No word on teacher Pam Northam’s status
by James C. Sherlock
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 Summit – Courage, 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.
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.
- 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.
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.There are currently no comments highlighted.