Sunday, April 18, 2021

a father rescues his daughter from a school drowning in wokeness

I've seen this news via several different sources, but Dr. V's post links to an article that quotes the meatiest part of the affair, to wit:  as you may know, an angry father made the news, recently, when he decided to remove his daughter from an expensive private school.  The father, Andrew Gutmann, didn't merely yank his daughter out of the school:  he wrote a long, articulate letter expressing (1) his disappointment in what the school—The Brearley School of Upper East Side Manhattan—had become, (2) his objections to various points of the woke "anti-racism" culture that has taken over the school, and (3) encouragement to parents too afraid to speak out and/or act to show their displeasure with the school.

Here's an excerpt from Mr. Gutmann's letter, slightly edited:

I object to the view that I should be judged by the color of my skin. I cannot tolerate a school that not only judges my daughter by the color of her skin, but encourages and instructs her to prejudge others by theirs. By viewing every element of education, every aspect of history, and every facet of society through the lens of skin color and race, we are desecrating the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and utterly violating the movement for which such civil rights leaders believed, fought, and died.

I object to the charge of systemic racism in this country and at our school. Systemic racism, properly understood, is segregated schools and separate lunch counters. It is the interning of Japanese and the exterminating of Jews. Systemic racism is unequivocally not a small number of isolated incidents over a period of decades. Ask any girl, of any race, if she has ever experienced insults from friends, has ever felt slighted by teachers or has ever suffered the occasional injustice from a school at which she has spent up to 13 years of her life, and you are bound to hear grievances, some petty, some not. We have not had systemic racism against blacks in this country since the civil-rights reforms of the 1960s, a period of more than 50 years. To state otherwise is a flat-out misrepresentation of our country's history and adds no understanding to any of today's societal issues. If anything, longstanding and widespread policies, such as affirmative action, point in precisely the opposite direction.

I object to a definition of systemic racism, apparently supported by Brearley, that any educational, professional, or societal outcome where blacks are underrepresented is prima facie evidence of the aforementioned systemic racism, or of white supremacy and oppression. Facile and unsupported beliefs such as these are the polar opposite of the intellectual and scientific truth for which Brearley claims to stand. Furthermore, I call bullshit on Brearley's oft-stated assertion that the school welcomes and encourages the truly difficult and uncomfortable conversations regarding race and the roots of racial discrepancies.

I object to the idea that blacks are unable to succeed in this country without aid from government or from whites. Brearley, by adopting critical race theory, is advocating the abhorrent viewpoint that blacks should forever be regarded as helpless victims, and are incapable of success regardless of their skills, talents, or hard work. What Brearley is teaching our children is precisely the true and correct definition of racism.

I object to mandatory anti-racism training for parents, especially when presented by the rent-seeking charlatans of Pollyanna. These sessions, in both their content and delivery, are so sophomoric and simplistic, so unsophisticated and inane, that I would be embarrassed if they were taught to Brearley kindergarteners. They are an insult to parents and unbecoming of any educational institution, let alone one of Brearley's caliber.

I object to Brearley’s vacuous, inappropriate, and fanatical use of words such as “equity,” “diversity” and “inclusiveness.” If Brearley’s administration were truly concerned about so-called “equity,” it would be discussing the cessation of admissions preferences for legacies, siblings, and those families with especially deep pockets. If the administration were genuinely serious about “diversity,” it would not insist on the indoctrination of its students, and their families, to a single mindset, most reminiscent of the Chinese Cultural Revolution. Instead, the school would foster an environment of intellectual openness and freedom of thought. And if Brearley really cared about “inclusiveness,” the school would return to the concepts encapsulated in the motto “One Brearley,” instead of teaching the extraordinarily divisive idea that there are only, and always, two groups in this country: victims and oppressors.

Frankly, I'm annoyed by the lack of euphony in the name "Brearley."  It radiates lameness and phonetically evokes negative adjectives like dreary, bleary, and weary.  It sounds like a drunken man who, through sliurred speech, is attempting to pronounce some other, better, worthier word.

That's a superficial criticism, but let me ask you: would you send your child to a place whose name sounded extremely unpleasant to you?  Would you want your child to attend Herricunt U.?  Or Vény Enos College?  How about the Shitguzzle Intsitute for Higher Learning?  Yeah... that's what I thought.  "Yes, indeed!  My daughter's a sophomore at Shitguzzle!"

As for the substance of Mr. Gutmann's criticisms... assuming he's factually accurate in his accusations against the school, I'd say he's well within his rights to pull his daughter out of such a place.  But what happens next?  Public school?  A different private school?  Home schooling?  I'd opt for the latter myself if I had kids and lived in the States.  There's no way I'd send my kids to any branch of academe these days.  Trade school, maybe.  Someplace not taken over by the woke zombie virus.

One last thing:  the comments beneath Gutmann's letter are worth a read.  One obviously PC-liberal lady gripes about perceived racism, but she gets slammed by everyone else in the comment thread for asserting the existence of racism where there is none.  The problem is that, when your brain has been so thoroughly miscalibrated as to perceive racism under every rug and in every dark corner, there's little that can be done to de-program you.

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