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Racism, as defined by Seattle Public Schools

Hat tip to The Volokh Conspiracy, who points us to this definition of Cultural Racism by the Seattle Public Schools:

Those aspects of society that overtly and covertly attribute value and normality to white people and Whiteness, and devalue, stereotype, and label people of color as “other?, different, less than, or render them invisible. Examples of these norms include defining white skin tones as nude or flesh colored, having a future time orientation, emphasizing individualism as opposed to a more collective ideology, defining one form of English as standard, and identifying only Whites as great writers or composers.

Over at Volokh, they’re still scratching their heads to figure out what a future time orientation means. Could it be something like having a predisposition towards making appointments?

I’m also intrigued (as Eugene Volokh was) with the idea that individualism = racism.

Note as well that they apparently have no standard for English in the Seattle Public Schools, as pointed out by one of Volokh’s commenters. Just the place I’d want to send my kids.

Finally, go back to the very beginning of the paragraph and note that cultural racism must be defined in terms of white people. If you devalue “whiteness” and attribute value to “colorness (?),” this is not cultural racism.

One Response to “Racism, as defined by Seattle Public Schools”

  1. Hans Bader Says:

    The Seattle school district has a nasty, insane message for budding entrepreneurs, civil libertarians, and free market conservatives: your belief in individual rights or individual initiative brands you as a racist.

    The Seattle Public Schools define individualism as a form of “cultural racism,? declaring that “cultural racism? includes “emphasizing individualism as opposed to a more collective ideology.?

    On their web site, they also define racism to include stereotypically white traits such as “future time orientation,? which is a pejorative word used for studying and “acting white? to reap future advancement, rather than devoting one’s energy to being hip or cool and enjoying the moment.

    It is racist for the Seattle schools to stereotype achievement as a “white? characteristic. Plenty of non-whites study and exercise self-discipline. No school system should disparage student studying and achievement. That is at odds with a school system’s basic educational mission.

    The Seattle schools also declare “equality? of treatment to be a form of racially-biased assimilation, favoring instead affirmative action in the form of “unequal treatment for those who have been disadvantaged over time,? to give historically oppressed groups “special programs and benefits.?

    The “equality? they deride – the notion that “people who are the same in those respects relevant to how they are treated in those circumstances should receive the same treatment? – is the same notion of equal treatment whose infringement is the basis for a disparate-treatment discrimination lawsuit under the federal civil rights laws, under U.S. Supreme Court precedent.

    In an apparent conflict with federal law, the Seattle schools deny that whites can be the victims of racism. They define racism as limited to acts against groups that have “little social power in the United States (Blacks, Latino/as, Native Americans, and Asians), by the members of the agent racial group who have relatively more social power (Whites).?

    By contrast, federal appeals courts routinely rule against institutions that fire or harass white employees, recognizing that whites can indeed be victims of racism. See, e.g., Bowen v. Missouri Department of Social Services (2002) (racial harassment of white employee by black co-worker); Taxman v. Board of Education (1996) (termination of white teacher instead of black teacher). And the Supreme Court held that racial discrimination against whites by local governments is generally illegal in City of Richmond v. J.A. Croson Co. (1989). Affirmative action can’t be used to justify terminating or harassing an employee.

    The Seattle schools’ racist policy, which appears to condone unlawful racial discrimination and retaliation against whites, is on the web site of its Equity and Race Relations department, directed by Caprice Hollins, a politically-correct self-proclaimed multicultural “educator.? Some education.

    It appears that the Seattle schools would rather spend their time teaching (and practicing) racism, rather than reading, writing, and arithmetic.

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