“That is harmful!” she continued. “That makes people cry! It makes people log out of our meetings.” The video’s description mentions the “NYC Community Education Council for Manhattan District 2,” which serves more than 60,000 students spread across 121 schools.

I made a series of rapid assumptions about what I was watching. I surmised that Broshi was a college-educated, upper-middle-class progressive who sits on some sort of education council in the public-school system and owns copies of White Fragility and How to Be an Antiracist. I surmised that she was calling someone out. And I surmised that her white, male target was offscreen rolling his eyes. All of which turned out to be correct.

But I also felt confused. Why would a New Yorker in 2020 see an adult holding a baby with a different phenotype and presume something nefarious was afoot? Until recently, I would have expected that sort of retrograde attitude from the alt-right. Beleaguered curiosity prompted me to burrow down an unlikely rabbit hole: extended footage from several NYC Community Education Council District 2 meetings. I wanted to understand what seemed to be the latest confounding addition to the rapidly changing code of elite, “anti-racist” manners.