How About Condemning Anti-Asian Rhetoric in Virginia?

James F. Lane, Virginia Superintendent of Public Instruction

by James C. Sherlock

I received an email yesterday afternoon from the Virginia Department of Education.

It contained comments from Superintendent of Public Instruction James Lane and his Office of Equity and Community Engagement. They officially condemn anti-Asian rhetoric and violence in Georgia.

From the VDOE EdEquity Office:

It is especially important for educators and leaders to address the social emotional needs of students that manifest due to ongoing racial trauma.

From Dr. Lane:

Many Asian-American communities, their friends, and allies are reeling by these tragic events.

Further, educators and leaders must stand prepared to address the ways in which continued racial and xhenophobic (sic) attacks against Asian communities might pour into our schools and classrooms.

Good to know.

There was more but you get the idea.

Perhaps the attorneys for the Asian-American parents suing Fairfax County Public Schools can use the words in their opening or closing remarks.

From yesterday in an article here by Ilya Somin they allege

that the changes are discriminatory against Asian Americans and therefore violate the equal protection clause of the U.S. Constitution.

The suit further alleges:

the revisions to TJ’s admissions process were specifically meant to drive down the number of Asian American students enrolled at the school and cites presentations and comments made by the superintendent and school board members to try to prove that point.

The lawsuit easily could have included Dr. Lane’s boss, Education Secretary Atif Qarni, as a defendant.

Regular readers here may have read my recount of Qarni’s public anti-Asian stance.

The attorneys can quote directly from a brilliant piece by former Wall Street Journal reporter Asra Q. Nomani on October 31: The War on Asians, the Death of Meritocracy, and Assault on STEM.

As reported by Ms. Nomani in September,

In a Sept. 8, 2020, “listening session” with students from Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology and Maggie L. Walker Governor School, Virginia Education Secretary Atif Qarni compared test preparation to taking illegal performance enhancing drugs.

Watch Qarni equate taking classes to prepare for standardize tests to illegal “sports doping.” Doping, not training.

While we’re on sports… it’s illegal or it’s frowned up when an athlete uses performance enhancement drugs to get a leg up. So when you have standardized achievement test and you are getting  a lot…and you have the luxuries of getting a lot of help with tutoring services and you come from a more well-resourced family you have a leg up, you have an unfair advantage. You know, the starting line is not the same. So no need to sound defensive. Folks who are on here and others. We’ve made it very, very clear. The change to the admissions policy is occurring. You have choices in front of you.

Qarni did not have to tell the audience who “you” meant.

But he did so anyway.

Because at TJ, the population is 70% Asian. At Maggie Walker, it’s only 25% Asian, but it’s growing …

Qarni’s expressed desire to dramatically reduce Asian presence in Governor’s schools and AP classes brought a furious response from their parents and conservative pundits. It ignited a huge controversy and a nasty reaction by the Secretary. And “its growing.” This is the second lawsuit.

So nice thoughts, Dr. Lane. I mean it  I have forwarded them to Secretary Qarni. He needs them more than the rest of us.

I repeat what I said then. I have no idea why Qarni still has his job.