The Washington Post reported recently that schools across America are working to address “systemic racism,” make classrooms more equitable, and develop an “Anti-Racist” mindset in their students. How much do you know about these concepts? Let’s play “Two Truths and a Lie” and find out.
Can you identify which of the following statements is false?
A. “Systemic racism” refers to the idea that American institutions oppress non-whites.
B. “Equity” and “equal opportunity” are NOT the same thing.
C. “Anti-Racist” policies, training, and curricula promote the equal treatment of all Americans, irrespective of race.
Let’s take these statements one at a time:
A. TRUTH! “Systemic racism” (sometimes referred to as “institutional racism”) refers not to individual attitudes or behaviors but to institutional power. “Systemic racism” is another way of saying that American institutions are rigged against people of color. According to this view, racism is everywhere, even when you can’t see it, and even when you cannot identify a particular discriminatory practice or racist person. It is all around you, all the time, in every organization to which you belong.
B. TRUTH! “Equal opportunity” generally refers to a state of fairness in which the same rules and policies apply to everyone, irrespective of race or ethnicity. “Equity,” by contrast, refers to a state of equal results. Proponents of “equity,” believe that neutral, evenly-applied practices reinforce white privilege. They seek to “level the playing field,” either by applying standards differently on the basis of skin color or by abandoning the standards altogether. For example, in the school setting, proponents of equity often advocate lowering the standards for honors courses in order to diversify these classrooms. Alternatively, they may seek to eliminate advanced coursework altogether or to eliminate (or reduce the importance of) other educational practices, such as standardized tests and class rankings that differentiate between students. Because equity requires equal outcomes, it usually encourages a race to the bottom.
C. LIE! Contrary to popular belief, “Anti-Racism” does not refer to efforts to combat racism. Anti-Racism is, in fact, a radical ideology that rejects conventional efforts to fight prejudice and promote the equal treatment of all Americans irrespective of race. It teaches the Orwellian notions that non-whites cannot be racist, that all whites are racist, and that denials of racism are, in fact, evidence of racism. Anti-Racist policies, training, and curricula often ask participants to acknowledge their racism and to atone for it by advocating race-conscious remedies. In addition, Anti-Racism calls for the creation of a government agency to ensure that Anti-Racist measures are built into all new laws and government regulations.
Bottom line: Modern-day demands for racial “equity” and the dismantling of “systemic racism” represent a rejection of the equality principle espoused by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and other American civil rights leaders. In fact, Anti-Racism promotes racism by presuming things about individuals on the basis of skin color and by teaching people to view each other not as individuals, but as either victims or oppressors.