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Cello Teacher Calls Out Student’s Mom Who Sent Racist Email Saying Her Son Smelled ‘Ethnic’ After Lessons


A cello teacher received a racist email in the form of a thank you letter from a student’s mother, who suggested that her son came home smelling of an “ethnic stench.”

In addition to sharing the horrific email, the teacher – addressed as “Ms. Asif” – threatened to report the mother to social services after discovering her son was forced to skip meals in order to lose weight.

Asif took a screenshot of the message that has now gone viral and tweeted:

“White people are so subtly racist, this is an email I just received from a student’s mother.”


The note started off genuinely with a compliment.

“I hope you’re well, just wanted to say thank you for helping Antonio with his cello exam he has passed with amazing results.”

“Hopefully we can soon start preparing him for the next grade exam.”

Then the tone of the letter quickly veered in a reprehensible direction, with the mother expressing that she doesn’t want her son to be “smelling Indian.”

“On another note, I was wondering if during lesson time anyone in our house has been perhaps cooking?”

“Antonio’s clothes always seem to have a somewhat ethnic stench to them, takes more than one wash to get it out!”

“Don’t want him to be smelling Indian in public!”

Not wanting to leave on a sour note, the mother made it worse by adding a disingenuous compliment.

“It’s not an issue just a mindless thought.”

“But thank you anyway for everything you’ve been a star.”

To clear the air about the “ethnic stench,” Asif revealed that she feeds the 9-year-old pupil before the lessons because he complained about how he isn’t sufficiently nourished at home.

People admonished the pupil’s mother for her not-so-subtle racist statement.

The teacher wrote back.

“…let me just remind you, Mrs. _ that I am in fact, ‘ethnic.’ If you have such an issue with ‘ethnic’ people and our food I can for sure refer you to a white cello tutor but your racist comments will be something that will be passed on.”

“We will be discussing this in person next time I see you. I demand respect from my students AND their parents, it seems you need to be reminded of basic manners.”

Asif segued into the subject of the child’s frequent emotional outbursts over his hunger problem.

“Another thing that has been worrying me is the way the both of you are treating your son.”

“The reason why your son has been smelling ‘ethnic’ is because I’m having to feed your hungry son before every lesson.”

“You have seen the property and know that I have a separate music room for teaching so this ‘stench’ that you’re so worried about isn’t from cooking.”

“Your son has expressed his grief and has burst into tears in front of me SEVERAL times.”

“I will not tell you how to take care of your own child so I will not comment further on this but this will be something I will have to report to social services.”

Here is a screenshot of Asif’s response for the mother.


Asif clarified she is an Uyghur Muslim – a minority of the Turkic ethnic group originating from the general region of Central and East Asia – not an “Indian,” as the mother repeatedly called her.

The Uyghur people are recognized as native to the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of the People’s Republic of China.

The Uyghurs became largely Muslim by the 16th century.

Asif hoped her viral post would serve as a reminder about properly feeding your kids in addition to spreading awareness about her cultural background.

Asif followed up with her tweet with an update about the awkward confrontation she had with whom she referred to as “Mrs. D.”

The conversation expanded to include the woman’s husband, who in turn reprimanded the teacher.


Uyghur cuisine typically includes mutton, beef, camel, chicken, goose, with carrots, tomatoes, onions, peppers, eggplant, celery, various dairy foods and fruits.

Common Uyghur dishes include pilaf, kebobs and the leghmen a noodle dish with stir-fried toppings.

While we don’t know exactly what Asif has been feeding Antonio before his lessons, the cultural cuisine sounds like they would provide plenty of nutrients. And it sounds like this child could use all the help he can get.


Written by Koh Mochizuki

Koh Mochizuki is a New York-based actor and writer. Originally hailing from Los Angeles, he received his B.A. in English literature and is fluent in Japanese. Disney parks are his passion, and endless cups of coffee are a necessity. Instagram: kohster Twitter: @kohster1