About a month ago, a Seattle blogger noticed that the Seattle Public School District’s website had some rather nutty definitions of racism. Among them, that “having a future time orientation” (academese for having long-term goals) is among the “aspects of society that overtly and covertly attribute value and normality to white people and Whiteness, and devalue, stereotype and label people of color.”
It also said that only whites can be racist in America and that it was “cultural racism” to “emphasiz[e] individualism as opposed to a more collective ideology.”
A perfect storm of piqued and perplexed blogging ensued, but the news departments of the Seattle Times and Seattle Post-Intelligencer didn’t seem to be picking up on it. So I wrote this piece that ran in the Seattle P-I this morning.
In a “pop” heard round the Sound, the plug was pulled on the offending page before 8:00 am local time, though the Google cache of it is still around for the benefit of the curious.
The original nutty page has now been replaced with an apology for any offense caused, which is nice. It isn’t going to help in the long run though.
As long as there is only one official system of schooling, for which everyone must pay, everyone will demand that it reflect their own views and reject views they oppose. In a pluralistic society, that’s just not possible. The inevitable result is an endless battle over the content of the curriculum.
The solution, as I point out in the P-I op-ed, is school choice.
Hat tip to my research assistant Jessie Creel and an Agitator post by Radley Balko.