Blogs > Liberty and Power > Indoctrination in Guilford County

May 28, 2005 11:40 am

Indoctrination in Guilford County

Agape Press quoted my comments in opposition (discussed at L and P here) to the mandatory diversity training by Crossroads Ministry in the Guilford County schools, North Carolina. A representative from Crossroads was also interviewed. He tried to defend himself against my charge that the training was improper (among other reasons) because Guilford County was using an explicitly religious organization for this purpose:

David Beito is an associate professor in history at the University of Alabama, where he successfully protested the same training five years ago. He contends the group teaches that that all whites are racist and no black can be racist, and also favors the redistribution of wealth.

"Their argument is that you're automatically privileged if you're white, so therefore you are a racist; where blacks are not privileged, therefore they cannot be racist," Beito says."Of course, I think Condoleezza Rice might disagree with that statement."

The history instructor considers such a" collectivist notion" equivalent to racism."Right there, you've got a distinction based solely on skin color," he says."Now, of course, they would say whites are privileged. But again, there are plenty of privileged blacks in this society -- and there are plenty of unprivileged whites, but they don't look at those distinctions.".....

Beito recommends an alternative to the controversial training."Why not have a voluntary speakers series, bringing in people like Thomas Sowell, bringing people on the Left like Cornell West, and bring in diverse viewpoints and make it voluntary?" he suggests.

Because Crossroads is an explicitly religious organization, Beito questions the constitutionality of the group's mandatory workshops in schools -- and he wonders why groups like the American Civil Liberties Union and Americans United for Separation of Church and State are not questioning that as well.

Charles Ruehle, Crossroads' executive co-director, contends that even though Crossroads is a faith-based ministry, the information presented in one of the ministry's anti-racism training workshops is designed to examine the issues in terms of human rights and community values, and not on the basis of religion or any particular faith background. He says Crossroads training workshops have been well received by numerous organizations, religious and secular; and when the training is offered in a secular venue, facilitators tailor the presentation appropriately.

For instance, Ruehle notes, in a church setting, Crossroads workshop participants would be asked to consider the issues the training addresses in light of their biblical or theological beliefs. However, in a secular corporate or academic institution setting, he says the presenters would ask participants to weigh the information in light of their"values."

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Kenneth R Gregg - 5/29/2005

"...[Y]ou're automatically privileged if you're white, so therefore you are a racist; where[as] blacks are not privileged, therefore they cannot be racist..."
I am amazed when I come across this belief. It's as though racism is measured by the lightness of one's skin! Yet this is an accident of birth, unconnected with either your intellect or your financial capability. Such teaching does harm, particularly to those considered "biracial." Coming from mixed heritages, either from birth or through adoption, the terms "black" or "white" (or various other colors) denote nothing comprehensible except a vague feeling of confusion. In a sense, we are all biracial. Every country of origin, wherever it is on the globe, has experienced waves of immigration which has affected the mixture of peoples within its boundaries. America has had the opportunity of numerous groups of emigrants from all points. We have fought, we have traded, and we have loved. I can only see the efforts of such groups as the Crossroads Ministry as promoting racism in their wrongheaded workshops and seminars by promoting their notion of "anti-racism." Their agenda may be forged on the fear of colleges and university administrators and various other governmential institutions' anti-discrimination and diversity training, but the results are a continued racial policy, not a rejection of racism. David, thanks for bringing up this issue.

Just a thought.

Just Ken

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