Category Archives: Race and race relations

More TJ Students Students Are Dropping Out

by Asra Nomani

For months now, parents and community members have been hearing distressing stories about how educrats failed students in their rush to fill the Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology Class of 2025 through lower academic admissions standards hastily implemented in December 2020.

The school started a new remedial Algebra 1 after-school program and the school is seeing Class of 2025 students dropping out at an alarming rate, by most accounts because they weren’t prepared academically for the rigorous coursework.

My data analysis: Record numbers of freshmen students fleeing TJ

For example, in data that I pulled from the school district’s official website, the school district reported that of the 550 students admitted in the Class of 2025, the school started off — first of all — with only 541 students in September 2021.

One student from the Class of 2025 left the school in October. Two students left in November. Another four students left in December. One more departed in January, with two more leaving in February and then another two more saying goodbye to TJ in March, bringing the Class of 2025 to 529 students.

That’s 12 students who dropped out of the school to return to their base school, most likely. The number may not seem large but consider that only one student dropped out the entire year before from the Class of 2024.

Continue reading

An Environment So Hostile, No Reasonable Person Could Endure It

Photo credit: NBC29

by James A. Bacon

On June 11, 2021, after a series of orientation meetings and training sessions to discuss “anti-racism” at the Agnor-Hurt Elementary School, Albemarle County officials held a final training session. A presenter showed slides showing a disparity in the racial breakdown of the school division’s employees and new hires.

Responding to the presentation, Emily Mais, an assistant principal at the school, suggested that it would be useful to compare the racial breakdown of the hires to that of the applicant pool to determine if the racial disparity was due to the district’s selection process or to the lack of minority applicants. In her remarks, she was thinking “people of color” but she inadvertently used the word “colored” instead. She immediately apologized for her slip of the tongue.

The verbal miscue prompted a response from Sheila Avery, a teacher’s aide who presented herself as a representative of other Black employees. In Mais’s rendering of the story detailed in a lawsuit filed in Albemarle County Circuit Court, Avery accused her, in the complaint’s words, “of speaking like old racists who told people of color to go to the back of the bus.” Avery’s verbal abuse was so severe that several staff members expressed their alarm in communications to Mais during and after the session.

And so began Mais’s surreal journey through a school system that, in the name of expunging racism, has elevated racial consciousness and racial grievance to levels not seen in decades, demoralized White teachers by impugning them as racists, compelled Mais to make a forced apology to the school staff, and through her example cowed other employees from expressing reservations about the anti-racist training. Continue reading

If You’re Not on the “Anti-Racist” School Bus, Maybe It’s Time You Got Off the Bus

Photo credit: NBC29

by James A. Bacon

During anti-racism training last June, Emily Mais, an assistant principal at Agnor-Hurt Elementary School in Albemarle County, used the term “colored people” instead of “people of color” when referring to staff demographics. She made a “slip of the tongue,” she says, but she apologized anyway.

Not everyone was prepared to forgive. Sheila Avery, a teaching assistant at the school, chastised her at the training session and several times afterwards, according to a lawsuit filed a week ago. Avery allegedly cursed her openly, calling her a “white racist bitch,” and told other employees she was a racist who intentionally demeaned Black people.

Other employees were afraid to defend her for fear of retaliation, Mais says in the complaint, which was filed April 13 and reported by The Daily Progress and other local media outlets. The relentless criticism caused her such emotional distress that she resigned. But district administrators would not allow her to leave on good terms without first issuing a groveling public apology to teachers and staff. That apology, the complaint says, “was carefully orchestrated by district officials to humiliate, shame, and traumatize.”

Mais believed she was subjected to a hostile work environment on the basis of her race. After state and federal equal opportunity officials showed no interest in her case, she filed suit against the Albemarle County School Board. Her treatment, the complaint says, is the direct outgrowth of so-called “anti-racist” training policies enacted by the Albemarle school system — a program derived from Critical Race Theory that “scapegoats, stereotypes, labels, and ultimately divides people based on race.” Continue reading

Comparing Freeman and Lincoln on Race

Douglas Southall Freeman

by Phil Leigh

Based upon a background report on Douglas Southall Freeman (1886-1953) by Dr. Lauranett L. Lee, the University of Richmond removed his name from Mitchell-Freeman Hall owing to his alleged racism. All the good that he had done for the school’s funding and academic reputation as a two-time Pulitzer Prize winner, Board of Trustees Member and Rector counted for nothing. Even though the midpoint of his adult career was 1930, the university administrators are holding him to today’s racial standards without any allowance for being part of a different era when his racial attitudes were judged moderate and often sympathetic to blacks. Despite their similarity to those of Abraham Lincoln, the University of Richmond demonizes Freeman for his racial beliefs while its leading historian and former president, Edward Ayers, glorifies Lincoln.

Abraham Lincoln

In contrast, the university administrators extend Freeman’s critics special allowances concerning time, place, and race. They fault Freeman for opposing interracial marriage, even though 75% of whites and 73% of blacks opposed it in 1968, fifteen years after Freeman’s death. Additionally, when Freeman referred to blacks in his writing he normally did so with the then-respectful term “Negro” as opposed to “colored” or the unmentionable “N-word.” Continue reading

Racial Bean Counting for Dominion’s Offshore Wind Project?

by James A. Bacon

Dominion Energy  expects to create 900 construction jobs and support 1,100 employees in ongoing operations for its proposed $9.8 billion offshore wind farm. Hundreds more jobs could be created if, as hoped, companies in the wind power industry begin manufacturing components and providing ancillary services in Hampton Roads.

As part of its wind farm initiative, the utility has created an economic development plan for maximizing investment and job creation in Virginia and ensuring that the benefits are shared broadly, including with veterans and “workers from historically economically disadvantaged communities.” The plan says the company will engage with economic development authorities, business trade organizations, workforce development groups, and “minority civic and business organizations.” It even plans to collect data on the number of women, veterans and minorities employed by suppliers with contracts over $500,000 in value.

But that’s not good enough for the Virginia Chapter of the Sierra Club. “Dominion’s Plan is not sufficient to meet the diversity, equity, and inclusion targets” outlined in the state code, says Mark Little, co-founder of CREATE in State Corporation Commission testimony on behalf of the Sierra Club.

Little wants Dominion to set “ambitious, progressive targets” on the number and percentage of employees to be hired by sex, race/ethnicity, and veteran status, collect detailed statistics on the demographic composition of the hires, and publish updates every six months. Furthermore, Little says Dominion needs to make “structural changes” such as hiring Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion officers to execute its vision. Continue reading

@GridNews Targets Greedy Asian Parents ‘Bankrolling’ ‘Math Camps’

by Asra Q. Nomani

In June 2021, a reporter for Politico, Maggie Severns, reached out to interview me about the activism in northern Virginia around the governor’s race. Connecting with her over our common roots in West Virginia, I invited her to an event at an Indian restaurant hosted that night by the Coalition for TJ and the American Hindu Coalition, two local groups with Asian immigrants as members.

In a long interview, I told her that the story in northern Virginia belies stereotypes. Many of us are Asian, immigrant parents with long history as Democrats but the war on merit education — particularly in our community at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology — had turned so many parents off, they were hosting a meet-and-greet with Republican candidate Glenn Youngkin. Staff for the Democratic candidate, Terry McAuliffe, had asked for a sizable donation in exchange for a meeting, while Youngkin hadn’t asked for any quid pro quo.

I spent a lot of time trying to bring the stories of our parents to life. But almost a year later, it didn’t matter, as Maggie pens a piece for a new media outlet, Grid.News, filled with stereotypes and caricatures that the Fairfax County school board and activists within TJ Alumni Action Group have long been throwing at our families and students. Continue reading

The Alexandria Experiment

Gregory C. Hutchings, Jr.

by James A. Bacon

The election of Governor Glenn Youngkin may bring about changes in K-12 educational policy in Virginia, but those changes will take time to take hold, and they will not play out uniformly across the state. “Progressive” school systems are organizing a form of Massive Resistance (a term I use with deliberate irony) to oppose Youngkin’s effort to rid schools of “inherently divisive concepts.”

In a recent essay published in Education Week, Superintendent Gregory C. Hutchings, Jr., has called for “anti-racist” school systems to band together to “escape the reactionary trap that continues to perpetuate systemic racism in our public schools.” He doubles down on every leftist trope regarding the causes of racial inequality in educational outcomes.

Assuming Hutchings puts his principles into action, Virginia will get to witness a living-lab experiment in social policy. If Hutchings’ understanding of the causes of racial inequality is based on reality, we should expect to see a significant narrowing in the racial achievement gap, as measured by Standards of Learning test scores, over the next few years. By contrast, if his “anti-racist” paradigm is riddled with false premises, as I believe it is, we will likely see no progress — or even a retrogression in learning.

Hutchings calls for educators to embrace several steps to build “anti-racist” school systems. These include: Continue reading

Grandparents Ask Supreme Court for Justice

Recommendation to readers: Be sure to delve deep enough into the story to read Asra Nomani’s personal story. She describes the values to which Asian-Americans owe their academic success. — JAB

by Asra Q. Nomani

WASHINGTON, D.C. — This past Friday, Dr. Mridula Kumari, 71, walked up the stairs to the U.S. Supreme Court, and soaked in the festive atmosphere on the sidewalk off 1st Avenue S.E. A band played, as children danced and women clapped, pumping their hands in the air to the beat, one woman in New Balance sneakers carrying a bag that read, “Our Rights. Our Future. Our Power. Our Courts.”

As war waged across the world in Ukraine, a people trying to defend their future, their rights, their nation, Dr. Kumari understood well the power of those words. The courts can protect the rights of the citizenry. The courts can pave a path to a better future. The courts can empower the citizenry.

She hoped these protections would also be extended to her granddaughter: a first-generation American and a seventh grader in Fairfax County Public Schools, across the Potomac River in the northern Virginia suburbs of the nation’s capital. As the daughter of immigrants from India, her granddaughter faces a new racism in America: an anti-Asian admissions process to schools, including Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, a school fondly known as TJ. Continue reading

Racist Rant Results in Resignation

by Kerry Dougherty

When a shockingly racist 2021 Facebook post from Hampton Electoral Board Chair David Dietrich surfaced late last week the reaction from his fellow Republicans — from Gov. Glenn Youngkin to the Hampton GOP chief — was swift and unequivocal.

Resign, they said, or we will remove you from the board.

“As governor, I serve all Virginians,” Tweeted Youngkin on Saturday. “I won’t accept racism in our Commonwealth or our party. The abhorrent words of a Hampton Roads official are beyond unacceptable and have no place in Virginia. It’s time to resign.”

Dietrich reportedly resigned within the hour.

13NewsNow reported that the Hampton GOP, “shared a screenshot of the post, in which Dietrich used racist language to criticize the U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and retired Army Lieutenant General Russel L. Honoré.” Continue reading

Such Words Have “No Place in Virginia”

by James A. Bacon

Governor Glenn Youngkin did the right thing by demanding the resignation of David Dietrich, a Hampton Republican Party official serving on the city electoral board, for making a racist Facebook post.

In accusing certain senior military officials of persecuting “conservative, freedom-loving Americans,” Dietrich referred to them as “nothing more than dirty, stinking N—–s.” If they want a Civil War, they’ll get one, he added. “Perhaps the best way to pull us back from the brink is a good public lynching.”

Republican Party officials, from Governor Youngkin on down, have condemned the remark. “We unequivocally condemn all forms of racism and bigotry,” said Hampton GOP Chairman Philip Siff.

“As governor, I serve all Virginians. I won’t accept racism in our Commonwealth or our party,” Youngkin tweeted yesterday. “The abhorrent words of a Hampton Roads official are beyond unacceptable and have no place in Virginia. It’s time to resign.” Continue reading

Racism as Anti-Social Defiance

by James A. Bacon

Joel Mungo is a teacher at Menchville High School in Newport News. Over the past several months, he says, someone periodically left a banana outside his classroom door in what was “clearly a deliberate act.” As a Black person, he not unreasonably interpreted the bananas as a play upon the old racist trope that compared Black people to monkeys.

After the sixth incident, reports WAVY News, Mungo complained to the school administration. A review of surveillance footage found that the culprit was one of his 10th-grade students. The racist implications were self-evident. As Mungo told WAVY, “I’m the only Black teacher he has. He has six other teachers. No other teachers were involved.”

When notified, the student’s parents seemed to be truly embarrassed, Mungo says. But when the child was suspended, they became irate. The article does not say why, but one can imagine that they considered suspension from school to be excessive for the nature of a non-violent, non-criminal offense. For his part, Mungo remains angry, and he is in the process of pursuing legal action, he says, although it’s not clear from the article whom he intends to sue or on what grounds.

“It’s 2022. Just to have some type of hate crime is absolutely ridiculous. I was sickened,” he said. “I’m just fed up with the racism around, especially at our academic institutions. It’s time to take a stand and just let people know it will not be tolerated. … You can’t allow it to go on because then it will just continue to go on.” Continue reading

A Complete Disconnect from Reality

Barbara Johns, a participant in the Prince Edward County school walkout, is pictured prominently in WTOP’s article.

by James A. Bacon

A group of Black leaders has launched an initiative to preserve the teaching of Black history against what it calls a “whitewashing” by Governor Glenn Youngkin. Black History Is American History, a collaboration of the Leadership Conference Education Fund, the NAACP, and People for the American Way, has formed in response to Youngkin’s promise to rid public schools of “inherently divisive concepts,” reports WTOP News.

“Governor Youngkin’s misguided and ignorant attempt to whitewash history and gag educators only builds on the legacy of discrimination against Black communities, Native communities, and other communities of color across Virginia,” states the initiative’s web page.

Amy Tillerson Brown, education chair of the Virginia NAACP, recounted the history of Barbara Johns and hundreds of Black classmates who walked out of school in Prince Edward County in 1951 in protest against segregated education. This watershed event led to the famous Brown vs. Board of Education Supreme Court case.

“There are some people who might find Barbara Johns’ contribution to civil rights history disturbing, divisive, even,” Brown said, as quoted by WTOP. “This historical reality makes some people uncomfortable, as it requires students to critique the historical circumstances that allowed this race-based inequity.”

I defy Brown to find a scintilla of evidence that Youngkin would forbid teaching uncomfortable facts such as the Prince Edward walkouts in history classes. To suggest that he would represents one of two things: either a deliberate effort to distort the Governor’s intent — a knowing lie — or the product of group-think reinforced by a left-wing echo chamber totally unplugged from reality. In either case, Virginia’s mainstream media plays a critical role in perpetuating the falsehood. Continue reading

The Road to Hell…

by Phil Leigh

About eighteen months ago Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney remarked that the removal of Confederate statues would not cost the city’s taxpayers any money because non-profit donors would provide the funds. About the same time the Mellon Foundation announced a $250 million grantmaking effort “to reimagine and transform commemorative spaces to celebrate America’s diverse history.” Translated to plain English, the Foundation was giving Stoney and others the money they want to destroy Confederate monuments and promote cultural genocide against the south.

According to Luke Rosiak other “charitable” foundations—Kellogg, Ford, Rockefeller, and Carnegie—are the chief donors to Democrat school board election candidates seeking to disseminate Critical Race Theory throughout America’s educational system. Although such foundations are supposed to be do-gooders, they were typically organized to avoid inheritance taxes for family decedents. They are staffed by cultural elites whose conduct underscores the ancient wisdom: “Idle hands are the devil’s workshop.” Continue reading

How English-Learner Stats Debunk Woke Education Theory

by James A. Bacon

It is dogma among practitioners of Critical Race Theory (or whatever other label you wish to apply to the doctrines of the Woke) that Hispanics are akin to Blacks in being “under-represented minorities,” or URMs for short. As URMs, Hispanics are said to be victimized by systemic racism, White privilege, and Whiteness, as evidenced by the disparities in educational achievement between black and brown people on the one hand and Whites and Asians (who are deemed “White-adjacent” even when their skin color is dark) on the other.

Leftist ideology holds that Hispanics are victims of discrimination — either from individual bias, structural racism, or both. But are they? Is it not possible that the No. 1 challenge holding back Hispanic academic achievement in Virginia public schools is the language barrier?

A high percentage of Hispanics come to the United States from poor countries with little education and minimal working knowledge of English. They have to learn the language when they get here. That’s not a monumental problem for adults living in self-contained communities where everyone speaks Spanish, but it is an obstacle for school-age kids who have no choice but to learn the language — especially when school districts are hard-pressed to find teachers qualified to teach English as a second language.

Scarcity of teachers capable of teaching in Spanish is a very different problem than endemic bias and racism, and it calls for different solutions. Continue reading

Torturing Statistics Until They Confess: An RTD Primer

Image credit: Richmond Times-Dispatch

by James A. Bacon

Sabrina Moreno with the Richmond Times-Dispatch has written a three-piece series arguing that disinvestment in the Virginia Department of Health led Latinos to being “the most likely to get infected, hospitalized and die” during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The fourth paragraph of the story makes the following extraordinary assertion:

Three months after Virginia’s first case, Latinos in Richmond were 38 times more likely to be infected than white residents and 17 times more likely to be hospitalized, according to a Richmond Times-Dispatch analysis of COVID cases and hospitalizations.

That would be an extraordinary indictment of Virginia’s public health system, if true. But it’s not. Even if those particular factoids happen to be accurate for a particular place in time, which I question, it is monstrously misleading. The article did not publish the data, taken from the VDH COVID dashboard, that I now present you… Continue reading