To say American views on racism have evolved radically is an understatement.
Today, racism is treated with the same embrace as dog droppings: gross, best handled with gloves, and disposed of immediately. That’s a good thing.
But Virginia isn’t going far enough, according to the Department of Education (VDOE). That’s why they’re pushing “anti-racist” teaching on our education system. The “anti-racist” push is the genesis of a great deal of what parents unhappy with Critical Race Theory are opposing.
Wait, isn’t anti-racism good? As it turns out, it all depends on what you mean by “anti-racist,” and the Virginia Department of Education has a very specific definition of what it means to be anti-racist.
For VDOE, anti-racism doesn’t mean opposing those who would judge others based on the color of their skin rather than the content of their character, at least according to the materials on their website.
No, being an anti-racist means developing a constant and perpetual awareness of race. It means recognizing that the “U.S. was founded on white supremacy,” and our society today is based on the very concept of white supremacy. Indeed, everything we see and do in our lives is covered by a “smog of white supremacy.”
One can be forgiven if this information is surprising. In past decades white supremacy has been ostracized for the bigoted, small minded, trash thinking that it is. So how did the Department of Education come to the conclusion that white supremacy rules all that we see, say, and do, particularly in education?
It starts by changing definitions. From the Department’s “Anti-Racism in Education” page (emphasis added):
White Supremacy: the idea (ideology) that white people and the ideas, thoughts, beliefs, and actions of white people are superior to people of color and their ideas, thoughts, beliefs, and actions. While most people associate white supremacy with extremist groups, white supremacy is ever present in our institutional and cultural assumptions that assign value, morality, goodness, and humanity to the white group while casting people and communities of color as worthless (worth less), immoral, bad, and inhuman and “undeserving.” Drawing from critical race theory, the term “white supremacy” also refers to a political or socioeconomic system where white people enjoy structural advantage and rights that other racial and ethnic groups do not, both at a collective and an individual level.
Did you catch that? White supremacy isn’t just idiots running around in sheets like Ralph Northam anymore. It’s “a political or socio-economic system where white people enjoy structural advantage.”What does that mean? According to the Department of Education, if white students are doing better than students of other races, it’s the result of white supremacy.
Don’t even think about applying Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.,’s “dream” where we judge people based on character and not on color. That’s racist now, according to the Department. Emphasis added:
Color-blind Racism: a post-civil rights approach that essentially denies the subtle forms of discrimination that have replaced the blatant or explicit racism of the past. The color-blind approach ignores the evidence that skin color plays a powerful role in shaping an individual’s life experiences, and denies the measurable damages of a dynamic system of oppression against people of color based solely upon a false notion or assumption of superiority by the dominant racial group.
According to the Department, staff and students must be taught to see race and racism everywhere. There is no such thing as non-racist. There is only racist and anti-racist.“As long as students and staff are insulated from the realities of racism, they will have little reason to change their behaviors or attitudes. Anti-racism requires acknowledging that racist beliefs and structures are pervasive in education and then actively doing work to tear down those beliefs and structures.”
But don’t get comfortable with any single definition of racism. What is not racist today could be racist tomorrow. From the website:
Racism is dynamic and ever-changing. Racism has been ingrained into society through the incorporation of racialized practices into all the social and economic structures of the United States. The work to dismantle systemic racism—and create school environments grounded in the principles of anti-racism—must adapt to the dynamism of racism through ongoing and active work. In other words, school leaders should not expect to eradicate racism in a few weeks, but rather to continuously evaluate current and future practices with anti-racism as the goal