Do Black People Enjoy Being Told They Are Weak and Dumb? The Elect Hope So.
Tracing, facing and erasing what psychology titles the Victimhood Mentality will be key to, among other things, saving America's educational system.
by John McWhorter
April 26th, 2021
FAIR Board of Advisors member John McWhorter penned an insightful piece this week exposing a disturbing paper published in Critical Criminology last month by Riverdale Country School upper school head Tom Taylor. Taylor's 10-page manifesto, titled “Independent School Rhetoric and its Role in the Neoliberal Construction of Whiteness,” uses the terms “white,” “whiteness” or “white supremacy” upwards of eighty times.
“Again, the school is channeling Jesus and will not be questioned. Thou shalt not question Tom Taylor. Given the buzzwords, the period of composition, and current practice at such schools nationwide, we are reasonable to assume that the program Taylor is espousing will include excusing black students from real standards, teaching students to distrust one another across racial boundaries, narrowing scholastic coverage to 'center' issues of oppression and inequity, 'decentering,' well, just plain school as 'too white,' assigning KenDiAngelonian texts as scripture, and creating an atmosphere where students and teachers are afraid to take issue with any of this because they don’t want to be rhetorically roasted alive and socially excommunicated.
And Taylor’s position is 'If parents don’t like what we’re doing they can go fuck themselves. We’re right and they’re wrong.'
This man, despite his sport coats and probably pacific demeanor, is a zealot.”
Read the full article here.
Taylor's Public Academic Profile:
In The Times of London, Will Pavia also wrote about Taylor's paper:
... Private schools, well-financed and unencumbered by rules about their curricula, may actually be going further than public schools in reordering how they do business. Tom Taylor, the author of a recent paper titled Independent School Rhetoric and its Role in the Neoliberal Construction of Whiteness, wrote that they were “uniquely positioned” to lead the way. He cited research suggesting that while publicly funded schools were obligated to educate the children of “overly interventionist parents”, private schools are not.
“Thus, private schools who find parents unwilling to accept moves towards culturally responsive schooling are free to draw a line in the sand, so to speak, and assert firmly and positively a philosophy of education that is explicitly antiracist, decolonising and culturally affirming.”
Taylor was not speaking from an ivory tower. He is the head of the upper school at Riverdale, the $54,000-a-year institution with the start-of-term assembly that so alarmed Bartning. In his paper, Taylor says that students of colour, who are 50.2 per cent of the school-age population, make up 28.7 per cent of pupils at independent schools. Because of their cost, they are “quite literally educating the ‘one percent’” he wrote.
Citing a thicket of studies, he said private schools espouse “neoliberal notions of individualism (as opposed to societal or structural inequity)” to suggest that if minority pupils fail to succeed it is their own fault. He writes that the claim from many parents that “I don’t see colour” supported this ideology. “By erasing (or at least minimising) the relevance of race, colorblindness represents a discursive investment in the perpetuation of Whiteness,” the head teacher writes.
In a blog post on Taylor’s article this week, John McWhorter, a professor of English and comparative literature at Columbia University, portrayed Taylor as a zealot “seeking moral absolution for being white”. McWhorter, who is black, argued that “black people will have to play a major role in the pushback” to “reverse this anti-intellectual tide of pious, self-congratulatory nonsense from depriving generations of children of true education”...
Read the full article here.