed this flyer. As of right now, we do not know who is responsible or if they are from our community."
The incident comes just a few days after an Aledo ISD meeting at which two mothers of Black students, who were “auctioned off” on a social media group, addressed the school board over concerns of their children’s safety and well-being, saying they felt the district failed to handle the situation properly.
Weatherford/Parker County NAACP President Eddie Burnett, who also spoke at Thursday's meeting, said the flyers are further evidence of a systemic and community-wide problem.
"Until people stop denying that we have a problem, we will continue to have a problem because you can’t deal with it until you can admit that you have one," he said. “Officials around the county have made statements such as, ‘It’s just a few kids, you can’t brand all of us for what a few kids do, we don’t have a racial problem in Parker County,’ and the short answer to that is yes the hell we do.”
Jeremiah James, a student-athlete set to graduate from Aledo High School in May, said he has experienced a few situations since his family moved to the district when he was in eighth grade.
“All [Aledo] kids aren’t like that, all teachers aren’t like that, there’s only a small handful who are like this,” he said. “But it happens quite often. It’s like they can get away with it.”
James cited an incident where he was called the n-word, which led to a physical altercation. Another time, he said he reported a fellow art student who drew slaves in chains and a racial slur. When he reported it, he was told the student was “just expressing himself,” he said.
“When I went to the office, they just brushed it off like it was no big deal. I feel like it’s a bigger issue vaping than acts of racism.”
After a recent television interview on News Nation, James, who is biracial, said he was targeted for speaking out and threatened via social media. Still, he said it’s important that people speak out.
“The fact that we’re outnumbered, there are kids of color that are scared to talk,” he said. “I have younger siblings that will be in high school, and I don’t want to see them go through this.
“I feel like there should be a change in town.”
Parsons has lived in Aledo since 1996, and said racism has always been a problem, even when her own kids were in school.
“Being in Aledo as long as I have, parents have always had this elitist idea that Aledo is great and it’s never my kid,” she said. “[Racism] is a really big problem that people don’t want to talk about.”
Parsons said her 10-year-old grandson, who is a person of color and attends Aledo ISD, has experienced instances of racism, and she wants these stories told.
“It seems like racism is ignored, like it doesn’t matter,” she said. “And when it’s reported, people just shrug their shoulders.”
Aledo ISD meets tonight at 6 p.m.