Racial Segregation in Seattle

by Christopher Paslay

The King County Library System’s fixation on skin color is quite ironic.

According to the King County Library System, there is rampant racism within their libraries. So much so that KCLS officials were forced to bring in Racial Equity Consultants, which in turn held racially segregated “listening sessions” to help root out systemic oppression.  These sessions were marked with pre-civil rights era signs which read DEI Session People of Color, and DEI Session People Who Are White.

A picture of the signs recently went viral on Twitter.

Christopher Rufo, a writer for the City Journal, reported the story:

At the King County Library System, a private consulting firm called Racial Equity Consultants recently held racially segregated “listening sessions.” The consultants “begin with an anti-oppression framework,” internal documents show, and they use segregated sessions to root out “institutional privileges and systemic inequities.” Widespread “institutional racism” is said to exist in the libraries, and employees who reject that premise are accused of “internalized racism.” When reached by e-mail, Racial Equity Consultants said that it was not authorized to comment.

The story prompted the KCLS to deny accusations of segregation, stating it was misinformation. “In 2019, under the guidance of our consultants, Racial Equity Consultants (REC), we provided caucused listening sessions for staff to help inform REC’s institutional racial equity assessment work,” the statement read in part. “These listening sessions were voluntary for staff and designed to gather information to help us better understand institutional racial equity concerns . . .”

Under REC’s “services” is something called “Racial Caucusing.” This is where “members work separately in their respective identity groups as either POC or White people,” their website states. “In racial caucus, POC and White people learn to work towards dismantling racism from their separate and particular positionality.” 

Separate — and segregated — positions. 

Racial Caucusing involves separating whites and people of color into “affinity groups” based on race, where POC are asked to reflect on their Internalized Racial Oppression, and whites are asked to reflect on Internalized Racial superiority. Some questions posed to whites are:

  • How was I socialized by IRS?
  • How do you collude with white culture in your institution/team at meetings, in organizing, during your day? 
  • How is white supremacy reflected in your institution/team?

Recently, at the urging of President Trump, the Department of Justice began investigating the City of Seattle for such trainings. Amazingly, Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan stood by these workshops. 

“This is a stunning illustration of the administration’s warped priorities,” Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan said in a recent statement. “In the midst of a nationwide reckoning with systemic racism and police violence, (the administration) is considering suing the City of Seattle for a training we provide that specifically seeks to combat racism and advance equity.”

Joe Biden, in the first Debate with President Trump, claimed these workshops are simply “benign sensitivity training.” 

But reality paints a different picture. A leaked video from a 2017 Seattle training shows facilitator Ashleigh Shackelford, a Black Lives Matter activist and organizer, disparaging whites in attendance. 

U.S. Civil Rights Commissioner Peter Kirsanow has argued that racially segregated training sessions violate the 1964 Equal Employment Opportunity act, which prohibits employers from segregating employees based on “race, color, religion, sex or national origin.”  

The KCLS’s fixation on skin color is quite ironic.  Named after Martin Luther King, Jr., the county is still judging its people by the color of their skin, and ignoring the content of their character. 

Dr. King is probably rolling over in his grave. 

Click here to watch the companion video, which provides additional commentary and video clips on the topic. 

The Battle to Keep ‘White Fragility’ Out of Okaloosa County Schools

by Christopher Paslay

The debate over the use of Robin DiAngelo’s White Fragility in a high school English classroom is heating up in the Okaloosa County School District. 

As Reported in the Northwest Florida Daily News:

A book called “White Fragility” has been removed from the reading list at Choctawhatchee High School at the direction of the Okaloosa County School District.

The book, whose full title reads “White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard For White People To Talk About Racism,” was not included on this year’s approved reading list for the Choctaw English Department, a statement from the School District said.

“More importantly, the Florida Department of Education has established standards for each course in the public-school setting that define what students should be taught in that course,” the statement said. “It is not apparent that this material aligned with the standards for the course.”

The book’s removal, which was prompted by a complaint from a parent, quickly sparked a response from social justice advocates. The Niceville chapter of Black Lives Matter soon got involved, and launched a petition to keep the book in the high school which has now received over 1,300 signatures.

As Jennie McKeon reported for WUWF:

According to the change.org petition, an English teacher at Choctawhatchee High School in Fort Walton Beach was planning a lesson on racism — past and present — using excerpts from the 2018 book “White Fragility” by Robin DiAngelo, a white academic with experience in diversity training. 

When a parent made a complaint, the Okaloosa County School District backed the parent. 

However, when Niceville parent Misti Schneidewind heard about the incident, she contacted her daughter, Hannah, who started the petition Wednesday. 

When she was home from Northeastern University during the summer, Hannah was part of the students that helped facilitate four Black Lives Matter billboards around the city. Hannah said the petition may not do much but raise awareness, but that’s OK with her.

“Many people in our community are so uncomfortable with this topic,” said Hannah. “But it’s not just something you can shut down and ignore.”

But those familiar with the book White Fragility know it’s more than simply a conversation about race, diversity, or multiculturalism; White Fragility is a polarizing and divisive book, which teaches that all whites are racist by default, suffer from white supremacy and anti-blackness, and labels all who challenge or disagree with this dogma as “fragile.” It is all about indoctrination through identity politics, and provides no real means for discussion, collaboration, or critical thinking. 

The Okaloosa County School Board agreed to read the book for themselves, and ruled that the book would be granted the opportunity to be considered as part of their English curriculum, as long as the proper procedure was followed.   

To watch further commentary on the topic, and to see excerpts of the official Okaloosa County School Board meeting, please click here.

The Tragic Radicalization of Colin Kaepernick

by Christopher Paslay

According to Colin Kaepernick, the central intent of policing is to surveil, terrorize, capture, and kill marginalized populations, specifically Black folks.

In his recent article called “The Demand for Abolition,” a very radicalized Colin Kaepernick demands we get rid of all police and prisons in America, writing that all cops are terrorists and murders, whose injustice is perpetuated by a white supremacist society that is steeped in racism and anti-blackness.

Kaepernick writes:

In the wake of the state-sanctioned lynchings of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd, the United States has been forced to grapple with not only the devastation of police terrorism but also the institutions that constitute, enhance, and expand the carceral state.

State-sanctioned lynchings? Such radicalized hyperbole is dangerous and irresponsible. In the case of Breonna Taylor, a grand jury found that the police officers committed no criminal act, and despite public misinformation, indeed knocked before entering; ballistics reports also showed that Taylor’s boyfriend shot the officer.

In the case of George Floyd, Derek Chauvin has been arrested and charged with second-degree murder and manslaughter, and Tou Thao, Thomas Lane, and J. Alexander Kueng have been arrested and charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder and aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter. 

“The central intent of policing is to surveil, terrorize, capture, and kill marginalized populations, specifically Black folks,” Kaepernick writes in his article. This is a clear departure from his more moderate position on police brutality, which simply criticized what he termed “rogue cops.” Now all cops must be abolished, as well as all prisons. 

The fact that the overwhelming majority of black Americans disagree with Kaepernick on this issue doesn’t seem to matter to him. In August, a Gallup poll found that 81 percent of African Americans want the same or even more police presence in their neighborhoods.    

Kaepernick makes no bones about his feelings on police reform: “Fuck reform,” his articles states in a sub-heading. He writes: 

I began to ask myself the question “What is being reformed or reformulated?” Ultimately, I realized that seeking reform would make me an active participant in reforming, reshaping, and rebranding institutional white supremacy, oppression, and death. This constant re-interrogation of my own analysis has been part of my political evolution.

Kaepernick has had a political evolution indeed. He’s now a full-fledged radical, committed to indoctrinating America’s youth.  Several year ago, he founded a youth activist organization called “Know Your Rights Camp,” whose mission is to “advance the liberation and well-being of Black and Brown communities through education, self-empowerment, mass-mobilization and the creation of new systems that elevate the next generation of change leaders.”

In these camps he teaches impressionable youth that police terrorize, kidnap, and murder black people for no good reason, an injustice perpetuated by a white supremacist society that is systemically racist and anti-black.

His radical message and “political evolution” is both tragic and alarming. Incredibly, Kaepernick himself is half-white, whose biological mother, Heidi Russo, got pregnant with him when she was only 18. After Kaepernick’s African American father left Russo, she did not abort her child, rather, worked hard to find a family with the resources to adopt him and give him the proper care he needed. These parents ended up being Rick and Teresa Kaepernick, who are both white. They raised Colin from the time he was several weeks old, giving him everything they had. 

But the now radical Kaepernick seems to have forgotten his roots, and the fact that he’s not only half-white himself, but that two kind and caring white parents — from a predominantly white Milwaukee community — raised him to be a strong, successful athlete and human being. 

“Over the next month,” Kaepernick writes in his anti-cop diatribe, “my hope is that you, the reader, will have confronted the white supremacist underpinnings of policing and prisons and the state-sanctioned oppression, destruction, and execution of Black and Indigenous people and people of color.”

“Abolition now,” says the radicalized ex-football player. “Abolition for the people.”

Ibram X. Kendi: White Colonizers and Interracial Adoption

In a recent tweet, antiracist educator Ibram X. Kendi wrote, “Some white colonizers ‘adopted’ Black children. They ‘civilized’ these ‘savage’ children in the ‘superior’ ways of White people, while using them as props in their lifelong pictures of denial, while cutting the biological parents of these children out of the picture of humanity.” 

These comments were made in the context of the discussion of SCOTUS nominee Amy Coney Barrett’s adoption of two children from Haiti. Kendi ultimately argued that White adoptive parents of Black children can still be racist. 

Tragically, when Ibram X. Kendi sees whites welcoming black children into their family, his psyche turns to colonization and racism. This video looks at Kendi’s controversial statements, as well as his polarizing and counterproductive antiracist ideas.

The NYT’s ‘Nice White Parents’: Shaming White Parents for Improving a Brooklyn School

Nice White Parents” is the New York Times‘ new five-part podcast series about “building a better school system, and what gets in the way.” This video analyzes part #1, titled “The Book of Statuses.

In 2015, a cohort of proactive parents, many of whom were white, enrolled into the Boerum Hill School for International Studies in Brooklyn, NY. After opening a dual-language French program for the middle school, funds poured in. Soon test scores shot up, as did enrollment and interest in the school. By 2019, the school became successfully integrated, and had an even distribution between white, black, and Latino students. But not all were happy.

Thanks for watching. 

The Problematic Inaccuracies of the ‘1619 Project’

by Christopher Paslay

The New York Times’ ‘1619 Project’ is a problematic work of historical revisionism, and has been criticized by historians and scholars on all sides of the political spectrum for its fundamental inaccuracies and biased narrative.

John McWhorter, an African American professor of linguistics at Columbia University, takes issue with the historical facts at the center of the “1619 “Project.” As McWhorter writes in Reason Magazine

The verdict is in: The idea that America’s real founding was in 1619 does not wash. And yet, it will be considered a mark of sophistication to pretend otherwise.

Since last August, The New York Times has asked us to consider that America’s real founding was not in 1776 but in 1619, when the first Africans were brought to these shores. Nikole Hannah-Jones teaches that the Revolutionary War was fought mainly not to escape British tyranny, but out of fear that British tyranny was about to threaten the institution of slavery.

In a Wall Street Journal article titled “The ‘1619 Project’ Gets Schooled,” Elliot Kaufman further elaborates on the criticisms of well-respected scholars and historians:

“So wrong in so many ways” is how Gordon Wood, the Pulitzer Prize-winning historian of the American Revolution, characterized the New York Times’s “1619 Project.” James McPherson, dean of Civil War historians and another Pulitzer winner, said the Times presented an “unbalanced, one-sided account” that “left most of the history out.” Even more surprising than the criticism from these generally liberal historians was where the interviews appeared: on the World Socialist Web Site, run by the Trotskyist Socialist Equality Party.

In an Atlantic article titled “A Matter of Facts,” Sean Wilentz, Professor of history at Princeton University, detailed the letter he wrote to the New York Times, requesting the publication correct its basic mistakes: 

On December 20, the Times Magazine published a letter that I signed with four other historians—Victoria Bynum, James McPherson, James Oakes, and Gordon Wood. Our letter applauded the project’s stated aim to raise public awareness and understanding of slavery’s central importance in our history. Although the project is not a conventional work of history and cannot be judged as such, the letter intended to help ensure that its efforts did not come at the expense of basic accuracy. Offering practical support to that end, it pointed out specific statements that, if allowed to stand, would misinform the public and give ammunition to those who might be opposed to the mission of grappling with the legacy of slavery. The letter requested that the Times print corrections of the errors that had already appeared, and that it keep those errors from appearing in any future materials published with the Times’ imprimatur, including the school curricula the newspaper announced it was developing in conjunction with the project.

Curiously, the New York Times chose to let the flawed revisionist history stand in an effort at bringing awareness to past racial injustice. But as America’s leading historians have pointed out, altering facts to forward so-called social justice causes is in fact doing a disservice to the cause itself.  How is teaching America’s youth inaccurate depictions of America’s past going to help educate them as knowledgeable and informed citizens?  Accuracy of information is necessary to allow students to think critically about the world around them, and altering such information — in the name of social justice — is not providing our children the resources they need to become proactive, self-empowered learners. 

Reframing America as country based on slavery and victimization — rather than on freedom, liberty, and democracy — works well if the aim is to indoctrinate our children into the polarizing and divisive world of identity politics.

“We are now to instruct black kids just a few years past diapers in this way of thinking — in studied despair over events far in the past, and a sense that it is more enlightened to think of yourself as a victim than as an actor,” McWhorter writes in his Reason article.  “At no other point in human history have any people, under any degree of oppression, conceived of this kind of self-image as healthy . . .”

Yet American schools are doing just that.

Which is why Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., recently introduced a bill that proposes denying federal funds to schools that incorporate the New York Times’ controversial “1619 Project” into its teaching curriculum, and why President Trump said Sunday that the Department of Education is examining the use of the New York Times Magazine‘s 1619 Project in schools, and warned that institutions that teach this alternative narrative of American history could lose federal funding.

As McWhorter so aptly writes in his Reason article

The insistence on maintaining the 1619 idea is rooted in a pervasive modern notion that when evaluating race issues, it is a form of intelligence and morality to duck truth when it is inconvenient to a victimhood-focused construct. W.E.B. Du Bois tackled the Dunning School with facts; today people sensing themselves as his heirs insist we accept alternative facts. Yet, to point out that neither Du Bois, Frederick Douglass, nor Martin Luther King Jr. would see this as progress renders one a heretic. This is one more thing we must overcome.

Federal Agencies Directed To End ‘White Privilege’ Trainings

by Christopher Paslay

A new directive states that Federal agencies must cease and desist from using taxpayer dollars to fund trainings using critical race theory, white privilege, or any other training or propaganda effort that teaches that any race or ethnicity is inherently racist. 

The toxic, discriminatory tenets at the center of critical race theory — which serve as the basis for anti-racism, white fragility, white privilege, and so-called white supremacy culture — are being exposed at the highest levels of government. At the urging of Christopher F. Rufo, a contributing editor for City Journal whose investigative reporting has exposed how critical race theory has infiltrated the Federal government, the heads of executive departments and agencies have been directed to identify and terminate all Federal training which teaches all whites are inherently racist. 

On September 4, 2020, Russell Vought, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, issued a letter addressing training in the Federal government titled, “MEMORANDUM FOR THE HEADS OF EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENTS AND AGENCIES.” 

The letter reads:

It has come to the President’s attention that Executive Branch agencies have spent millions of taxpayer dollars to date “training” government workers to believe divisive, anti-American propaganda.

For example, according to press reports, employees across the Executive Branch have been required to attend trainings where they are told that “virtually all White people contribute to racism” or where they are required to say that they “benefit from racism.” According to press reports, in some cases these training have further claimed that there is racism embedded in the belief that America is the land of opportunity or the belief that the most qualified person should receive a job.

These types of “trainings” not only run counter to the fundamental beliefs for which our Nation has stood since its inception, but they also engender division and resentment within the Federal workforce. We can be proud that as an employer, the Federal government has employees of all races, ethnicities, and religions. We can be proud that Americans from all over the country seek to join our workforce and dedicate themselves to public service. We can be proud of our continued efforts to welcome all individuals who seek to serve their fellow Americans as Federal employees. However, we cannot accept our employees receiving training that seeks to undercut our core values as Americans and drive division within our workforce.

The President has directed me to ensure that Federal agencies cease and desist from using taxpayer dollars to fund these divisive, un-American propaganda training sessions. Accordingly, to that end, the Office of Management and Budget will shortly issue more detailed guidance on implementing the President’s directive. In the meantime, all agencies are directed to begin to identify all contracts or other agency spending related to any training on “critical race theory/9 “white privilege,” or any other training or propaganda effort that teaches or suggests either (1) that the United States is an inherently racist or evil country or (2) that any race or ethnicity is inherently racist or evil. In addition, all agencies should begin to identify all available avenues within the law to cancel any such contracts and/or to divert Federal dollars away from these un- American propaganda training sessions.

 The President, and his Administration, are fully committed to the fair and equal treatment of all individuals in the United States. The President has a proven track record of standing for those whose voice has long been ignored and who have failed to benefit from all our country has to offer, and he intends to continue to support all Americans, regardless of race, religion, or creed. The divisive, false, and demeaning propaganda of the critical race theory movement is contrary to all we stand for as Americans and should have no place in the Federal government.

This directive from Vought is long overdue. The toxic, divisive policies at the center of critical race theory — which extend to anti-racism, white privilege, white fragility, white supremacy culture, implicit bias, and microaggressions — must no longer be tolerated. Singling people out by their race or culture clearly violates Federal anti-discrimination laws, and has been doing so for some time. 

One can only hope state and local governments will use Federal agencies as a guide, and in turn commit to routing out such divisive trainings and discriminatory practices as well.