A New York City high school principal reportedly sent white parents a “tool for action” that encourages parents to fight America’s “regime of whiteness” and become “white traitors” and “white abolitionists.” This language of combatting “whiteness” echoes Marxist critical race theory, the noxious ideology that inspired and inflamed the Black Lives Matter and antifa riots over the summer.
“The principal of East Side Community School in New York sent white parents this ‘tool for action,’ which tells them they must become ‘white traitors’ and then advocate for full ‘white abolition,'” Christopher Rufo, director of the Center on Wealth & Poverty at the Discovery Institute, announced on Twitter. “This is the new language of public education.”
Rufo shared screenshots of the “tool,” which traces back to Barnor Hesse, an associate professor of African American Studies at Northwestern University. Hesse appears to have developed the graphic with the Slow Factory Foundation, a leftist climate and race action group, in June 2020. The foundation claims it is devoted to “dismantling colonial systems of oppression” and “promoting systemic change towards regenerative and environmental systems.”
PJ Media reached out to East Side Community School for comment about the graphic, but the school did not respond by press time. Mark Federman, the school principal, has made his Twitter account “private” and therefore inaccessible to people he does not follow.
“This is a regime of whiteness, and there are action-oriented white identities,” the graphic declares. “People who identify with whiteness are one of these. It’s about time we build an ethnography of whiteness, since white people have been the ones writing about and governing Others [sic].”
The graphic charts eight different white political identities.
- White Supremacist. Clearly marked white society that preserves, names, and values white superiority.
- White Voyeurism. Wouldn’t challenge a white supremacist; desires non-whiteness because it’s interesting, pleasurable; seeks to control the consumption and appropriation of non-whiteness; fascination with culture (ex. consuming Black culture without the burden of Blackness).
- White Privilege. May critique supremacy, but a deep investment in questions of fairness/equality under the normalization of whiteness and white rule; sworn goal of ‘diversity.’
- White Benefit. Sympathetic to a set of issues but only privately; won’t speak/act in solidarity publicly because benefitting through whiteness in public (some POC [People of Color] are in this category as well).
- White Confessional. Some exposure of whiteness takes place, but as a way of being accountable to POC after; seek validation from POC.
- White Critical. Take on board criticisms of whiteness and invest in exposing/marking the white regime; refuses to be complicit with the regime; whiteness speaking back to whiteness.
- White Traitor. Actively refuses complicity; names what’s going on; intention is to subvert white authority and tell the truth at whatever cost; need them to dismantle institutions.
- White Abolitionist. Changing institutions, dismantling whiteness, and not allowing whiteness to reassert itself.
SCOOP: The principal of East Side Community School in New York sent white parents this "tool for action," which tells them they must become "white traitors" and then advocate for full "white abolition."
This is the new language of public education. pic.twitter.com/0XA3xUpcuT
— Christopher F. Rufo ⚔️ (@realchrisrufo) February 15, 2021
This document seems rooted in Marxist critical race theory, which teaches that the central aspect of society is racial oppression — the historic abuses white people have committed against people of other races. “White supremacy” secretly rules everything, even when policies explicitly consider people on the content of their character rather than the color of their skin. It does not matter that American law expressly forbids racial discrimination, according to this theory. If white people have more money than black people, that is ipso facto proof of white supremacy, regardless of how Asians are doing and regardless of the true reasons behind any disparity.
The Smithsonian briefly showed how this works when it published a “teaching tool” infographic on “whiteness.” That infographic claimed that the nuclear family, science, capitalism, the Judeo-Christian tradition, individualism, “objective, rational linear thinking,” and even values such as “be polite” are aspects of oppressive whiteness. The Smithsonian rightly removed the graphic after facing criticism, but this noxious ideology has spread throughout American society.
Marxist critical race theory inspired much of the destruction of the Black Lives Matter and antifa riots over the summer. While protesters rightly expressed outrage at the treatment of George Floyd, many of the protests devolved into looting, vandalism, and arson in which lawless thugs — acting in the name of fighting racism — destroyed black lives, black livelihoods, and black monuments.
Leftist groups like the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) push critical race theory in schools and The New York Times‘s “1619 Project” has crafted an alternate version of the history of the United States to push critical race theory.
East Side Community School should not have adopted this divisive and destructive ideology, and parents should complain about this “tool.” Schools should teach the good and the bad about American history, relegating this noxious ideology to a small discussion of current events, rather than adopting it wholesale.
Tyler O’Neil is the author of Making Hate Pay: The Corruption of the Southern Poverty Law Center. Follow him on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.