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‘Only White People Could Be Racist’: Staff Sue School District Over Mandatory ‘Equity’ Training

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Two employees of Missouri’s largest school district filed a complaint Wednesday against their government employer, alleging they were forced to affirm and promote an ideology with which they disagree.

Springfield Public Schools (SPS) employees Brooke Henderson and Jennifer Lumley claim that while the First Amendment protects public school employees from viewpoint discrimination, the school district “forces teachers and staff to affirm views they do not support, to disclose personal details that they wish to keep private, and to self-censor on matters of public interest,” according to the complaint.

SPS warns staff to “be professional” and “stay engaged” during equity training or they would be asked to leave and receive no credit, according to the complaint. This district-wide staff training program “demands that its staff ‘commit’ to equity and become ‘anti-racist educators.’”

All SPS staff either undergo “‘equity training’ to learn about oppression, white supremacy and systemic racism” or face pay reductions, the complaint states. Henderson works as an advocate for students with disabilities and Lumley is a secretary.

The equity training program materials define white supremacy as “the all-encompassing centrality and assumed superiority of people defined and perceived as white,” referring to an article by Robin DiAngelo, a progressive academicwho wrote such books as “White Fragility” and “Nice Racism.” The complaint also states that SPS requires staff to discuss the “Oppression Matrix” and to identify their personal location on the chart.

In the complaint, the plaintiffs highlight a line from a dissenting opinion in the Supreme Court case Plessy v. Ferguson that became a “rallying cry” of the civil rights movement: “Our Constitution is color-blind, and neither knows nor tolerates classes among citizens.”

Henderson and Lumley claim that “equity” is “code-speak” for “the practice of conditioning individuals to see each other’s skin color first and foremost, then pitting different racial groups against each other,” according to the complaint. They also highlight the difference between equity and equality.

Equality, they said, “strives for equal opportunity and colorblind treatment under the law,” being “the principle proclaimed in the Declaration of Independence, defended in the Civil War, and codified into law with the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments to Constitution, the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and the Voting Rights Act of 1965.”

Equity, according to the complaint, is “about so-called fairness,” but actually gives “license to punish individuals based on skin color.”

SPS’s equity training materials explain that “only white people could be racist” and that colorblindness, along with “mass incarceration” and “racial profiling,” are actually forms of white supremacy, according to a graphic included in the complaint.

“SPS puts its staff in the no-win situation of wondering if they should say what they really think (at the risk of being asked to leave), repeat what they think the district wants to hear (in conflict with their own beliefs), or not speak at all (at the risk of being labeled a white supremacist),” the complaint states.

SPS said the equity and diversity initiative is an effort to create “an inclusive, equitable, accessible and affirming learning and working environment for all students and staff” where staff must be held “accountable in this work,” according to the complaint.

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5 Comments

  1. Martin Luther King is crying alright, but it’s because of the racist groups espousing that Only BLM and a Critical Race Theory that itself is racist. America love it or leave it. Why wait til retirement? Get out now.

  2. Frankfurt Schoolers attempting to destroy existing hegemony and harmony in our country. It’s all Critical Theory, all Frankfurt School. It’s working. Cause chaos, hatred, rewrite history, demonize their heros, destroy law, destroy order. Then only the large distant , omnipotent, Marxist Federal government will save us with correct think and correct morality, correct , correct , correct.

  3. When I retire, I will be moving to a country where I will not be judged by the color of my skin, and it is NOT AMERICA…YOU RACISTS ARE SICKENING AND Martin Luther King Is Crying…

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  4. It has been the White Race who has been the world builder, the makers of cities and commerce and continents. It is the White Man who is the sole builder of civilizations. It was he who built the Egyptian civilization, the great unsurpassed Roman civilization, the Greek civilization of beauty and culture, and who, after having been dealt a serious blow by a new Semitic religion, wallowed through the Dark Ages, finally extricated himself, and then built the great European civilization.
    These European White Men, then, with civilization in their blood and in their destiny, crossed the Atlantic and set up a new civilization on a bleak and rock bound coast. It was the White Men who drove north to Alaska and west to California; the men who opened up the tropics and subdued the Arctics; the men who mastered the African Veldts; the men who peopled Australia and seized the gates of the world at Suez, Gibraltar and Panama.
    It was the White Race who produced men like Columbus who crossed the unknown Atlantic; men like Magellan who first circumnavigated the globe; men like Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Rembrandt, Velazquez, Bernini, Rubens, Raphael and thousands of other geniuses who created beautiful and exquisite productions in the fields of sculpture and painting; geniuses like Beethoven, Bach, Wagner and Verdi who created beautiful music; men like James Watt who invented the steam engine; men like Daimler who invented and built the reciprocating internal combustion engine; production geniuses like Henry Ford, inventors like Thomas Edison; such a prodigal genius as Nikola Tesla in the field of physics and electricity; literary geniuses like Shakespeare, Goethe and thousands of others, untold geniuses in the fields of mathematics, in the fields of chemistry and physics.
    It was the White Man who spanned the continents of the world with railroads and super highways and electrical power lines. It was the White Man who created the miraculous world of electronics, ushering in the telephone, the radio and television. It was the White Race, who in a combined burst of energy and genius sent rockets to the moon and planted the feet of the White Man on extra-terrestrial territory in the last decade. [Note: The 1960’s.]
    The brilliant accomplishments of the White Race are endless and rapidly expanding even as this is being written. All one has to do is leaf through the pages of an encyclopedia to appreciate the magnificent legacy of achievements wrought by the White Race through the centuries.
    What other race can even come close to this remarkable record of creativity, achievement and productivity? The answer is none. None whatsoever. None can even come close. In contrast, the black man of Africa never so much as even invented the wheel.

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