CounterCurrent: Week of 12/27
Editor's Note: David Acevedo originally stated in this newsletter that Scott Johnston is an alumnus of the Dalton School. That is not accurate and the article has been corrected below.
The Dalton School has jumped head-first off the cliff of “anti-racism,” proving once again that elite private schools are often the most eager to embrace the latest social justice fad. According to Scott C. Johnston, who a couple of weeks ago on his blog , over one hundred of the school’s faculty and several black students collaborated to produce an extensive list of so-called “anti-racist” demands, with the goal of creating a “visibly, vocally, structurally anti-racist institution.”
The full manifesto and its 24 demands may be found at this link. Here are just a few of the teachers’ proposed anti-racist edicts, along with my common-sense translations:
#3: “Commit to racial equity in leveled courses by 2023; at that time, if membership and performance of Black students are not at parity with non-Black students, leveled courses should be abolished.” [Translation: If black students underperform, lower academic standards. Race to the bottom.]
#5: “Dalton’s student body, faculty, staff, administration, and trustees should be representative of New York City in terms of gender, race, socioeconomic background, and immigration status by 2025. Dalton should publish yearly updates regarding the demographics of each of these groups.” [Translation: Force identity-based diversity at the school, regardless of who is qualified to attend, who can afford to attend, and who is even interested in attending the school. Discriminate against boys, whites, Asians to accomplish this.]
#10: “All faculty, staff, administration, Parent Association volunteers, and trustees should undergo yearly anti-racist training.” [Translation: All faculty, staff, administration, Parent Association volunteers, and trustees should undergo yearly re-education.]
#12: “Expand the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion to include at least 12 full-time positions: one Director, one Office Assistant, three full-time staff members per division, and one full-time staff member for PE/Athletics.” [Translation: Needlessly expand Dalton’s diversity bureaucracy, thereby increasing the $54,000 annual tuition and leaving less money to provide scholarships to lower- and middle-class applicants.]
#18: “Offer a special orientation session for incoming students and families of underrepresented racial and ethnic backgrounds. Provide anti-racist orientations for all families on a yearly basis.” [Translation: Racially segregate students and their families from the moment they enter Dalton. Re-educate them annually.]
The list goes on and, not surprisingly, many parents are livid. In this week’s featured article, Susan Edelman and Dana Kennedy of New York Post chronicle the fallout from the faculty statement and report several reactions from anonymous Dalton parents, including the following: “It’s just about skin color now”; “It’s completely absurd and a total step backwards”; “This supposed anti-racist agenda is asking everyone to look at black kids and treat them differently because of the color of their skin.” This is exactly the logic of “anti-racism” that we see in countless American schools. Bring back racial preferences, racial segregation, and widespread racial animus. Why? To end racism, of course.
Dalton Head of School Jim Best has since responded to Scott Johnston’s original exposé, claiming that it “blatantly and erroneously mischaracterized diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts at Dalton” and calling the anti-racism manifesto a mere “‘thought starter’ document.” Johnston in turn responded to this response, writing that “[a] document signed by over one hundred people strikes me as much more of an end point than a beginning. The fact you put ‘thought starter’ in quotes means it's not a thought starter at all.” I tend to agree with the latter.
Elite private schools like Dalton are seen as leaders in the education world. Where they go, other institutions are sure to follow. Dalton’s disturbing “anti-racist” manifesto is, unfortunately, a sign of things to come in K-12 education at large. Parents who dissent will be left with fewer and fewer options, our children will therefore be more and more likely to receive 12 years of progressive brainwashing rather than any semblance of an objective, balanced education.
CounterCurrent is the National Association of Scholars’ weekly newsletter, written by Communications & Research Associate David Acevedo. To subscribe, update your email preferences here.
Image by Jim.henderson - Own work, CC0