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Posted 04-06-2021 at 02:55 PM by jbgusa
Updated 04-24-2021 at 01:43 PM by jbgusa


Title: Is there such a thing as “too much anti-racism”? Cornell and prestigious private school in NYC(and Biden Administration) go overboard

Is there such a thing as “too much anti-racism”? Cornell and prestigious private school in NYC(and Biden Administration) The murder of George Floyd and similar incidents have led to an epidemic of breast-beating an hair-shirt wearing. It has to stop before we destroy not only education, but any hope for racial healing. Remember, Derek Chauvin, not the U.S., Brearly School or Cornell University killed Derek Chauvin. Derek Chauvin was a deeply flawed individual, but that is a subject for another debate.

Recently, Brearly School, a prestigious all-female NYC private school required one parent of each child to take anti-racism training as part of their daughters’ admission process (link). One of the fathers withdrew their daughter, and sent an open letter to all parents that was published (link) stating in part:
Originally Posted by Letter from Parent
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.
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.”
In a similar vein, the U.S. Department of Education has proposed the following rule, Proposed Priorities-American History and ... - Federal Register, (link) excerpted below:
Originally Posted by Department of Education
Proposed Priorities—American History and Civics Education - AGENCY: Office of Elementary and
Secondary Education, Department of
ACTION: Proposed priorities.
SUMMARY: The Department of Education
Proposed Priorities: The Department proposes two priorities to support the development of culturally responsive teaching and learning and the promotion of information literacy skills in grants under the American History and Civics Education programs. Proposed Priority 1—Projects That Incorporate Racially, Ethnically, Culturally, and Linguistically Diverse Perspectives into Teaching and Learning. Background: The Department recognizes that COVID–19—with its disproportionate impact on communities of color—and the ongoing national reckoning with systemic racism have highlighted the urgency of improving racial equity throughout our society, including in our education system. As Executive Order 13985 states: ‘‘Our country faces converging economic, health, and climate crises that have exposed and exacerbated inequities, while a historic movement for justice has highlighted the unbearable human costs of systemic racism. Our Nation deserves an ambitious whole-of-government equity agenda that matches the scale of the opportunities and challenges that we face.’’
Under this priority, the applicants propose projects that incorporate teaching and learning practices that reflect the diversity, identities, histories, contributions, and experiences of all students create inclusive, supportive, and identity-safe learning environments. In its application, an applicant addressing this priority must describe how its proposed project incorporates teaching and learning practices that—
(a) Take into account systemic marginalization, biases, inequities, and discriminatory policy and practice in American history;
(b) Incorporate racially, ethnically, culturally, and linguistically diverse perspectives and perspectives on the experience of individuals with disabilities;
This was my comment that I filed with the government, with certain identifying information redacted:
Originally Posted by jbgusa comment on regulation
I have read the proposed rule. My children are now beyond their college education. Nevertheless I remain gravely concerned. As a history major at Cornell University I feel that I have a solid grounding in history.

First let me explain, there is not a racist bone in my body. Before my law firm merged with a larger firm, we were the only firm in my county that had an equity partner who was female and African-American (born in Jamaica). Throughout my life I have been dedicated to diversity and inclusion. My younger son is on the high-functioning end of the autism spectrum. I am concerned that these new incentives or requirements will further dilute the amount of history instruction available. It will require teaching, in effect, that American history is inherently evil and that the U.S. has been a negative force in the world. I resoundingly disagree.

While the U.S. is far from perfect, it is the only country of which I am aware that strives for true racial and cultural integration. Most others have some form of officially encouraged ghettoization. Sometimes this is labelled "multi-culturalism" but the aim is to encourage diverse elements to keep separate from mainstream society..

There is definitely a place for teaching the achievements of the minority community. George Washington Carver, Booker T. Washington, Louis Armstrong, Jackie Robinson, John Brown etc. The list goes on. That does not mean that Benjamin Franklin, John Adams and even slaveholders George Washington or Thomas Jefferson lose their seat at the table. What they created, a constitutional republic wasn't perfect. It certainly wasn't repugnant either.
Just as concerning, last year after George Floyd’s death, my alma mater, Cornell University posted an apology for George Floyd's murder. See below (link):
Originally Posted by President of Cornell University, Statement on the Recent Killings of Black People in America
May 29, 2020]

Dear Cornellians,

I am heartbroken, angry and frankly sickened by the recent killing of George Floyd, and before him, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and others whose deaths are less well publicized.
The amount of pain in the Black community is unfathomable, especially as these are occurring in the midst of a pandemic that is having such a disproportionate impact on communities of color.
Decent people and institutions cannot stand silent while such violence against our fellow citizens continues.

I want to make clear, both personally and on behalf of Cornell, that we will do all we can as a university to address this scourge of racism. We will address it directly in our educational programs, in our research and in our engagement and related activities, working through the ways we know best to push for a world that is equitable and kind; where people do not have to fear for their lives because of the color of their skin; and where everyone has the same opportunities to grow, thrive and enjoy their lives.
My heart goes out to everyone who is feeling the pain of these recent incidents.

My response to a follow-up message from the Dean of Arts and Sciences said, in summary “Remember, Mr. Floyd was killed by four Minneapolis police officers, not by Cornell University.” Both messages and my entire response are here, Why do people feel this overwhelming need to acknowledge police shootings.

Finally, this emphasis on race is the exact opposite of what we need; a color-blind society.


Why Are Not More Immigration Stories Like This - Vartan Gregorian 1934-2021. Not all immigrant and minority stories end tragically, though all do end in a death, as is the nature of human life.

Vartan Gregorian, 1934-2021 was born in Iran to Armenian parents (link to story). His mother died when he was six, and his father was irregularly employed. He was raised by his illiterate grandmother. After his father remarried when he was 15, he ran away from home, arriving in the U.S. by way of Beirut in 1956.

He was admitted to Stanford, graduating with honors in two years, despite his "diverse" and disadvantaged background. He moved from being provost at University of Pennsylvania to head of the New York Public Library, by then in serious disrepair in 1981.

As New York Public Library chair he returned it to its glory days and more. From there he went on to become President of Brown University, a position he held from 1989 to 1997.

The question is, why don't we have more immigrants like this. Mr. Gregorian was a vital contributor to his adopted land. Why, oh why, is the border teaming with charity cases? Are we giving the wrong incentives?


Racism Against the Disabled - The Scourge of Ableism

This article, Equality Matters, The harmful ableist language you unknowingly use (link), highlights the disgusting discrimination against the disabled.

Originally Posted by BBC
So, it always stings when I’m reminded that for many, the word ‘deaf’ has little to do with what I love most – in fact, its connotations are almost exclusively negative. For example, in headlines across the world – Nevada’s proposed gun safety laws, pleas from Ontario’s elderly and weather safety warnings in Queensland – have all “fallen on deaf ears”.
This kind of ‘ableist’ language is omnipresent in conversation: making a “dumb” choice, turning a “blind eye” to a problem, acting “crazy”, calling a boss “psychopathic”, having a “bipolar” day. And, for the most part, people who utter these phrases aren’t intending to hurt anyone – more commonly, they don’t have any idea they’re engaging in anything hurtful at all.
It is as if we are putting our knee on the neck of the disabled. Kurt Vonnegut in Harrison Bergeron (not sure whether short story names are underlined) had the right idea, to equalize all people regardless of ability to avoid stigma and hate. In the story, people were "handicapped" so that they could not excel:
Originally Posted by (written by author) Kurt Vonnegut
THE YEAR WAS 2081, and everybody was finally equal. They weren't only equal before God and the law. They were equal every which way. Nobody was smarter than anybody else. Nobody was better looking than anybody else. Nobody was stronger or quicker than anybody else. All this equality was due to the 211th, 212th, and 213th Amendments to the Constitution, and to the unceasing vigilance of agents of the United States Handicapper General.
It is high time that we stop the hurtful micro-aggressions that are part of every day life. Or perhaps the better analogy is jump-the-shark. I don't know.
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