The new administration of the New York City Department of Education (DOE) continues to make outrageous headlines. This weekend the New York Post reported that a DOE-sponsored panel told parents that Asian American students “benefit from white supremacy … in proximity to white privilege.”
The Post’s source was a parent who was up in arms following a meeting she attended with other parents that was hosted by the Center for Racial Justice in Education (CRJE). The group is being paid $400,000 by the DOE led by Chancellor Richard Carranza, to conduct weekly training sessions throughout the city to ostensibly combat racism in the schools.
Two CRJE trainers at the February meeting met with approximately 30 parents from the Upper West Side and Harlem in Manhattan. According to parent Ingrid Flinn, they presented attendees with a “racial-advantage” hierarchy with African Americans at the bottom and whites at the top.
Flinn is the mother of an adopted Asian child, so she asked about the status of Asians in the ranking. She said that the presenters replied Asians were on the upper rungs, enough in “proximity to white privilege” to “benefit from white supremacy.”
The offended mom’s interpretation was that Asians did not need to be separately noted in the hierarchy. “It was like Asians were just invisible,” she said. “[But] they have their own problems, their own issues they have to deal with.”
Vanessa Leung, member of the Coalition for Asian American Children and Families and of City Hall’s School Diversity Advisory Group, criticized the panel’s perception of Asians, according to the Post. “When folks lump us with whites, we are being erased,” she said. “Our challenges and the struggles that our community has faced and is facing becomes invisible.”
“This is racist and divisive,” stated Wai Wah Chin of the Chinese American Citizens Alliance of Greater New York.
The CRJE is making no apologies, instead reiterating that their training reflects social realities.
“In our trainings, we define racism as a system that is based on a false racial hierarchy of categorizing people. This classification system provides or denies access, safety, resources and power, based on racial categories,” a statement read that the group provided The Post. “Our goal is that participants will reflect on their own racial identity and the diverse ways the system of racism has impacted their lives.”
The DOE, for its part waffled a bit, saying that the session was voluntary and not part of its larger anti-bias “re-education” sessions, which are mandatory. Yep … re-education and replacement thinking are terms being used by the DOE to describe the mandatory sessions.
“Anti-bias training is about creating high expectations and improving outcomes for all of our students,” said department spokesman Will Mantell.
As previously reported, a Manhattan middle school teacher said the DOE-sponsored training “is a catalyst for hate and division. I have colleagues who won’t participate during ‘Courageous Conversations’ (the title for implicit-bias workshops) because they don’t feel safe.”
She said that training phrases like “replacement thinking” and the disdain for “whiteness” is disturbing.
“My (Jewish) ancestors were enslaved and murdered because of their religion. I am now being forced to become ‘liberated’ from my whiteness. I am being persecuted because of the circumstances of my birth. I was not aware that I needed to be liberated from how God created me,” said the teacher.
At least one discrimination lawsuit is in process against the Carranza administration and its so-called racial equality programs.
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