Anti-racist educator Ibram X. Kendi recently headlined the American Federation of Teachers’ TEACH 21 Conference, speaking at a livestream session titled, “A Conversation with Dr. Ibram X. Kendi.” The official AFT conference agenda stated, “Hear from Dr. Ibram X. Kendi in this free-ranging discussion with student activists and AFT members on his scholarship and on developing anti-racist mindsets and actions inside and outside classrooms.”
During the livestream, which has not been posted on the AFT website, Dr. Kendi compared those who oppose critical race theory to Southern segregationists from the 1950s. According to an article titled “Anti-racist education benefits all of us” published on the AFT’s website:
Ingram asked Kendi about the furor over critical race theory and related pushes against teaching about enslavement and discrimination. Kendi compared it to the reaction to Brown v. Board of Education, when some white people were fearful that desegregated schools—and the Black children in them—were going to be harmful to their children. Today’s fears are similar in that misinformation is being spread about potential harms; one bold lie is that teaching about racism conveys to white children that they are inherently evil. Kendi was clear and compassionate: He does not know of any anti-racist teacher who would believe or convey that any child or group of people is inherently bad or racist.
But Dr. Kendi misrepresents the growing concern by parents, educators, and community members over the toxic and polarizing tenets of critical race theory, and falsely states that no anti-racist educator teaches that all whites are inherently racist; Robin DiAngelo, whose anti-racist approaches are embedded in K-12 curriculum in a number of school districts – and whose book White Fragility is on recommended reading lists across America – explicitly teaches just that.
Instead of disassociating with such polarizing tenets of anti-racism – which is an example of critical pedagogy under critical race theory – Kendi attempts to gaslight educators when it comes to remembering his own ideas, as well as the ideas of other anti-racists who use an identity-based model, which polarizes by skin color and offers little in terms of holistic, universal solutions to the real problems of racism and racial disparities today.
This video compares two pathways to equality: one that is identity-based and endorsed by Ibram X. Kendi (critical race theory and anti-racism), and one that is principle-based and endorsed by Thomas Sowell (individual skill-building and universal values).
Joy Reid recently had Christopher Rufo on her MSNBC show, The ReidOut, where she failed to engage in a rational debate about Critical Race Theory, and instead attempted to spin a pre-packaged narrative about the topic.
After accepting Manhattan Institute senior fellow Christopher Rufo’s requests via Twitter to appear on her MSNBC show, host Joy Reid declined to engage in a debate on the topic of critical race theory — resorting instead to constant interruption and insults, insisting, “it’s my show … so it’s how I want to do it.
The very term “Action Civics” is a euphemism for political protests for course credit, which is actually the opposite of what a proper civics course should be. This video takes a close look at what’s actually inside the egregiously misnamed “Civics Secures Democracy Act,” and analyzes the proposed new rule by the Biden Education Department, which will allow action civics to usher in critical race theory into K-12 schools across America.
Long-time radio host Dom Giordano, an educator in a past life, returns with his fourteenth installment of his podcast centered on the ever-changing landscape of education. This week, Giordano is joined by Christopher Paslay, Philadelphia teacher and author of Exploring White Fragility: Debating the Effects of Whiteness Studies on America’s Schools. In Exploring White Fragility, Paslay takes an in-depth look into the concept of ‘white fragility’ and ‘white guilt’ as the two phrases have become regular topics in discussions of race. In the book, and on his new YouTube channel, Paslay examines the effects that whiteness studies have on America’s schools, and investigates how the antiracist movement to dismantle “white supremacy culture” is impacting student and teacher morale and expectations, school discipline, and overall academic achievement. For more from Paslay, check out his YouTube channel HERE.
Reinventing Racism author Jonathan Church, and Exploring White Fragility author Christopher Paslay, discuss white fragility with Benjamin Boyce on his popular YouTube podcast, The Boyce of Reason. Thanks for watching!
This afternoon, Dr. Karlyn Borysenko and I spoke about the effects of white fragility and critical race theory on American classrooms. Above is the video of our livestream on her popular YouTube channel. Thanks for watching!
There’s nothing unifying about Critical Race Theory, Mr. President.
“I’m rescinding the previous administration’s harmful ban on diversity and sensitivity training and abolishing the offensive, counterfactual 1776 commission,” President Biden stated at a recent press conference. “Unity and healing must begin with understanding and truth, not ignorance and lies.”
It’s painful to watch Joe Biden squint at the teleprompter and stumble though a bunch of lines he seems to know nothing about. It’s unclear whether Joe has been duped by his handlers and staffers — those who tell him what to say and what sign — or whether Joe actually believes what he’s saying. The fact is, President Biden’s words to the American people about lifting a supposed ban on “diversity and sensitivity training” are so off-base it almost seems as though he comes from another planet. Either that, or he’s simply gaslighting the country with flat out propaganda.
Those familiar with Critical Race Theory — and its offshoot, anti-racism — know that it has little to do with “diversity and sensitivity,” and even less to do with unity. In fact, Critical Race Theory and anti-racism emerged because things like diversity and sensitivity training — and Martin Luther King’s Civil Rights Movement based in classic liberalism — were moving too slowly for militant activists who wanted a more aggressive and provocative approach to so-called racial equality.
Believers in Critical Race Theory and anti-racism don’t want unity, and freely admit as much. The notion of unity, along with trying to identify universal qualities that bring us together, is a big no-no for anti-racist educators pushing Critical Race Theory. People like Robin DiAngelo, author of White Fragility, and Ibram X. Kendi, author of How to Be an Anti-Racist, insist universal human values don’t exist, literally. Whites are so privileged and steeped in systemic racism, and people of color are so oppressed and victimized, that these two groups can only experience the world relative to their own cultures, and a universal or unifying system of values and communication is impossible; to anti-racists, everything is relative to culture, and processed through the lens of race.
Which is why anti-racists preach that whites could never understand the oppressive lives of people of color, and any attempts to do so are met with accusations of racism or claims of white acculturalization — which is a fancy way of saying that whites who believe traditional values transcend race are pushing white supremacy culture on people of color.
Robin DiAngelo flat out states, “Niceness is not anti-racist.” In fact, suggesting people should be nice to each other is a form of violence, she believes, because being nice isn’t going to stop systemic racism or oppression; being nice simply perpetuates white supremacy. This is why KIPP charter school founder Richard Barth recently announced KIPP was retiring its national slogan, ‘Work hard. Be nice.’ According to Barth, the slogan “ignores the significant effort required to dismantle systemic racism, places value on being compliant and submissive, supports the illusion of meritocracy, and does not align with our vision of students being free to create the future they want.”
So much for the phony notion of unity, at least where Critical Race Theory and anti-racism are concerned. Anti-racism, stated another way, could be called “anti-unity.” Again, the unity model, based in “niceness” and understanding, does not attack so-called systemic racism and white supremacy culture head on, but serves to perpetuate it. What anti-racists who espouse Critical Race Theory want is agitation, provocation, and confrontation — and advocate for the kind of racial unrest we witnessed over the summer. In short, they want to shock white society out of its inherently racist, privileged bubble.
Critical Race Theory aims to target, disrupt, and dismantle “whiteness.” It stereotypes entire groups of people into polarizing identity groups — oppressive whites on one side, oppressed people of color on the other. Trainings based in Critical Race Theory, in public schools and government agencies, require participants to segregate themselves into affinity groups by race, deconstruct their racial identity, and admit their privilege and participation in a racist system.
Despite what President Biden says, none of this has anything to do with sensitivity training or unity. The ban on Critical Race Theory was an attempt to stop the polarization of people by race, the racialization of government agencies and schools, and from using skin color to judge entire groups of people. It was an attempt at universal communication and values, an attempt at unity.
In essence, President Biden is calling for unity by rescinding a ban aimed at bringing unity. He’s rescinding a ban on judging people by the color of their skin, and not the content of their character. He’s rescinding a ban that aimed to forward the Civil Rights legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. His out-of-touch Executive Orders are what’s counterfactual, as is his bizarre notion of “sensitivity training.”
Ironically, it was the 1776 Commission that aimed to counter the misinformation being purported in the New York Times “1619 Project,” misinformation called out by Princeton historian Sean Wilentz, who in November of 2019, began circulating a letter objecting to the project, and of author Nikole Hannah-Jones’s work in particular.
Soon James McPherson, Gordon Wood, Victoria Bynum, and James Oakes — all leading scholars in their field, signed the letter which stated the 1619 Project fabricated facts and that the project reflected “a displacement of historical understanding by ideology.”
The New York Times refused to correct the misinformation about Americas’ founding, and author Hannah-Jones won a Pulitzer Prize. But even Hannah-Jones admitted that the 1619 Project wasn’t necessarily about history, but about journalism. Loose translation: it was first a piece of social justice propaganda, which put activism over history, and politics over facts.
And yet President Biden inverts reality and flips facts on their head. The 1776 Commission was created to correcthistory, not distort it. The ban on Critical Race Theory was made to bring America together, not drive it part.
Unity and healing, Mr. President, indeed start with understanding and truth, not ignorance and lies. Perhaps, as the new leader of the free world, you’d like to get some perspective on both.
A breakdown of major terms, and red flags for concerned parents.
After the racial unrest over the death of George Floyd last summer, chances are your child’s school has adopted some form of “anti-racist” curriculum, aimed at ending racism and racial injustice. Also called “diversity,” “equity,” or “inclusion,” these programs sound reasonable and well-meaning, and some of them are. However, there is a sliding scale between reasonable and radical, and every school district approaches things differently.
Anti-racism is not a one-size fits all movement. The devil is in the details, and how one school implements such a program may differ greatly from district to district, and county to county.
This article (and the video above) provides practical suggestions for keeping an eye on your school district’s “anti-racism” curriculum, and provides laymen’s definitions of terms, along with red flags to look for within the curriculum itself. As a rule, parents should keep an eye on their child’s curriculum at two levels: the district level, which includes official school board resolutions and school district approved material; and the classroom level: the actual lessons and activities that your child is doing with his or her teachers and classmates.
In A Nutshell: The Terms of Anti-Racism
(Note: These definitions are not sponsored by any one school or district.)
Anti-Racism: Anti-racism is concerned with systems over individuals. Anti-racist educators, such as Robin DiAngelo and Ibram X. Kendi, believe all racial disparities in the United States are the sole result of one thing: racism. Racist systems and policies, both conscious and unconscious, are perpetuated by privileged whites, who benefit from this knowingly and unknowingly. Anti-racists attempt to end such systems by calling out, confronting, and disrupting white privilege and so-called “white supremacy culture.”
White Supremacy: White supremacy does not refer to individual white people per se and their individual intentions, but to a political-economic social system of domination. This system is based on the historical and current accumulation of structural power that privileges, centralizes, and elevates white people as a group. The anti-racist definition of white supremacy is not hatred or white nationalism, but simply the fact that whites in America are the dominant culture.
White Privilege: The collective power, both conscious and unconscious, that whites have in society which makes things easier for them, and more difficult for people of color.
Racism: Racism is more than race prejudice. Anyone across any race can have race prejudice. But racism is a macro-level social system that whites control and use to the advantage of whites as a group. Thus all whites are collectively racist.
Equity: Equity is not about equal opportunity — but about equal outcome. It’s not concerned with a level playing field, but with level scores and level results. Under an anti-racist framework, equity is zero-sum: one group must be disrupted or dismantled for another group to make gains.
Anti-Blackness: This is a white person’s inherent hatred or marginalization of people of color. Anti-racist educators teach that all whites have inherent anti-blackness, whether conscious or unconscious.
Critical Race Theory: Critical Race Theory, in a nutshell, encompasses all of the above ideas: that systems must change for racial progress to be made; that white supremacy, white privilege, and anti-blackness must be disrupted; and that those who do not get on board are perpetuating racism and inequity by default.
Red Flags For Concerned Parents
Parents should approach with caution curriculum that includes one or more of the following:
Any material related to Ibram X. Kendi (How to Be an Anti-Racist) or Robin DiAngelo (White Fragility). These books are extremely polarizing, agenda-driven, and divide people into identity groups — judging them by the color of their skin, and not the content of their character, and have no place in K-12 schools. These books violate federal anti-discrimination laws, and should be met with extreme caution.
Any activity, lesson, or material that uses the phrase “white privilege,” “white fragility,” or “white supremacy.” These materials polarize and judge students by race, and may violate federal anti-discrimination laws.
Any activity, lesson, or material that uses the phrase “anti-blackness,” or encourages a student to admit to or acknowledge their anti-blackness.
Any curriculum that focuses too heavily on identity, or has children dissect or analyze their identity, or complete an identity map or identity wheel.
Any curriculum that targets “whiteness,” or asks students to disrupt or deconstruct “whiteness,” “white privilege,” or “white supremacy.” Such material is in violation of federal anti-discrimination laws.
Any lesson or activity that is too heavily focused on race or identity, or that divides or polarizes students by race — splitting students into so-called “affinity groups.”
Finally, any use, mention, or inclusion of Black Lives Matter curriculum, which is extremely agenda-driven, polarizing, and based in politics. A good way to object to this is by exposing it as political indoctrination — the kind of political indoctrination parents oppose and most school boards deny exists. BLM is a political organization with a PAC, and their agenda (defunding police, disrupting the nuclear family structure, etc.) has no place in any school that claims to teach students how to think, and not what to think. The National Education Association recently adopted BLM curriculum, a decision that must be rectified and reversed; most school districts prohibit any form of politicking or political campaigning in the classroom, and BLM is indeed a political organization with a PAC.
The first step for concerned parents is getting educated about what is going on in your child’s school. If you have a concern, make your voice heard.