Anyway, after that I thought I should review their training materials that have been used in HSD. I opened their training packet, and read this definition of racism on the first page:
"Racism is racial prejudice (which both people of color and white people have) plus systemic, institutional power (which white people have). To say people of color can be racist denies the power imbalance inherent in racism. ... People of color can act on their prejudice to insult, even hurt a white person. But there is a difference between being hurt and being oppressed. People of color, as a social group, do not have the societal, institutional power to oppress white people as a group. An individual person of color abusing a white person - while clearly wrong - is a acting out of personal racial prejudice, not racism."
They have played an underhanded and manipulative (though standard in Critical Race Theory) rhetorical trick here: redefine a word, "racism", that has major emotional connotations. Their definition is completely at odds with the word as used by ordinary English speakers, and as defined in most dictionaries. Keep in mind that "Racism is unfair and wrong" is one of the few statements that liberals, conservatives, Democrats, and Republicans all agree on. By redefining this emotionally charged word, UUR has essentially reframed the argument, requiring all conversation in the class to conform to their belief that invisible White Privilege pervades our society, and that addressing racism is a one-way task of correcting White behavior. This is a controversial political analysis to say the least, not a generally agreed fact as they imply. And it is one that most conservatives not only profoundly disagree with, but find deeply offensive and- yes- racist. (As per the dictionary definition.) UUR's redefinition of the term effectively declares conservative views out-of-bounds and beyond the pale of debate.
But more importantly, we also need to ask the practical question: even if you agree with this political analysis of American society, is teaching staff to think of racism as a one-sided societal oppression, carried out by universally by white people, an effective way to encourage Equity for every individual in our school district? Every staff member in our schools should be expected to deal fairly and impartially with people of all races, in all their interactions. Think about who are the real victims of the "societal, institutional power" in each of these entirely plausible scenarios (based on real situations I have seen, read about, or been told of):
If you agree with me, and want politically biased concepts and manipulative redefinitions of racism removed from Hillsboro's equity training, be sure to make your voice heard. Call the district at 503-844-1500, come and speak at the public comment period during one of the board meetings or contact HSD through one of the other methods on the contact page.
By the way-- this is just what I saw on page 1. Wait until you see some of the outrageous statements I found further down in the training packet, in my next blog entry...