School districts in Oregon have published a letter with resources entitled, Opportunities for White People in the Fight for Racial Justice. Methods they mention in their easy to follow chart include opposing President Trump, and to vote for and raise money for Democrats and progressive candidates of color. The endorsement of one political party and the opposition to the reelection of any candidate appear to violate state law regarding official communications from a governmental agency and public employees. The chair of one of the districts, the Sherwood School District, is Patrick Allen, whose day job is Director of the Oregon Health Authority.
The Oregon advocacy group Parents Rights in Education also claimed in an email that the Beaverton School District published the same document. As of this writing, no confirmation could be found on the district website.
The chart, which goes on for eleven pages, includes suggestions on how white people can destroy their own racism via electoral politics:
Vote for Democrats. Exception could be voting for candidates of color in elections where a White person and a person of Color are running for the same position from the same political party.
Donate to campaigns of progressive people of Color running for political offices. Donate to campaigns of local progressive politicians in other cities/States who are trying to unseat incumbent Republicans/conservatives.
“Actively fundraise for and campaign on behalf of progressive/radical politicians (especially non-White people), including those running in local elections (school boards, transportation agencies, housing authorities, city councils).
In another section, “Your Job,” the chart suggests using your professional position to provide advantages to people of color in the hiring process:
Use your job position to help Black, Brown, and Indigenous People. Ex: purposefully seek out Black and Brown people to interview for jobs, and use Black caterers, or Indigenous speakers.
Communicating these messages via official communications channels for public boards appears to violate Oregon law. Oregon Revised Statute 260.432 states:
(2) No public employee shall solicit any money, influence, service or other thing of value or otherwise promote or oppose any political committee or promote or oppose the nomination or election of a candidate, the gathering of signatures on an initiative, referendum or recall petition, the adoption of a measure or the recall of a public office holder while on the job during working hours. However, this section does not restrict the right of a public employee to express personal political views.
The entire document is filled with encouragements for white people to join radical progressive campaigns and initiatives. The introduction to the chart, posted on the Silverton School District website on June 4, begins:
Opportunities for White People in the Fight for Racial Justice
Moving from Actor → Ally → Accomplice
The chart below, very much a work in progress, has been developed to support White people to act for racial justice. It draws from ideas and resources developed mostly by Black, Brown and People of Color, and has been edited by Black, Brown, and People of Color. I recognize that categorizing actions under the labels of Actor, Ally, and Accomplice is an oversimplification, but hopefully this chart challenges all of us White folks to go outside of our comfort zones, take some bigger risks, and make some more significant sacrifices because this is what we’ve been asked to do by those most impacted by racism, colonialism, patriarchy, white supremacy, xenophobia, and hyper-capitalism. I believe that for real change to occur, we must confront and challenge all people, policies, systems, etc., that maintain privileges and power for White people.Feedback: [email protected] or anonymously here.
The author then goes on to quote Malcolm X by way of explanation:
When Malcolm X was asked how white people could be allies and accomplices with Black people in 1964, he responded: “By visibly hovering near us, they are ‘proving’ that they are ‘with us.’ But the hard truth is this isn’t helping to solve America’s racist problem. The Negroes aren’t the racists. Where the really sincere white people have got to do their ‘proving’ of themselves is not among the black victims, but out on the battle lines of where America’s racism really is — and that’s in their home communities; America’s racism is among their own fellow whites. That’s where sincere whites who really mean to accomplish something have got to work.”
It remains unclear how this document got so popular with educators in Oregon. The chart was originally published by Jonathan Osler at his website WhiteAccomplices.org. Osler, who has dedicated his life to fighting racial injustice, currently serves as the Director of Development for the Oakland Public School Fund.
Some of Osler’s suggestions for white people include:
Diversify your social media. Follow radical/progressive Black, Brown,Indigenous figureheads and leaders in the movement. Then do you best to share and amplify their voice with your white social circles. This is great way to culture shift ideas, art, and media.
Use your job position to help Black, Brown,and Indigenous People. Ex: purposefully seek out Black and Brown people to interview forjobs, and use Black caterers, or Indigenous speakers.
Volunteer with and fundraise for organizations led by directly impacted individuals to support voter registration efforts within their communities. Don’t tell Black, Brown and Indigenous People how or whom to vote for. Use your energy and resources to organize White communities to support progressive/radical politicians and policies.
He even encourages white people to confront racial microaggressions with force:
Film any such confrontations.Shout as a way to try to stop such a confrontation. Engage White people in conversation about their actions (perhaps focusing on intent v.impact) when you observe or hear about racialized microaggressions.
Physically intervene in such confrontations.
There are links to videos on how to respond if you witness someone’s hijab being forcibly removed, and how to intervene in Islamophobia.
Then there’s the section on correcting the behavior of children:
1) Take your young (age 0-16) children to events where adults (people of Color and other white people) are speaking about racism,violence against communities of Color, white supremacy, etc. 2) Talk with your children about these issues explicitly, including where they/you fit into these systems including the privileges they occupy.
2) Organizing and educating other people’s children to develop critical consciousness (like a great teacher might do)
It goes on and on. This extends beyond education and specifically into advocacy for a radical political agenda. Oregon law, as cited above, specifically prohibits this. More disturbing, perhaps, is the uncritical advocacy and acceptance of such a radical agenda in Oregon. White people are encouraged to confront their fellow white citizens for essentially being insufficiently woke. It advocates that all of Oregon’s white people become racial Karens to shame their neighbors into compliance.
This goes well beyond solving racial strife in Oregon and in America, and comes much closer to the Salem Witch Trials and burning heretics at the stake.
Apparently the Sherwood School District heard from enough concerned citizens that they have removed the document from their website and issued a half-hearted apology:
On June 4th, the Sherwood School District released a statement to our students, staff, and families expressing our horror at the tragic death of George Floyd and countless others before him, as well as our commitment to acting as anti-racist leaders. We stand by that statement and our commitment has not wavered.
In that statement, we provided several links for both families and for our staff. Regrettably, we included a resource for staff that we did not thoroughly vet, which made suggestions about how to vote in the upcoming election. We deeply regret the error of including this resource, and removed the link immediately once it was brought to our attention. We apologize for this error.
The Sherwood School District
It took a month, and complaints for parents, for the board to realize the violation of Oregon law. The prevailing attitude, however, still remains.
The whole document was preserved here after being downloaded from the Sherwood School District website.
Jeff Reynolds is the author of the book, “Behind the Curtain: Inside the Network of Progressive Billionaires and Their Campaign to Undermine Democracy,” available at www.WhoOwnsTheDems.com. Jeff hosts a podcast at anchor.fm/BehindTheCurtain. You can follow him on Twitter @ChargerJeff, and on Parler at @RealJeffReynolds.