Despite the positives that come from encouraging kids and teens to be themselves and to embrace who they are, some schools and boards are taking a harsh view of terms like “individuals” this week.
The Department of Education in New York City recently declared terms including “individuals” and “objectivity” are actually white supremacist ideals and concepts. The district recently released guidelines for teachers that included these terms as part of white supremacy thinking and culture, despite their benign meaning and positive concepts.
According to reports from the New York times, Richard Carranza, the district’s Chancellor, presented a program that defined white supremacy culture. While it may seem to most that this presentation would include extremists, hate groups and outright Nazis, that was not the case. Instead, Carranza focused on concepts that he labeled as part of white supremacy culture. The questionable terms included standard, commonly used terms like “objectivity”, “individualism” and “perfectionism”.
While the speaker declared these and similar terms to be white supremacist lingo, his actual presentation did not present much evidence linking these concepts to white supremacy at all.
Objectivity is a Problem, Apparently
One graphic from the presentation explained the inherent problem Carranza saw with the term “objectivity”:
“This can lead to the belief that there is an ultimate truth and that alternative viewpoints or emotions are bad, it’s even inherent in the ‘belief that there is such a thing as being objective,’” the graphic reads.
The actual definition of objectivity has nothing to do with race. The word is defined as being “without bias” and able to judge without favoritism. This is the polar opposite of white supremacy, which indicates a strong bias and favoritism for the sole race.
There are similar problems with Carranza’s definitions for terms like “individualism”. Instead of encouraging kids to think for themselves and to develop the discernment needed to assess information in an increasingly digital world, the concept of individual thought is a negative for Carranza. He feels that being an individual capable of thought is not a positive — instead, it is a sign that someone is a part of white supremacist culture and is inherently unable to function on a team.
Some Teachers Disagree
Not all teachers and employees were enthusiastic about Carranza’s teachings. Some who attended were called “fragile” when they stated they did not hold racial prejudices. According to Carranza,
“I would hope that anybody that feels that somehow that process is not beneficial to them, I would very respectfully say they are the ones that need to reflect even harder upon what they believe.”
Very little of Carranza’s teachings explained why these and similar terms (usually perceived as positive for all races and genders) are suddenly racist — or why those questioning his approach are fragile. Details continue to emerge on what impact these newly vilified terms will have on the actual teaching in the City of New York.
~ Patriotic Freedom Fighter