More segregation in secondary schools

March 15, 2021 • 1:30 pm

Moses Brown School is a Quaker school in Providence, Rhode Island, serving students from pre-kindergarten through high school (12th grade). It’s my experience that Quakers are particularly susceptible to Wokeness, perhaps because they are eclectic and dedicated to service: traits that are normally great but can easily be bent toward the interests of Critical Social Justice.

At Moses Brown, this seems to be what has happened. Here’s a tweet from a former teacher who writes about education at Substack:

I have no opinion about the legality of this, though lawyers might. If true, it’s invidious, but we have to take this with a grain of salt, for it’s hearsay. Sanzi says she’s been told of the incident above “by more than one parent”, though nobody dares to speak out.

What is not at issue, however, is that the school, in having the upper-school students read the antiracist young adult novel The Hate U Give, about a black teenager’s reaction to a police shooting of her boyfriend and her increasing activism, is promoting segregation in learning.

The novel is a popular read for entire schools, and that is fine, but what’s not fine is dividing up the school into two racially distinct groups to discuss the book. As the letter below from school officials shows, they divided up the discussion into two “affinity spaces [using] framing that is appropriate for the BIPOC or White-identifying experience.” (Note one of the signers has the title of “Facilitator of Conversations about White Privilege and Allyship, already a signal of Critical Race Theory at Work.)

Here’s the school’s letter to upper school (presumably high school) families:

In the next three sessions, white kids discuss the novel from the point of view of “white saviorism, performative activism, and allyship” as well as “learning about the history of policing in the United States and its connection to police brutality against Black students today.”

BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) students, on the other hand, also learn about white saviorism, performative activism and allyship in one session, but then devote the other two sessions to breakout room discussions about topic proposed and facilitated by students.

In other words, although there are certain themes in common to the two “affinity groups”, they are handling the book differently, with no communication between the groups. Worst of all, there seems to be no plan to have white, blacks, and other minorities discuss the book together.

This is not a good way to educate students: forcing them to join others with similar pigmentation (except for the poor half Asian student) and then having race-specific discussions. When do black and white kids get to talk to each other? They don’t! Each “race” has five sessions with members of their group alone (white and BIPOC). And what this does is to simply divide up the school, and the students’ views, by race. It does not foster mutuality, fellow feeling, or the highly-touted but always neglected idea of “inclusion.” The worst way to overcome racism is to keep the races apart and allow each one to develop their ideas in isolation from the others. But of course we must realize that this bizarre form of separation is not intended to end racism. It is, ironically, “performative activism.”

What are euphemistically called “affinity spaces”, a term reeking of inclusion, are what used to be called “segregated spaces.”  Such is the madness that is afflicting our schools.

h/t: Luana

15 thoughts on “More segregation in secondary schools

  1. As I have mentioned here before, the SOM at my university (and no doubt others) has already organized a series of zoom “affinity caucuses” segregated by race into no fewer than three (3)
    separate populations. If this woke interpretation of “Inclusion” continues, we can surely look forward
    to affinity bathrooms and affinity drinking fountains. The faint sounds you may hear more and more clearly are the ghosts of Strom Thurmond and George Wallace laughing their heads off.

  2. ‘The worst way to overcome racism is to keep the races apart and allow each one to develop their ideas in isolation from the others. But of course we must realize that this bizarre form of separation is not intended to end racism. It is, ironically, “performative activism.”’ – well put, and sadly all too true.

  3. You almost never hear of the Christian Left in this country, but there is one, and the Quakers are part of it. I think this goes back to the Social Gospel of the late 19th century.

  4. Separate but equal education. We know how this story ends and it’s not a happy one.

    I’m not a teacher, but it seems to me there was an obvious, tried-and-true method of handling this, and they chose not to use it. Have the entire class read and discuss, then have the students do a small group assignment researching one aspect of the subject over a few days or a week, then have all the small groups come back and give their report to the class on what they found. The students can select their own group-mates which gives them some ‘self-identfying power’ if they really want that, everyone gets the same education, and everyone also learns probably several different perspectives on the subject.

  5. And meanwhile, the Chinese are teaching their kids maths, physics. chemistry, engineering, computer science . . . you know, useful stuff.

    1. We watch a lot of Chinese cinema, and it has evolved as their culture has changed. They used to sort of hit you over the head with Communist propaganda, but their focus now seems to be more of a message encouraging basic patriotism and self sacrifice.
      It might seem that little has changed, but I think there is a difference between propaganda and promoting basic universal virtues.
      The disaster films are still pretty cheesy, and they are not afraid to approach gritty crime stories. But there is a theme of basic wholesomeness that comes through.
      Obviously, there is a great deal in China that is far from sweetness and light. However, their media seems fairly aspirational, while ours seems to be moving more towards degeneracy. I don’t mean specifically sexual degeneracy, just general ethical decline.

    2. I believe the CRT term for what you described is ‘White Mans Knowledge’ which is mentally, physically and spiritually harmful to the BIPOC who should embrace magical thinking as it is more in tune with their nature.

      Essentially the 19thC nonsense used to keep Non-Whites out of the sciences is used to encourage them to reject it.

    3. Thaaaaaank you Coel!
      China graduates more engineers every year than are alive in the USA. By the time they take over the world we’ll have just got our pronouns sorted out.

      D.A., J.D.
      NYC

  6. I really believe that segregation in the schools, even temporary, is in violation of the Civil Rights Act, not to mention the Brown vs. Board of Education SCOTUS decision. Someone should tell the school administration that.

    1. It might seem pedantic, but I don’t think they should call it “anti-racism”. It is more accurately “counter-racism”.
      As an example, anti-terrorist actions consist of things like putting up barriers and checking IDs. Counter-terrorist actions involve things like drone strikes. I used to participate in both, and knowing the difference is critical.

      I had been thinking of this as an organized and competent attack on the foundations of our civilization, but perhaps that gives them too much credit. I read an article in City Journal today on these programs, where the journalist was trying to determine the specific expertise and qualifications of the people designing these programs. Here is a telling paragraph-

      “The suite of lessons was designed by “curriculum specialist” Monique Vogelsang, the former Dalton fourth-grade teacher who now regularly presents at Pollyanna workshops and conferences. Vogelsang has frequently identified herself as a “certified racial literacy trainer,” a designation that, until recently, her LinkedIn profile claimed came from the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education. A Penn GSE spokesperson, however, told me that the school has neither a certificate program in racial literacy training nor any record of Vogelsang attending. Vogelsang ignored questions about this discrepancy but changed her LinkedIn page to cite completion of 30 hours of “racial literacy training” from the Racial Empowerment Collaborative, a Penn-based center that offers continuing education for teachers, among other initiatives. The REC also reported that it had no record of any involvement with Vogelsang, who did not respond to requests for follow-up comments.”

      So perhaps the movement is largely made up of people with strong political views but no particular expertise, who see an opportunity to cash in on a fad, while simultaneously spreading their odious racist views to a bunch of impressionable children.
      It reminds me of the sort of horrors perpetrated on the school children of the DDR in the late 60s and 70s. That started out as anti-fascist, anti-capitalist, and anti-authoritarian education, and ended up with the kids suffering the basest abuses imaginable. I suppose those excesses are less likely here, as parents are paying attention and are not yet too afraid to speak up.

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