Systemic racism, properly understood…

So should we read that “barn-burner” letter that Bari Weiss is so excited about? Sure.

He The author addresses fellow Brearley parents to say why he’s taking his daughter out of the school. It’s because it’s not good enough.

It cannot be stated strongly enough that Brearley’s obsession with race must stop. It should be abundantly clear to any thinking parent that Brearley has completely lost its way. The administration and the Board of Trustees have displayed a cowardly and appalling lack of leadership by appeasing an anti-intellectual, illiberal mob, and then allowing the school to be captured by that same mob. What follows are my own personal views on Brearley’s antiracism initiatives, but these are just a handful of the criticisms that I know other parents have expressed. 

I object to the view that I should be judged by the color of my skin.

Oh here we go – it’s the old “I don’t see color” thing. The trouble with white people saying they don’t see color is that of course they don’t, because they don’t have to. It doesn’t follow that everyone else is in the same boat.

I cannot tolerate a school that not only judges my daughter by the color of her skin, but encourages and instructs her to prejudge others by theirs. By viewing every element of education, every aspect of history, and every facet of society through the lens of skin color and race, we are desecrating the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and utterly violating the movement for which such civil rights leaders believed, fought, and died. 

Blah blah blah. It’s always King and it always misunderstands him. King was not the only civil rights activist on the scene, and it’s kind of telling that barn-burning white people seem to think he was.

I object to the charge of systemic racism in this country, and at our school. Systemic racism, properly understood, is segregated schools and separate lunch counters.

Ah, “properly understood” according to this one guy, who clearly knows nothing about it. Segregated schools still exist, and there is a lot more to systemic racism than segregated schools and separate lunch counters. Take a look at prison population statistics for example. Take a look at patterns of sentencing. Take a look at wealth, and who has more of it, and why.

It is the interning of Japanese and the exterminating of Jews. Systemic racism is unequivocally not a small number of isolated incidences over a period of decades.

Small number? Isolated instances? (Or incidents. He meant one of those. He didn’t mean “incidences.”) They’re not small and not isolated. What makes him think he could even know that? Does he think they all get reported in the news media and that he sees all the reporting? He can’t think that, surely, because it would be so stupid…but that ridiculous assertion seems to indicate that he does.

We have not had systemic racism against Blacks in this country since the civil rights reforms of the 1960s, a period of more than 50 years.

Does he even know that some of those reforms have now been reversed thanks to Republicans in Congress and on the Supreme Court? Like a key part of the Voting Rights Act for instance?

And does he think all systemic racism just vanished in the wake of the reforms? Just bam, they’re gone? Because that’s not how it works, and it’s not how it did work.

There’s a lot more in the same vein. It may be that Brearley’s training is badly done, irritating, condescending, mistaken in parts; I don’t know, because I don’t know anything about it. But Mister Barnburner is objecting to the whole idea, and to the underlying acknowledgement that racism didn’t melt into air in 1965. I guess that’s why Bari Weiss is so pleased with him?

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