Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Seattle Public Schools Teach Anti-White Bigotry

While viewing the American Renaissance website, I noticed they posted a story from Seattle. It seems like the first four definitions presented on the Equity and Race Relations page of the Seattle Public School website have the potential to promote anti-white bigotry amongst non-white students by falsely portraying whites as inherent oppressors. Here are the offending definitions (I will add personal comments after each one):

Equity and Race Relations

Definitions of Racism

Racism: The systematic subordination of members of targeted racial groups who have relatively little social power in the United States (Blacks, Latino/as, Native Americans, and Asians), by the members of the agent racial group who have relatively more social power (Whites). The subordination is supported by the actions of individuals, cultural norms and values, and the institutional structures and practices of society.
Comment: The assumption that all Whites inherently have more social power is not only incorrect, but is a racial stereotype. Who dominates hip-hop, pro basketball, and pro football? Who have been the primary beneficiaries of affirmative action? Who's the current Secretary of State?

Individual Racism: The beliefs, attitudes, and actions of individuals that support or perpetuate racism. Individual racism can occur at both an unconscious and conscious level, and can be both active and passive. Examples include telling a racist joke, using a racial epithet, or believing in the inherent superiority of whites. Comment: So does this mean a Black who believes in the inherent superiority of Blacks not racist? Oh, and by the way, why wasn't the word Whites capitalized in this definition but was capitalized in the previous definition?

Active Racism: Actions which have as their stated or explicit goal the maintenance of the system of racism and the oppression of those in the targeted racial groups. People who participate in active racism advocate the continued subjugation of members of the targeted groups and protection of “the rights” of members of the agent group. These goals are often supported by a belief in the inferiority of people of color and the superiority of white people, culture, and values.
Comment: What about those non-whites who believe in the superiority of non-white people, culture, or values, and the inferiority of White people? Are they not racist, too?

Passive Racism: Beliefs, attitudes, and actions that contribute to the maintenance of racism, without openly advocating violence or oppression. The conscious or unconscious maintenance of attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors that support the system of racism, racial prejudice and racial dominance.
Comment: At least all races are equally held to this standard.

Cultural Racism: Those aspects of society that overtly and covertly attribute value and normality to white people and Whiteness, and devalue, stereotype, and label people of color as “other”, different, less than, or render them invisible. Examples of these norms include defining white skin tones as nude or flesh colored, having a future time orientation, emphasizing individualism as opposed to a more collective ideology, defining one form of English as standard, and identifying only Whites as great writers or composers.
Comments: Good God, where do I begin? Emphasizing individualism over collectivism is racist? Self-reliance is racist? You gotta be kidding! Defining one form of English as standard is racist? Hey, jackass, it promotes communication! Having a future time orientation? What in hell does that mean within the context of this discussion? These multiculturalists will go to any length to demonize white people.

Institutional Racism: The network of institutional structures, policies, and practices that create advantages and benefits for Whites, and discrimination, oppression, and disadvantages for people from targeted racial groups. The advantages created for Whites are often invisible to them, or are considered “rights” available to everyone as opposed to “privileges” awarded to only some individuals and groups.
Comments: Here we go with the so-called "white privilege" argument once again. And to say the advantages are often "invisible" is an invalid argument, because it can never be rebutted. The proponent of such an argument could say that denial is a sign of "invisibility". Unfortunately, the impressionable young students who are force-fed this nonsense, particular non-white students, will not appreciate these arguments and will grow to resent the white community over non-existent grievances. Oh, and if all whites are inherently "privileged", isn't that an argument in favor of white supremacy? If we're privileged, that means we're superior, right?

Source: Teaching for Diversity and Social Justice, 1197 eds. Adams, Bell & Griffin


Here's the apparent architect of this program. Caprice Hollins (pictured at left) has been serving as Seattle Public Schools Director of Equity and Race Relations since 2004. According to an Oct 19th, 2004 article in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Caprice Hollins knows about diversity. She grew up in a racially-mixed family in Seattle's Rainier Valley and graduated from Franklin High, one of the city's most culturally diverse schools. A single parent, Hollins' mother was a volunteer fireman -- she doesn't like the term "firewoman" -- and also worked in canneries and on the Alaska pipeline. Throw into the mix a gay brother and black grandparents who adopted Hollins' mother when she was in her late 30s, and the result is a rich stew of ethnicity and culture. That background, Hollins said, helped shape her career path and equipped her with the perspective needed in her new position as Seattle Public Schools' first equity and race relations director. Being a licensed clinical psychologist, she know how to crawl around inside people's heads.

The remainder of the definitions presented on the district's page do not single out any particular race and so don't present a problem. However, they come from a different source than the six definitions I've presented above. It's obvious the source Teaching for Diversity and Social Justice has serious flaws. You can discern this by the title. The term "social justice" is a revolutionary Marxist term coined by the 60s counterculture as a pseudonym for vigilante justice.

And we wonder why Johnny can't read, and why no state is 100% compliant with No Child Left Behind standards. At least the Anchorage School District, notwithstanding its weaknesses and imperfections, doesn't tolerate bigotry against any race or ethnic group. The Superintendent and the Anchorage School Board have repeatedly and publicly proclaimed their allegiance to the concept of equal opportunity and equal treatment under the law.

2 comments:

  1. Thank you for bringing to the community's attention just one of the
    many questionable actions taken by Dr. Caprice Hollins in her reign as
    Director of the Seattle Public Schools "Department of Race and Equity"

    I was first introduced to Dr. Hollins disturbing views back in August
    of 2005 when she was interviewed by Steve Scherr on KUOW. At that time
    she calmly made such incendiary comments that I questioned my own ears,
    until I was able to replay the interview from the KUOW website.

    In that interview Dr. Hollins confidently ascribed negative
    behavioral characteristics to entire races of individuals. She suggested that
    African American children are being penalized in class for their racial
    characteristic of interrupting, or in her own words "African American's
    don't often take turns to speak, we get engaged and we overlap in our
    conversation". She then explained why Native American children often
    don't speak up in class by saying "we know that with Native Americans
    there is a pause and a silence before they speak". She then qualified her
    remarks, but not by much, saying "These are generalities but tend to be
    the group norm for those ethnic groups".

    Frankly Dr. Hollins scares me. If it is okay for the director of a
    Seattle Public Schools department to openly assert that African
    Americans are loud and Native Americans don't speak up, why would it not be
    acceptable for her to declare that Jews are good with money and Asians
    make fine gardeners?

    We have come a long way in the past fifty years. I was under the
    impression that attaching behavioral characteristics to entire racial
    groups was simply no longer done in polite company. I guess, at least as
    it applies to our Seattle public Schools, that I was wrong.

    About a month ago a community college teacher made an ill advised
    pairing of the name Condoleeza with the Federal Building and a watermelon.
    This gentleman was pilloried for his racial insensitivity, yet the head
    of SPS's Department of Race and Equity makes blatantly racist remarks
    on the public airwaves and nobody blinks an eyelash.

    You can find the KUOW interview with Dr. Hollins at the following
    link, the comments to which I referred can be found exactly five minutes
    into the interview, but if you have the time I suggest you listen to
    the whole thing. http://www.kuow.org/m3u/weekday-a20050831.m3u.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Michael - thanks for your response. Apparently the offending definitions I cited are not merely a fluke. Dr. Hollins evokes memories of the equally controversial Clinton nominee Lani Guinier.

    One can speculate on possible group behavioral characteristics if one is careful to frame the discussion in a civil and scholarly fashion. However, to publish that sort of discourse in an official institutional publication, even on a website, is inappropriate. In this case, the definitions of racism published by Dr. Hollins cannot help but to institutionalize anti-white bias. If non-white kids repeatedly hear that whites, by their very inherent nature, are oppressors, then many will grow up believing whites to be the enemy. It promotes conflict. She's simply a dressed-up version of Julius Streicher.

    I'm surprised that none of your locals have raised this issue at a school board meeting. Up here, the public exercises close scrutiny on the Anchorage School District, and any ASD official proposing such ideas would quickly be exposed and criticized.

    ReplyDelete