In North Carolina, they’re trying to figure out equity.
Hence, the state’s largest school district is advising teachers: Dismiss the complaints of white parents over “critical race theory.”
The reason: Those parents’ kids are getting the benefit of the racist system.
Per documents obtained by City Journal, Raleigh’s Wake County Public School System trained teachers last year on incorporating critical race theory into lesson plans.
Critical race theory (CRT), the view that the law and legal institutions are inherently racist and that race itself, instead of being biologically grounded and natural, is a socially constructed concept that is used by white people to further their economic and political interests at the expense of people of colour. According to critical race theory (CRT), racial inequality emerges from the social, economic, and legal differences that white people create between “races” to maintain elite white interests in labour markets and politics, giving rise to poverty and criminality in many minority communities.
The February 2020 symposium offered sessions on “microaggressions,” “racial mapping,” “disrupting texts,” and “whiteness.”
As for texts getting disrupted, I wrote of such in December:
Disrupt Texts is a crowdsourced, grass roots effort by teachers for teachers to challenge the traditional canon in order to create a more inclusive, representative, and equitable language arts curriculum that our students deserve. It is part of our mission to aid and develop teachers committed to anti-racist/anti-bias teaching pedagogy and practices.
The hashtagged hotbed of hope is out to clean up reading for youngsters:
I don’t mind saying it: I’d rather die than teach Scarlet Letter. Unless you are teaching about how to fight against misogyny and slut-slaming. Easy A is a good movie though. Plus, Hawthorne wrote dope short stories. Black Veil, Birthmark?! Do better. #disruptexts #ProjectLITchat
— Evin Shinn (@baritoneblogger) June 23, 2018
During the conference, Wake County encouraged more than 200 North Carolina public teachers to form “equity teams” and push “antiracism.”
A few microaggressions in the eyes of antiracism, as listed by CNN:
- “Don’t blame me. I never owned slaves.”
- “All lives matter.”
- “I’m colorblind; I don’t care if you’re white, black, yellow, green or purple.”
The training began with a “land acknowledgement,” recognizing that residents of the state are living on stolen land.
Superintendent Cathy Moore broke the bunch into smaller sessions across eight rooms.
From one session, per the Journal:
[During] “Whiteness in Ed Spaces,” school administrators provided two handouts on the “norms of whiteness.” These documents claimed that “(white) cultural values” include “denial,” “fear,” “blame,” “control,” “punishment,” “scarcity,” and “one-dimensional thinking.” According to notes from the session, the teachers argued that “whiteness perpetuates the system” of injustice and that the district’s “whitewashed curriculum” was “doing real harm to our students and educators.” The group encouraged white teachers to “challenge the dominant ideology” of whiteness and “disrupt” white culture in the classroom through a series of “transformational interventions.”
At one point, a teacher inquired, “How do you deal with parent pushback?”
According to the outlet, this was the response:
“You can’t let parents deter you from the work.”
“White parents’ children are benefiting from the system” of whiteness, it was purportedly said. They’re “not learning at home about diversity.”
Teachers were allegedly told white parents fear they’re “going to lose something.”
Furthermore, they find if difficult “to let go of power [and] privilege.”
The advice wasn’t a one-off. The district’s Equity in Action plan lays it out:
Equity leaders [should] have the confidence to take risks and make difficult decisions that are rooted in their values. Even in the face of opposition, equity leaders can draw on a heartfelt conviction for what is best for students and families.
The plan provides a chart noting attention to the following:
- color consciousness
- white identity development
- critical race theory
- intersections of power and privilege
- anti-racist identity and action
And make no mistake — the county’s put its money where its mouth is:
The equity program in the Wake County Public School System is a massive enterprise. Founded in 2013, the district’s Office of Equity Affairs has now amassed a $1 million annual budget and hosts an ongoing sequence of school trainings, curriculum-development sessions, and teacher events. In 2019, for example, the office hosted a series of “courageous conversations” about race and a five-night discussion program about the podcast Seeing White, which asks listeners to consider how “whiteness” contributes to “police shootings of unarmed African Americans,” “acts of domestic terrorism,” and “unending racial inequity in schools, housing, criminal justice, and hiring.”
For more on the district’s equitable practices, check out www.wcpss.net/equity.
Apparently, Wake County’s trying to wake whiteness ’til it’s woke.
Back to parental pushback, at the end of the day, who decides how a child is educated? In Raleigh, it seems the school system’s of the opinion it’s in control.
From the sound of things, it’s right.
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