Rantz: WA Dept says ‘concept of race’ meant to oppress, but ignores Asian children
The Washington State Department of Children, Youth, and Families (DCYF) believes that the “concept of race” is a social construct “created and defined over centuries to justify dominance, exploitation, and discrimination against Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) communities.”
But the belief that race is a concept created by white supremacists doesn’t mean the DCYF will stop using race to identify groups. Indeed, they’re more committed now than ever to label groups by race. I guess when they do it, it’s empowering.
The department appears to adopt a philosophy whereby they will only address the needs of minority children, rather than all children regardless of race. In doing so, it hopes to become an anti-racist organization that adopts “racial equity and social justice as core agency values.”
And as is often the case with this kind of partisan thinking, it ignores huge pieces of data that conflicts with their beliefs. It dismisses Asian experiences and focuses entirely on comparing some minority groups to whites. Oddly enough, the department isn’t adopting anti-racist values. It’s embracing racism.
The myth of race
The DCYF is tasked with helping children and families in all aspects of life, from health and education to building resilience and addressing trauma. And they’re doing that by adopting far-left social justice positions using taxpayer dollars.
DCYF published a draft document reviewing its five-year strategic plan, declaring: “Race has no genetic or biological basis.” Instead, it’s a creation meant “to concentrate power and provide advantage to people who have been categorized as White.”
The department’s strategy is produced through a social justice lens, presented with a faux-academic profundity. The document declares conspiratorially:
The creation of race also came with the idea that a hierarchy exists with blackness on one end as inferior or less than human, and whiteness on the other as superior and the standard for humanity. The purpose of this idea has been to subdue resistance to racial discrimination and the racial disparities that come as a result.
None of this means anything. But it certainly reads like a left-wing version of a QAnon claim.
The document doesn’t provide analysis for why the ideas are believed. Instead, they’re presented as unsourced fact and we’re supposed to simply blame racism.
Everything is racist
According to the DCYF, everything is racist — including the concept of race. But how will this acknowledgment help the department reach the goal of protecting children and strengthening families? It doesn’t. The strategy document is meant to signal the virtue of an overly white staff.
The document argues racist policies have made it “socially acceptable and seemingly natural for segregation, poverty, family separation, and mass incarceration to exist and disproportionately impact BIPOC communities.”
One may wonder how those policies impact DCYF when there isn’t a single Black member of the department’s leadership team.
It claims that, “Undervalued and underpaid positions disproportionately held by BIPOC in the early childhood workforce are rooted in the association between enslaved Black women and domestic work.”
This seems to suggest that your nanny may be Black because of slavery. Or, you only hired her because of your white supremacy.
The department has an Asian dilemma
It’s reasonable to assume a department meant to help kids and families would focus its attention on kids and families regardless of race. But in Washington state, it would be a sad mistake in judgment to think reasonably.
White kids do not register to DCYF. Only so-called BIPOC communities are important because … equity. But one minority group appears to be problematic to DCYF and like-minded progressive, social justice groups: Asians.
If you wonder why the made-up term BIPOC skips Asians by name, it’s because that minority group doesn’t count. They do too well and pose a problem for the progressive talking points.
Asian students outperform other minority groups, according to the DCYF, when it comes to kindergarten readiness and four-year graduate rates, two key strategic focuses. Asians also outperform whites, even when you look at foster children, a group that tends to underperform children who aren’t in foster care.
But if race is a social construct meant to keep minorities down, how is it that Asians do so much better than everyone else? DCYF doesn’t provide an answer for Asian success. Instead, they blame the failures of other minority groups on racism and do not even attempt to explain why whites, in a white supremacist system, don’t do the best. If they looked at family dynamics in Asian cultures, perhaps they’d see some of the reasons why Asian children tend to do so well. But admitting as much would fly in the face of assuming racism explains the data.
Defending ‘everything is racist’ mentality
A spokesperson for the department has no issue with the singular focus on identity politics, particularly for BIPOC communities.
“As we know from decades of research, there are substantial and persistent racial disparities in health, safety, and well-being outcomes for children, youth, and families,” a spokesperson told the Jason Rantz Show on KTTH via email. “DCYF will continue to collect and report on outcomes by racial/ethnic demographic groups, not as a way to essentialize race, but as a way to point to the ongoing consequences of racial social structures and the need to address them. In fact, we just published a report, Using Data in DCYF to Advance Racial Equity, that details our commitment and plans to do just that.”
The referenced study is instructive. It notes various disparities of Black and Hispanic children and families when compared to white families. It does not compare those minority groups to Asians.
For example, the report uses the average white family’s economic security to point to significant disparities for Black and Hispanic families. But Asians have the same high rate of economic security as white families. Similarly, when it comes to kindergarten readiness and high school graduation, the report compares Black and Hispanic data exclusively to whites, ignoring the overperforming Asian group.
Actually, not everything is racist
Why does the report only use white families to show disparities amongst people of color? Why not compare Black and Hispanic data to Asian data? It’s simple: By doing that, they’d acknowledge that a minority group outperforms whites. How can institutions and systems be systems of white privilege and supremacy if minority groups excel?
It was a problem the North Thurston School district ran into last year.
In a report on student achievement, the district removed Asian students from their “students of color” category after data showed they were doing too well academically. Instead, they were lumped in with white students. It dramatically and negatively skewed the overall academic outlook for students of color.
Departments like DCYF have created a strategy based on a misguided belief that every aspect of our society is built on white supremacy. Its staff believes that racism permeates everything and whenever there’s a “disproportionate” data point, they lazily assume racism because it plays into their bias. They don’t need proof of their position. They just need their gut to say it’s right.
Consequently, kids are failed by DCYF because it stubbornly tackles perceived problems as defined by an ideology. And in this case, it’s an ideology that pretends Asians don’t exist, so that it can be obsessively focused on white supremacy where it doesn’t exist.
How does this serve children? It doesn’t. But it lets the white DCYF staffers call themselves woke heroes. The department hopes to complete a final strategy document by April. One hopes they drop their self-serving, virtue signaling on race and adopt a focus on helping kids instead.
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