"This Book Is Anti-Racist" is being assigned as required reading for 4th-graders. And it is anything but anti-racist.

Feb 12th

We already know that your baby is racist, so it's time now to move on to your school-age children who are also racist.

They even have a text book for it, this one, being adopted by the school system in Montgomery County, Maryland (adjacent to Washington DC with a population in excess of one million), is specifically designed for 4th and 5th graders.

What does it mean to be anti-racist?

It appears you kind of have to be racist first.

Interesting. Unconventional, but interesting.

This is how it starts, in the author's note:

You will notice I have chosen to use "folx" instead of "folks." Because it is a gender neutral term created by activist communities, and I would like to honor everyone who reads this book.

And I would like you to stay away from my child in order to honor his ability to successfully pass a spelling bee.

"We'll capitalize Black, Brown, Indigenous, People of Color, and Folx of the Global Majority because I believe it is important to center the voices and lives of those who have been marginalized, silenced, and purposefully left out of our history for so long."

We will "center the voices and lives of those who have been marginalized, silenced, and purposefully left out of our history."

We will not center everyone's voice, we will not treat them as individuals, we will in fact explicitly center voices based on their race.

Which races get their voices centered?

Let's see, I could make a list, but it would get kind of long. It might be easier just to say who isn't on the list.

  1. 1) White people.

There, that was easy.

White people also don't get a capital letter. Sorry, you shouldn't have marginalized all those people, and by "you" I mean people who are not you, just other white people pretty much all of whom are dead.

Eh, you're all the same anyway.

And just like that, we've taken our first steps to being anti-racist!

"Yay."

I do not use the term "minority" to describe Black, Brown, and Indigenous folx because we are the majority of the world.

"We," she points out. Feeling the love yet?

Using language of racism can minimize our full selves. It can allow us to forget our deepest roots and ancestors; it allows us to create a history that, while in our own voices, has been shaped by the oppressor.

"...has been shaped by the oppressor."

Who might that be?

Purely by process of elimination that would be my son.

And by extension, me!

This just gets less and less racist the further we go!

Because race and our social identities are constructed by people, we are still often caught in the trap of labeling ourselves in ways that center whiteness and those in the dominant culture.

At this point I usually feel it is important to note that associating American culture with "whiteness" is not at all racist. It's "anti-racist," which is just like being racist, only with "anti" in front of it which makes it okay so stop thinking about it right this instant.

"I wrote this book for you. I wrote it for everyone."

That's a relief, because for a second there, it really sounded like you weren't writing it for my son, what with the the whole thing about my son being an oppressor because of his race, and his voice being explicitly excluded, and all that, so really, I appreciate the clarification.

Further along in the book, the author writes:

I do want to be clear: it is not the job of Folx of the Global Majority to educate white people on their oppression. It is the job of white people to listen, learn, and grow.

"...educate white people on their oppression."

I can't believe how anti-racist this book is! It's as if they never even heard of race.

And I'm sure the only reason there is not a single illustration of a white male on the cover of this book that the author wrote for everyone was just a matter of space limitations. Oh, and the fact that the 47 illustrations I was able to examine also didn't have a single identifiable white male either was probably just an oversight.

It happens.

Oh, wait, my mistake. There does appear to be one white guy.

And he's a racist.

I have to admit, I am feeling included, but it doesn't feel as good as I had hoped.

I'll stop here. There are a lot more pieces to this and I want to tackle them one by one, but I'll leave you with this reminder:

"This Book is Anti-Racist," an explicitly racist, resentful, neo-Marxist screed that teaches non-white people that they are victims and tells white people to shut up, is being used to teach 10 and 11-year-olds.

How are you doing on those Mandarin lessons?


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