New York City tax dollars at work in the public indoctrination system.
Principal Darlene Cameron
Via NY Post: On the last day of school, Principal Darlene Cameron of Star Academy-PS 63 in the East Village gave her small faculty a chart defining racist and non-racist institutions and asked them to think about where their school fits in.
A non-racist institution, among other things, is conscious of and aims to wipe out a culture of “white power,” “white privilege” and “inherent white advantage.” “We fit into the category of white power and privilege!” a white teacher at the K-5 school told her colleagues. The concept that whites enjoy everyday benefits simply because of their skin color has become the rage.
Elite private schools have grappled with the notion. The Post exposed an extreme case — how the Bank Street School for Children on the Upper West Side made white kids feel guilty about their “whiteness” while heaping praise and cupcakes on kids of color. The school’s diversity director stepped down after the report.
Now public schools are jumping on the bandwagon.
Carmen Farina/AP Photo
After recent killings of black men by cops and murders of police officers, Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña called on educators to tackle “tough conversations” about race, violence and guns.
In addition, Fariña announced a new curriculum that emphasizes social justice. She also recommended a K-12 reading list compiled by the Southern Poverty Law Center, “Perspectives for a Diverse America,” which includes selections on race, gender and LGBTQ issues. In K-2, for instance, kids can learn the true story of Z and Vielpunk, a couple of gay male penguins rearing a chick in a German zoo.
The ninth-through-12th-grade readings include a 1990 essay, “White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack,” which lists 50 hidden benefits whites enjoy. No. 17: “I can talk with my mouth full and not have people put this down to my color.”
The chart handed out at Star Academy, written by an Illinois-based anti-racism ministry, angered some parents questioned by The Post. “When you start sending out things like this, it divides us,” said Robert Powell, a black dad in The Bronx who served on the city’s Panel for Educational Policy. “It’s a subtle form of racism.”
Education author Sol Stern called the chart “left-wing propaganda” and “brainwashing.” White privilege “is an argument, not a fact,” he said.
But David Bloomfield, a Brooklyn College and CUNY Graduate Center education professor, who is white, lauds the idea. “It reminds me a bit of when ‘Heather Has Two Mommies’ was recommended reading by the DOE before same-sex couples became mainstream,” he said. Greater awareness can help teachers pick books that reflect other races, he added.
It can also spur classroom discussion. “If you put the US presidents on your classroom wall, it sends a signal of who’s in charge,” Bloomfield said. “The teacher might point out to students that these are all white, except one, and all, currently, males.”
Cameron told The Post she plans to have teachers discuss the race-based issues in the fall. “We want to be sure we’re as inclusive and welcoming as possible, and that we’re all aware of the different backgrounds that come together to make up our community,” she said.
Star Academy students are 65 percent Hispanic, 20 percent black, 10 percent white and 4 percent Asian, records show.
An essay included in city high-schoolers’ reading list seeks to explain the hidden benefits supposedly enjoyed by white people. Some examples of so-called “white privilege”:
- I have no difficulty finding neighborhoods where people approve of our household.
- I can go shopping alone most of the time, pretty well assured that I will not be followed or harassed.
- I do not have to educate my children to be aware of systemic racism for their own daily physical protection.
- I can choose…bandages in “flesh” color and have them more or less match my skin.
- I will feel welcomed and “normal” in the usual walks of public life, institutional and social.