Ibram X. Kendi: White Colonizers and Interracial Adoption

In a recent tweet, antiracist educator Ibram X. Kendi wrote, “Some white colonizers ‘adopted’ Black children. They ‘civilized’ these ‘savage’ children in the ‘superior’ ways of White people, while using them as props in their lifelong pictures of denial, while cutting the biological parents of these children out of the picture of humanity.” 

These comments were made in the context of the discussion of SCOTUS nominee Amy Coney Barrett’s adoption of two children from Haiti. Kendi ultimately argued that White adoptive parents of Black children can still be racist. 

Tragically, when Ibram X. Kendi sees whites welcoming black children into their family, his psyche turns to colonization and racism. This video looks at Kendi’s controversial statements, as well as his polarizing and counterproductive antiracist ideas.

The NYT’s ‘Nice White Parents’: Shaming White Parents for Improving a Brooklyn School

Nice White Parents” is the New York Times‘ new five-part podcast series about “building a better school system, and what gets in the way.” This video analyzes part #1, titled “The Book of Statuses.” 

In 2015, a cohort of proactive parents, many of whom were white, enrolled into the Boerum Hill School for International Studies in Brooklyn, NY. After opening a dual-language French program for the middle school, funds poured in. Soon test scores shot up, as did enrollment and interest in the school. By 2019, the school became successfully integrated, and had an even distribution between white, black, and Latino students. But not all were happy. 

Thanks for watching. 

Conversations on White Fragility – with Jonathan Church, Neil Shenvi, and Christopher Paslay

Three writers with an interest in Robin DiAngelo’s white fragility theory — an economist (Jonathan Church), a Christian and theoretical chemist (Neil Shenvi), and a Philadelphia public school teacher (Christopher Paslay) — critique DiAngelo’s controversial concept.

The Problematic Inaccuracies of the ‘1619 Project’

by Christopher Paslay

The New York Times’ ‘1619 Project’ is a problematic work of historical revisionism, and has been criticized by historians and scholars on all sides of the political spectrum for its fundamental inaccuracies and biased narrative.

John McWhorter, an African American professor of linguistics at Columbia University, takes issue with the historical facts at the center of the “1619 “Project.” As McWhorter writes in Reason Magazine

The verdict is in: The idea that America’s real founding was in 1619 does not wash. And yet, it will be considered a mark of sophistication to pretend otherwise.

Since last August, The New York Times has asked us to consider that America’s real founding was not in 1776 but in 1619, when the first Africans were brought to these shores. Nikole Hannah-Jones teaches that the Revolutionary War was fought mainly not to escape British tyranny, but out of fear that British tyranny was about to threaten the institution of slavery.

In a Wall Street Journal article titled “The ‘1619 Project’ Gets Schooled,” Elliot Kaufman further elaborates on the criticisms of well-respected scholars and historians:

“So wrong in so many ways” is how Gordon Wood, the Pulitzer Prize-winning historian of the American Revolution, characterized the New York Times’s “1619 Project.” James McPherson, dean of Civil War historians and another Pulitzer winner, said the Times presented an “unbalanced, one-sided account” that “left most of the history out.” Even more surprising than the criticism from these generally liberal historians was where the interviews appeared: on the World Socialist Web Site, run by the Trotskyist Socialist Equality Party.

In an Atlantic article titled “A Matter of Facts,” Sean Wilentz, Professor of history at Princeton University, detailed the letter he wrote to the New York Times, requesting the publication correct its basic mistakes: 

On December 20, the Times Magazine published a letter that I signed with four other historians—Victoria Bynum, James McPherson, James Oakes, and Gordon Wood. Our letter applauded the project’s stated aim to raise public awareness and understanding of slavery’s central importance in our history. Although the project is not a conventional work of history and cannot be judged as such, the letter intended to help ensure that its efforts did not come at the expense of basic accuracy. Offering practical support to that end, it pointed out specific statements that, if allowed to stand, would misinform the public and give ammunition to those who might be opposed to the mission of grappling with the legacy of slavery. The letter requested that the Times print corrections of the errors that had already appeared, and that it keep those errors from appearing in any future materials published with the Times’ imprimatur, including the school curricula the newspaper announced it was developing in conjunction with the project.

Curiously, the New York Times chose to let the flawed revisionist history stand in an effort at bringing awareness to past racial injustice. But as America’s leading historians have pointed out, altering facts to forward so-called social justice causes is in fact doing a disservice to the cause itself.  How is teaching America’s youth inaccurate depictions of America’s past going to help educate them as knowledgeable and informed citizens?  Accuracy of information is necessary to allow students to think critically about the world around them, and altering such information — in the name of social justice — is not providing our children the resources they need to become proactive, self-empowered learners. 

Reframing America as country based on slavery and victimization — rather than on freedom, liberty, and democracy — works well if the aim is to indoctrinate our children into the polarizing and divisive world of identity politics.

“We are now to instruct black kids just a few years past diapers in this way of thinking — in studied despair over events far in the past, and a sense that it is more enlightened to think of yourself as a victim than as an actor,” McWhorter writes in his Reason article.  “At no other point in human history have any people, under any degree of oppression, conceived of this kind of self-image as healthy . . .”

Yet American schools are doing just that.

Which is why Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., recently introduced a bill that proposes denying federal funds to schools that incorporate the New York Times’ controversial “1619 Project” into its teaching curriculum, and why President Trump said Sunday that the Department of Education is examining the use of the New York Times Magazine‘s 1619 Project in schools, and warned that institutions that teach this alternative narrative of American history could lose federal funding.

As McWhorter so aptly writes in his Reason article

The insistence on maintaining the 1619 idea is rooted in a pervasive modern notion that when evaluating race issues, it is a form of intelligence and morality to duck truth when it is inconvenient to a victimhood-focused construct. W.E.B. Du Bois tackled the Dunning School with facts; today people sensing themselves as his heirs insist we accept alternative facts. Yet, to point out that neither Du Bois, Frederick Douglass, nor Martin Luther King Jr. would see this as progress renders one a heretic. This is one more thing we must overcome.

Federal Agencies Directed To End ‘White Privilege’ Trainings

by Christopher Paslay

A new directive states that Federal agencies must cease and desist from using taxpayer dollars to fund trainings using critical race theory, white privilege, or any other training or propaganda effort that teaches that any race or ethnicity is inherently racist. 

The toxic, discriminatory tenets at the center of critical race theory — which serve as the basis for anti-racism, white fragility, white privilege, and so-called white supremacy culture — are being exposed at the highest levels of government. At the urging of Christopher F. Rufo, a contributing editor for City Journal whose investigative reporting has exposed how critical race theory has infiltrated the Federal government, the heads of executive departments and agencies have been directed to identify and terminate all Federal training which teaches all whites are inherently racist. 

On September 4, 2020, Russell Vought, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, issued a letter addressing training in the Federal government titled, “MEMORANDUM FOR THE HEADS OF EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENTS AND AGENCIES.” 

The letter reads:

It has come to the President’s attention that Executive Branch agencies have spent millions of taxpayer dollars to date “training” government workers to believe divisive, anti-American propaganda.

For example, according to press reports, employees across the Executive Branch have been required to attend trainings where they are told that “virtually all White people contribute to racism” or where they are required to say that they “benefit from racism.” According to press reports, in some cases these training have further claimed that there is racism embedded in the belief that America is the land of opportunity or the belief that the most qualified person should receive a job.

These types of “trainings” not only run counter to the fundamental beliefs for which our Nation has stood since its inception, but they also engender division and resentment within the Federal workforce. We can be proud that as an employer, the Federal government has employees of all races, ethnicities, and religions. We can be proud that Americans from all over the country seek to join our workforce and dedicate themselves to public service. We can be proud of our continued efforts to welcome all individuals who seek to serve their fellow Americans as Federal employees. However, we cannot accept our employees receiving training that seeks to undercut our core values as Americans and drive division within our workforce.

The President has directed me to ensure that Federal agencies cease and desist from using taxpayer dollars to fund these divisive, un-American propaganda training sessions. Accordingly, to that end, the Office of Management and Budget will shortly issue more detailed guidance on implementing the President’s directive. In the meantime, all agencies are directed to begin to identify all contracts or other agency spending related to any training on “critical race theory/9 “white privilege,” or any other training or propaganda effort that teaches or suggests either (1) that the United States is an inherently racist or evil country or (2) that any race or ethnicity is inherently racist or evil. In addition, all agencies should begin to identify all available avenues within the law to cancel any such contracts and/or to divert Federal dollars away from these un- American propaganda training sessions.

 The President, and his Administration, are fully committed to the fair and equal treatment of all individuals in the United States. The President has a proven track record of standing for those whose voice has long been ignored and who have failed to benefit from all our country has to offer, and he intends to continue to support all Americans, regardless of race, religion, or creed. The divisive, false, and demeaning propaganda of the critical race theory movement is contrary to all we stand for as Americans and should have no place in the Federal government.

This directive from Vought is long overdue. The toxic, divisive policies at the center of critical race theory — which extend to anti-racism, white privilege, white fragility, white supremacy culture, implicit bias, and microaggressions — must no longer be tolerated. Singling people out by their race or culture clearly violates Federal anti-discrimination laws, and has been doing so for some time. 

One can only hope state and local governments will use Federal agencies as a guide, and in turn commit to routing out such divisive trainings and discriminatory practices as well.