La Shawn Barber

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.

La Shawn Barber

Freelance writer La Shawn Barber blogs at the American Civil Rights Institute blog.