Fairfax County Tax Dollars at Work

by Asra Q. Nomani

One Thursday morning, in early August, author Ibram Kendi tucked Apple AirPods into his ears and nestled into his seat in front of a camera to chat online in an “exclusive” “conversation” with principals, teachers and staff of Fairfax County Public Schools. An hour later, he was done, and laudatory messages rolled over Twitter, quoting Kendi on “systemic racism,” “the cradle of racism” and “inequity.”

As I reported yesterday in a new column at Quillette, coauthored with attorney Glenn Miller, the price tag for the one-hour call over the Zoom teleconferencing platform? A whopping $20,000, or about $333.33 per minute.

To Fairfax County Public School parents such as Miller and me, paying so much money for a virtual “conversation” is particularly galling considering the fact that Fairfax County Public Schools eliminated the position of outreach coordinator to underrepresented minorities seeking to attend the high school — Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology — that our sons attend. In the wake of this failure, we wrote that Fairfax County is forcing through the bureaucracy a lottery system that earns a resounding “F” from community members, including parents, students and alumni.

The contract reveals just one manifestation of a budding enterprise by ideologues of a controversial philosophy called “critical race theory,” which has infused all aspects of society from federal government to elementary schools, training, teaching and pushing the propaganda of its movement that “white supremacy” infuses American society. Importantly, the trainings have been widely criticized for its shaming of people based on the weaponization of identity politics.

Kendi’s contract underscores that the business of critical race theory is lucrative. Kendi, Penguin Random House Speakers Bureau and Fairfax County Public Schools did not return queries for comment before deadline.

Below is the full five-page contract, No. 247981511, from Kendi’s Penguin Random House Speakers Bureau, marked “confidential” and signed by Fairfax County Public Schools Superintendent Scott Brabrand. The call was for a “45-minute moderated conversation” in a “Virtual Event,” “followed by a 15-minute Q&A.”

“No travel required,” the contract said. And if travel was required, Kendi, who has argued against “privilege” and “capitalism” as evils in society, the contract stipulated that he would get “refundable, first class air fare,” as well as “fully licensed car service” for local transportation.

Contract Page 1

In a lesson for parents everywhere, I received the document from Fairfax County Public Schools by simply asking for it. Because public school systems are, well, public, their records are also supposed to be public.

In the one-hour “conversation,” Kendi repeated many of talking points he had made at the University of Pittsburgh in July (such as “the maintenance of racism”) as well as at stump speeches he has given throughout the world.

As Fairfax County teachers and staff pinch pennies through another pay freeze this year and parents wonder if the school system will repeat its springtime failure to effectively deliver remote learning, the news of cost hit parents, staff and community members like a ton of bricks, with calls for Brabrand’s resignation in community forums, such as DC Urban Moms. Page 2 of the contract revealed the contract and fee, which was “Accepted by the Fairfax County School Board for the Fairfax County Public Schools,” has Brabrand’s signature scrawled above the “signature” line.

Public school systems are the latest source of business enterprise by “consultants” like Kendi and his fellow “critical race theory” ideologues, following their successful penetration of colleges and universities. Recently, the Office of College Relations at Davidson College in Davidson, N.C., sent an email dispatch to alumni with the news that the college had not only booked Kendi for a similar Zoom talk on September 22, but it had bought 2,500 copies of How to Be an Antiracist “for students, faculty and staff” so they can “fully engage” in the discussion. The school noted the talk wouldn’t be recorded, “per the terms of the contract.”

Indeed, the Kendi contract with Fairfax County Public Schools has the same terms. That didn’t keep school staff from fawning over him on Twitter last month.

Wrote one principal: “To do nothing is to allow for the maintenance of racism. Anything that allows for the maintenance of racism is racist. Anything that challenges the maintenance of racism is anti-racist.” — @DrIbramKendi. Colleagues, we are called to action.”

Another staffer fawned over the speaker: “How do you define an intellectual? I love Dr. Kendi’s point… measure by the desire to learn!!”

Contract page 3

Contract page 4

Contract page 5

Asra Q. Nomani, a former Wall Street Journal reporter, is the mother of a Thomas Jefferson High School student. This article is republished with permission from her substack.com account

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16 responses to “Fairfax County Tax Dollars at Work

  1. And so it begins. Kendi’s ideas are going to run the course. I don’t see a way of stopping it. Pictured below is one of the guaranteed outcomes of the critical race theory.

  2. What is The Great Sabatini up at UVA charging these days to give his politics lectures? It could be way north of $20K back in the day. Hey, I love it when wannabe Socialists reveal their inner Capitalist and Rent Seeker. They come a bit over to the dark side.

    I don’t want to pay for this book but will read if somebody loans….Seems I have to. But the idea that if you aren’t part of the solution, you are part of the problem, is hardly original or profound.

    Oh, nice to see this Quillette piece on RealClearPolitics. That’s a national embarrassment for Northam.

    • My son was just given a copy of “How to Be an Antiracist” as a “gift” by one of his college instructors. Everyone in the class received this same “gift”. I told him I want to take a look at it after he is finished with it. I’ll ask him if he minds me sending it on to you after I have read as much of it as I can tolerate.

      You’ll have to wait until the end of the semester, though. I’m sure the book will be an important part of the curriculum in his freshman English class. 🙂

      I suspect the school/instructor are providing students this “gift” as a way of disseminating the book without having to deal with a lot of angry protests by students and parents were there a requirement to purchase it.

  3. I wonder if they followed proper procurement procedures.

  4. Wait – a rant against entrepreneurial excellance on a uber libertarian site?


    This is the big outrage?


    • I said I loved it! Did I say outrage? Just like I’m loving the reversed positions all around on filling the Supreme Court in an election year. There are no principles left anywhere, just people on the make…Happy to see this is one of them. Hey, $20K for an in-service speaker is high, but not out of imagining. Getting The Power to pay big for the privilege of being insulted? Rich.

  5. About 26 years ago I served as a commissioner on the Fairfax Human Services Council. Although not generally tasked with looking at racial issues, the Council was already treated to displays of the far left progressive orientation of Fairfax County government. Just as one example, the director of the Human Services department was boasting to the Council about a department program of entrapping woman immigrants who were running unlicensed child care home businesses by answering bulletin board ads offering child care. The county would check immigration status. If the woman did not have immigration papers, the woman was offered two choices: 1. Be reported to ICE and risk deportation. or 2. Enroll in a county “pilot program” involving enrollment into a variety of public assistance programs with a promise that the county would intercede for her with ICE to obtain resident status. When a few commissioners dared to ask tough question, they were shut down by the director who chaired Council meetings asked them to either be quiet or leave the meeting I left the room as did two other commissioners. We were labelled as disruptive, excluded from communications regarding scheduled meetings and eventually asked to resign.

    What Asra describes is not novel for Fairfax County. It is just a point of interest on a long march of the political left through every institution in the county. As an aside, between 1993 and 1995, my two sons were recommended for admission to Thomas Jefferson High School. We withdrew from the process when an admissions counselor told us that an early “service” from the school would be helping our sons decide whether they were straight or part of the LGBTQ spectrum.

  6. Next time they should talk to me before hiring that guy. I can save them a lot of money. I can successfully tell the teachers and administrators of the Fairfax School System that they are a bunch of racists in way less than an hour. In fact, I will provide a 30 minute teleconference for only $3,500.

    I’ll even offer a ten percent discount if they purchase at least 5 copies of my new book “He’s a Racist, She’s a Racist, You’re a Racist, They’re All Racists, and You’ll Always Be a Racist, Too”.

  7. The backlash I have predicted has started. Liberals are quickly losing Asian-American support and will soon lose Hispanic support as well. Here’s an example:


    “As a person of color, I sympathize with those who are frustrated and angry about race in this country, but not for the same reasons as radical politicians.” Ahluwalia continued, “the far left is using race today in the same way progressives have used it for the last six decades, as a means to gain and retain power. They make big promises, trap minorities in dependence and hopelessness, then expect we’ll keep voting to re-elect them.”

    The absurd lottery system for Thomas Jefferson HS will be just another shot at the Asian-American community.

    Liberals are like lemmings. If you wait long enough they will invariably run off a cliff.

    • really surprised. Did not think the candidates that the Bull Elephant likes have a snowflakes snowball chance in hell… in NoVa ? I dunno guy… is there some voting districts maybe around Great Falls that are that way? 😉

      Sometimes I think that folks may not know they are actually in the minority sometimes and they just go blithely on like they’re not………

      However, I do remember what happened when we had some who were convinced we needed to bus kids and they grossly underestimated how even a lot of liberals were also violently opposed so in this case – perhaps we’re seeing big change again.

      • Brabrand’s plan to change the TJ admission standards to a geographic-based lottery system is really got a lot of Asian and South Asian parents fired up. Conceptually, I can see a lottery system of qualified applicants could work. Also, Texas has had a plan that guarantees the top 10% of each high school’s graduate admission to elite state colleges and universities. But it’s quite doubtful this plan meets the test.

        A friend of mine, a former IRS tax attorney, who has followed FCPS for decades, has reviewed some of the information, including the number of 8th graders with 3.5 GPAs, etc., calculated that almost half of the 8th graders would be eligible for the geographic selection part that precedes the lottery.

  8. “The school [Davidson] noted the talk wouldn’t be recorded, “per the terms of the contract.”

    Indeed, the Kendi contract with Fairfax County Public Schools has the same terms.”

    I wonder why he is so opposed to having his presentations recorded. It seems to me that if he truly cared about making us all “anti-racist” he would welcome the opportunity to allow those not fortunate enough to have attended his teleconference to avail themselves of his wisdom.

    • Years ago LG Wilder was caught charging for speeches, despite his holding paid elected office. Then he clammed up, wouldn’t respond to questions. When the MSM called me for my wiseacre response, as GOP flack, the line was “what does he charge for a comment?” Hey, the guy doesn’t want a recording out there undercutting his fees!

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