The theory of white fragility is one of the most influential ideas to emerge in recent years on the topics of race, racism, and racial inequality. White fragility is defined as an unwillingness on the part of white people to engage in the difficult conversations necessary to address racial inequality. This “fragility” allegedly undermines the fight against racial inequality.
Despite its wide acclaim and rapid acceptance, the theory of white fragility has received no serious and sustained scrutiny. This book argues that the theory is flawed on numerous fronts. The theory functions as a divisive rhetorical device to shut down debate. It relies on the flawed premise of implicit bias. It posits a faulty way of understanding racism. It has serious methodological problems. It conflates objectivity and neutrality. It exploits narrative at the expense of facts. It distorts many of the ideas upon which the theory relies.
This book also offers a more constructive way to think about Whiteness, white privilege, and “white fragility,” pointing us to a more promising vision for addressing racial inequality.
Dr. Elana Yaron Fishbein recently launched “No Left Turn” to combat leftist indoctrination in K-12 public schools. In June, she removed her two children from an elementary school in the Lower Merion School District because she didn’t want them exposed to “cultural proficiency” curriculum, which, according to Dr. Fishbein, used resources designed to “inoculate Caucasian children with feelings of guilt for the color of their skin and the ‘sins’ of their forefathers.”
Why would any Burlington parent put up with such belligerent behavior, let alone want policies presented in such a manner in their schools?
Last week, a school board meeting in the Burlington Area School District in Wisconsin was shut down by Black Lives Matter protesters. Organized by the Burlington Coalition for Dismantling Racism, the meeting abruptly ended Monday night with shouting, arguments, and school board members exiting the building with police protection.
The issue at hand was a proposal that BASD adopt an anti-racism policy and curriculum, which advocates have demanded but others in the community have opposed and the school board has not adopted. Such polices have been internally discussed since March. The demands have been made after numerous allegations of racism in Burlington schools, with critics saying the school district has done little to discourage such behavior.
A mother of a former student who attended Burlington schools insisted BASD refused to acknowledge racism in their schools, and cared nothing for black and brown children.
Although the mother insisted the Burlington Area School District has remained silent about racial issues, and that the educators in the room have made it clear that they don’t care about black and brown children, BASD documents show otherwise.
In July of 2020, the Burlington Area School District issued a public letter directly responding to several accusations of racism made by the Burlington Coalition for Dismantling Racism.
One accusation was that the school district had “inequitable hiring practices.” The activist group stated that “the district refused to hire a qualified black assistant principal for Burlington High School and instead, hired a white person with less experience.”
BASD respectfully responded to this accusation by stating:
The goal of BASD’s collaborative hiring process is to identify the very best candidate for the position and make a recommendation to hire to the school board. BHS’s vacant assistant principal position received 69 applications. Sixteen applicants were interviewed in the first round by four BHS staff and administrators. Five applicants participated in the final round of interviews with fourteen staff on the final interview team.
The Burlington Area School District sent a letter to families and staff (Seeking Solidarity) on June 3, 2020, after the BHS assistant principal hire. We continue to be committed to equitable hiring practices and hiring a diverse workforce.
The second accusation of so-called racism by the Coalition revolved around student suspensions. The Coalition claimed that “the suspension rates were 25 times higher for 39 black students in the entire district than 2,505 white students.”
A look at the actual numbers showed a completely different picture, however. According to actual data from the 2018-2019 school year (which is the most recent available), 4 of the district’s 43 black students were suspended (9%), while 54 of the districts 2,523 students were suspended (2%).
BASD wrote in response, “This data confirms that in the 2018-2019 school year, the suspensions of black students compared to their white counterparts were 4.45 times greater, not 25 times. We recognize that this is an area where we can explore a more restorative approach to student discipline.”
A third accusation made by the Coalition was that “black kids we’re being called the n-word on a daily basis and Mexican kids we’re being called beaners and wetbacks. . . . Also, white students were regularly displaying Confederate flags on their person, lockers and vehicles.”
After a thorough investigation, BASD found these accusation were not credible. The district wrote in their letter:
The BASD has no evidence to support the assertion about these behaviors having merit. That said, we fully recognize that there are past and present student-to-student microaggressions that may or may not be intended as racist but inflict harm to others and communicate hostility and negativity. We know this can be hurtful and will continue to do all we can to ensure that every student and staff member feels welcome and valued in our schools and within the Burlington community.
As a part of BASD’s public response to the Coalition, Superintendent Stephen T. Plank wrote a personal response, stating in part:
I write to you today representing the BASD as an educator, school leader and member of the greater Burlington community. . . . I, too, wish to be an ally in the efforts to put an end to the racism that causes anguish in our community and our country. I see the BASD as partners in making change happen in our community. The Burlington Coalition for Dismantling Racism has brought forth four desired outcomes, in short, to: update curriculum, require diversity and inclusion training, increase the number of educators of color in our district, and encourage other districts to follow our lead are acknowledged. The BASD has been pursuing action around your four points and more to take an aggressive stance toward eliminating racism in the Burlington area community.
Yet according to the Coalition, black lives don’t matter, and BASD has done nothing to end racism in the schools.
But there is a clear irony underlying the Coalition’s actions. One of the components contained in their anti-racism policy proposal involves ending student harassment and bullying. But when one takes a look at how the members of the Burlington Coalition for Dismantling Racism acted during Monday’s school board meeting, it’s clear they failed to model the very behaviors they claimed to want in the school; the protesters were belligerent and disrespectful, bullying and harassing the school board members, insisting that their anti-racist curriculum should have superseded the scheduled agenda, creating chaos to the point where the police were needed to retain order (see video above).
The behavior of the Coalition says everything you need to know about their so-called anti-racism curriculum. As the saying goes, “Rules for thee, but not for me.” As evidenced by their blatant disregard for those around them, it becomes clear these so-called concerned community members care little for creating an environment free from bullying and harassment. Why would any parent put up with such behavior, let alone want their policies in the district?
And while some of the Coalition’s anti-racism curriculum has merit — like their efforts to bring about diversity and inclusion, and to protect victims of harassment — the core of the policy centers around the principals of anti-racism, which are extremely polarizing and divisive.
An anti-racist approach to equity involves stereotyping entire groups of people — branding all whites as inherently racist, privileged, and suffering from anti-blackness, while labeling all people of color as oppressed victims who have no control over their own lives; the empowerment of people of color depends on the dismantling of whiteness and so-called white supremacy culture.
Anti-racism is a zero-sum approach, which in effect is more about indoctrinating students and community members into adopting the ideology of identity politics, and transforming our youth into partisan activists.
And ironically, where has such activism gotten the Coalition? The disruption of the school board meeting kept their own agenda from being considered, and according to the Journal Times, the Burlington Area School District’s communications director, Julie Thomas, said she did not know when the items from Monday’s agenda may be taken up again.
In the end, the infantile temper tantrum put on by the Burlington Coalition for Dismantling Racism got them tossed out of the meeting and into the parking lot, where in all honesty, they should remain until they can learn to conduct themselves in a manner that actually models the behaviors they claim to support.
Kendi’s attempts to label any inquiry into voter fraud as “racist” is just a tactic to silence advocates of voter integrity, and to marginalize those who disagree with him.
According to Ibram X. Kendi, who recently equated the interracial adoption of African children by white parents with colonialism, and in college, wrote an article suggesting whites have used the AIDS virus to control the black population, insists using the term “legal vote” is racist.
“The misinformation of widespread voter fraud — or ‘illegal voting’ — in Detroit, Philadelphia, Atlanta, and Phoenix where Black and Brown voters predominate is baked into the term ‘legal vote.’ No matter what GOP propaganda says, there’s nothing wrong with those voters and votes,” Kendi wrote on twitter. “What makes a term racist is rarely the term’s literal meaning, and almost always the historical and political context in which the term is being used.”
In other words, Kendi wants to redefine the term according to his own personal politics.
The fact that a coalition of 39 House Republicans just sent a letter to Attorney General William Barr, asking the Department of Justice to investigate allegations of potential voter fraud, doesn’t seem to matter to him.
The letter read in part:
Dear Attorney General Barr,
While each state runs its own election process, the United States Department of Justice is ultimately responsible for the integrity of federal elections. The American people must have the utmost confidence that the outcome of the presidential election is legitimate.
With widespread reports of irregularities, particularly in the vote counting process, it is time for you to use the resources of the Department to ensure that the process is conducted in a manner that is fully consistent with state and federal law. And, it is also important that the process be completely transparent, so that the American people will have full confidence in the result.
The Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division Voting Section’s responsibility to ensure that the right to vote is sacred. This not only means access to the ballot box, but it also means ensuring that no one’s vote is devalued by any means of voter fraud.
This doesn’t seem to matter to Kendi. Neither does the fact in Nevada, there are over 3,600 possible cases of voter fraud— specifically, residents voting in Nevada who no longer live there.
To Kendi, calling for voter integrity and transparency is somehow racist, because Kendi’s race-obsessed worldview does not allow him to see past skin color to the actual substance of an issue.
In it, Church criticizes the flaws in Kendi’s reasoning, including his belief in Mono-Causality and the Origins of Racist Ideas:
Skeptics are racists, it would appear, because they disagree with Kendi—not because they have legitimate concerns about whether Kendi is correct that causality only goes one way, or that policies are not the sole cause of inequality, or that counterexamples may diminish the force of his claims,” Church writes. “Logic, facts, and scholarship have little to do with it.”
Still, from Ibram Kendi’s perspective, racial disparities are the sole result of racism. Period. Students of color are disproportionately suspended because of racist educational policies, not because their experiences or backgrounds differ in any way from those of their white counterparts. According to Kendi, all students arrive at school at the exact same place.
(I wonder what Kendi would say if we used the same logic for the 2020 election: the late breaking disparity of votes for Biden IS the evidence of the fraud itself. Period. No other scenario is needed.)
Kendi’s attempts to label any inquiry into voter fraud as “racist” is just a tactic to silence advocates of voter integrity, and to marginalize those who disagree with him. According to Kendi, you are either racist, or antiracist, there is no neutrality.
To this I say to Kendi: You are either for voter fraud, or against it. There is no in-between. And as evidenced by your attempt to racialize the term “legal vote,” it seems clear you fully embrace the latter.
Donald Trump has effectively gotten Critical Race Theory out of government training, and given a second term, will fight to remove this toxic and polarizing ideology from our children’s schools. Thanks for watching.