My Interview with Marlo Safi from the Daily Caller

Great News!  Marlo Safi, the culture reporter for the Daily Caller, featured a story about my new book in an article headlined, ‘Exploring White Fragility’: Longtime School Teacher Explains How Critical Race Theory Is Hurting Multicultural Classrooms:

“It’s definitely not sensitivity and it’s definitely not diversity. There used to be sensitivity and diversity years ago, and this is not that.”

Christopher Paslay has spent 24 years working as a Philadelphia teacher, and has a background in multicultural education. He told the Daily Caller that celebrating diversity in the classroom used to include tolerance and understanding, but schools across the country are taking a different approach to educating about different cultures by hiring “anti-racism” trainers, who accuse others of being complicit in racism.

“I think it’s gotten to the point where people fear [being accused of not participating in racial justice efforts],” Paslay said. “People still don’t know what anti-racism is. They think it’s just social justice, but they don’t know the other components to it.”

Paslay is the author of “Exploring White Fragility: Debating The Effects Of Whiteness Studies On America’s Schools.”

The trainings have a variety of names. Conservatives refer to them that as “critical “race theory” sessions. Progressives have called the sessions “sensitivity” and “diversity” training. Paslay’s book explores research and presents alternative recommendations on approaching diversity and inclusion in the classroom to bringing in guest speakers to conduct “anti-racism” trainings. While school and workplace administrators may invite such experts with admirable intentions of remedying disparities, Paslay claimed such trainings carry the potential of being counterproductive in achieving social justice. 

His book is written from the perspective of a longtime educator with a background in multicultural education. Paslay has spent 24 years teaching high school English, where he crafts his lesson plans with a selection of texts and literature that represent the different cultures of his students in an effort to be inclusive, he told the Caller. . . .

Click here to check out the rest of the article. 

Click here to purchase “Exploring White Fragility: Debating The Effects Of Whiteness Studies On America’s Schools.”

Biden Mistakes Anti-Racism for ‘Sensitivity Training’

by Christopher Paslay

There’s nothing unifying about Critical Race Theory, Mr. President. 

“I’m rescinding the previous administration’s harmful ban on diversity and sensitivity training and abolishing the offensive, counterfactual 1776 commission,” President Biden stated at a recent press conference. “Unity and healing must begin with understanding and truth, not ignorance and lies.”

It’s painful to watch Joe Biden squint at the teleprompter and stumble though a bunch of lines he seems to know nothing about.  It’s unclear whether Joe has been duped by his handlers and staffers — those who tell him what to say and what sign — or whether Joe actually believes what he’s saying. The fact is, President Biden’s words to the American people about lifting a supposed ban on “diversity and sensitivity training” are so off-base it almost seems as though he comes from another planet. Either that, or he’s simply gaslighting the country with flat out propaganda.

Those familiar with Critical Race Theory — and its offshoot, anti-racism — know that it has little to do with “diversity and sensitivity,” and even less to do with unity. In fact, Critical Race Theory and anti-racism emerged because things like diversity and sensitivity training — and Martin Luther King’s Civil Rights Movement based in classic liberalism — were moving too slowly for militant activists who wanted a more aggressive and provocative approach to so-called racial equality. 

Believers in Critical Race Theory and anti-racism don’t want unity, and freely admit as much. The notion of unity, along with trying to identify universal qualities that bring us together, is a big no-no for anti-racist educators pushing Critical Race Theory. People like Robin DiAngelo, author of White Fragility, and Ibram X. Kendi, author of How to Be an Anti-Racist, insist universal human values don’t exist, literally. Whites are so privileged and steeped in systemic racism, and people of color are so oppressed and victimized, that these two groups can only experience the world relative to their own cultures, and a universal or unifying system of values and communication is impossible; to anti-racists, everything is relative to culture, and processed through the lens of race. 

Which is why anti-racists preach that whites could never understand the oppressive lives of people of color, and any attempts to do so are met with accusations of racism or claims of white acculturalization — which is a fancy way of saying that whites who believe traditional values transcend race are pushing white supremacy culture on people of color.

Robin DiAngelo flat out states, “Niceness is not anti-racist.” In fact, suggesting people should be nice to each other is a form of violence, she believes, because being nice isn’t going to stop systemic racism or oppression; being nice simply perpetuates white supremacy.  This is why KIPP charter school founder Richard Barth recently announced KIPP was retiring its national slogan, ‘Work hard. Be nice.’  According to Barth, the slogan “ignores the significant effort required to dismantle systemic racism, places value on being compliant and submissive, supports the illusion of meritocracy, and does not align with our vision of students being free to create the future they want.”

So much for the phony notion of unity, at least where Critical Race Theory and anti-racism are concerned. Anti-racism, stated another way, could be called “anti-unity.” Again, the unity model, based in “niceness” and understanding, does not attack so-called systemic racism and white supremacy culture head on, but serves to perpetuate it. What anti-racists who espouse Critical Race Theory want is agitation, provocation, and confrontation — and advocate for the kind of racial unrest we witnessed over the summer. In short, they want to shock white society out of its inherently racist, privileged bubble. 

Critical Race Theory aims to target, disrupt, and dismantle “whiteness.” It stereotypes entire groups of people into polarizing identity groups — oppressive whites on one side, oppressed people of color on the other.  Trainings based in Critical Race Theory, in public schools and government agencies, require participants to segregate themselves into affinity groups by race, deconstruct their racial identity, and admit their privilege and participation in a racist system.

Despite what President Biden says, none of this has anything to do with sensitivity training or unity.  The ban on Critical Race Theory was an attempt to stop the polarization of people by race, the racialization of government agencies and schools, and from using skin color to judge entire groups of people. It was an attempt at universal communication and values, an attempt at unity. 

In essence, President Biden is calling for unity by rescinding a ban aimed at bringing unity.  He’s rescinding a ban on judging people by the color of their skin, and not the content of their character. He’s rescinding a ban that aimed to forward the Civil Rights legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  His out-of-touch Executive Orders are what’s counterfactual, as is his bizarre notion of “sensitivity training.” 

Ironically, it was the 1776 Commission that aimed to counter the misinformation being purported in the New York Times “1619 Project,” misinformation called out by Princeton historian Sean Wilentz, who in November of 2019, began circulating a letter objecting to the project, and of author Nikole Hannah-Jones’s work in particular. 

Soon James McPherson, Gordon Wood, Victoria Bynum, and James Oakes — all leading scholars in their field, signed the letter which stated the 1619 Project fabricated facts and that the project reflected “a displacement of historical understanding by ideology.”

The New York Times refused to correct the misinformation about Americas’ founding, and author Hannah-Jones won a Pulitzer Prize.  But even Hannah-Jones admitted that the 1619 Project wasn’t necessarily about history, but about journalism. Loose translation: it was first a piece of social justice propaganda, which put activism over history, and politics over facts.

And yet President Biden inverts reality and flips facts on their head.  The 1776 Commission was created to correcthistory, not distort it. The ban on Critical Race Theory was made to bring America together, not drive it part. 

Unity and healing, Mr. President, indeed start with understanding and truth, not ignorance and lies. Perhaps, as the new leader of the free world, you’d like to get some perspective on both.

Exposing Corwin’s Toxic Teacher Resources

Corwin’s teacher resource titled “Responding to Insurrection, Domestic Terrorism, and Threats to Democracy” is an outrageous lesson in political indoctrination and Critical Race Theory, and has no place in any classroom in America that genuinely cares about democracy, freedom, or critical thinking.

Dear Corwin Management,

After reviewing your recent teacher resource titled, “Responding to Insurrection, Domestic Terrorism, and Threats to Democracy,” I was both disappointed and alarmed to find it filled with resources and material inappropriate for K-12 children. A closer look at the linked resources shows they are disturbingly political and agenda-driven, with a clear objective to teach children what to think, and not how to think. In short, these resources fail to allow students to critically analyze current events in an accurate and balanced context (they do not offer a classic pro/con format), but are presented from a one-sided lens that takes a complex situation and boils it down to a simplistic, over-generalized version of reality.

In particular, they push polarizing identity politics, based in Critical Race Theory, on children in K-12 schools. These resources do not treat students as individuals, but polarize them by race — stereotyping whites as privileged oppressors and people of color as oppressed victims. The curriculum resource titled “Let’s Talk Racial Healing: If Not Us, Then Who?, by Victoria Romero and Gary Howard, is anything but healing. It indoctrinates youth with the anti-American message that the United States is founded not on the ideals of democracy and freedom, but on racism and white supremacy. 

The resource begins by stating, “From the fifteenth century to the twenty-first, the genocide of Indigenous people and the enslavement of Black people, the voter suppression of the Jim Crow era to the most recent violent attempt to storm the Capitol and de-legitimize the votes of millions of Black, Brown, and Native people, a consistent through-line of our history has been white supremacy.” Is this what you want your children learning about in school?

Another resource, titled, “How to Teach Students About the Capitol Riots Using A Social Justice Framework” by Dr. Crystal Belle, begins by stating, “Drawing on the spirit of social justice and radical Black feminism, I welcome you into this written testimony of what it means to be a social justice educator after the Capitol riots that violently catapulted us into 2021.”  Since when are America’s K-12 classrooms a platform for radical black feminism?

Corwin’s so-called teaching resources also push the highly political and agenda-driven Black Lives Matter curriculum, which aims to indoctrinate children with BLM’s “13 Guiding Principles,” one of which is committed to “disrupting the Western-prescribed nuclear family structure.” This is quite puzzling, being that 50 years of educational and sociological research show that children who come from two-parent nuclear families do better on every academic and behavior measure than students who come from a non-nuclear family structure. 

Corwin’s resources also violate Federal anti-discrimination laws. The link titled “A Best-of-the-Best Collection of Resources for Social Justice- and Equity-Focused Educators” contains anti-racism lessons that force students to create “identity charts” which divide children and judge them based on race, religion, gender, and sexuality, and force kids to “unpack colorblind ideology,” literally teaching children that judging a person by the content of their character, and notthe color of their skin, is wrong. 

Perhaps the most alarming thing about Corwin’s curriculum resources is that they are designed to indoctrinate, not educate — teaching students what to think, and not how to think. Specifically, instead of encouraging free discussion and open debate on the topics of race and violent protest,  they persuade teachers to silence students who may disagree by discrediting any conversation that doesn’t follow Corwin’s identity-politics-based agenda. For example, a lesson titled “But What About Antifa?” guides teachers to discredit or marginalize any counterpoints from students aimed to create a balance of information regarding the violence and social unrest that has plagued America since last June and beyond. 

If students inquire about the murder, property destruction, and domestic terrorism being perpetrated by Antifa (which was officially designated as a domestic terror organization by the Department of Justice, by the way), or the more radical fringes of Black Lives Matter, teachers are encouraged to do a lesson on “whataboutism,” explaining to students that all violence, murder, and property damage is not created equal. For example, when Antifa and Black Lives Matter rioters stormed and occupied the East Police Precinct in Seattle — taking over the entire neighborhood of Capitol Hill and holding residents and businesses hostage — this violence is different. 

Four people were murdered within this so-called “autonomous zone,” including a 19-year old African American boy whose mother is now suing the City of Seattle, but this murder and violence doesn’t rise to the level of so-called “white Supremacy,” and because it’s been perpetrated by people with an agenda and political ideology favorable to Corwin, bringing up this violence is to be downplayed and labeled “whataboutism” by educators. 

In July of 2016, when Black Lives Matter sympathizer Micah Xavier Johnson shot and killed five Dallas police officers during a BLM protest — publicly stating he wanted to kill white people and white officers — this is “whataboutism.” When Antifa and the radical fringes of BLM destroyed Federal courthouses, attacked the National Guard, and shot Las Vegas police officer Shay Mikalonis in the head last summer during a George Floyd protest — paralyzing him from the neck down and forcing him to live on a ventilator for the rest of his life — this is “whataboutism.”

When Antifa and the radical elements of Black Lives Matter destroyed tens of millions of dollars in property, including many small businesses that will never recover; when they looted neighborhoods and burned cars and buildings; when they terrorized citizens and business owners who did not openly wave BLM flags; when they ripped America in half for six straight months; bringing up these events is “whataboutism.”

According to Corwin’s educational resources, titled, “Responding to Insurrection, Domestic Terrorism, and Threats to Democracy,” violence is only to be talked about and processed if it fits your political agenda. If it stereotypes white America, especially those with conservative values who do not believe in indoctrinating our children in identity politics, as “white supremacists” and “domestic terrorists,” then, well, you can call it out as “real” violence.  

That’s how identity politics and Critical Race Theory work. Divide good people up by race, religion, gender, and sexuality, and then polarize them against each other. And the ones who share you political agenda, well, gloss over all of their egregious behavior and pretend it doesn’t matter. And for those who demand equal treatment and colorblindness, well, brand them all as white supremacists, and discredit their worldview as evidence of domestic terrorism. 

Corwin’s teacher resource titled “Responding to Insurrection, Domestic Terrorism, and Threats to Democracy” is an outrageous lesson in political indoctrination, and has no place in any classroom in America that genuinely cares about democracy, freedom, or critical thinking. 

Sincerely,

Christopher Paslay

Philadelphia Public Schoolteacher, Counselor, and Coach

The Coalition to Stop Critical Race Theory

According to Christopher Rufo’s latest newsletter: 

Critical race theory is a grave threat to the American way of life. It divides Americans by race and traffics in the pernicious concepts of race essentialism, racial stereotyping, and race-based segregation—all under a false pursuit of “social justice.” Critical race theory training programs have become commonplace in academia, government, and corporate life, where they have sought to advance the ideology through cult-like indoctrination, intimidation, and harassment. It is time to fight back. . . .

Our ambition is to take one of these cases to the United States Supreme Court and establish that critical race theory-based programs—which perpetuate racial stereotypes, compel discriminatory speech, and create hostile working environments—violate the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the United States Constitution. When we are victorious in the courts, it will have an immediate ripple effect through every school, government agency, and private employer in the nation. We will effectively abolish critical race theory programs from American life.
 
Discovery Institute’s Center on Wealth & Poverty is leading the Stop Critical Race Theory coalition, in partnership with the Southeastern Legal FoundationUpper Midwest Law Center, Jonathan O’Brien with Schoolhouserights.orgThe Pivtorak Law FirmWally Zimolong of Zimolong, LLC, and Eric Early and Peter Scott of Early, Sullivan, Wright, Gizer, & McCrae.
 
The conservative legal movement and a network of private attorneys are gearing up for war against critical race theory. We will fight and we will win.

Amen. Please watch the above video for an analysis and breakdown of the fight to end CRT in schools and elsewhere. Thanks for watching. 

Anti-Racism Is Killing MLK’s Dream

The above video discusses PragerU’s newest 5 Minute Video titled “There Is No Apolitical Classroom,” narrated by Manhattan Institute Senior Fellow Max Eden.

To preserve the traditional philosophies of MLK, please consider purchasing my new book, Exploring White Fragility: Debating the Effects of Whiteness Studies on America’s Schools. Thanks for watching.

Replacing Anti-Racism with Mutual Accountability

In an article on Patheos.com, Baylor University sociology professor George Yancey wrote a very powerful critique of white fragility and anti-racism titled, “Not White Fragility, Mutual Responsibility,” where he proposed having a true dialogue on race relations, not merely a monologue disguised as a conversation. Named the Mutual Accountability Approach, Yancey suggested using sociological research (Intergroup Contact Theory based in active listening) to unify rather than divide, making solutions win-win rather than win-lose. 

Please watch the above video for a discussion and analysis of Yancey’s Mutual Accountability Approach. Also, please consider purchasing my new book, Exploring White Fragility: Debating the Effects of Whiteness Studies on America’s Schools, due out in April. The book uses existing research, as well as anecdotal observations from my own teaching, to analyze white fragility theory and anti-racism, and offers recommendations and alternative solutions for improving skill building and communication. Thanks for watching. 

Woke Elementary: Forcing 3rd Graders to Deconstruct Their Racial Identity

Christopher Rufo’s most recent article, “Woke Elementary,” exposes how an elementary school in Cupertino, California, recently forced a class of third-graders to deconstruct their racial identities, and rank themselves according to their “power and privilege.” 

According to the article: 

An elementary school in Cupertino, California—a Silicon Valley community with a median home price of $2.3 million—recently forced a class of third-graders to deconstruct their racial identities, then rank themselves according to their “power and privilege.” 

Based on whistleblower documents and parents familiar with the session, a third-grade teacher at R.I. Meyerholz Elementary School began the lesson on “social identities” during a math class. The teacher asked all students to create an “identity map,” listing their race, class, gender, religion, family structure, and other characteristics. The teacher explained that the students live in a “dominant culture” of “white, middle class, cisgender, educated, able-bodied, Christian, English speaker[s],” who, according to the lesson, “created and maintained” this culture in order “to hold power and stay in power.”

Please watch the video above for an analysis of the article. 

Teaching About the Events at the Capitol

by Christopher Paslay

A Chicago activist group called “Mikva Challenge” has put together a slide show about the Capitol tragedy that misleads students and serves to further divide America. (Please click on the above picture to watch the companion video which analyzes the slide show.)

The events that took place at the Capitol on January 6th were reprehensible and tragic, and schools should offer teachers resources to help their students process these events. However, they should be doing this in a way that is productive and healing, and that provides students with balanced information so that they can think critically about the events that are having a real impact on their lives. 

Unfortunately, both in the media and in America’s public schools, there are a number of teacher resources that fail to allow students to critically analyze current events in an accurate and balanced context (they do not offer a classic pro/con format), but are presented from a one-sided lens that takes a complex situation and boils it down to a simplistic, over-generalized version of reality.

In particular, a teacher resource called “Response to January 6th DC Insurrection,” a slide-show put together by a political activist group based in Chicago called “Mikva Challenge,” is an example. This so-called “teacher resource” gives students strategically selected pictures and clips of events that do not accurately represent the larger whole of society, that do not give kids enough background information on complex issues, and seem to be designed to teach students WHAT to think, and not HOW to think.

The most concerning thing is that this particular activity is not teaching students that we, as Americans, must learn to understand each other, or that there are many sides to an issue.  It doesn’t present any universal themes that can bring us together, or reveal how at some level we are all the same. The teacher resource called “Response to January 6th DC Insurrection” literally polarizes people into camps: Trump supporters/whites on one side, BLM/people of color on the other.

It stereotypes all Trump supporters as violent racists, and all BLM activists as saintly freedom fighters.  Of course, the reality is that the events of the past seven months have been much more complex than this. There are 74 million Trump supporters, the majority of whom are caring people with real concerns about real issues. Yes, a small faction got violent on January 6th, which is inexcusable.

But those who have been following the news understand that there is a faction of BLM/ATIFA (about 7%) who have been violent and riotous over the past seven months, who have shot and killed police, burned-down police stations and federal court-houses, destroyed business, etc.  Much has been made about not stereotyping these mostly peaceful protesters as violent, but the violence was still real and just as inexcusable. Unfortunately, our news media is so polarized, that those who do not read a wide breadth of news from a wide variety of sources, will perceive events within a limited frame of reference. 

A more appropriate slide presentation, which asks students to process the events of January 6th, would be to show the background issues and concerns of Trump supporters and BLM protesters side-by-side. Show a slide that breaks down the issues of Trump protesters (energy independence, right to life, ending the lockdown, censorship by Big Tech, perceived voter irregularities, lack of cultural representation by the ruling class, etc.), and those of BLM protesters (racism, police brutality, healthcare, equity and inclusion). Educators could show how, although many Americans see the world through different lenses, we all basically want the same things: love, companionship, equal access to resources, and a relatively good quality of life.     

Next teachers could show a side-by-side slide of the inappropriate behavior perpetrated by the fringe Trump faction in the Capitol (the horrible violence and attack on police), and compare it to the inappropriate behavior of the fringe BLM/ANTIFA faction in the summer and fall (the destruction of businesses and people’s livelihoods, the murder of police and civilians, the destruction of Federal courthouses). In short, teachers could show how ALL violence is wrong (whether it takes place in the sacredness of Washington DC, or within a person’s neighborhood or private business in Portland or Seattle), and is NEVER acceptable. 

Again, this is not to condone what happened in the Capitol last week, or to discount or cheapen the struggle for racial justice by BLM. However, educators must refrain from oversimplifying events, smearing and stereotyping entire groups of people, and from giving students only fragments of the whole of reality in order to shape their perspectives on issues; teachers should teach children HOW to think, not WHAT to think. 

The teacher resource called “Response to January 6th DC Insurrection” does none of this, and is quite shocking in its use of selective information and gross lack of context. 

Exploring White Fragility: Debating the Effects of Whiteness Studies on America’s Schools

Click here to pre-order Chris’s new book, Exploring White Fragility: Debating the Effects of Whiteness Studies on America’s Schools, due to be released on April 11, by Rowman & Littlefield. (Click on the picture above to watch a detailed description of the book.)

“Paslay’s thorough review of attitudes and actions associated with whiteness studies and racism give voice to all sides of diversity and pluralism so that we, as a nation, can continue the ongoing conversation about how to treat each other with the respect ALL humans deserve.” –Dr. Eugenia Krimmel, education professor and ESL/Bilingual education advisor at the Pennsylvania Department of Education

“This is a brave book. Paslay reveals and cuts through the endless layers of antiracist gospel which, in the name of enlightenment, leave one cohort of brown kids after another uneducated. Aspiring teachers seeking clear eyes and genuine progressivism should start by inhaling this book.” –John H. McWhorter, associate professor of linguistics and comparative literature at Columbia University

“This well-researched, well-argued, and thoughtful book provides a clear and comprehensive account of how the theory of white fragility is dividing rather than uniting American society and America classrooms. A must-read.” –Jonathan Church, author of Reinventing Racism: Why ‘White Fragility’ Is the Wrong Way to Think About Racial Inequality

“Paslay provides a thorough exposition and measured critique of the new ideology that has colonized the minds of America’s school administrators and threatens to wreak havoc on our students—especially students of color. It’s a must-read for any parent or teacher who is concerned about the soul of the next generation.” –Max Eden, education policy expert and senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute

The Anti-Science Behind Anti-Racism

Click the picture above to watch the companion video.

by Christopher Paslay

Tragically, today’s leading anti-racist educators are anti-science, and forward theories filled with logical fallacies that don’t stand up to rigorous inquiry.

Modern anti-racism, which is based in Critical Race Theory and focusses on systems instead of people, has become the new way to think about race in America. Although the term “anti-racism” sounds admirable and courageous — and brings to mind equality and justice — its core tenets are far from productive, healing, or unifying. Anti-racism actually turns Martin Luther King Jr.’s “dream” on its head, because it uses race and skin color to stereotype and judge entire groups of people, and operates under the premise that in order for one race or culture to succeed, we must disrupt or dismantle another.

Unlike classic multiculturalism — or Baylor University sociology professor George Yancey’s “Mutual Accountability Approach,” which uses Intergroup Contact Theory based in active listening to unify rather than divide — anti-racism is zero-sum and teaches that all whites are inherently racist and privileged and suffer from internalized superiority; that all people of color are victims who suffer from internalized oppression; and that failure to support anti-racism is to support and perpetuate racism and white supremacy.

The most concerning thing about anti-racism is that it is anti-science. Not only do the leading scholars promoting anti-racism fail to adequately test their theories using measurable, quantitative analysis, but today’s leading anti-racist educators have outright rejected the scientific method as biased, because they argue objective science is the product of Western, white European culture.

A pamphlet called “Aspects and Assumptions of Whiteness and White Culture in the United States,” published by the National Museum of African American History and Culture, shows this to be true. 

Robin DiAngelo, whose book White Fragility has sold over two million copies, has minimalized the use of quantitative analysis. In an article by writer and economist Jonathan Church, titled “The Orwellian Dystopia of Robin DiAngelo’s PhD Dissertation,” Church exposes DiAngelo’s lack of scientific rigor:  

For her dissertation, DiAngelo conducted four two-hour sessions on inter-racial dialogue with only thirteen participants—a very small sample from which to derive wide-ranging interpretations about things like whiteness and racism. But that is par for the course in fields like Whiteness Studies and Critical Race Theory. As one paper argues, “many critical race scholars are fundamentally skeptical of (if not simply opposed to) quantitative data and techniques to begin with.” 

In DiAngelo’s seminal paper, “White Fragility,” she states “Whiteness Studies begin with the premise that racism and white privilege exist in both traditional and modern forms, and rather than work to prove its existence, work to reveal it.” 

DiAngelo starts her work with a conclusion (that racism and white privilege exist everywhere), not a hypothesis (do racism and white privilege exist everywhere?), and rather than running tests to prove this false, she only performs scant qualitative studies, based on anecdotal observations, to prove it true.  In other words, she sets up her theories so that they can only be confirmed, not falsified — which is a major flaw and does not meet what is known as the principle of falsification

DiAngelo turns the classic six-step scientific method on its head. She skips the “research question,” the “hypothesis,” and the “experiment,” and goes right to the so-called “results and conclusions.” And what are her conclusions? That racism and white privilege exist everywhere.  Has she run tests or done any rigorous quantitative studies to prove this? Of course not. Why? Because she considers objective science biased, and the tools of a white supremacist culture. 

Anti-racism is anti-science, and is filled with logical fallacies that don’t stand up to rigorous inquiry; one common fallacy of anti-racism is that correlation equals causation. Which is why DiAngelo refuses to engage in any kind of scholarly debate. She’s more of a political activist or cult leader than she is a serious social scientist. In July of 2020, when her book White Fragility blew up after the George Floyd protests, she was invited to debate John McWhorter on MSNBC’s Moring Joe. But of course, DiAngelo didn’t show. She stayed behind, sending Georgetown Professor Michael Eric Dyson to do her dirty work. 

Ibram X. Kendi, author of How to be an Anti-Racist, is also anti-science, which forces him to play the same game as DiAngelo. Kendi refuses any kind of public debate — turning down invitations from Coleman Hughes and John McWhorter — instead preferring to play the role of activist minister, lecturing his faithful anti-racist congregation, shielding himself from any real academic debate over his ideas. 

Why? Because as John McWhorter has pointed out, Kendi’s ideas are overly simplistic and lack the backing of scientific research and rigorous quantitative analysis.     

Take his idea about the racial achievement gap in America, for example. The very idea itself is racist, he argues, insisting the supposed gap is simply the result of poorly designed, culturally biased standardized tests. As Jonathan Chait writes in The Intelligencer: 

It does not matter to [Kendi] how many different kinds of measures of academic performance show [the achievement gap] to be true. Nor does he seem receptive to the possibility that the achievement gap reflects environmental factors (mainly worse schools, but also access to nutrition, health care, outside learning, and so on) rather than any innate differences.

To Kendi, all racial disparities are the result of only one thing: racism. Hence, the racial achievement gap in America isn’t really a gap at all, but merely the result of racist thinking.

But science shows this isn’t the case.  The Princeton study, called “Parsing the Achievement Gap II,” by noted researchers Paul Barton and Richard Coley, use three decades of educational and social science research to show that the skills gap is indeed real, and that a multitude of factors — in addition to systemic racism — play a part in the gap.  Things like rigor of curriculum, teacher preparation, teacher experience and turnover, class size, technology in the classroom, fear and safety at school, parent participation, frequent school changing, low birth weight, environmental damage, hunger and nutrition, talking and reading to children, and television watching, have an effect on academic achievement.  

But to Kendi, who espouses the anti-science behind anti-racism, the skills gap is a myth, based in racism and white supremacy. Because to Kendi, any suggestion that any of these factors has an impact on success in school is a racist idea. 

To Kendi, you are either racist or anti-racist, period. Like DiAngelo, Kendi starts with his conclusion — that every racial disparity is the evidence of racism — and instead of running tests to prove this false, he only performs research to prove it true.  In other words, he sets up his theories so that they can only be confirmed, not falsified — which is a major flaw and does not meet what is known as the principle of falsification. 

Kendi also turns the classic six-step scientific method on its head. He skips the “research question,” the “hypothesis,” and the “experiment,” and goes right to the so-called “results and conclusions.” And what are the conclusions? That racism and white privilege exist everywhere, and are the sole factor at the heart of the skills gap. Has he run tests or done any rigorous quantitative studies to prove this, as Barton and Coley did with their groundbreaking paper, “Parsing the Achievement Gap II? Of course not. Why? Because he considers objective science racist, and the tools of a white supremacist culture. 

Anti-racism is anti-science, and is filled with logical fallacies that don’t stand up to rigorous inquiry. Until we admit as much, this trendy yet divisive movement will further polarize and divide, placing politics over science, and indoctrination over education. 

Classic multiculturalism — or Baylor University sociology professor George Yancey’s “Mutual Accountability Approach,” which uses Intergroup Contact Theory based in active listening to unify rather than divide — is a better option for bringing about positive, holistic change.