Mark Federman from East Side Community High School passed out literature to parents asking them to “reflect” on their “whiteness”.
One part of the literature shows a chart labeled “The 8 White Identities,” which ranges from “White Supremacist’’ to “White Abolitionist.”
The curriculum, written by Barnor Hesse, an associate professor of African American studies at Northwestern University in Illinois, claims, “There is a regime of whiteness, and there are action-oriented white identities.
“People who identify with whiteness are one of these,’’ Hesse writes above the eight-point list.
“It’s about time we build an ethnography of whiteness, since white people have been the ones writing about and governing Others,’’ Hesse adds.
In between the two extreme “identities” of supremacist and abolitionist are such categories as “White Voyeurism’’ — defined as “wouldn’t challenge a white supremacist, desires non-whiteness because it’s interesting’’ — and “White Privilege,’’ or “sympathetic to a set of issues but only privately; won’t speak/act in solidarity publicly because benefitting through whiteness in public (some POC are in this category as well).”
“The 8 White Identities” according to Barnor Hesse are listed below.
These documents were passed out as part of an ongoing anti-racist work in the school community. It used to be that putting people into categories strictly based on the color of their skin was the definition of racism.
As Martin Luther King, Jr. famously said, “I look to a day when people will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.”
A Bill Pushing Left Leaning Politics Into the Classroom in Illinois Has Officially Passed
In an article we previously wrote concerning the Illinois State Board of Education passing a bill called “Culturally Responsive Teaching and Leading Standards has officially been upheld by the Illinois Joint Committee on Administrative Rules (JCAR).
Some of the new standards include teachers assessing “how their biases affect how they access tools to mitigate their own behavior (racism, sexism, homophobia, unearned privilege, Eurocentrism, etc.)”
Bettina L. Love is a prominent advocate of Critical Race Theory in education and she believes “White Teachers Need Anti-Racist Therapy.”
If teachers do not do so voluntarily the new standards would allow schools to force teachers into therapy for their whiteness , along with punishing them with a loss of license and certification if complaints are made about them not adopting “progressive” ideologies. Teaching about “systemic racism” will be required as well.
Some Republican lawmakers voiced their opposition to the standards earlier this month, saying they add unnecessary politics to the classroom.
Sen. Sue Rezin, R-Morris, said she asked ISBE to include more diverse perspectives on their task forces to avoid standards like this from being so controversial in the future, and said the board made some of the changes Republicans asked for.
Rezin said her office got an unusually high number of calls and emails about these standards.
These new teaching standards will take effect in October 2025.
Some lawmakers were not happy with the decision including Republican Candidate for Governor and Former Senator Paul Schimpf:
“I am extremely disappointed that JCAR approved the State Board of Education’s Culturally Responsive Teacher Standards. These standards politicize the teacher certification process and undermine the authority of local school boards, superintendents, and parents to control their children’s’ education. This is yet another example of top-down, administrative overreach by the Pritzker Administration and illustrates a clear example of why Illinois needs a new governor.”
New Jersey Passes Bill that Requires "Social Justice" and Racism Education in Public Schools
New Jersey lawmakers would like public schools to be held more accountable when it comes to teaching black history. Last month, lawmakers passed a bill that, if signed by Gov. Phil Murphy, would make it a requirement for schools to learn about racism and social justice in order to graduate.
“Our children will learn about Black history and not just being a slave,” said Assemblywoman Angela McKnight (D., Hudson), one of the bill’s sponsors. “We will know the contributions that Black people continue to do.”
The new law will complement the state’s Amistad law, which requires public schools to incorporate African American history. Her bill will put the Amistad Commission under the state Department of Education, tighten regulations and oversight, and mandate professional development for teachers.
Students in high schools across the region have been pushing for changes this year after the killing of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer. They want schools to address systemic racism and implicit bias among staff and students.
New Jersey and Pennsylvania require history to be taught, but districts decide the content of their courses.
Cherry Hill East, a school system noted by the Inquirer as “predominantly white,” would be the first school in the state to mandate the course on African-American history in order to graduate. The course was proposed by the students after a Black Lives Matter protest in the spring.
Pleasantville first-grade teacher Tamar LaSure-Owens, who has been leading a charge to infuse Black history into everyday lessons, believes the latest legislation would help teachers better present historically accurate and culturally sensitive information about all races.
“We need training,’ said LaSure-Owens, who has helped develop a model Black history curriculum at the Leeds Avenue School. “We need a curriculum that we can put our hands on.”
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