Northam Labels Virginia’s Teachers Racists

No word on teacher Pam Northam’s status

by James C. Sherlock

Trouble at the dinner table?

Governor Northam on August 24, 2020 declared Virginia’s schools guilty of systemic (structural) racism and declared his intention to “build antiracist school communities.”  

He was addressing the #EdEquity VA Virtual SummitCourage, Equity and Antiracism hosted by Virginia Secretary of Education Atif Qarni and State Superintendent of Public Instruction James Lane.

Definitions Matter – The Context of the Governor’s Remarks

The Racial Equity Tools glossary of terms provides the meaning of those terms in the context of the Governor’s remarks. 

Structural Racism. The normalization and legitimization of an array of dynamics – historical, cultural, institutional and interpersonal – that routinely advantage Whites while producing cumulative and chronic adverse outcomes for people of color. Structural racism encompasses the entire system of White domination, diffused and infused in all aspects of society including its history, culture, politics, economics and entire social fabric. … Structural racism is the most profound and pervasive form of racism – all other forms of racism emerge from structural racism. (The structure of racism in all of this dogma features capitalism as the economic foundation of racial inequality.)

Anti-Racism. Anti-Racism is defined as the work of actively opposing racism by advocating for changes in political, economic, and social life. 

Presumptively Racist

Eighty-two percent of Virginia’s K-12 teachers are white, most of them women.

The anti-racism industry has a plan to fix that, but also a plan to convert the incumbents and education school students. Nearly all (96%) of Virginia’s teachers come via the Ed schools, so the machinery has been grinding in some, but not all, of them for a long time.

So Virginia’s teachers, including black teachers, are by official state policy racists until converted into “allies.” If that sounds like a stretch to you, read on.

None can be considered “allies” without training, commitment and active monitoring by the school establishment, who themselves require the same syllabus of control. An ally is:

  • Someone who makes the commitment and effort to recognize their privilege (based on gender, class, race, sexual identity, etc.) and work in solidarity with oppressed groups in the struggle for justice. Allies understand that it is in their own interest to end all forms of oppression, even those from which they may benefit in concrete ways.
  • Allies commit to reducing their own complicity or collusion in oppression of those groups and invest in strengthening their own knowledge and awareness of oppression.

Racism conversion therapy – the 6 stages of loss

Anti-racism training by current official policy will be mandatory and repeated throughout the careers of school administrators and teachers.

All of this is unsustainable and counterproductive — it will create more racial problems than it alleviates — but the Governor and his Department of Education are going down that path.

And damage will be done and people hurt along the way.

For an example of the anti-racism training sponsored by VDOE, see Anti-Racism 101, VDOE Equity Summit, August 5, 2020. A summary cannot do it justice, but the elevator speech is that anyone who is not actively antiracist (and thus anticapitalist) is a racist. 

There is no category called “not racist.”

To get a more detailed look at sample training modules for “educators and trainers”, see Racial Equity Learning Modules  and click on each module “learn more” button.

I have read, watched and listened to a lot of this stuff. 

It suggests that whites (and many blacks) must be guided through what long have been labeled in other contexts the six stages of loss: shock, denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. The “training” uses the psychological and spiritual interventions of conversion therapy.  

Practicing Psychology without a license

Virginia, at least officially, regulates the health professions.  

I have asked the Virginia Board of Psychology if this therapy requires the guidance of a certified Group Psychologist licensed in Virginia.  

If a psychologist performed the process, three things would happen:

  • the person who conducted the procedure would not be someone who just walked in off the street;
  • each participant would get an individual assessment before group therapy;
  • the results would be protected by HIPPA

None of those things are true now.

The response was that they needed to receive a complaint against a specific presenter for practicing without a license, and they will investigate.  

Teachers, save that link.  Complaints can be filed anonymously.

Anti-racism as Religion – the establishment clause

Then there is the matter of the establishment clause in the Constitution. Anti-Racist theory has morphed into dogma, the movement into a religion. 

Like major religions, anti-racist practitioners have:

  • Scriptures – Books by Robin DiAngelo, author of “White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism”;  Glenn Singleton, author of “Courageous Conversation About Race: A Field Guide for Achieving Equity in Schools”; and Ibram Kendi, author of “How to Be an Antiracist.”  
  • Gods and prophets. Critical theory: Germans Marx,  Engels,  Freud, Kant, Hegel, Lukaks, Weber, Habermas, Marcuse.  Critical Race Theory: Derrick Bell, Richard Delgado, Charles Lawrence, Mari Matsuda, and Patricia Williams. Bell and other lawyers began using the phrase “critical race theory” in the 1970s to challenge the validity of concepts such as rationality, objective truth, and judicial neutrality.
  • Dogma. Animal Farm with a hint of predestination. It rejects hundreds of years of Western civilization root and branch. James Lindsay has written:

Critical Race Theory is not a liberal idea. It is, in fact, critical of liberal societies and against the idea of freedom to its core. Critical Race Theory sees a free society as a way to structure and maintain inequities by convincing racial minorities not to want to do radical identity politics. Since Critical Race Theory exists specifically to agitate for and enable radical racial identity politics, it is therefore against free societies and how they are organized. (In this way, it is very different than the Civil Rights Movement it incorrectly claims to continue.). … (It) believes science, reason, and evidence are a “white” way of knowing and that storytelling and lived experience is a “black” alternative.

That is genuinely, unapologetically racist.

  • Places of worship: Universities
  • Symbols – BLM Power Fist Symbol
  • Moral guides – the priests are the trainers of no specific qualifications that offer their services for a very capitalistic price. Some of the most talented hucksters since Barnum, selling pessimism for a premium price.

The Problem is the Asians –  Sec. Qarni

Mr. Qarni has made quite a splash in demanding Virginia’s Governor’s Schools, including the Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology (“TJ”), the nation’s top rated high school, with an acceptance rate of 15%, drop admissions testing and make TJ student demographics match the overall demographics of Fairfax County Schools.  

In an interview, Qarni unintentionally mimicked Richard Nixon’s Watergate tapes when he leaned into the mike and said:

“Let me be clear: We are not considering a racial quota system. That is unconstitutional.”  

(I would – indeed could – not make that up.)

He just wants the results he demands. He wants to eliminate achievement tests and replace them with aptitude testing. “Aptitude tests are not being utilized …and they haven’t developed good aptitude testing.” That would be a good reason not to use them. The other would be the ferocious response of the left to the old aptitude tests in the controversy over the book “The Bell Curve” That book was published when Qarni was 16.

The problem, as Mr. Qarni defines it, is Asians.  

“Because at TJ, the population is 70% Asian. At Maggie Walker, it’s only 25% Asian, but it’s growing (cue ominous background music)…”

His 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.  

I have no idea why he still has his job.

Practical effects

Readers may think this is all just government navel gazing and conference attending without consequence. It is not. 

Big changes have already been made at the state level and some of the school districts and more are on the way.

Some of the school districts are actually ahead of the VDOE. A very small sampling:

  • Arlington – more than a decade of antiracism training, monitoring and evaluating teachers with hotline violation reporting mechanisms. It’s Arlington.
  • Albemarle: Grading policy bans downgrading students for lack of homework completion, lack of class participation and wrong answers on tests. Every kid will get a trophy.
  • Virginia Beach: New equity policy that will lead directly to anti-racism training.

Who speaks for the teachers, students and parents?

The Virginia Education Association has not taken a position on the mandatory re-education classes, the vows of compliance, the monitoring of teachers complete with anonymous tip lines, or the evaluation of teachers based on their activism or lack thereof. 

The teachers need a better union.

Parents and teachers need a couple of good class action law firms.

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64 responses to “Northam Labels Virginia’s Teachers Racists

  1. Baconator with extra cheese

    Please baby Jesus let Joey B and the Senate Dems win. And since I have been an extremely good boy can we please have a Mayor Rodgers and a Gov Fairfax?
    This is truly an incredible time to be alive.
    And again I place complete blame on incompetent Republicans who can’t seem to muster a sane option to counter this awesomeness.

    • “And again I place complete blame on incompetent Republicans who can’t seem to muster a sane option to counter this awesomeness.”

      Heaven’s Gate, Branch Davidians, People’s Temple would have had a hard time as a sane option to any mainstream religion. Religions have saviors who die for their followers. A cult’s savior expects his follows to die for him.

      • I would not give you two cents for the formal Republican Party of Virginia. As long as it selects candidates by caucus rather than primary, it will be irrelevant. I’ve been to a couple of caucuses. Still cleaning tinfoil out of my trouser cuffs 10 years later.

        • “Still cleaning tinfoil out of my trouser cuffs 10 years later.”

          Tinfoil? From the hats?

          Ah? So

          • Exactly

          • Reed Fawell 3rd

            Sadly, I agree. I cannot think of one elected republican leader in Virginia that I respect save for Chap Petersen of Fairfax. Problem is that Petersen is a Democrat. I respect the Democrats, their crony allies, and jannisaries far less. It is a mess we are in, as plainly illustrated on this blog. They, the Democrats and their conies and weak republicans, are pushing us into a civil war. The odds for civil war increase daily. Civil War grows closer by the day. Likely now it is only Solution.

        • I don’t get the caucus thing with Republicans. I thought only guys in knee britches still practiced that. A great example is Bob Good. He is going to get spanked hard in November.

          • I can answer that. They use a caucus to leave a large number of the rank and file Republican voters free to cross-vote in the Democratic primary to select the Democrat who will trounce the caucus-selected Republican wingnut by the smallest margin possible.

          • the heck you say………..

          • N_N,

            Interesting analysis – and certainly plausible.

          • In my experience, all of the wingnuts show up to caucuses because normal people don’t follow the process that closely. I differ from Nancy’s analysis. A caucus is the only way Good could have been nominated. He would have lost a primary. Thus the caucus among people who are single issue voters. They will do anything to make that happen.

          • James Wyatt Whitehead V

            What was so surprising about Riggleman was the complete underestimation of the caucus process. Riggleman took for granted that he would automatically get the nod from the caucus. He woke up way too late in the caucus game. Good had made a concerted preventive strike to secure the causcus votes necessary while Riggleman played freshman Congressman.

        • -from Alice in Wonderland, by Lewis Carroll:

          ‘What I was going to say,’ said the Dodo in an offended tone, ‘was, that the best thing to get us dry would be a Caucus-race.’

          ‘What is a Caucus-race?’ said Alice; not that she wanted much to know, but the Dodo had paused as if it thought that somebody ought to speak, and no one else seemed inclined to say anything.

          ‘Why,’ said the Dodo, ‘the best way to explain it is to do it.’ (And, as you might like to try the thing yourself, some winter day, I will tell you how the Dodo managed it.)

          First it marked out a race-course, in a sort of circle, (‘the exact shape doesn’t matter,’ it said,) and then all the party were placed along the course, here and there. There was no ‘One, two, three, and away,’ but they began running when they liked, and left off when they liked, so that it was not easy to know when the race was over. However, when they had been running half an hour or so, and were quite dry again, the Dodo suddenly called out ‘The race is over!’ and they all crowded round it, panting, and asking, ‘But who has won?’

          This question the Dodo could not answer without a great deal of thought, and it sat for a long time with one finger pressed upon its forehead (the position in which you usually see Shakespeare, in the pictures of him), while the rest waited in silence. At last the Dodo said, ‘everybody has won, and all must have prizes.'”

          Ladies and Gentlemen, I present to you, the Republican Party of Virginia!

          • Anyone who is capable of being elected and actually doing the job should on no account be allowed to win the nomination.

            Apologies to Douglas Adams

  2. You have done your homework. I too have been digging into this recently, after saying that the concerns have been overblown.

    This religion has been gaining steam for a while, but the George Floyd murder and subsequent protests have been a coming out and initiating the “Crusade” to expand the doctrine.

    You are not the first to refer to this as religious in nature.

    John McWhorter, a Professor of Linguistics and author, has been writing and speaking about this for a while, and is about to release a book on how the Anti-Racism movement is like a religion. Below are links to an article he wrote five years ago on this along with a very recent interview he gave on Sam Harris podcast on this very topic.

    Unfortunately, there are many partial truths (as with many religions today) that need to be understood and addressed, but as with other religions today, the “high priests” and interpreters of their “revealed truths” are the experts and you either have faith and accept the “good news” or you will not be saved.

    • Yes, indeed, anti-racism must be defeated. Here is an intelligent discussion on the subject that needs far more attention and its beginning to happen. For example:

  3. James Wyatt Whitehead V

    Wow that was a lot to digest. Bigger than a tomahawk steak. Pass the corn bread and Ever Clear. My first reaction is this. If you are a school teacher and you can pull the chute now and collect some benefits. Do so at once. If you are a school teacher and you don’t have enough time in to collect benefits. Well you must do as this guy did below. Bail out with no chute on. It’s your only chance. The Governor has kicked shame and dirt on every honest educator who has labored selflessly to be of service to the children of Virginia. The next kick is going to cost you your reputation, license, and sense of dignity.

    • I wrote this in an attempt to put a stop to this nonsense. I think I dropped enough breadcrumbs for a blind man to follow. This movement really is dangerous, but I think it can be sued into the oblivion it deserves on teacher civil rights grounds. Jim S.

      • Baconator with extra cheese

        I too believe there will be lawsuits. But I believe lawsuits further the “doctrine”. If the suits prove successful those leading us down this path will simply say “see the system is even more broken than we thought” and will double down. The real problem comes during that double down… There is a relatively large part of society that seems to excuse violence when they feel it is righteous. And if the legal system is “systemically racist” it will be torn down for “righteous” reasons and there will be nothing good that replaces it. And unfortunately violence will come after the legal system “fails” this doctrine.
        I am related to some lawyers, who behind closed doors, have heard many others express real fear about this scenario… to the point where if you are pushing back against this dogma you may have real trouble finding representation due to the fear of being “cancelled” for representing you and your case.
        Unfortunately I see no way out except moving to a state that is putting up resistance to this dogma. The problem is I’m not sure which state can hang in there. Texas is going blue…. Californians are flooding Utah and Idaho…. Maybe the Dakotas and Wyoming can hang in there?
        At a minimum I will be moving to a much more rural locale. I want nothing to do with, as they say, “peaceful protests” anymore especially the arson (one of these fires will get out of control in an urban area and there will be a mass tragedy).
        In the end the dogma will most likely fail. But it will be a powerfully sh!tty experiment for almost everyone.

        • I sympathize with ya, but if we’re left with banking on “Maybe the Dakotas and Wyoming can hang in there?” in the face of an Anglosphere-wide craze…it’s time to explore options which don’t hinge on a successful majoritarian defense or recapturing of state institutions. That won’t happen.

          My intuition says this is America and its satrapies lurching down the path of imperial decadence. Build escape routes, or bunkers, or career skills antifragile enough to survive this vector and velocity.

  4. One can only shake his head in bewilderment after reading such “enlightened” drivel.

    • By “his” are you suggesting taking firm grasp on the author’s head and agitating the contents, or…

      • uh, maybe not……..

        down my way… so far… have heard little if anything about all of this though we did have a dust-up at the school board meeting about in-person and three school board members refused to wear a mask while advocating to go back to all in-person instruction……..

        but nothing about structural racism that I have seen and we do have Conservatives on the BOS and School Board. Perhaps bubbling just under the surface?

      • From the creators of Boomergeddon comes the James C. Sherlock’s Noggin Culture War Snowglobe™, available for a limited time only. First 50 callers will receive a free searchable PDF archive of Bacon’s Rebellion commenter flame wars, cross-categorized by topic and posting rivalry.

  5. This sort of religiosity, a moral panic deeply inflected by breathless, bug-eyed appeals to redemption for the sins of Man in the eyes of the world (or the World in the eyes of men, if you favor the crypto-gnostic read) — complete with street baptisms in Minneapolis, church organizations of all stripes jumping on the bandwagon, and vigorous head-nodding among the white, upper middle-class chattering classes — is as American as apple pie. Folks joke about the “Great Awokening,” but this particular strain of liberatory religious fundamentalism really does run through the Puritans, Congregationalists, and Unitarians right up through to today. The clerisy have always been radicals, and oh Lord, do we ever have a clerisy.

    My first impulse is to double-check the ratlines to Boise and SLC in the hopes I can put future Novalads/lasses into a public school which isn’t a hop-skip-jump away from the Kentler Experiment; my second is to remember that the LDS is just another weird New England sect with a guilt complex the size of Plymouth Rock. This may be something that needs to flame out on its own. Until it does, we’ll be looking into homeschool groups.

  6. Also, for anyone who cares, here are the actual enrollment numbers for TJ in 2019:

    Race Disadvantaged Total

    Asian N 1,266
    Asian Y 27
    Black N 29
    Black Y <
    Hispanic N 47
    Hispanic Y <
    White N 349
    White Y <

    The above from VDOE Fall Membership build-a-table

    1.8% of TJ enrollment is economically disadvantaged according to 2019 VDOE School Quality Profiles.

    • Baconator with extra cheese

      And I would bet those numbers would closely correlate to the statistics for children raised in 2 parent households.
      I am no puritan and was raised in a broken home and succeeded (so it can happen if you catch a few lucky breaks and have a relatively high IQ)… but being raised by 2 adults (and yes that can be a same sex couple) who deeply care about their child’s success prove to be a huge benefit.

      • and probably income also – from the WaPo article link :

        ” Graduates regularly are admitted to Ivy League schools, and many parents plan their kids’ academic careers around getting into TJ. Many spend thousands of dollars on special classes designed to help them ace the admissions test administered to all TJ applicants.”

        • Yep. Optimizing for a measure rather than what is being measured tends to impose artificial limits on the accumulation of quality-in-itself, and advantages those with the resources to accumulate the secular signs of quality. Also see: Chinese industrial policy.

          Anecdotally, as someone who still uses the backpack from his FCPS high school days — there’s zero ROI for going to TJ over Langley, McLean, Madison, etc. unless you are an extremely bright STEMhead. Kids who would otherwise be in those top-ten districts make up a plurality of TJ students and they see similar college results as their non-magnet peers. The TJ diploma is a hood ornament for Audi-driving soccer moms in these cases, and for all the hair-pulling among NoVA parents, a TJ diploma over a Marshall diploma doesn’t mean much if the GPA and extracurriculars are comparable.

          TJ is otherwise a great boon for brilliant kids, and absolutely gives students from underprivileged districts a great leg up in the college search. Were I EdPol czar for a day I’d cut TJ’s intake from the aforementioned schools to a trickle, or more generally, reduce the aperture for intake from (a limited number of) top-scoring schools statewide.

      • “… and have a relatively high IQ.

        Well, given the definition of IQ, the ratio of intellectual age to chronological expressed as a percentage, one would expect 100 for a mean, but no, in America, it’s 98. So, by “relatively high” are you suggesting more than, say, 100?

        E.g., similar to that of a turtle.

        • Baconator with extra cheese

          I would definately say an IQ that allows for relative success in today’s work force… and that has changed with the necessary use of technology. So I would reason relatively high IQ for moderate success in a good trade would be in the 110 ball park… and that is unfortunate. This is a real issue we will need to deal with as a society.
          Even the janitor has to clock in on a computer system now…

          • Ugh, that’s maybe only 1 in 5.

            Maybe we should also consider other attributes, say, a truculent turtle, one whose neck is generally longer than his shell is deep, i.e., a snapper.

    • You are a walking advertisement for conservative philosophy. TJ’s admissions are based on testing. The vast majority of students never take the tests because they know they wouldn’t score high enough to gain acceptance. Those that do take the tests often are rejected when enough others score higher. So far, so good?

      TJ is a high school. Applicants have at least 9 years of education prior to matriculation to TJ. The highest striving, best educated students are the ones who get accepted. Those students generally come from homes where education is valued and there is a belief that hard work is rewarded and deferred gratification is the path to long term success. Guess what? Parents who believe such things tend to do well in modern society. Why are you surprised those parents are generally not poor? Parents who imbue such thinking in their children tend to have children that do well in modern society.

      And 70% of those children are “people of color” – i.e. Asian-Americans. So much for white privilege. More like “the privilege of those who strive, value education and are willing to defer gratification”.

  7. Baconator with extra cheese

    I would also guess TJ also poaches all the best teachers in NoVa. I mean who wouldn’t want to teach engaged, smart, and more than likely perfectly behaved kids. I bet it is actually very fun and rewarding.
    But the best teacher poaching is my problem with magnet and charter schools. I have no issue with meritocracy, but the watering down of teachers for the rest of the school district does… and as much as I hate to say it… cause an impact on less fortunate kids who need the extra help only a good teacher can provide. There I will concede there is an equit issue.
    Unfortunately even the anti-racists seem to love magnet and charter schools and never seem to address that issue.

    • There are a lot of high schools in Northern Virginia. If TJ poaches some of the best teachers I’d wager there are plenty of other excellent teachers to go around. The US Navy Seals do not make Naval aviators inferior.

    • James Wyatt Whitehead V

      Some of my former students who attended TJ and Loudoun’s Academy of Science have poor reports on their so called enlightened teachers. Many of those instructors look great because they are teaching the best and the brightest. Guess what the best and brightest are actually doing? Teaching each other to make it thru the courses. Place a TJ or AOS teacher over at Park View HS or the school formerly known as JEB Stuart HS ( I can’t remember the new name) and lets so how good they really are.

  8. I would expect instructors at TJ to be more like College-level instructors not really suited to regular K-12.

    Would not be surprised to find out that TJ hires directly …and rquires higher level credentials than regular K-12.

  9. Baconator with extra cheese

    The other question I have is why is anti-racist education only focused on correcting white on black racism? Haven’t white people oppressed everyone not white, male, straight, and protestant?
    With the large asian population, especially in NoVa, and hispanic populations why isn’t the state creating asian and hispanic history classes? Or muslim, catholic, and jewish history classes? Or better yet Native American history, especially Virginia tribes? I would also urge some trans and gay history electives as well. Does their complexion not meet the criteria for Dr Gov Woke to take political notice? (Obviously he is blinded by his whiteness… or shoepolish in the eyes) Will all these groups get equitable representation at the board and cabinet levels? Will these groups also get equitable representation on UVA’s football team?
    We are talking equity on systemic scales here right Dr Gov?

    • Perhaps mistaken, but I thought it was about how African Americans as a race have been oppressed by government policies that were primarily targetted at them over decades/generations – as opposed to that being the case for others.


      • Baconator with extra cheese

        Haven’t women, polys, bis, intersexed, gays, trans, jews, Catholics, Muslims, Native Americans, hispanics, and asians (and many many more) been opressed by a white supremecist government as well?
        Are you saying they don’t deserve equity? Or that they have equity on scale with white men?

        • Women have but not as slaves for generations. The other races have not been systemically discriminated against as a race – for generations .

          that’s at least some of the premise… it’s as a race – for generations….so that they could not equally access opportunity in education, jobs, owning land, voting, acquire wealth and pass it down to their offspring.

          • Baconator with extra cheese

            Women for generations could not vote or hold land… and all those other groups have had equal access for generations?
            Women reportedly get paid a fraction of men’s wages.
            UVA has never had a women starting quaterback. Or an asian or trans starting quaterback. Isn’t that an indicator of systemic patriarchy in action? Are you telling me there has never been a woman capable, if not oppressed, to play quaterback at UVA? UVA has never even had a female head football coach.
            Gay people couldn’t even get married or adopt a kid until this generation. I didn’t get taught about Stonewall in high school.
            Man your version of equity is not very equitable.
            We’re talking access to make an equal outcome here… Maybe UVA should recruit 50% women so one has the “opportunity” to prove they can play QB. How can anyone expect a woman to succeed if she isn’t allowed access especially at a public institution? Don’t you think some women would welcome the opportunity?

          • Women did by virtue of their marriages have access to wealth inheritance of property, etc. Even women had access to better education if they had family wealth.

            Over time, women fared much better than blacks in terms of catching up. Blacks were disadvantaged for generations pretty much across the board so that most could not get decent education, compete equally for jobs, build wealth, land, property and pass it on to succeeding generations.

            I am no fan at all of how Northam and company are going about equity but in the end, there probably is no easy way.

            And it’s not about discriminaion today per se.

            But you can see it even today at TJ with low income kids of any color, – very few of which get into TJ – even if they have high IQs. Right?

            So even today, the die is cast, even if you have two parents but they are low income – you’re probably not going to get the extras that kids of wealthier kids get that ultimately makes them higher qualified candidates for TJ.

            Out of 1700 in TJ – 27 are low income. Did all the other low income kids in NoVa have an equal opportunity at ultimately getting in to TJ?

      • Then stop talking about “people of color” and start talking about Americans of African heritage. That would be a step along the path of honesty.

  10. Dear gov. Northam:

    I was impressed by the courage you displayed in making your announcement of the widespread racism among the teachers and administrators in the Commonwealth’s educations systems. However, I do not think you have gone far enough. It is one thing to issue blanket statements and point out the racist actions and tendencies of a large groups of people. It is important, though, to take the next step – naming names. It will be unpleasant, but it needs to be done. These miscreants must not be allowed to continue polluting the minds of our youth.

    For that reason, I respectfully ask that you release a list of each and every racist teacher and administrator in each and every school system in the Commonwealth. These vile individuals need to be identified, fired and forever prevented from further damaging the minds of our youth with their insidious evil. I understand that preparing such a list will take time, but it is of critical importance that racism end in our schools as soon as possible. Therefore, I think it reasonable to ask that the list of offenders be prepared and presented to the public by the end of the calendar year.

    I truly hope you will steel yourself against the criticism and political attacks you will receive and resolve to do the right thing. The future of our Commonwealth depends on it.


    Concerned Citizen

    PS – Some are saying that you have exaggerated the issue of racism in our schools for potential political gain, or that you have endeavored to appease certain factions within your party by making far-reaching, nebulous and unfounded accusations against some very fine and good people. However, given the stellar character and morality you have previously shown on issues such as race and equity, and taking into consideration the fairness and tolerance you have demonstrated in your past interactions with those who disagree with you, I simply cannot believe you would do such a thing.

    • Baconator with extra cheese

      Mega like.
      Since he has admitted racism in the Virginia Department of Education doesn’t the US Dept of Ed and DOJ need to investigate the racism because of federal fundng and Title…. whatever?

    • Wayne:

      A fish rots from the head, or so they say. We don’t need a list of names to get started. First, fire all the principals and administrators. Termination for cause on the grounds of racism. No severance, no pension, no recommendation for future employment. Let’s quit fooling around here.

      • Excellent point. The cultural revolution will never succeed if people like me continue to worry about whether or not individuals are guilty of that which they are accused. Collective guilt is the answer – I see that now. Thank you for enlightening me.


  11. If a company had a division where there was widespread and blatant racism and the division head and the CEO had been in place for three years – there would be cries for the division head and the CEO to resign or be terminated for cause. Sounds like Northam and Qarni need to step down.

  12. Baconator with extra cheese

    By their own definition there is no systemic racism at TJ. Systemic racism is a system built to to favor WHITES. This is not happening at TJ. Whites are under represented at TJ when compared to the population.
    Hilarious example Secretary of Ed chose to truly prove the opposite of his theory. He even had a hand in writing the state-approved defintion of systemic racism.

    • And I actually agree to a certain extent. What TJ shows is that Asians who do have wealth are much more motivated to compete and win against others, no matter who the others are in terms of race or class or anythin else.

      But this is also about ALL the Governor Schools and I suspect that the “Asian” thing is not that way at many of the others but that income-levels/class is.

      And have not heard of any such controversy at the other Govenor Schools if they too are supposed to go to a lottery system.

      They do that, by the way, in places like NYC “Success Academy” for 15 years, so it’s not exactly like it’s a new thing pushed by equity idealogs.

      • I think comparing Governor’s Schools to Success Academies is comparing apples to oranges. NYC’s Success Academies are a very different entity from Virginia’s Governor’s Schools.

        As I understand it, Success Academies are simply highly successful “regular” schools, attendance at which is desirable for all students because of their demonstrated superiority to other public schools. It is quite fair and equitable to fill the limited number of available seats in such schools via a lottery/random drawing in which every interested student has an equal chance at being accepted.

        Virginia’s Governor’s Schools are academically elite by design. They cater to exceptionally capable students and provide them additional/special instruction at a higher academic level than “regular” schools. Governor’s Schools are not open to the general student population. There is no academically justified reason to fill the seats in those schools via lottery since they can be filled by testing applicants and choosing the most qualified for acceptance – accepting the absolute most qualified students first, and then working their way down through those who are less and less qualified until either all seats are filled or they run out of students who meet their acceptance standards.

  13. Baconator with extra cheese

    But the Secretary is talking systemic racism. So the system has demonstrated it is not ultimately biased to provide a systemic advantage to WHITES. Therefore the system is not systemically racist. As long at all the Governor’s Schools demonstrate the same system of admission.
    Now on to the next system….

    • The way that Northam and company are going about this is likely going to blow up in their faces and really set back any effort to address equity at all.

      If we take race out of it all together and ask what it would take for low-income kids to be “schooled” such that when the time came, they could compete equally for any of Virginia’s Governor schools – that may get wider support.

      But on structural racism – some lines of thinking (likely others)

      1. – you believe there WAS generational discrimination but it can’t be fixed by punishing those who may have benefited but do not discriminate themselves. Move on.

      2. – you believe there was and we need to address it – in some fashion – with the “some fashion” being a powder-keg of options.

      3.- you don’t believe it – move on

      probably others……

      I’d be curious to know how the other Governor Schools are faring on the lottery idea.

    • In the world of critical race theory, Asians are grouped with the race whites to avoid that obvious issue.

      • James Wyatt Whitehead V

        Don’t forget that South Asians consider themselves distinctly different from anyone on the other side the Himalaya Mtns and the Indian Ocean.

  14. Another example of our society spinning out of control and intellectual discourse dying in the dark.

    I imagined that Democrats would need their own Tea Party (especially the Palin – Bachman branch), and now we have one. Of course, Republicans had to up their own ante, giving up Tea Party principles for the sake of their Cult of Personality (Hail Our Glorious Leader!). And now Our Glorious Leader is taking an additional step into the void (proving he could get worse) with his endorsement of QAnon.

    In any case, real ‘systemic racism’, the kind in which you could actually identify specific laws, specific practices and name names, used to be a real thing. See for example this article from War On The Rocks describing how Black WWII veterans were denied GI benefits because of their race.

    Fortunately, actual ‘systemic racism’ is mostly a thing of the past. We are still living with the legacy of systemic racism- poverty, housing, transportation, education, health care. But when people talk about racial inequity they should be referring to ameliorating the on-going impact of that historical system.

    However, today, ‘systemic racism’ is a meaningless but highly emotive slogan. It is meaningless because it does not identify any actions that will make a meaningful change in actual lives of Black Americans.

    Consider for examples, two articles that appeared in the September issue of The Atlantic. In one, Prof. Jennifer Richeson (Yale) argues that there has been no racial progress (apparently the election of a Black president is evidence of on-going racism) and that we are at our last chance to get things right. More to the point, she offers no agenda for what changes need to be made to get things right. Similarly, Mychal Smith argues that incremental change is itself part of the systemic racist system. Yet, when he identifies specific changes, they can all be found in current programs, laws and regulations. (Arguing the current programs are not adequate is not the same as saying nothing has been done.)

    An executive I worked with once commented that the job’s not done until blame’s been assigned. Today, we can blame all statistical differences on an abstract system that no one can actually identify in practice. (Though if I understand the data LarrytheG posted, either Asian families highly value education and dedicate their time and resources to high educational achievement, or there is a cabal of Asians running TJ.)

    The current racial equality movement, with its insistence that White people are racist because they are white, leaves me with this Catch-22. If whites are racist, why do they support this movement? And if they are not racists, why do they support this movement?

    Hopefully, the current racial equality movement will eventually run out of steam, especially since it will not produce any meaningful, tangible results. Until then, good luck to our education professionals.

    By the way, thanks to jyl1st and Reed Fawell 3rd for their references to Coleman and McWhorter. For a great dialog between two deep thinkers, here’s Coleman’s interview with McWhorter –

  15. Pingback: Major Impacts of Northam’s War against Teachers | Bacon's Rebellion

  16. There are two ways, probably more, to set up a process to allocate seats to more applicants than there are seats.

    It can be set up based on some criteria and applicants are rated strictly on that criteria, top down, with the cutoff totally arbitrary. You go down the list and once the seats are filled, that’s it.

    The other way is to set a cut-line score where you get put in the pool if you meet the cut-line standards – then a lottery determines who that are in the pool actually get accepted.

    No University that I know of ranks their applicants in rank order and goes down the list until they reach all that they have room to admit. In other words, the best of the best.

    Almost all of them have more complicated criteria – to include kids of alumni and sports, high academic in some fields, and academic scholarships.

    Even the grads from TJ may not be admitted to Colleges on the same basis they were admitted to TJ.

  17. Pingback: Anti-racism Training and Whiteness – Equal Time | Bacon's Rebellion

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