The New York Post reports that at least four top executives of the city’s Department of Education (DOE) have been demoted or stripped of responsibilities amidst “an environment which is hostile to whites.” The four women, who are white, veteran administrators, are filing suit against the city, claiming they were pushed aside for less qualified people of color.
Whiteness has become toxic under Richard Carranza, the schools chancellor, according to the Post article.
“These decisions are being made because DOE leadership believes that skin color plays a role in how to get equity — that white people can’t convey the message. There’s a toxic whiteness concept going on,” said a source who is in the know about the complaints.
Sources say that under Carranza’s leadership, whites are often being told they must “give up power or lose responsibilities, no matter how well they have performed.”
More than 12 high-ranking superintendents and deputies who had served under the previous chancellor, Carmen Fariña, have been demoted … some with significant pay cuts … or have been pressured into retirement, sources say. Still, others have reduced duties and work under new bosses.
“Since Carranza took office, he’s brought in a lot of new people. As a result, it’s been bureaucratic chaos and backbiting, with deputies and their subordinates seeking better perches in the pecking order,” said David Bloomfield, a Brooklyn College and CUNY Grad Center education professor. “Racial tensions appear to be one manifestation of these internal battles.”
The schools’ organization has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to bring in consultants to coach supervisors on “how to disrupt the power structure and dismantle institutional racism,” according to a supervisor who has received the training.
A white executive who went through the training said: “There’s been a lot of discussion of white supremacy and how it manifests in the workplace, conversations about race, and looking at how the white culture behaves. White supremacy is characterized by perfectionism, a belief in meritocracy, and the Protestant work ethic.”
The executive added that whites who object when accused of deep-rooted bias are called “fragile” and “defensive.”
“Can you imagine if we scrutinized blackness or brownness? We’re being trained in anti-bias not to stereotype blacks, but they’re fostering a stereotyping of whites.”
Insiders say that others beyond the four initial administrators may yet sign on to the pending lawsuit. Equal Employment Opportunity complaints are also likely to be filed.
In the protocol brought into the school system by consultant Pacific Educational Group Inc., “Whiteness” is defined as: “The component of each and every one of ourselves that expects assimilation to the dominant culture.”
“It is not talking about these issues that create divisiveness. The divisiveness already exists in society and in our schools. It is through dialogue, even when uncomfortable, the healing and change begin,” the consultants’ program teaches.
“The intent is to create a shared understanding,” an exec who has gone through the training said. “They believe this is positive and helpful. But it’s resulted in a hostile environment where whites are subject to being criticized, belittled and harassed. It’s divisive, and has fostered disharmony.”
According to the Post, the city’s Department of Education denies complaints that it has discriminated against whites. “We hire the right people to get the job done for kids and families, and any claim of ‘reverse racism’ has no basis in fact. We’ll continue to foster a supportive environment for all our employees,” said spokesman Will Mantell.