Blog posts cited by critics as examples of Como Park Senior High teacher Theo Olson's "contempt" for his job and for students of color often involve interactions between a fictional teacher, "Mr. O'Shea," and special-education students with seemingly little interest in their school work.
"I frankly don't see why anyone would keep coming to class every day without a pencil, clowning, sitting on their phone, doing jack, hating this, fighting me every damn day," O'Shea tells students at one point.
But go back to the start of the controversy that now surrounds Olson -- Black Lives Matter St. Paul's publishing of Facebook posts that Olson wrote and that some describe as racist -- and one may recall that Olson tried to connect with Black Lives Matter organizer Rashad Turner at that time and stated he followed Black Lives Matter on social media and once marched with Turner on University Avenue.
This week, Black Lives Matter St. Paul turned its attention to Olson's blog, "Hot-spvrr," and there in the 60-plus pages that the group posted online was the apparent real-life account of Olson encountering marchers while at a Target store on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day in 2015 and deciding -- in spur-of-the-moment fashion -- to join them.
"As I reached them on University Avenue and trotted alongside the protest, trying to understand its pulse, wondering if I belonged, and hearing the chants, 'This is what democracy looks like!" and "Hands up! Don't shoot!' trying to learn something, I began to cry," Olson writes.
"I cried for the dead, yes; but I cried for all the living people, all these intent faces, many laughing or serenely smiling, turning away and hoisting up their children, lovely bundled weights against the fulcrum of prejudice, to see this history being made."
Olson went on to write that he added a few of his own "Hands Up! Don't Shoots!" according to the blog entry he filed later that same day. But he concluded, he wrote, that while he was glad for the marchers and for their voices, "my place (was) on the periphery."