A public school principal in New York City is asking parents to “reflect” on their “whiteness” and work toward becoming “white traitors’’ who “dismantle institutions” in an attempt to promote antiracism.
According to the New York Post, the East Side Community School in Manhattan promoted materials that feature, among other things, a ranking list titled “The 8 White Identities,” ranging from “White Supremacist’’ to “White Abolitionist.”
The curriculum, written by Northwestern University associate professor of African American studies Barnor Hesse, claims that “There is a regime of whiteness, and there are action-oriented white identities,” and that “People who identify with whiteness are one of these.’’
“It’s about time we build an ethnography of whiteness, since white people have been the ones writing about and governing Others,’’ Hesse adds.
The Post explains:
In between the two extreme “identities” of supremacist and abolitionist are such categories as “White Voyeurism’’ — defined as “wouldn’t challenge a white supremacist, desires non-whiteness because it’s interesting’’ — and “White Privilege,’’ or “sympathetic to a set of issues but only privately; won’t speak/act in solidarity publicly because benefitting through whiteness in public (some POC are in this category as well).”
The list was accompanied by a color-coordinated meter, spanning from the red zone on the left titled “White Supremacist’’ to the green zone on the right labeled “White Abolitionist.”
An official with the New York City Department of Education told The Post that some parents at the school shared the material with staff first, after which point the school’s principal, Mark Federman, forwarded it to every parent.
A DOE representative said in a statement, “Anti-racism and the celebration of diversity is at the core of our work on behalf of the young people of New York City, and the East Side Community School’s students, parents and staff partner together to advance equity in their community.
“The document in question was shared with the school by parents as a part of ongoing anti-racist work in the school community and is one of many resources the schools utilizes.”
Federman declined to comment through the Education Department.
The Post also notes that Federman was arrested at his school back in 2007 when he interfered with the arrest of a student accused of punching a school safety agent. Federman himself was arrested after an altercation with another agent.
Staff at the school are now being threatened over the materials, the DOE spokesperson added: “Our staff are now being targeted with vile racist, anti-Semitic and homophobic slurs and degrading language from people outside of their school and nothing justifies the abuse directed at our educators.”
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