Arlington Confronts Its Institutional Racism

Arlington County Schools are engaging in “courageous conversations about race,” as part of the school district’s Cultural Competence Initiative. One of the main goals of that initiative, according to the Arlington County Citizen, is to create “a school climate where tolerance and respect are encouraged and modeled.”

To help accomplish that goal, the schools brought in diversity consultant Glenn Singleton to “provide a framework” to begin the conversation about race. And what perspective does Singleton bring to the conversation? I’ll just quote from his Pacific Educational Group website:

Systematic racism is the most devastating factor contributing to the diminished capacity of all children, especially African American (Black) and Latino (Brown) children to achieve at the highest levels, and leads to the fracturing of the communities that nurture and support them.

In Singleton’s schema, institutional racism apparently encompasses more than overt discrimination: It includes supposedly “white” cultural characteristics such as individualism and a future orientation (which I interpret to mean a willingness to defer gratification). The Pacific Educational Group helps educators focus on “heightening their awareness of institutional racism” and develop strategies for closing the achievement gap in their schools.

Gee, I thought that Arlington County was one of the more politically progressive municipalities in Virginia when it came to race and diversity. I imagined that expressions of “institutionalized racism” would be relatively subdued. But I guess I’m wrong. If the school system has to call in an outside consultant to root out all that racism, prejudice and discrimination must be rampant.

But maybe not. Hans Bader, an Arlington County attorney, is less than impressed with Singleton’s track record. He has a few comments on blog, the staff blog of the Competitive Enterprise Institute.

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4 responses to “Arlington Confronts Its Institutional Racism”

  1. Groveton Avatar

    I guess I have a bit of a logic problem here.

    1. Only white people can be racist.

    2. Racism is holding back the educational progress of minority students.

    3. Ergo, white people are holding back the progress of minority students.

    Let’s look at Anacostia – a part of SE DC.


    As of the 2000 Census, Anacostia’s population is 92% African-American, 5% Non-Hispanic White, and 3% other. Anacostia, today, is primarily known for its excessive crime rates that began to shoot up in the 90’s. After decades of neglect, crime has been a major problem in this area of the city. In 2005, 62 of Washington, D.C.’s 195 homicides occurred in the 7th District of the Metropolitan Police Department, which also includes the neighborhoods of Barry Farm, Naylor Gardens, and Washington Highlands. This figure is down from the 7th District’s peak of 133 homicides in 1993 [3].

    That’s 95% minority.

    Shouldn’t be any institutional predjudice sice almost everybody is a minority and only white people can be predjudiced.

    Let’s look at the education attainment level:

    Central Anacostia is served by Anacostia Senior High School, a general academic high school part of the District of Columbia public school system. Ballou High School is in southern Anacostia. At both schools, as of 2007, only 6 percent of students have proficient Math scores.

    Anacostia is in the Southeast quadrant of Washington, DC. Let’s see how things are going there:

    The quadrant is known to many DC area residents as being plagued by a consistently high crime rate relative to the rest of the city. Public transit facilities are frequently targeted for vandalism. The Washington Post reported in 2003 that rock attacks on public buses were so common that bus drivers were instructed to wear safety goggles while traversing the quadrant.[1]

    So, since there are (virtually) no white people and only white people practice racism there must be (virtually) no racism. And because racism is the cause of the educational attainment gap and there is no racism there is no attainment gap.

    Only there is.

    Poverty is the issue.

    Consider Cascade Heights – an area of Atlanta. Once almost all white, it is now almost all black.

    As I understand it, kids from Cascade Heights attend Therrell High School. This high school may also draw from areas outside Cascade Heights. Therell High School is 99.46% African-American. Math scores are below the state average but a whole better than 6% (Mid 70%).

    Two overwhelmingly African American neighborhoods. Each with a nearly all black high school. One is passing the math tests at 6%, the other at 70+%. The difference?

    The level of poverty.

    Not the number of white people being racist.

  2. Anonymous Avatar

    Here’s syndicated columnist Michelle Malkin’s take on Glenn Singleton: he’s a “p.c. snake oil peddler” and “diversity huckster”:

    Tracking a “diversity” huckster

    By Michelle Malkin
    • December 7, 2007 01:13 PM

    The blogosphere is
    monitoring the travels and travails of diversity training huckster Glenn Singleton.

    Hans Bader reports:

    He claims that “white talk” is “verbal, impersonal, intellectual” and “task-oriented,” while minority talk is “emotional.” He also blames white teachers for the minority achievement gap, saying that racism is “ubiquitous” among whites, even though the gap is equally present in classes taught by minority teachers, and even though Asians, who are non-white, have higher average grades than whites in many school systems. And he claims that Mark Twain was a racist, even though Twain fought racism in an era when racism was sadly popular.

    But so deep is the politically correct rot in the schools that Singleton has been hired not only by U.S. school systems and colleges, but also by a misguided school board in Nova Scotia, Canada (the Annapolis Valley Regional School Board).

    This is deeply ironic. Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms doesn’t have strong protection for free speech akin to the First Amendment, so racist speech in public is banned in Canada under its so-called “human-rights” codes. Any white school teacher who said the offensive things that Singleton says about minorities — that their speech is not “intellectual,” “verbal,” or “task-oriented” — would be subject to prosecution by a human-rights tribunal. The same might even be true for a minority teacher. Yet Singleton gets paid big money — “a six figure fee” — to promote these offensive, racist stereotypes.

    More here and here. (Hat tip – Orbusmax).

    If you’re a parent get up to speed on this p.c. snake oil peddler.

    He may be coming to a neighborhood school near you.

  3. Anonymous Avatar

    Radical “diversity” consultant Glenn Singleton, and his bizarre racial theories, are also discussed by radio broadcaster Neal Boortz, in a story you can find in the November 20 edition of SuppressedNews.

    Boortz observed that:

    “In 2002, Singleton got his hands on Seattle government schools. They hired him to indoctrinate students and staff about racism. So what did he do? He immediately attacked individualism and brands any form of individualism as a form of ‘cultural racism.’ He goes on to say that ‘only whites can be racist.’ There you go … another warrior in the left’s war on individualism.

    “Singleton also says that planning ahead is a white characteristic and it is racist to assume that minorities will do the same. This reminds me of the professor from a predominately black college in Atlanta who, many years ago, said that the use of logic in an argument was racist. There seems to be no end to this nonsense.

    “Back to the California schools, Singleton preaches the ubiquity of white privilege and race. He previously made this statement on the topic that California is currently facing: ‘White teachers . . . stymie black and Hispanic students because they fail to understand their cultures and how daily racial oppression affects their outlook. They also push a curriculum tooled for whites, and are ignorant of the special ways that blacks and Hispanics communicate.”

    Boortz’s comments are found at:

    The “special ways that blacks and Hispanics communicate” that Singleton is referring to is apparently based on his disturbing racial theory, recounted by Vincent Carroll of the Rocky Mountain News, that “white talk” is “verbal, intellectual” and “task-oriented,” while minority talk is “emotional.”

    Can you imagine a white teacher saying something that racist, and not being fired? Talk about offensive racial stereotypes — the idea that black students are “emotional” and not “intellectual.”

    Do school systems really want to encourage teachers to think this way?

    His racial theories are as insulting to minority children as they are to the white teachers he scapegoats for the minority achievement gap.

    With attitudes like this, the minority achievement gap will stubbornly persist.

  4. Anonymous Avatar

    Perhaps folks have missed the point in the topic discussions, by accident I hope. RACISM in my view is alive and well in Arlington County, because it is being institutionalized.

    First, lets recognized that RACISM has not be eliminated. It is a product of a persons behavior and is not limited to white against black.

    However, it can be brought under civil control. Although not perfect, DoD is pretty good at trying to remove RACISM from interfering in its mission through training and reprimands.

    So lets look at Arlington:

    Arlington has an EEO department, however, the EEO department has no independent reporting authority, not even to the Federal level which authorizes its existence. That is because it sits next to (physically) and directly under the County Manager. Arlington’s EEO reports only to the County Manager. You might ask: When was the last time an EEO complaint was substantiated in the County? or What are the qualifications of the EEO head? of Why doesn’t the County have mandatory diversity training with clear protection for complainers?

    The responsibility for problems in an organization can usually reside at the top. Arlington has a County Board and a County Manager. The County Board has authorized the County Manager to handle all County government affairs (which isn’t too unusual). The County Manager in turn threatens to fire any employee of the County who talks to the County Board. County Board and County Manager decide to give each a raise in salary.

    The next ingredient is the use of the buddy buddy process in hiring. If someone were to analyze the management hiring in Arlington government, you should readily see that most are either not qualified, or have questionable citations in their background. Yes, this includes the County Manager.

    So now we have a County Manager with license to do what he wants, an EEO office that is effectively a token office and many senior level management positions held by unqualified people who are friends of someone in a higher position. Through into this mix, anyone with dysfunctional behavior and you have the ingredients for institutional RACISM. Worst still you have an organization where waste and fraud are inevitable.

    Sad to say this is not theory on my part, as the evidence of the RACISM is plainly available for any who wish to look for it. Many highly qualified people of color (and black in particular) have been ousted out of the County over the years and many times replaced with friends who are clearly less qualified if not totally unqualified. The process still continues.

    So what does this have to do with education and schools in Arlington? Well, I would think if key individuals in the County government are institutionalizing the practice covertly, that this would have some reflection on the school system too?

    So let me ask this of the qroup. Instead of commenting on how this could not be true or trying to point out some inconsistency in the discussion, what would you do to try to fix such a problem if it existed? And just as background, please do not point to Federal EEO, FBI, DOJ, VA-AG – unless you have a personal influence, they aren’t interested.


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