“White Supremacy with a Hug”


by James A. Bacon

Josh Thompson, an English teacher at Blacksburg High School in Montgomery County, explains in the TikTok video above how Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (BPIS), the disciplinary approach used by Virginia public schools, amounts to “white supremacy with a hug.” BPIS was touted originally as a reform of the traditional disciplinary system, which relied more heavily upon punishments and was considered racist because Blacks were sanctioned disproportionately. But in the minds of some, PBIS is itself racist.

Fortunately, the Northam administration has not embraced the PBIS-as-white-supremacy critique…. not yet. I re-post Thompson’s TikTok here as an example of the kind of thinking that flows logically from the social-justice theories being batted around in Virginia public schools and could soon work their way into the mainstream.

“If PBIS concerns itself with positive behaviors, we have to ask ourselves, OK, what are those positive behaviors?” Thompson says. Positive behaviors include following directions, sitting quietly, staying in one’s seat — “all … things that come from White culture.” Sitting quietly and absorbing instruction passively “is not a thing that’s in with many cultures,” Thompson says.

If we’re positively enforcing these behaviors, we are, by extension, enforcing elements of White culture, which, therefore, keeps whiteness at the center, which is the definition of white supremacy. Really, “white supremacy” keeps whiteness as the dominant ideology, and centering whiteness is a major component of that process.

A Montgomery County School District spokesman told Fox News that Thompson is entitled to his personal belief, but his statements “do not reflect our PBIS program or the behavioral expectations that we have of students in our schools.”

Are Thompson’s views an aberration? No. I nearly blogged once about observations made by former director of diversity for the Virginia Department of Education, Leah Dozier Walker, in a videotaped diversity seminar. Walker, as I recall, did not use the term “whiteness,” but she did address the alleged cultural bias of expecting students to sit still in class. She made the point that “black girls laugh a lot.” It’s their cultural style to laugh loudly and heartily, and it is culturally oppressive to correct that behavior in the classroom. (I thought the phrase “Black Girls Laugh a Lot” would make a super headline, but I never got around to writing the piece.)

Walker no longer works at VDOE. But her departure was related to her running a consulting business on the side, not philosophical differences over the implementation of diversity, equity and inclusion.

Meanwhile, VDOE continues to push “culturally responsive pedagogy,” which emphasizes how schools much change their teaching methods to accommodate the cultural attributes of people of color, primarily Blacks. “White privilege” is commonly viewed as a barrier to implementing this approach. It is but a short step to the assertion that behaviors such as staying in one’s seat, not talking in class, and not interrupting teachers are aspects of “whiteness,” hence oppressive if imposed upon African-Americans students.

Interestingly, Asian-Americans don’t seem to have a problem with these allegedly “white” attributes. Indeed, Asian-American students appear to embrace them more whole-heartedly than most Whites, which might explain why they out-perform all other groups academically.

If we assess racism by statistical disparities in outcomes, as leftists do, then Thompson’s formulation is extraordinarily racist. His is the racism of low expectations. By labeling certain learning-positive behaviors as “white,” he implies that Blacks cannot reasonably be expected to sit still, keep quiet, and pay attention to the teacher. Insofar as Black students adopt this pernicious mindset and reject positive behaviors as “white,” their academic performance will suffer and racial disparities will widen.

Share this article


(comments below)


(comments below)


22 responses to ““White Supremacy with a Hug””

  1. energyNOW_Fan Avatar

    Confusing acronyms BPIS or PBIS please

  2. What did “following directions, sitting quietly, staying in one’s seat” get us? Oh yeah, Back-to-back World War Champions, the Panama Canal, Malaria defeated, nuclear power, a man on the moon, McDonalds [name one Chinese or Russian or French or Ugandan fast food restaurant franchised around the world!]…..and Bugs Bunny!

    1. LarrytheG Avatar

      I don’t buy it either and most teachers that I know don’t buy it. One of the bigger challenges for new teachers is called “classroom management” and if you can’t do it, you won’t last long as a teacher.

      One of the links I found when googling this guy was actually an article he wrote and got posted on the NEA site:

      The interesting thing is the date the article was actually published – 06/15/2020 and then the dates for the comments – almost all of which were strongly negative – and almost all of them – 3 days ago:

      go look:



    2. Eric the half a troll Avatar
      Eric the half a troll

      “ What did “following directions, sitting quietly, staying in one’s seat” get us? Oh yeah, Back-to-back World War Champions, the Panama Canal, Malaria defeated, nuclear power, a man on the moon…”

      For many during that entire period, the seat they were to stay quietly in was at the back of the bus.

  3. LarrytheG Avatar

    Well, if you google this guy – there is a crap-load of links – almost all of them from Conservative media sites from Fox News to the Daily Signal to the New York Post, etc, including BR of course.

    I don’t know who this guy is. For all I know, he could well be a Conservative playing games or just another confused person. Even a black teacher totally disavowed his claims.

    These days, Conservatives are like locusts, just waiting to pounce on the next “outrage”. BR has jumped in with both feet. Anything heard on social media becomes yet another example of leftists and liberals “taking over”.

    They’ve managed to stoke the anti-mask and CRT and other “culture” wars at school boards Teachers and principles are getting threats in person and in media, some of them death threats.

    This has become a significant feature of Conservative “culture” these days.

    Polls show that over seventy percent of them think that Biden did not win the election, AND they are making threats to election officials.

    This is what a lot of “conservatism” has become these days IMHO.

    It’s not about Trump. Trump merely detected the direction Conservatives wanted to go in and fed it.

    1. dick dyas Avatar

      Outrageous! I say put all the white kids in separate schools so they don’t pollute the public schools’ environment.

    2. Today LarrytheG distances himself from Thompson’s ideas. One day, when his thinking is being implemented as official Democratic Party policy, Larry will join in lockstep to defend it.

      1. Matt Adams Avatar

        I don’t see much of distancing oneself in that comment, but I see a lot of ad hom attacks directed towards people who don’t align to those Larry prostrates himself before.

      2. LarrytheG Avatar

        so we have one wacadoodle who says something idotic on social media and it negates all other statements from others including black educators, and it then becomes what the ignorati will believe and show up to verbally and physically threaten the school board and other officials.

        This seems to be the “conservative” approach to issues these days.

        I always knew that some on the right were inclined this way but now, the number of Conservative who embrace this seem to far outnumber other Conservatives.

        Can’t win elections, so do it this way?

        1. Larry, you really are your own worst enemy. You said: “so we have one wacadoodle who says something idiotic on social media and it negates all other statements from others including black educators…”

          Here’s what I wrote:

          “Fortunately, the Northam administration has not embraced the PBIS-as-white-supremacy critique…”

          I did not portray Thompson’s TikTok spiel as typical, and in no way suggested that his comments “negate all other statements.” That’s purely your fabrication. I said his ideas could work their way into the mainstream, and then explained why.

          Until you can accurately portray what other people say, it is impossible to take you seriously. It is pointless to engage you in dialogue.

          You sometimes have useful things to say. Before reading something and spouting off the first thing that pops into your head, try reading carefully that which you are responding to. A constructive exchange of views might ensue. If you can’t, you severely undermine your credibility.

          1. Keep it up and he’ll block your comments!

            Or is that what you’re trying to achieve?


          2. LarrytheG Avatar

            Actually what I said was google the guy and the incident and read the sites that were speaking of it including BR and they do play word games like what-about-isms like we see played in BR.

            Did I actually mention you at all much less personally attack you like you just did me.

            That seems to be a common trait with you guys these days, eh?

            Would you like me to actually copy some of the other Conservative sites words on this?

          3. Yeah, you mentioned him.

          4. Eric the half a troll Avatar
            Eric the half a troll

            ‘Here’s what I wrote:

            “Fortunately, the Northam administration has not embraced the PBIS-as-white-supremacy critique…”’

            JAB, selectively editing what he wrote. Be honest for once and complete your quote as you wrote it. Larry’s point is reinforced by it.

          5. LarrytheG Avatar


            Went like this:

            ” I re-post Thompson’s TikTok here as

            … an example

            of the kind of thinking

            that flows logically from the social-justice theories being batted around in Virginia public schools

            …and could soon work their way into the mainstream.”

            talk about what-about-ism… seems to be the standard tactic these days

            just blow smoke out the wazoo

            and THEN he wants to talk about “credibility”

          6. Eric the half a troll Avatar
            Eric the half a troll

            That too but I thought the “…. not yet” bit pretty much negated everything he wrote before it.

          7. LarrytheG Avatar

            yeah – but it COULD… and we’re off to the races… again….

            This is a fairly standard tactic these days with Conservative types. This is how we get craploads of rude people showing up in school board meetings and making threats because they’ve got “suspicions” about what is being taught.

  4. I don’t know whether this is real or not – whether the teacher is being serious or not.

    However, I agree with Mr. Bacon in that I consider it incredibly racist, not to mention mind-numbingly patronizing, to promote the idea that black children should not be required to behave with proper comportment at school.

    Another example of the soft-racism of lowered expectations.

  5. James Wyatt Whitehead Avatar
    James Wyatt Whitehead

    PBIS is a long running joke in Virginia public schools. We practiced this at Briar Woods for a number of years, I am sure they are still doing it. Students that generally stay between the lines don’t need it and students all over the place see opportunity with PBIS. They know that things have to get really bad before consequences are administered. PBIS is a quaint idea for a perfect world but has little real world promise.

    1. LarrytheG Avatar

      and that’s coming from a veteran teacher! I wonder what Matt Hurts view is also.

  6. DJRippert Avatar

    Ahh the modern liberal defense of changing the subject or denying reality.

    Loudoun County spends $20,000 for an hour of Kendi … it’s just a graduate level law concept being taught. Why K-12 teachers need to be taught graduate level legal theory is, of course, not addressed by the liberals.

    When questioned about CRT being taught in schools McAuliffe labels the entire area of CRT as a conservative conspiracy theory. Kind of makes you wonder what Loudoun spent that $20,000 for.

    When a teacher in the Loudoun County schools risks her job by going on a news show and saying that Loudoun County schools are teaching CRT … she’s a liar. Nobody can explain what possible motive she has to lie hut she’s a liar.

    Now comes a (presumably left leaning) teacher on Tik Tok claiming that fundamental aspects of a good education like minimizing disruptions during classroom instruction are white supremacy in action.

    The liberal response? He’s a fake or a fraud or but, but, but Trump …..

    No comments from the left on this teacher’s contention that non-disruptive behavior in class is white supremacy.

  7. The largest difference is this guy wants propper rethought-out education, instead of modern **** educational styles. I would not say those educational styles are “white” intrinsically but they do continue on bad societal habits and need to be improved. instead of non-traditional opinion = bonk.

Leave a Reply