Seattle’s Guilt-Tripping Battles

La Shawn Barber
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Posted: Apr 09, 2007 12:00 AM

Thanks to Seattle Public Schools’ race-obsessed, guilt-tripping, finger-pointing bureaucrats, it can’t seem to stay out of the news.

The beleaguered school system had a policy of using skin color as a tiebreaker to achieve an arbitrary racial balance when assigning students to schools, in violation of the Equal Protection Clause and a state law barring the practice. The case currently is before the Supreme Court.

The system is looking for a new superintendent, and school board member Darlene Flynn, who is black, caused a stir when she recommended that superintendent candidates have a “clear understanding of institutionalized oppression,” according to The Seattle Times (“Racism tough to tackle – or even talk about – for Seattle School Board,” 3/29/07)

At least one of Flynn’s colleagues, board president Cheryl Chow, wanted to know what institutionalized oppression looked like. “What would be the correct answer? A correct answer in whose definition? I don't know if there is a 100 percent right answer.”

Reason prevailed, and the board toned down the job description to “institutional factors contributing to the achievement gap.”

Seattle is only one of many government school systems across the country caught up in race-obsessed, pseudo-intellectual, indecipherable, vacuous claptrap about “institutionalized oppression,” and its bureaucrats are no strangers to pushing incendiary and unsupportable assertions.

Last year, head of the school system’s Office of Equity and Race Relations Caprice Hollins, also black, caused a flood of criticism when she posted an inane statement on the web site called “Definitions of Racism.” This language, found under “Cultural Racism,” provoked the most outrage (emphasis added):

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.

In other words, long-term planning, goal-setting, and speaking proper English are white traits that shouldn’t be foisted on blacks, and it is racist to define these things as beneficial. This is what passes for intelligent discourse in government schools, and your taxes pay for it.

Has Hollins ever wondered if racial disparities like the achievement gap exist because some blacks fail to speak standard English, plan for the future, save money, set goals, and accept personal, individual responsibility?

Doubtful. People like Hollins enjoy spouting high-falutin’ rhetoric for its own sake, crafting nonsensical statements, and trying to make whites responsible for black students’ underachievement. After much ridicule, Hollins removed the original statement (retrieved from The Internet Archive) and replaced it with a benign yet equally silly statement.

Hollins recently admitted to The Seattle Times that even she, a die-hard, diversity-obsessed devotee, could not find an institutionally racist program in the system. With nowhere else to turn, she pointed to summer vacation – summer vacation – as “an example of systemic problems” because black children fall even further behind.

Bureaucrats like Flynn and Hollins are living in a fantasy world. Hope for closing the achievement gap lies not in guilt-tripping whites but in promoting good study habits, encouraging individuals to work hard, be responsible for their own behavior, and learn to express themselves clearly, while urging parents to get involved in their kids’ education. All of this requires long-term planning, goal-setting, “individualism,” and speaking proper English.

But those are “white” values, so nevermind.