An Arizona superintendent once honored as a “champion of change” by the Obama White House stated in a recently-unearthed media interview that the “problematic” white race should feel “really, really uncomfortable.”
Fox News Digital (FND) obtained a forgotten interview with Scott Menzel, the superintendent of Scottsdale Unified School District — a woke district that recently made headlines for keeping its “transgender support plan” from parents.
On Friday, @DCESSUSD students celebrated Chinese New Year. Students performed songs in Mandarin and participated in activities, such as lantern-making and Chinese character drawing.#SchoolChoiceWeek #WeAreSUSD #DualLanguage #DLI #ChineseNewYear #Mandarin #Spanish pic.twitter.com/k1RoiwPamR
— Scottsdale Unified School District (@ScottsdaleUSD) January 24, 2023
Prior to Scottsdale, Menzel, a white man, was the superintendent in a Michigan district. In an interview given while in Michigan, he opined on “equity, inclusion, and social justice” and said the white race is “problematic.”
“There’s a misperception that educational equity is really only for ethnically and racially diverse districts,” he said, according to FND. “But White people have racial identity as well, and in fact problematic racial identity that we typically avoid.”
Menzel said the system needed to be “dismantle[d].”
“Privilege,” he claimed, needed to be called out so that a system of racial equity could be created.
Being white and privileged meant Menzel bore a heavier “burden.”
“Because I had that advantage in this country, I have an additional burden and obligation to dismantle,” he said.
Menzel endorsed the blatantly racist book by Robin DiAngelo, “White Fragility,” claiming DiAngelo tells it like it is.
UConn agrees to pay ‘White Fragility’ author staggering amount for 3.5 hour anti-racism lecture https://t.co/woUNBgNSfT
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) August 15, 2020
“So thinking about how hard can we push on the system without a collapse that disrupts the progress of the entire work and sets us back 20 years, that’s a question we don’t talk about often enough in my mind,” he said. “But also calling out the question of privilege. White people, Robin DiAngelo’s book ‘White Fragility’ calls it straight up.”
“White people… shouldn’t feel comfortable, we should feel really, really uncomfortable,” he stated, “because we perpetuate a system by ignoring the realities in front of us, and living in a mythological reality.”
He then blasted the concept of “meritocracy” — that people should succeed on their own merit.
“In this country, it’s about meritocracy. ‘Pull up yourself by your bootstraps, everybody has the same opportunity.’ And it’s a lie,” he said.
When asked by Fox News Digital if he still held these beliefs, Menzel reportedly did not respond.
In the interview, the superintendent stressed the importance of “creating that sense of inclusion or belonging, not including you at the table in a symbolic sense or a token sense, but inclusion as a sense of belonging, that everyone brings value to the table, and that we see them for their own inherent human worth and dignity.”
While FND does not know if Menzel still holds these views, it is clear he took them with him to the Scottsdale Unified School District (SUSD).
In May 2020, Menzel was interviewed on a YouTube video as the “incoming SUSD superintendent.”
The following month, in June 2020, the Scottsdale Unified School District posted this on Twitter:
“SUSD is working together to promote equity, inclusion & fair treatment of ~all~ people. We launched a committee on 6/17 to identify goals, desired outcomes & next steps for this important work. More info will soon be available on the District’s website. Stay tuned!”
SUSD is working together to promote equity, inclusion & fair treatment of ~all~ people. We launched a committee on 6/17 to identify goals, desired outcomes & next steps for this important work. More info will soon be available on the District’s website. Stay tuned! pic.twitter.com/ISBfFMGugG
— Scottsdale Unified School District (@ScottsdaleUSD) June 23, 2020
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