Category Archives: Race and race relations

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

JMU, Social Justice and the Office of Student Accountability and Restorative Practices (OSARP)

by James C. Sherlock

Yesterday I wrote of the pressures on Tim Miller, Vice President of Student Affairs at JMU, to balance competing views on masking.

Mr. Miller has had plenty of practice. If he walked a tightrope on masks, he tried and fell flat on his face on diversity training.

He also oversees something called the Office of Student Accountability and Restorative Practices (OSARP).

Mr. Orwell, call your office.

Diversity training. In a March 3 article called “Divided over Diversity,” the JMU newspaper The Breeze broke a story on the weeping, gnashing of teeth and rending of garments at JMU over internal diversity training. Continue reading

Purging Asian-Americans from Top Virginia Schools to End

by Kerry Dougherty

It’s dangerous to deal in ethnic stereotypes. There’s always a risk of being called racist.

But if we can agree that the Irish are great raconteurs and the Canadians are relentlessly polite, can we not also say that many Asian-Americans place a high value on education?

How else to explain the large number of Asians in America’s most elite colleges, universities and in the best high school in the nation: Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology in Fairfax County?

TJ was established in 1985 as a magnet school for students “gifted” in science, technology engineering and math.

That’s slightly inaccurate. “Gifted” suggests these students have more natural gifts than their counterparts. They don’t. What TJ’s high-achieving students do have is the drive to make the most of their gifts through hard work and studying. Continue reading

Does Virginia Really Need a “Tribal Consultation” Ombudsman?

by James A. Bacon

The Washington Post takes note today of three bills affecting Virginia’s sovereign Indian tribes moving through the General Assembly. One would update state code to reflect federal recognition of the tribes. One would make tribes eligible for grants from the Virginia Land Conservation Fund. And third would give federally recognized tribes, in the WaPo’s words, “a voice” in the permitting process for development projects affecting their ancestral lands. After clearing the state Senate 40 to 0, the legislation was blocked by a subcommittee in the House of Delegates.

Last year former Governor Ralph Northam issued an executive order requiring state agencies to notify Virginia’s seven federally recognized tribes of projects affecting their lands. State Bill 482 represents an effort to codify the order, which subsequent governors could reverse, in state law.

The logic of Republicans in blocking the measure was less than clear. The WaPo article quotes Delegate Lee Ware, R-Powhatan, as saying “It has the potential, in my judgment, to have a very wide-ranging … effect with a variety of permitting processes with state agencies.”

That’s not much of an explanation, but I expect there was more to Ware’s thinking than made it into the WaPo article. More important than the bureaucratic procedure it proposes to address, the bill raises the issue of what citizenship means for American Indians. Continue reading

UVa Needs Facts and Reason, Not an Opinion Survey

by Charles L. Weber, Jr.

Recently Jim Bacon argued that the University of Virginia needs to conduct another Climate Survey to compare the results with the one conducted in 2018. He argued as follows:

The premise of the Ryan administration is that making African-Americans feel more welcome at UVa requires rooting out the racism endemic in the old system, and the only way to extirpate that racism is to make “anti-racism” (as defined by leftists) the university’s number-one, all-consuming preoccupation. If that premise is correct, then one would expect African-Americans to give higher scores in a survey given today.

But there is a different view: that the obsession with race feeds the sense of minority victimhood, grievance and alienation, and encourages minorities to be hyper-sensitive in their interactions with others. In this view, the predictable result is that Blacks will feel less welcome and experience less belonging — precisely the opposite of what President Ryan wants to achieve.

There is only one way to find out: conduct another survey.

It’s high time we find out whether the sweeping changes implemented by [President Jim] Ryan are having the desired effect.

Color me skeptical. Continue reading

The Fiscal Challenge of Educating Immigrant Children

by James A. Bacon

Last week Victoria Manning, a member of the Virginia Beach school board, posted a comment on her Facebook page noting that the school system had added 300 additional English-as-a-Second-Language (ESL) students the past year, mostly from “South America.” The city’s ESL budget had increased more than $1 million over two years, she wrote. “Continuing to educate South Americans is not sustainable.”

Predictably, her comment drew fire. “When you say and specifically mention Latin Americans, you’re telling me indirectly that you have something against people that are brown or Black or Indian or aboriginal and so on that come from south of the United States border,” said Luis Rivera with the Virginia Beach Human Rights Commission. The Virginia Beach Democratic Committee termed the statement “racist.”

Once you call someone a racist, you pretty well shut down the conversation. But there are legitimate issues here. That the ESL program is causing fiscal stress to Virginia Beach schools is undeniable. WAVY-TV reports the numbers here.

Manning elaborated upon her comments to the television station. The city is already short 100 teachers, she said, and now it has to add eight more ESL positions. “If you have a program with an increasing number of students with fewer teachers then the program is unsustainable.” Continue reading

We Won! Coalition for TJ Won Against Racism.

by Asra Q. Nomani

My hands are trembling as I share this news. We won! Two years of moral courage by parents from around the world with names like Suparna, Harry, Yuyan, Glenn, Marissa, Helen, Hemang. We won today. The American Dream won today. You won today.

Pacific Legal Foundation
Kate A. Pomeroy
Coalition for TJ
Asra Nomani

Alexandria, Virginia; February 25, 2022: Today, a federal judge ruled that Fairfax County school officials violated the law by changing admissions requirements at the nation’s top public school to deliberately reduce the number of Asian-American students enrolled.

Last March, a coalition of parents, students, alumni, and community members filed a lawsuit challenging admissions changes at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology (TJ). Continue reading

What Should We Make of the Uptick in Anti-Semitic Hate Crimes?

Hate crimes committed against Jews, Muslims, Catholics and Protestants. Also tracked but not included here: crimes against atheist/agnostics, multi-religions groups and “other” religions.

by James A. Bacon

On his first day as Governor, Glenn Youngkin issued an executive order establishing the Commission to Combat Anti-Semitism. “Our nation and our commonwealth have seen an intolerable rise in antisemitism in recent years,” said the order. “Sadly, in 2020, Virginia experienced a record number of antisemitic incidents…. Every incident of antisemitism or Holocaust denial is an affront to our society, and will not be accepted in the Commonwealth of Virginia.”

I am in whole-hearted agreement with the sentiments behind the creation of the Commission. Although I had followed news stories of anti-Semitic incidents in other parts of the country — most recently the synagogue hostage incident in Colleyville, Texas — I was unaware of a spike in incidents here in Virginia. So, I decided to take a look at the hate crimes data in the Virginia State Police “Crime in Virginia” reports.

Some findings stand out.

First, more hate crimes are committed against Jews than against adherents of any other religion in Virginia. With the exception of the terrorist-attack year of 2001, when hate crimes against Muslims spiked, that has been true since state police began tracking hate crimes in 1999. Continue reading