Rantz: ‘White identified’ WA college staff joined radical anti-racist political workshop
A group of far-left educators hosted high-level college staff for a two-day workshop on dismantling racism and becoming anti-racist educators. It was geared towards “white-identifying folks with European ancestry and people who benefit from white privilege.” When one staff member chided the workshop, the educators mocked her.
The online event was hosted by Friends of the Faculty and Staff of Color Conference (FSOCC). Normally, the group provides workshops for “faculty of color,” but on April 21 and 22, 2022, the group opted for white-centered attendance to turn staff into more effective anti-racist activists.
“We want people to move away from ‘I’m an individual white person being an antiracist by reading a lot of books’ to ‘I’m part of something bigger with other white-identified people’ by building cross-system relationships/coalitions/networks for this larger collective work of antiracism in the CTC [community/technical college] system,” read the conference notes.
Internal documents and the PowerPoint presentation offer a glimpse into the startling attitudes and beliefs of the educators molding the minds of young Washingtonians.
‘Whiteness is at the center of racism’
The workshop, “Working Together Towards an Antiracist WA CTC System,” came from the Friends of the FSCOSS group, comprised of all-white educator-activists from Edmonds College, Green River College, Bellevue College, Clark College. Their goal is to “interrogate and challenge the racist systems we’ve built and benefited from.”
“Our hope is that we, as white identified or white privilege recipients, will collectively do the work necessary for transformative change. Racism is a white people problem and we need to take ownership, accountability, and action,” reads an internal document titled “Accomplice-ing It!”
The flyer promoting the workshop laid out expectations for attendees who, depending on their job title within community or technical colleges, paid $250.
We will build coalitions and work together as a collective to:
interrogate how we individually and collectively perpetuate systems of white supremacy & capitalism,
strategize ways we can dismantle white supremacy, and colonization
create liberatory spaces for all of us,
become part of the solution in all of the -ism words
Over 125 staff members from various state colleges were in attendance, according to an internal email.
Invite offended some staff
The workshop invitation was widely distributed, though the method depended on the school.
Jennifer Whetham of Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges distributed an invite to a number of statewide educators. She is a core member of the Friends of FSCOSS. In addition to the flyer soliciting registrations, she explained why this training was so integral to the work of CTC educators.
“It’s vital to remember that no matter how much we know about racism, white supremacy and our own role perpetuating and maintaining systems of oppression, we are still benefitting from them. Therefore, it is our responsibility to support each other as we learn and seek to make internal and systemic change,” Whetham wrote.
Some staff expressed anger at the invite publicly and privately.
“Very offensive introduction to your workshop from the ‘Friends of FSOCC,'” an Everett Community College staff member replied.
Mocking the complainant
The core leaders of Friends of FSOCC distributed the email amongst each other.
Alyssa Voyles, Clark College’s Director of Employee Equity and Engagement, mocked the staffer. She said the email reminded her of the “‘thank you so much Dianne’ tiktok,” a video meme portraying the “coworker you hate during Zoom meetings.”
“Would love to know what’s offensive here,” Christina Sciabarra, adjunct faculty member in Political Science at Bellevue College, wrote to the group. She added a rolling eyes emoji.
Internal emails show the group was perplexed at what could be considered offensive about their workshop and introduction. It indicates little experience outside their far-left echo chamber.
‘White people working on it’
The two days of anti-racism work started with a land and labor acknowledgment, followed by a “fireside chat” with a number of prompts for conversation, according to the PowerPoint presentation.
Participants discussed what it means to be an “ally, advocate, accomplice, co-conspirator, and abolitionist.” They discussed what they “wished white people would do (or stop doing) to challenge white supremacy.” They also tackled the importance of affinity groups, or groups of staff that share the same race.
There were nearly two hours of time for participants to develop their personal accountability plan: how will they take action on institutionalizing anti-racism? They are expressly told to avoid taking personal responsibility with statements like, “Slavery was over 400 years ago, that was my ancestors, not me.”
‘It’s damn time white people stepped up’
During a breakout session, participants were asked, “Why is internal work necessary for anti-racism work?”
One declared, “I want to stop doing harm,” while a second said, “I can’t expect people of color to do labor for free and fix a system they did not create.”
“Because our BIPOC colleagues are TIRED and it’s damn time white people stepped up to do the work!” another white participant stated.
Another question asked during the breakout session: “When have you been stuck/messed up… what did you learn?”
One educator said they learned their feelings don’t matter, while a second said they learned “not to let guilt make me defensive.”
“I learned: Being a white person somewhere where I wasn’t invited can be interpreted as aggressive,” one participant said.
You didn’t earn that ‘privilege’
The workshop materials also express fringe views of race and racism, oftentimes expressing the very racism they condemn. The only difference is their racism is against white people.
The materials tell white people that they did not earn their socio-economic status or position within their respective colleges. It was borne out of white supremacy that offered them privilege.
“Clearly, if privilege is inextricably tied to race (social membership group), privilege is not something you earn. The myth of earned privilege is one of the many lies of white supremacy that helps perpetuate ideology that harms everyone, whites included. As white identified and/or a white privilege recipient, our level of responsibility is equal to our level of privilege,” claimed the Accomplice-ing It document.
The documents explain “fundamental truths” of society, such as “Societal systems are built upon white supremacy” and, ironically, “African American/Black women are the foundation of social justice and equity work and are routinely excluded while their work is appropriated.”
Tilting at windmills
These educators mean well, but they’re engaged in a sad display of performative wokeness.
It’s genuinely heartbreaking to see how guilty these educators feel about so-called “systems of oppression” that they convinced themselves exist. It’s wholly ironic that they’ve convinced themselves that all whites are privileged oppressors and all racial minorities are victims of oppression.
They’ve been taught to judge people by skin color, all in the name of anti-racism. And they think they’re heroes for “doing the hard work” to address the racism they’re conjuring in higher education. But all they’re doing is tilting at windmills.
But it’s not just about pitying these unhappy leftists. Their far-left activism is actually dangerous.
These educators will use this “anti-racist” worldview in the classroom. They’ll mistreat students due to skin color, while attempting to propagandize all those who will fall for the same grift these educators fell for.
This line of thinking creates more division and animosity. It tells people they didn’t earn their accomplishments or failures; that the end results were predetermined by skin color. Will white students get lower grades by an anti-racist educator deducting “privilege points”? Will Black or Latino students get higher grades than deserved as a means to overcome systemic racism? Who does this serve? Certainly not the impacted students.
Anti-racist educators seek to bring their students into alignment with their worldview. It’s a cult of wokeness where everyone loses. And all this does is alienate students who are looking for an education, not an indoctrination.
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