Instructors at one private K-8 school in Manhattan are teaching their white students they are born racist, training them to feel guilty for benefitting from "white privilege," while offering praise and benefits to their black counterparts.
Administrators at the Bank Street School for Children on the Upper West Side told the New York Post it is their way of addressing discrimination, adding that many other private New York institutions are implementing similar practices, but many are pushing back against the method — including liberal parents.
The school of 430 students is separating white children from their black peers and putting them in classes where they are forced to feel horrible about their "whiteness." At the same time, all the "kids of color" are put in other rooms where they are instructed to feel proud about their race and their pride is reinforced with treats and special privileges.
"Ever since Ferguson, the school has been increasing anti-white propaganda in its curriculum," one parent, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he has children currently enrolled at the school, said of the policy.
Bank Street has established a "dedicated space" for "kids of color," where they are "embraced" by other minority instructors and encouraged to "voice their feelings" and "share experiences about being a kid of color," according to a school slideshow obtained by the Post.
But white students don't enjoy the same treatment. Instead, they are gathered in classrooms where they are taught to raise their "awareness of the prevalence of Whiteness and privilege" and challenge "notions of colorblindness [and] assumptions of ‘normal,’ ‘good,’ and ‘American.'" They are also taught to understand their European heritage and acknowledge their "tie to privilege."
Parents say the controversial curriculum, "Racial Justice and Advocacy," is about teachers pushing white students to deal with the United States' history of racism. Then the white children are indoctrinating into believing "systematic racism" still exists in America and they are part of the problem and must hold themselves accountable — even for the acts committed by others.
"One hundred percent of the curriculum is what whites have done to other races," another Bank Street parent said. "They offer nothing that would balance the story."
"Any questions they can’t answer, they rationalize under the pretense of ‘institutional racism,’ which is never really defined," the unnamed parent added.
According to the parents, the racially-divisive curriculum intentionally instills in white children a strong sense of guilt about the color of their skin. The program is being implemented so intensely, some kids have reportedly come home in tears, telling their moms and dads, "I'm a bad person."
Because of the Bank Street practices, many white kids are being conditioned to think any success they find in life is not something they truly earned. For example, one student at the school is seen confessing on a Bank Street video, "I feel guilty for having a privilege I don’t deserve."
While many parents believe the class only serves to further divide the students, breeding resentment between races, Anshu Wahi, the "social justice" activist who leads the program, believes the best answer to racism is for white kids to see race in everything, a process she calls "white racial socialization," according to the Post.
In Wahi's mind, the once-popular idea of being colorblind is nothing more than a cop-out and an excuse to ignore the hardships black people face in the United States. She also believes it's a "tool of whiteness" to perpetuate "oppression" of black people, according to one paper she instructed parents to read.
The "social justice" warrior even believes white babies exhibit signs of racism, so she encourages parents to begin discussing race with their children as early as kindergarten, making them overly aware of differences between races and even "examining their own whiteness."
To that end, Wahi drew the ire of many parents earlier this year for airing a documentary film championing leaders of the violent Black Panthers movement on May 31. Bank Street screened "Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution," which portrays Black Panthers founder Huey Newton, a convicted cop-killer, as a martyr.
As for why the school segregates white and black students, Wahi said it's because "kids of color" need a safe space to share their "ouch moments," including "micro aggressions," which are subtle but still racist comments from white kids.
"Bank Street wants to give kids of color a space to talk about shared experiences," she explained in a parent handout, according to the Post. "Because even in society today, people of color are treated unfairly."
"In the recent past," Wahi continued, "children of color in our Lower School have been told by well-intentioned peers that their skin looks like the color of poop."
According to Wahi, the program is just about empowering black children who feel "alienated" and "devalued" by the "dominant white culture." But some parents feel her curriculum is nurturing resentments minority groups may harbor toward others and reinforcing perceptions of victimization.
The divisive policy is established upon the foundational belief that the U.S. still intensely suffers from "systematic racism," which Wahi says she saw first-hand while serving as a juror at criminal cases in Brooklyn. According to the Post, she told parents she was shocked to learn every case involved a minority defendant.
Additionally, Wahi believes the GI Bill is proof of "white privilege." In her view, the post-World War II bill only benefited white soldiers and their heirs. However, in actually, black enrollment skyrocketed under the GI Bill.
Wahl was also criticized by parents in 2013 for seemingly sympathizing with Muslim terrorists after the deadly Boston Marathon bombings.
The April 17, 2013, message read, "From Anshu, our Director of Diversity and Community: The Boston Marathon — Another Perspective," which advised students and parents to "be mindful of stereotypes and dangerous ideas," regarding "Arabs [and] Muslims."
You can read a handout explaining the curriculum below:
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