Wednesday, May 22, 2024

NYU Hosted Whites-Only Anti-Racism Seminar for Public School Parents

'It’s a harm on top of a harm for them to hear our racist thoughts... '

(Headline USANew York University hosted a whites-only antiracism seminar for public school parents committed to “becoming anti-racist,” according to the Washington Free Beacon.

The seminar, titled “From Integration to Anti-Racism” and organized by NYU’s Steinhardt School of Education, took place over a five-month period and cost $360 to attend. Parents who participated met six times for workshops between February and June.

The only parents permitted to enroll in the seminar were white parents.

The seminar reportedly explained why in a handout titled “Why a White Space,” which claimed white people specifically need spaces where they can “unlearn racism” without subjecting minorities to “undue trauma or pain.”

Audio from the seminar’s first meeting shows facilitators reiterating this argument. A parent pointed out that it seemed “a little counterintuitive” to block minorities from participating in a seminar meant to build “multiracial parent communities,” but was told that it was for their own good.

“People of color are dealing with racism all the time,” replied Barbara Gross, the associate director of Steinhardt’s Education Justice Research group. “Like every minute of every day. It’s a harm on top of a harm for them to hear our racist thoughts.”

Throughout the seminar, white liberal parents repeatedly blasted themselves for not doing enough to serve minority communities. During one of the lectures, which included a discussion of Tema Okun’s “Characteristics of White Supremacy Culture,” such as “perfectionism,” “a sense of urgency,” and “worship of the written word,” one parent admitted that her expectations in the workplace could be racist.

“I’ve been correcting grammar a lot and typos,” one parent who said she works as an editor said. “And reading this I was thinking, ‘Wow, I had no idea.’”

Legal experts argued NYU’s seminar violated civil rights law by explicitly excluding certain groups on the basis of race.

“It’s quintessentially illegal,” said Ilya Shapiro, the director of constitutional studies at the Manhattan Institute. 

NYU said in a statement that it would be “reviewing these matters to determine whether they conform to our standards.”

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