African American Ivy League Professor Issues Statement: If You’re ‘Truly Anti-Racist’ Remove Your Kids From Schools That Teach Critical Race Theory
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OPINION | This article contains political comments that reflect the author’s opinion.
John McWhorter, professor of linguistics at Columbia University, begged parents to remove their children from school teaching CRT if they were “genuinely anti-racist,” according to The Daily Wire.
“All greetings to Dana Stangel-Plowe, who has resigned from Dwight Englewood School, which teaches students ‘anti-racism’ that sees life as nothing but abuse of power, and teaches that creeping, hostile group identity versus oppression is the essence one is self, ”McWhorter tweeted. “Really anti-racist parents should leave Dwight Englewood School next fall in the name of love for their children. Only this will deter these misguided elected parishioners from their quest to create a new reality for all of us. “
Greetings everyone, Dana Stangel-Plowe, who has retired from Dwight Englewood School, which teaches students “anti-racism,” which sees life as nothing more than abuse of power, and teaches that a creeping, hostile group identity versus oppression is the essence of one Self is. https://t.co/yxr2WaUfnB
– John McWhorter (@JohnHMcWorter) June 8, 2021
Dana Stangel-Plowe said: “Dear Joe (Copies to Headmaster, Board of Trustees and colleagues in the English Department)”
“I became a teacher at Dwight-Englewood because, as a parent, I loved the way the school encouraged and challenged my own children. Today I am quitting a job that I love because DE has changed in a way that undermines its mission and prevents me from being true to my conscience as an educator. “
“I believe DE is failing our students. In recent years the school has adopted an ideology that damages the intellectual and emotional growth of our students and destroys any chance of creating a real community among our diverse population. I reject the hostile conformity and fear culture that has gripped our school. ”
“The ideology of the school requires students to see themselves not as individuals but as representatives of a group, which forces them to assume the status of privilege or victim role. They have to locate themselves within the oppressor or the oppressed group or an intersectional center in which they must expect to be part oppressor and part victim. This theory of power hierarchies is only one way of seeing the world, and yet it permeates DE as the unique way of seeing the world. ”
“As a result, students come into my classroom and accept this theory as a fact: people born with less melanin in their skin are suppressors, and people born with more melanin in their skin are suppressed. Men are oppressors, women are oppressed, and so on. This is the prevailing and divisive ideology that guides our adolescent students. “
“In my classroom, I see up close how this orthodoxy impedes students’ ability to read, write, and think. I teach students who shy away from a poem because it was written by a man. I teach students approaching texts in search of the oppressor. I teach students who see injustices in texts that have nothing to do with power. Having internalized the message that this is how we read and think about the world, students fixate on power and group identity. This fixation has stunted their ability to observe and engage with the whole fabric of human experience in our literature. ”
“In my professional opinion, the school fails to cultivate healthy mental habits that are essential to growth, such as intellectual curiosity, humility, honesty, reason, and the ability to question ideas and consider different perspectives. At our school there is practically no way to hear competing ideas. How can students who accept a single ideology as fact learn to exercise intellectual curiosity or humility, or to consider a competing idea that they have never encountered? How can students develop higher order thinking when they are limited to seeing the world only through the lens of group identity and power? ”
“Unfortunately, the school leads many to become true believers and outspoken suppliers of a regressive and illiberal orthodoxy. Understandably, these students have found solace in their moral certainty and so have become rigid and narrow-minded, unable or unwilling to consider alternative perspectives. These young students have no idea that the school has put ideological blinders on them. ”
“Of course, not all students are true believers. Many pretend to agree because they have to adapt. I’ve heard of students who want to ask a question but want to stop for fear of offending someone. I have heard from students who do not participate in discussions for fear of exclusion. One student did not want to develop her personal essay – on an experience she had in another country – for fear that it might mean that she was racist without realizing it. Indeed, in her fear, she kept herself from thinking. This is the definition of self-censorship. ”
“Our students and our school are very important to me and that’s why I’ve tried over the years to bring positive and constructive alternative views to the table. My efforts have fallen on deaf ears. In 2019 I shared with you my negative experiences among hostile and doctrinal colleagues. You have expressed your dismay, but I have not heard from you or any of the other administrators. Since then, the stifling compliance has only intensified. Last fall, two administrators informed the faculty that certain points of view during our new “racially explicit” discussions with our new “anti-racist” work would simply not be tolerated. They said no one should question orthodoxy on “systemic racism”. The message was clear and the faculty fell silent. ”
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“The reality is that fear permeates the faculty. On at least two different occasions in 2017 and 2018, our headmaster, standing in front of the Hajjar auditorium, told the entire faculty that he would fire us all if he could, so that he could replace us all with people of color. This year administrators continue to reaffirm DE’s policy that we hire “for diversity”. DE has become a workplace that is hostile to educators only because of their unchanging characteristics. “
“During a recent faculty meeting, teachers were segregated by skin color. Fair-skinned teachers were put into a “white caucus” group and asked to remember that we are “white” and “take responsibility” [our] Power and privilege. “DE’s racial segregation of educators, designed to lead us to rethink ourselves as oppressors, has been regressive and degrading to us as individuals with our own moral compass and human agency. Will school be our students next Force segregation? “
“I reject DE’s essentialist, racist thinking about myself, my colleagues and my students. As a humanist educator, I strive to create an inclusive classroom by embracing the dignity and unique personality of each student; I want all students to have the skills and thinking habits they need to develop their potential as learners and people. Neither my skin color nor the “group identity” assigned to me by DE dictates my humanistic beliefs or my work as an educator. To learn that this is the case is offensive and wrong, and it violates my dignity as a person. My conscience has no color. “
“DE claims that we teach students to think, not what to think. But unfortunately that’s just not true anymore. I hope that boards of directors and board members will wake up in time to prevent this misguided and absolutist ideology from undermining DE as it has undermined so many other institutions. “
From The Daily Wire:
John McWhorter, a black professor of linguistics at Columbia University, urges parents who are “really anti-racist” to take their children out of a private school that has started teaching radical left-wing critical racial theory.
McWhorter’s remarks about the Dwight-Englewood School are in response to English teacher Dana Stangel-Plowe’s decision to leave school for claiming that she is indoctrinating students with Marxist theory.
McWhorter links to a blog post in which Stangel-Plowe published her letter of resignation and a video explaining her allegations about what was going on in the school.