Rantz: School district foundation signals it won’t allow white men to volunteer
Jul 10, 2022, 5:03 PM | Updated: Jul 11, 2022, 6:20 am
A foundation meant to support students is signaling to volunteers that if they’re white men, they probably shouldn’t apply for its Board of Trustees. In fact, they won’t even confirm they’ll consider white male applicants.
The Olympia School District Education Foundation (OSDEF) is appointing new members to serve on its volunteer Board of Trustees. But its website and application make it clear: they are prioritizing volunteers who “identify as Black, Indigenous, or People of Color, and/or are multilingual” or “LGBTQ+.”
Now, one former volunteer is speaking out, accusing OSDEF of ditching a focus on serving students and, instead, embracing radical wokeness.
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No white men allowed
The OSDEF website says its executive leadership “identified our highest priorities for new members” to serve on the Board. They mostly focus on minority status. Among the priorities:
People who identify as Black, Indigenous, or People of Color, and/or are multilingual.
Those who are LGBTQ+.
People who are living in or have experienced poverty.
To make the intent even more clear, the application to become a volunteer asks questions that most Human Resource managers would never allow.
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Application tracks everything it’s shouldn’t
Businesses generally avoid asking questions about protected class status. When they do, it’s often not tracked to the applicant, but used for statistical purposes to evaluate whether or not they’re reaching a diverse enough applicant field. Not only does the OSDEF application asks identity-based questions, it’s done on a Google form that appears to tie every answer to a specific applicant.
Applicants are asked about their gender identity, race, religious affiliation, marital status, sexual orientation and age. It asks whether or not they have disability, and if you are a first-generation (foreign-born) immigrant or refugee.
It even asks if “your family qualify for Free and Reduced-Price Meals?” You have an option to say you prefer not to answer.
Comically, the application promises that all “information collected will not be used for a discriminatory purpose.” The very reason you don’t ask most of these questions is to avoid being sued for discrimination.
But OSDEF explicitly states they are prioritizing people based on a racial or gender minority status making it reasonable to believe they will use the identity-based answers to determine who will earn an interview.
OSDEF’s executive director Katy Johansson did not respond to multiple requests for comment. She would not even answer whether or not she’d consider white male applicants.
Former volunteer speaks out
Matt Perkins was a volunteer with OSDEF but he resigned in 2020 after it leaned into woke identity politics.
“It was a difficult decision. But over time, I felt like the mission had had been a little bit forgotten and tucked away,” Perkins told the Jason Rantz Show on KTTH. “And there was more and more focus on more controversial things, like seminars, things that are a little bit more controversial and political. And there was a continued obsession with race, not only from the foundation, but from the district; just hyper-focused and obsessed with race, and you know, whether it’s speakers or board members… really trying to put people in pools of identity groups.”
Perkins believes the staffers mean well. But their identity-obsession is leading them to be exclusive — not inclusive.
“But I feel like you’re effectively telling people if you don’t meet these criteria, then we’re really not looking for you. I feel like this is an organization that I’ve been able to get behind for several years. I love their original mission of empowering every student or community support. That’s what they should fall back on is just focusing on academic, financial, mental health issues, rather than, you know, putting a brand of social justice on it,” Perkins said.
As concerning, Perkins says, the OSDEF won’t say “communities of color” anymore. Instead, he claims, they use the term “communities of concern” which he finds to be condescending. And each time he brought up his concerns, he said he felt “largely brushed off.”
Why can’t we be reasonable and admit this is wrong?
The Executive Committee appears to be exclusively white, making their race and gender identity obsession even more troubling.
They come off as privileged white liberals looking to be literal white (cis-gendered) saviors. If not for their benevolence, “communities of concern” would not be able to succeed. They’re heroes in their own heads. And I’m sure they’ll remind you of that any time they can. How insufferable.
Why can’t people admit this obsession and hyper focus is wrong and demeaning? That we’ve strayed far from what used to be the ideal: judging people not by the color of their skin (or their gender identity), but by the content of their character.
The OSDEF is tokenizing future volunteers. They’re selected so that white progressives can check a box proving their woke bona fides. It makes them feel proud of their efforts to dismantle systemic racism and sexism. Only they’re the ones instituting the racism and sexism via what seems to be a clearly discriminatory process.
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