VB School Board Shoots Down Resolution

by James A. Bacon

Last night the Virginia Beach School Board voted down 4-to-7 a proposal that would clarify school board policy regarding training and teaching about race and racism.

Among other guidelines, the resolution would have prohibited teachers from training, teaching or promoting, among other propositions, the ideas (a) that any individual by virtue of his or her race or skin color is inherently racist, privileged or oppressive, (b) that any individual bears responsibility for the actions committed by other members of his or her race, skin color or religion, and (c) that the United States is an inherently racist country. (Read the full document here.)

12News noted that Virginia Beach Superintendent Aaron Spence gave this explanation before the school board meeting: “On the surface of it, somebody might say that does provide clarity, but I do think that it can create problems where we are unable to study America’s troubling racial issues of the past and today. There isn’t anyone I’ve talked to that says racism doesn’t exist in America.”

In other words, foes of the resolution say it would ban teaching students the role of racism in American history. I see nothing in the resolution that would do that, and I defy anyone else to find it.

If Superintendent Spence and his school board allies found certain language problematic, it would have been easy enough to eliminate any uncertainty by amend the resolution. But they made no such effort. They offered no such amendment, most likely because they didn’t want to support the resolution in any way, shape or form.

Spence’s objection, I suspect, was a dodge to obscure his real problem, which is that he wants to adopt as official school policy, whether stated officially or unofficially, the “woke” propositions that:

  • Whites are inherently racist.
  • Whites are collectively responsible for actions committed long ago by members of the same race.
  • The United States and capitalism are fundamentally and inherently racist.

What makes me ill is the dissimulation going on here. Virginia Beach officials, like their counterparts in Loudoun and Fairfax Counties and in the Virginia Department of Education, they won’t come out publicly and say what they honestly believe and what they seek to accomplish. They dodge, they weave, and they prevaricate to avoid accountability during election season, even as they work through arcane bureaucratic processes, which are all but invisible to the public, to infuse school systems with their “anti-racist” ideology.