Bion Bartning, Co-founder of Eos Products and Foundation Against Intolerance and Racism President, wrote in Sunday‘s Wall Street Journal of his children’s experience in what used to be (my characterization) a top-drawer private school, New York City’s Riverdale Country School.
The lower-school head had earlier written that “it is essential that parents/caregivers and educators acknowledge racial differences (as opposed to a ‘colorblind’ stance)” and offered reading recommendations such as Robin DiAngelo’s “White Fragility.” Families at Riverdale are encouraged to join school-sponsored “affinity” groups to bond with people from their ethnicity or skin color.
Then the Bartnings raised concerns to the school’s administration.
I have always felt a strong connection with Martin Luther King Jr’s dream of an America where people “will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.” I advocate genuine antiracism, rooted in dignity and humanity. But the ideology underlying the “racial literacy” guide distributed by the school wasn’t like that. Instead of emphasizing our common humanity, it lumps people into simplistic racial groupings. It teaches that each person’s identity and status is based largely on skin color, and leaves no place for people like me, who are of mixed race [he’s an immigrant who’s Mexican/Yaqui and Jewish] or don’t place race at the heart of their identity.
The school master’s response—when it got around to it? It was buried at the end of an email exchange about another matter entirely:
I wonder if this might be a good moment to think whether or not this is the best school for you and your family—being philosophically misaligned is never a very good experience for all concerned.
[B]eing philosophically misaligned is never a very good experience for all concerned. That just adds to it. Wrong think demands expulsion of the wrong thinkers.
This is a naked repudiation of our nation’s years of effort toward the equality of opportunity that flows from integration. This is a demand for a return to the racist segregation of the last century. The Left is resuming, in spades, to its racist history.