Friday, June 02, 2006

Redefining Racism (yet again)

In response to the mountain of criticism it received for its definition of racism which included having “a future time orientation” and “emphasizing individualism as opposed to a more collective ideology” [blogged about at ROR here], the Seattle Public Schools has issued the following statement:

In response to the numerous concerns voiced regarding definitions posted on the Equity & Race website, we have decided to revise our website in a way that will hopefully provide more context to readers around the work that Seattle Public Schools is doing to address institutional racism. The intended purpose of our work in the area of race and social justice is to bring communities together through open dialogue and honest reflection around what is meant by racism and the impact is has on our society and more specifically, our students. Our intention is not to put up additional barriers or develop an “us against them” mindset, nor is it to continue to hold onto unsuccessful concepts such as a melting pot or colorblind mentality. It is our hope that we can explore the work of leading scholars in the areas of race and social justice issues to help us understand the dynamics and realities of how racism permeate throughout our society and use their knowledge to help us create meaningful change. This difficult work is vital to the success of our students and families. Thank you for sharing your concerns.

Warm regards,

Caprice D. Hollins, Psy.D.
Director of Equity & Race Relations
Seattle Public Schools
I love how the Hollins’ apology still manages to make a muck of it, this time attacking the “unsuccessful concept” of the “colorblind mentality.” Yeah, you know, that old chestnut that leads one to actually believe that race is immaterial to what one thinks or does. And I also love the ode to “open dialogue” and the desire to avoid an “us against them” mindset. Sure, your mentality may be failed, but we still can talk about it.

I take the above as proof that one can be an utterly flaming idiot who attracts national attention through their buffoonery and still not get fired from the government’s public school system.

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