Seattle Public Schools recently held a racially-charged training session for teachers, claiming that American schools are guilty of “spirit murder” againstblack students, that the United States is a “race-based white-supremist society,” and that white teachers must “bankrupt [their] privilege in acknowledgement of [their] thieved inheritance.”
According to exclusive whistleblower documents I’ve obtained from the session, the trainers begin by claiming that the teachers are colonizers of “the ancestral lands and traditional territories of the Puget Sound Coast Salish People.” Then, next to an image of the Black Power fist, they claim that “the United States was built off the stolen labor of kidnapped and enslaved Black people’s work, which created the profits that created our nation.”
In the presentation materials, the organizers of the session identify themselves by both gender pronouns and race labels. For example, one speaker is identified as “He/Him, White,” while another is identified as “She/her pronouns, Black (half Black and half White).” It has become commonplace in academia to use gender pronoun identifiers, but this is perhaps the first example of an institution creating the expectation for explicit race-labeling in the workplace.
The central message of the training session is that white teachers must recognize that they “are assigned considerable power and privilege in our society” because of their “possession of white skin.” Consequently, to atone for their collective guilt, white teachers must be willing to “bankrupt [their] privilege in acknowledgement of [their] thieved inheritance.” They must self-consciously reject their “whiteness” and become dedicated “anti-racist educator[s].”
During the session, the trainers acknowledge that this language might be met with resistance from white teachers. They explain that any negative emotional reaction to being denounced for “whiteness” is an automatic response from the white teachers’ “lizard-brain,” which is “afraid that [they] will have to talk about sensitive issues such as race, racism, classism, sexism, or any kind of ‘ism.’” The trainers insist that the teachers “must commit to the journey,” whatever their emotional or intellectual hesitations.
In the most disturbing portion of the training, the teachers held a discussion about “spirit murder,” which, according to Dr. Bettina Love, is the conceptthat Americans schools “murder the souls of Black children every day through systemic, institutionalized, anti-Black, state-sanctioned violence.” In the words of Dr. Love, who originated the concept, the education system is “built on White supremacy” and “invested in murdering the souls of Black children,” even in the most ostensibly progressive institutions.
What is the goal of these inflammatory “racial equity” programs? In a word, to transform Seattle schools into activist organizations. At the conclusion of the training, teachers must explain how they will practice “anti-racist pedagogy,” address the “current social justice movements taking place,” and become “anti-racist outside the classroom.” They are told to divide the world into “enemies, allies, and accomplices,” and work towards the “abolition” of whiteness. They must, in other words, abandon the illusion of neutral teaching standards and get in the trenches of race-based activism.
Unfortunately, this kind of training is not an aberration—it is a reflection of deep ideological currents within Seattle Public Schools. In recent years, the district has rapidly expanded its Department of Racial Equity Advancement and deployed “racial equity teams” in dozens of neighborhood schools. The stated goal is to “advance educational racial equity,” but in practice, these programs often serve to introduce, perpetuate, and enforce a specific ideological agenda.
This is a tragedy for students. Seattle public schools have been closed to on-campus learning since the early days of the COVID outbreak. In September, the school district reported that fewer than half of all students attended any of the school’s remote learning, with even worse attendance rates for minorities. Rather than address this crisis, which has doubtlessly expanded racial disparities, the district prioritized “white privilege” training for teachers.
Unless there is a change of course, this new orthodoxy—gradually replacing academics with activism—will create an educational disaster. School districtswill aggregate students on the basis of identity and subordinate traditional learning to the latest fads from academia. When those inevitably fail, desperate teachers and administrators will be increasingly tempted to drop the old “three R’s” in favor of the new “three R’s”: racism, racism, and racism.
As Seattle’s public-school administrators consume themselves with racial ideology, the city’s public-school students will pay the price. Teachers can ostentatiously “bankrupt their privilege” in front of their colleagues, but it will do nothing for third-graders who are struggling to read or high school seniors who are preparing to graduate. In fact, it will deprive them of the tangible skills they need to navigate the world.
Seattle schools like to claim they are “teaching tolerance,” but in truth, they are teaching hate.
Originally Published at New York Post.