I can't believe Mary and Lucy are still working on their petition. They accost one of the neighbors who's already refused to sign, a woman of Japanese descent. She apologizes for not helping them before and gives us a PSA about the U.S. internment camps after World War II, while Mary stares at her vacantly. This territory was already mined a few years ago, but I guess the writers will do anything to avoid having to come up with crappy new dialogue. Hey, I'd do the same thing myself, in their shoes. This woman talks about the fact that, "in times of war, it is not illegal for the government to take away human rights." She adds, "That's why I'm so hesitant to put my name on anything that might haunt me later." This might just be her being polite, instead of telling them she doesn't want any part of something as stupid as their "petition."
I'll tell you what I don't need to see: an extreme close-up of Matt's open mouth as he shoves a slice of bread covered in peanut butter into it. Another thing I don't need to see? Him chugging from a big communal carton of CamMilk to dislodge the peanut butter from the roof of his mouth when the phone rings. Gross. It's Detective Michaels on the phone, calling to say that he's apprehended the boys who were hassling Ruthie and Yasmine. He says he caught them harassing another girl, "only this time they had mistaken a Sikh for a Muslim." Okay, I read somewhere that this part of the show was based on a real incident. I'm not surprised, but I resent it being put in the show so casually. What's the point? It almost makes it sound like Detective Michaels thinks hassling a Sikh is somehow worse than hassling a Muslim. Then again, the writers could have spelled the whole issue out in simplistic, annoying detail, and they didn't, so I suppose that's something to be grateful for. Dopey starts nattering on about the Jenkins brothers, but Michaels stops him to point out that these boys are not the Jenkins brothers. He's sure of it, since Yasmine identified their photos, but Dopey just can't seem to get his head around the fact that two different boys could possibly be wearing the same type of ski cap. He's probably feeling glad now that he never kicked anyone's ass.
Down at the school meeting, Mrs. Mackoul gives an introductory speech condemning the board's decision not to allow Yasmine into the school, and then she opens up the floor to comments and questions. The first guy to speak up looks mean, so you already know he's going to be a redneck. Unfortunately, many other parents nod in agreement as he summarizes his point at the end of this speech thusly: "If we've never had Muslims at this school, why on earth would we make it a point to include a Muslim now, when it could put the lives of children of other races and religions in jeopardy?" I'm not sure I follow his "logic." Does he think all Muslims are terrorists and that Muslim children come to school packing heat? After another dumb-ass speaks up, Mrs. Mackoul introduces Ruthie, who starts off by extolling the school's virtues. She moves on to how she learned about the function of the spine in one of her classes, turning this into something confusing about not being able to hold her head up if the board won't admit Yasmine into the Eleanor Roosevelt school. She tops that off with talking about what a strong spine Eleanor Roosevelt "has [sic]." Um, Ruthie? I'm sure Eleanor was a terrific lady and all, but she's been dead since 1962, so I'm really not sure how strong her spine is anymore or, quite frankly, what use she would have for a strong spine now. In closing, Ruthie threatens to leave the school if the board does not reverse their decision. The silence is deafening. Finally, Annie and RevCam stand up and applaud. They are joined by Mrs. Mackoul and Ms. Riddle, but not a single other person applauds. Not a single person, out of an entire auditorium filled with people. This doesn't exactly reaffirm my faith in mankind.
Mary and Lucy praise Ruthie for her actions, but Ruthie's still feeling glum, since it looks like she's going to have to change schools now. So she won't have equestrian classes anymore, but honestly, who would want to attend a school where every single one of the students' parents is an asshole? Mary comments that it can be hard "to do the right thing." She adds, "It's not easy when you do stupid things and have to make up for them." She's obviously speaking from experience. Ruthie suggests, "It's not easy when you do smart things either," and Mary just smiles and nods vacantly as if she has even the slightest clue of what it would be like to do a smart thing.