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“Paslay’s thorough review of attitudes and actions associated with whiteness studies and racism give voice to all sides of diversity and pluralism so that we, as a nation, can continue the ongoing conversation about how to treat each other with the respect ALL humans deserve.” –Dr. Eugenia Krimmel, education professor and ESL/Bilingual education advisor at the Pennsylvania Department of Education
“This is a brave book. Paslay reveals and cuts through the endless layers of antiracist gospel which, in the name of enlightenment, leave one cohort of brown kids after another uneducated. Aspiring teachers seeking clear eyes and genuine progressivism should start by inhaling this book.” –John H. McWhorter, associate professor of linguistics and comparative literature at Columbia University
“This well-researched, well-argued, and thoughtful book provides a clear and comprehensive account of how the theory of white fragility is dividing rather than uniting American society and America’s classrooms. A must-read.” –Jonathan Church, author of Reinventing Racism: Why ‘White Fragility’ Is the Wrong Way to Think About Racial Inequality
“Paslay provides a thorough exposition and measured critique of the new ideology that has colonized the minds of America’s school administrators and threatens to wreak havoc on our students—especially students of color. It’s a must-read for any parent or teacher who is concerned about the soul of the next generation.” –Max Eden, education policy expert and senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute
Bree Picower, an Associate Education Professor at Montclair State University, projects her own racist anti-white worldview onto preservice teachers in education programs, as well as on active teachers in K-12 schools.
Bree Picower, an Associate Education Professor at Montclair State University, is anti-white. Her new book, titled Reading, Writing, and Racism: Disrupting Whiteness in Teacher Education and in the Classroom, projects her own racist anti-white worldview onto preservice teachers in education programs, as well as on active teachers in K-12 schools.
Which makes Picower’s particular brand of anti-whiteness even more concerning, being that her audience are educators instructing America’s children, who not only mold the minds of youth, but also have the ability to indoctrinate these young people with Picower’s poisonous ideas.
Like DiAngelo’s White Fragility (which begins with a Forward from noted Black Georgetown Professor Michael Eric Dyson), Picower’s book begins with a Forward from Bettina Love, a Black “abolitionist” professor from the University of Georgia. Beginning each book with a Forward from a person of color is obviously their attempt to provide a level of authenticity to their racist worldviews — worldviews which see America as a nation founded on slavery and oppression, and see “whiteness” and the cultures of those who identify as white as violent entities that must be disrupted and dismantled.
“The United States is not just racist; it is anti-Black,” Love writes in her forward to Picower’s book. “The word ‘racism’ does not adequately describe the ways in which the US kills, destroys, and spirit murders Black people.”
Love goes onto write that “America’s obsession with greed, violence, hate, and Black suffering always reaches into the most sacred spaces of American democracy, including schools.” This line is important, because it serves as a thesis for Picower’s book, Reading, Writing, and Racism: that the United States is a violently racist and anti-Black country, and that this violence and anti-Blackness stems directly from the white supremacist curriculum pervading K-12 schools, curriculum steeped in so-called “whiteness” that must be called out and eradicated.
Love states in her Forward:
Too often teachers want to reflect a happy world to children, where no one was enslaved, no one was beaten, no families were separated, and White people never hurt anyone. These feel-good stories of White heroes and do-gooders uphold White supremacy and undermine the mental well-being of youth of color. To be frank, I am tired of seeing children, all children, opening up a textbook and reading about Black people as slaves and Native Americans as savages. I am even more appalled when teachers do not see anything wrong with these representations.
Love’s logic, or lack of logic, is a microcosm of the fallacious and propagandistic nature of Picower’s entire book. In literally the same paragraph, Love insists slavery shouldn’t be white-washed from school textbooks, but then complains that she’s sick of seeing children opening up books that portray Black as slaves. But again, this lays bare the central theme of the book: that whites, no matter what they teach, are racist and oppressive and can do no good.
Thus the stage is set for Bree Picower’s anti-white book titled Reading, Writing, and Racism: Disrupting Whiteness in Teacher Education and in the Classroom. In it, Picower cherry-picks bizarre and strange examples of so-called “viral racist curriculum,” some of which she literally pulls from anonymous sources on Facebook, others which she dredges up from dusty, long-abandoned textbooks from the early 1970s. And it’s these strange, cherry-picked curriculum resources, which have been collected under the #CurriculumSoWhite, that Picower holds up as the norm in America’s K-12 schools.
“I have made the choice to focus on these viral examples because they are telling for many reasons,” Picower writes in her Introduction. “These singular examples reflect the toxicity of the entire body of school curricula. People outside of education rarely have a window into what happens behind classroom doors, so when these examples appear online for all to see, they call into question what other racial injustices are going on in schools.”
This is a key part to Picower’s anti-white indoctrination: like DiAngelo, she prays on naïve and unsuspecting preservice teachers and college education majors, baiting them with distorted facts and misinformation, hoping to turn them into activists who will go out and recruit others to push the radical message.
But these singular examples do not reflect the entire body of school curricula, not by any stretch of the imagination, and saying so is a form of educational malpractice. Like DiAngelo, Picower seems very comfortable generalizing about entire groups of people and entire bodies of curriculum.
The ideas at the heart of Picower’s book, most of which are creative regurgitations of DiAngelo’s questionable theories, are packaged into five chapters. The first is titled “Curricular Tools of Whites” (defined by Picower as “scripted responses used to maintain teachers’ investment in White supremacy”), is a clear rip-off of what DiAngelo refers to as “moves of whiteness” (defined by DiAngelo as “a linguistic strategy used to support or challenge current power relations”).
In a nutshell, the chapter lays out seven “tools” racist teachers use to maintain white supremacy in schools, none of which are based in any rigorous scientific analysis or backed-up with any quantitative research. In short, these “tools of whiteness” have come straight out of Picower’s brain, invented to increase the appeal of her anti-white racism and to better enable her to indoctrinate young, unsuspecting preservice teachers into this toxic ideology.
Chapter 2 is called “The Iceberg: Racial Ideology and Curriculum,” which is a reinvention of DiAngelo’s “iceberg of culture” and “white racial frame,” and examines four “case studies” to show how America’s teaching force both consciously and unconsciously produces curriculum based in white supremacy and anti-black racism.
Chapters 3, 4, and 5 continue to recycle DiAngelo’s writings on historical racism, white socialization, white privilege, systemic racism, colorblind racism, and how these combine to form a K-12 educational system steeped in white supremacy and anti-blackness. Again, no rigorous testing of any of these theories are done by Picower, and she employs no quantitative studies of any kind.
Picower indeed acknowledges in her book that she is a privileged white person, who has no right profiting off of black suffering. She has two principles when it comes to her racial justice work. One, she keeps her “gaze” on “Whiteness” (which means she focusses all her research on how only whites need to change for the world to improve). And two, when asked to present or consult on racism, she makes sure she has a person of color with her, so she can hide behind them and claim she’s not racist.
Perhaps a third principle could be to refrain from indoctrinating America’s future teachers with racist propaganda aimed at disparaging entire groups of people, or to stop writing racist books that do all of the above.
“It’s definitely not sensitivity and it’s definitely not diversity. There used to be sensitivity and diversity years ago, and this is not that.”
Christopher Paslay has spent 24 years working as a Philadelphia teacher, and has a background in multicultural education. He told the Daily Caller that celebrating diversity in the classroom used to include tolerance and understanding, but schools across the country are taking a different approach to educating about different cultures by hiring “anti-racism” trainers, who accuse others of being complicit in racism.
“I think it’s gotten to the point where people fear [being accused of not participating in racial justice efforts],” Paslay said. “People still don’t know what anti-racism is. They think it’s just social justice, but they don’t know the other components to it.”
The trainings have a variety of names. Conservatives refer to them that as “critical “race theory” sessions. Progressives have called the sessions “sensitivity” and “diversity” training. Paslay’s book explores research and presents alternative recommendations on approaching diversity and inclusion in the classroom to bringing in guest speakers to conduct “anti-racism” trainings. While school and workplace administrators may invite such experts with admirable intentions of remedying disparities, Paslay claimed such trainings carry the potential of being counterproductive in achieving social justice.
His book is written from the perspective of a longtime educator with a background in multicultural education. Paslay has spent 24 years teaching high school English, where he crafts his lesson plans with a selection of texts and literature that represent the different cultures of his students in an effort to be inclusive, he told the Caller. . . .
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.
In an article on Patheos.com, Baylor University sociology professor George Yancey wrote a very powerful critique of white fragility and anti-racism titled, “Not White Fragility, Mutual Responsibility,” where he proposed having a true dialogue on race relations, not merely a monologue disguised as a conversation. Named the Mutual Accountability Approach, Yancey suggested using sociological research (Intergroup Contact Theory based in active listening) to unify rather than divide, making solutions win-win rather than win-lose.
Please watch the above video for a discussion and analysis of Yancey’s Mutual Accountability Approach. Also, please consider purchasing my new book, Exploring White Fragility: Debating the Effects of Whiteness Studies on America’s Schools, due out in April. The book uses existing research, as well as anecdotal observations from my own teaching, to analyze white fragility theory and anti-racism, and offers recommendations and alternative solutions for improving skill building and communication. Thanks for watching.
Christopher Rufo’s most recent article, “Woke Elementary,” exposes how an elementary school in Cupertino, California, recently forced a class of third-graders to deconstruct their racial identities, and rank themselves according to their “power and privilege.”
An elementary school in Cupertino, California—a Silicon Valley community with a median home price of $2.3 million—recently forced a class of third-graders to deconstruct their racial identities, then rank themselves according to their “power and privilege.”
Based on whistleblower documents and parents familiar with the session, a third-grade teacher at R.I. Meyerholz Elementary School began the lesson on “social identities” during a math class. The teacher asked all students to create an “identity map,” listing their race, class, gender, religion, family structure, and other characteristics. The teacher explained that the students live in a “dominant culture” of “white, middle class, cisgender, educated, able-bodied, Christian, English speaker[s],” who, according to the lesson, “created and maintained” this culture in order “to hold power and stay in power.”
Please watch the video above for an analysis of the article.