“A Washington State governor-appointed education panel recently gave a presentation to state agencies in which they asserted concepts like objectivity and individualism come from ‘white supremacy,'” reports The College Fix.
“Governor Jay Inslee’s hand-picked Professional Educator Standards Board also informed its sister agencies at the November 30 Governor’s Equity Summit that it wants a ‘cultural shift’ towards an ‘indigenous relational pedagogy,'” notes The Fix. The PESB claims that unlike “white supremacy culture,” “indigenous relational pedagogy” prioritizes “slowness and deliberateness,” “humility and gentleness” and “responsibility and reciprocity.” The presentation occurred with the knowledge of Governor Jay Inslee, who told officials at the Equity Summit that “We don’t break centuries of habit and thinking, unless we decide to break the chains of that history.”
The PESB’s Erica Hernandez-Scott began the presentation with a land acknowledgment to the Puyallup Tribe who she claimed “stewarded th[e] lands since the beginning of time.” In reality, many different Native American tribes have inhabited Washington State over the centuries, and none were present in Washington State 20,000 years ago. Native Americans came to North America at different times, and routinely displaced or exterminated other tribes in the process.
Hernandez-Scott continued with a moment of silence to underscore that America “has elevated a story of democracy and freedom while minimizing the impact of violence and oppression on marginalized communities” and that people of color “continue to experience racism through police brutality, mass incarceration, inequitable education and health services, deportation, and other forms of subjugation.”
She then argued that people must “transform themselves from the top-down, bottom-up, outside-in, and inside-out” in order to not “undermine” diversity and equity.
As The College Fix notes,
The concepts behind “white supremacy” used by the PESB come from “grassroots organizer-scholar” artist and poet Tema Okun who, not-so-ironically, is behind the website “White Supremacy Culture.” Okun has said that professionalism, “driven by capitalism […] centers productivity over people, values time commitments, accomplishes tasks in a linear fashion, and often favors individuals who are white and Western.”
Potential teachers considering the Evergreen State for employment should know that the PESB “has rulemaking authority for preparation, certification, continuing education, and assignment” of public school educators.
Earlier this year, the health agency of Washington’s neighbor to the south, Oregon, invoked Okun’s principles and delayed a meeting between officials and community members … because being on time also is a “white supremacist value.”
Bizarre teachings about race are nothing new for Washington State educators. Two decades ago, the Seattle Schools adopted a bizarre definition of racism that depicted planning ahead and individualism as racist or white traits.
As the National Association of Scholars notes,”The Seattle Schools taught that ‘individualism’ is a form of ‘cultural racism’; that planning ahead is a white characteristic; that it is racist to expect minorities to exhibit that characteristic; and that only whites, who benefit from ‘white privilege’ and ‘institutional racism,’ can be racist. These bizarre teachings were ridiculed in opinions by Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Clarence Thomas in their opinions in June 2007 in Parents Involved in Community Schools v. Seattle School District No. 1. Justice Thomas argued that these and other aspects of the Seattle Schools’ obsession with ‘white privilege’ made it inappropriate to blindly defer to school districts when they use race in student assignment. Yet the Seattle Schools’ diversity consultant, Glenn Singleton, far from rethinking his obsessions with ‘white privilege’ and ‘institutionalized racism,’ continues to spread his weird racial philosophy.”
Supreme Court Justices cited this bizarre definition of racism in striking down Seattle’s race-conscious student assignment policy. The Chief Justice did so in his footnote 14 of his ruling. Similarly, Justice Thomas’s concurring opinion cited this definition as a reason that “local school boards should” not “be entrusted with the power to make decisions on the basis of race.” As he noted in footnote 30, the Seattle Schools defined as “cultural racism” the useful trait of “having a future time orientation” – that is, planning ahead.