School District Promotes Black Only
Yesterday morning I read an invitation on Parkrose School District letterhead. The school district is located in Portland, Oregon. The invitation was for parents/guardians with a “student attending Parkrose.” The parents/guardians “are invited to attend an evening with the Superintendent.” It reads: “This is an opportunity for parents to ask questions, share concerns and be informed about your child’s education.” Dinner and childcare will be provided.
That sounds innocuous enough, doesn’t it? But, alas, things aren’t quite what they seem. Because, in this instance, the invitation is for black parents only albeit, in an obvious attempt to portray themselves as not openly encouraging the segregation that they, in fact are, the claim is that all parents are welcome.
The obvious question is, if all parents are welcome why does the invitation read specifically “African American Parent Night”?
Confused? That’s okay because apparently so are the people who work in the superintendent’s office. I called the Parkrose School District offices and asked two questions. The first was, what the superintendent’s name was? At first I was told it was Karen Gray; then the person said no it’s actually Karen Fischer Gray. My second question really stumped the young lady on the phone. I asked, “What is the superintendent’s ethnicity?” The person replied she didn’t know which was changed to “I’m not sure.” My response was, “You don’t know what color the superintendent is? You don’t know if she is white, black, Hispanic?” The person asked who I was, at which time I gave her my name and stated that I was a nationally syndicated columnist writing about the Parkrose School District, and I needed to know what the superintendent’s ethnicity was. She, at that time, told me the superintendent was “white.” I laughed and commented pursuant to the difficulty she had determining the superintendent’s color.
It’s too bad the Parkrose School District didn’t have as much trouble determining the color of its students. Because if that were the case maybe they would be less inclined to promote racial segregation under the guise of having “culturally specific” parent nights thereby, according to them, increasing attendance.
The idea of same is wrong on so many levels I hardly know where to start. Let’s start with the idea of “culturally specific parent outreach nights.” I argue there are significant problems when parents will show up for “an evening with the Superintendent” if it is black only but refuse if it is open to all parents. What is the message that is being sent to the students and teachers pursuant to this practice?
The message to the teachers is that black children are different. They must be taught differently and related to differently. This practice sends an unambiguous acknowledgement to black children that they are different. It promotes racial alienation and a segregative mentality. It is an obscene practice that foments a racial and educational divide. Why not just have all black schools, with all black teachers, all black, black, black everything? And do not think for an instant that wouldn’t please no few number of blacks.
This promotes the idea that there is a separate strategy for teaching black children. That stratagem used to be called “separate but equal.” Today it is called “culturally specific instruction.” But, in fact, it is nothing more than reinforcing the belief held by many blacks already and that is they are different and as such they demand special conditions be applied to them.
That is not the America I want to live in. It is not the America I grew up dreaming of as a child. It is not the America I was educated in as a child. As my colleague Dr. Walter Williams shared with me some years ago, I am so glad that I went to school at a time I was expected to learn as a student not a color.
Practices such as this are being played out in public schools across the nation, and the results of what they are producing is replete throughout our American culture – racial division and black angst against the perceived slights by whites.
This is a shameful display, and an even more shameful indictment of the black families who permit same not realizing they are supporting the inculcation of marginalization of their children. In their zeal to be recognized as a color, the many black parents are supporting their children being inculcated to believe that they are different; and anything that challenges that vile heterodoxy is to be looked upon as an attack of their person. It forms, supports, and encourages the belief that any black person who rejects such poisonous reasoning is trying to be white or is ashamed of being black.
Our children deserve better, and we must demand it for them. Children are our future, but practices such as this do not produce forward-thinking adults, they produce adults who reject modernity.
About the Author
Mychal S. Massie is an ordained minister who spent 13 years in full-time Christian Ministry. Today he serves as founder and Chairman of the Racial Policy Center (RPC), a think tank he officially founded in September 2015. RPC advocates for a colorblind society. He was founder and president of the non-profit “In His Name Ministries.” He is the former National Chairman of a conservative Capitol Hill think tank; and a former member of the think tank National Center for Public Policy Research. Read entire bio here