Sunday, August 14, 2022
08/14/2022

The NYC school system is teaching my ten-year-old son that he's racist


At the direction of the Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza, New York City Public Schools have taken the opportunity of the protests surrounding George Floyd’s murder to teach fourth graders about systemic racism and white privilege. But for the children who are either immigrants themselves or the children of immigrants—which is much of the class—and for my son who is the only white kid in the class, this was not a lesson that decreases racism, but one that verges on instilling it.

For the kids who are Chinese, Arab, or whose families come from Mexico, Central and South America, the lesson on racism between whites and blacks was just another study section that came with right and wrong answers. They learned that the country to which their parents had decided to journey from their homes abroad was founded on racist ideology and that, because it is permanently ingrained, there’s nothing that can be done about it. My son learned that he is perpetuating the problem of racism, and that he doesn’t even know how he’s doing it, and that his whole family is racist, even if they don’t think they are. The kids also learned that there’s no way to fix it.

Other than a few packets during Black History Month, fourth graders have not yet learned about the Civil Rights movement or the enslavement of Africans and their descendants in bondage. But they are now learning that the United States is founded on racism, that racism is the pervasive undercurrent in American governance, law enforcement, social interaction, employment, literature, arts, entertainment, real estate, and education.
homework by Tim McCune is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic
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