CLICK TO SHARE
NRPLUS MEMBER ARTICLE S tudents are heading back to school this fall (in-person or remotely) after the longest, strangest summer on record. It’s been the summer not just of COVID but also of massive protests and rioting triggered by the police killing of George Floyd in May. Calls for racial justice have swept the land, and schools have responded by embracing the push for “anti-racist” education. This should be a wonderful thing. If there’s anything that promises to unite a divided nation, it’s joining together to advance equality and justice.
Thus, it’s no surprise that “anti-racism” has found an eager reception. It has made a television star and publishing phenom out of Ibram X. Kendi, author of How to Be an Anti-Racist. It’s made a best-seller out of Robin DiAngelo, the author of White Fragility, who explains, “A positive white identity is an impossible goal. White identity is inherently racist; white people do not exist outside the system of white supremacy.” (As DiAngelo puts it, her aim is to be “a little less white” every day.)
The problem: “Anti-racism” is often little more than a crude bit of rhetorical flim-flam, akin to that unlovely old Southern habit of rechristening the Civil War the “War of Northern Aggression.” In fact, much of what passes for “anti-racism” is a poisonous exercise in rank bigotry — especially when applied to education. The healthy impulse implied by “anti-racism” has been coopted by ideologues. While there are serious, practical issues to tackle, the “anti-racists” have instead declared war on the intellectual traits that equip students for personal and civic success.
The famed KIPP charter schools abandoned their longtime slogan of “Work Hard, Be Nice” after KIPP’s leadership decided that the decades-old slogan hinders efforts to “dismantle systemic racism.” This summer, the National Museum of African American History and Culture’s website featured an educational resource which described traits like “individualism,” “hard work,” “objectivity,” “progress,” “politeness,” “decision-making,” and “delayed gratification” as hallmarks of “white culture.”
The superintendent of New York’s East Harlem Scholars Academies penned a back-to-school essay for Education Week which instructed “white teachers” to steer away from talking about the individual accomplishments of black Americans, because doing so would “unintentionally teach students that ‘really good, really successful’ Black folks are exempt from racist structures.”
If you don't see any comments yet, congrats! You get first comment. Be nice and have fun.
CLICK TO SHARE
COMMENTS VIA TWITTER
“I do think your post did one thing well: It captured the powerful fear of anti-racist, anti-bias, or culturally re… https://t.co/5Mubm1hv50
The communist anti-Americanism of "critical race theory" aside, it is also racist and discriminatory. Corporations,… https://t.co/tKzVnsLaDk
By doubling down on his racist rhetoric, Trump is increasingly relying on his strategy of firing up his bigoted bas… https://t.co/A80RKM0NKl
RT @absurdistwords: But you can. You can unravel their entire scheme. It's not held together well You. Personally. You can pull a thre…
RT @AAUP: "We need to ask administrators...how they plan to protect the many strands of anti-racist and social justice work faculty, studen…