A New York father pulls his daughter out of Brearley with a message to the whole school. Is the dam starting to break?
This is a masterpiece, and I want to buy this man a drink.
I work at a giant, global consulting firm that has gone full woke. After being told during mandatory anti-racism training session recently that inviting an African-American colleague to join you at a basketball game is a micro-aggression that can result in disciplinary action, I despaired for my country, my career, and the future. This letter gives me hope.
Wow! Brilliant letter. So glad you shared Bari and good for you Andrew. This especially resonated:
“I object, with as strong a sentiment as possible, that Brearley has begun to teach what to think, instead of how to think.”
What happened to educators educating inside of becoming preachers of Woke-ness? God willing you will inspire other parents to stand with you.
Fully in agreement with Mr. Guttman. Thank you Bari for publishing what the rest of the media wont. Here is my take, but I couldn't get it published anywhere:
2+2=5 Wake up America – Woke is a Joke
Woke culture is sweeping America, led by those great arbiters of public opinion, The New York Times, college faculty, and The Squad.
You may feel that you don’t understand what is going on in America today and that you aren’t expert enough to understand Woke (critical theory), unless you have a Ph.D. from Berkley or Yale – and that’s what the vanguard of the Woke want you to believe, they are the experts and they want to tell you what to believe.
It’s really not very complicated though - Let’s take a look at Woke beliefs.
The core tenet of Wokeness is that people must be judged by their race, not their personal character, beliefs or actions. Every human interaction is racist – it is just a matter of finding the racist component.
Like, Marxism, there are two classes of people - oppressor and oppressed. In Marxist theory the oppressor class was the Bourgeoisie and the oppressed class were the Proletariat. Critical Theory substitutes race for capital in defining the opposing classes.
According to the Woke, in America, white people are the dominant “oppressor” culture and Black, Hispanic, Asian-Americans and Native Americans are the oppressed. Like all propaganda, there is a core of truth in Wokeness. There can be no denying that Black slaves and their descendants as well as Native Americans, have often had their rights violated. But does the same apply to the 2+ million people that have emigrated from Africa to America since 1965?
The Woke believe that for a white person not to be racist one cannot be color blind, one must be “antiracist,” i.e. they must actively discriminate against white people based on their race. In fact, this call to discriminate based on race, is in direct violation of Articles VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Under Woke dogma, in order not to be racist one must be a racist! If this seems illogical to you – you are a racist because logic itself is also a racist construct. Go figure?
There is no Truth, each person has their own “lived truth.” 2+2 does not equal 4, it might be 5, or 87 or -3. Regimes of truth are established by the dominant culture. The Woke elite strives to overturn the “hegemonic” white, male, heterosexual dominated culture and become the dominant culture so it can establish its own particular regime of truth. (If you want to experience your own personal struggle session – listen to Jacques Derrida for an hour and a half and try to make sense of his views on truth.)
The Woke consider grammar not to be a tool to facilitate clear communication, but a racist construct. Similarly, punctuality is not respecting that other peoples’ time has value but just another racist construct.
When we hear the term “Social Justice,” the word justice does not mean what one would expect, unless you have been steeped in years of Critical Race Theory. Woke justice does not embrace innocent until proven guilty or trial by jury. Justice is meted out by the Woke mob.
The Woke determine what is an “act of violence” not by facts or evidence, but by finding if any member of an oppressed class’ feelings were hurt. Woke mores are thus infinitely variable and violating them is inevitable. For simply advising students to use their own good judgement, you are hounded out of Yale. Violation of the unknowable rules is simply heresy. Even doing absolutely nothing is a crime – thus “silence is violence.”
Freedom of speech and opposing viewpoints are instantly derided as racist and people are fired and cancelled for not actively advancing Woke ideals (even liberal editors at The New York Times).
The Woke movement has elements of The Spanish Inquisition and the Chinese Cultural Revolution, full of denunciations and struggle sessions. But really, it is a joke – more like a Monty Python Witch Trial…
Unfortunately, the joke isn’t funny. Woke critical race theory indoctrination sessions are becoming required by corporate HR departments, government offices and tax-funded schools.
America is conceived in the moral concept that all people are created equal. We have not fully lived up to this ideal, but it is our national goal. Either our beliefs in common humanity and equal rights are correct, or the Woke are correct. They are opposite and incompatible moral philosophies. I prefer to believe that we can work together to achieve the American project rather than splintering into opposing groups and going through a revolution/civil war.
Bravo to the father.
The most entrenched area of systemic racism is not where it is said to be. It is the inner city school systems of America. These inner city schools are allowed to continue operating with 50%+ dropout rates and 3rd grade reading scores in grade 12. These districts are run by the same people who demand equity in all things while demanding little of themselves.
These districts teach the kids to blame people they never met for all past and future problems. These are the same people for whom “Choice” is gospel in that other facet of life; but who refuse to give caring parents the choice of a better education for the kids they choose to have. The funders of the equity pushers and race baiters happen to have a stake in the education status quo. Another school year will end soon and the failing inner city schools will graduate yet another massive class of kids with a future darker than their very dark past. Many will die on the streets they were condemned to live for life because we had a difficult choice and chose the status quo. Shame on us.
Poor parents want a choice. Wealthy parents have a choice. This father is so very lucky. He has common sense and enough money to send his lucky daughter to another school. Forcing poor children into failing schools is child abuse. These abused children eventually grow up embittered by the deprivation and abuse they experience on a daily basis. The fear and anger stay with you the rest of your life. Poverty is a life sentence and frequently a death sentence. Education can change that. Pouring more money into a failing system has never been shown to work. Giving poor parents the freedom to move their kids the way wealthy parents are able to would work. But it will take years as it took years of failure to get where we are.
Calling Math and Shakespeare racist will do nothing for these kids. Studying Math and literature and History and logic and religion and languages prepare you for adulthood. Graduating kids without exposure to civilization’s great thinkers releases them into the meat grinder of a subsistence existence. A good education is exercise for the brain. Being exposed to these areas of study teach you how to think by showing you great thinkers at work.
This man is my hero. I admire his bravery and forthrightness in articulating everything I've been secretly thinking all year.
Among other things, he's the first parent I've heard object very specifically to the hidden-but-shocking elements in the BLM school curriculum, to which my daughter was subjected this year. I suspected most parents didn't take the time to clink through the curriculum links and assumed it was anti-police brutality-against-Blacks, a sentiment with which most rational people can agree, rather than explicitly anti-science, anti-nuclear-family, anti-heterosexual (what sexuality has to do with police brutality is far beyond me), and racially polarizing to a degree that strikes this liberal as toxically unhealthy.
Bravo, Mr. Guttman.
Thanks you, Bari, for giving this letter wings. It needs to go viral.
I know these letters seem to be an exaggeration but unless your child is in the thick of this crap, it’s impossible to imagine. My biggest regret is the huge chunk of change we paid to Friends Seminary, stupidly believing in the Quaker ideology that “everyone’s voice should be heard.” Unless, of course, that voice is a Zionist, cis-white male, who points out that a Sieg Heil by a math teacher is not a good look and a Swastika scratched in a bathroom wall was probably not someone displaying hatred of the Romani. My son was berated, belittled, and ostracized by students and faculty alike for not “checking his privilege” and his support of an “apartheid state.”
The good news about that nightmare is that my son became an incredible critical thinker, recognizing on his own that he cannot learn without hearing opinions and ideas you don’t necessarily agree with. He is looking to a career in public policy with the dream of actually helping people, rather than just talking about it.
I’ll leave you with this anecdote—I told my son that a classmate’s parent had passed away. His response, “I hope people are kind because all the kids hate him.” When I asked why, he told me, “Because he is a Republican.”
Tolerance and acceptance all around?
I don’t think so. These schools and administrators should be ashamed of themselves.
Brand new subscriber here. Half a century ago, I attended a private school in one of NYC's outer boroughs and received a very solid education. A few minutes ago, I went to the school's website and was dismayed. Tuition which had been under $2,000 in 1970 has skyrocketed to $50,000+. Even worse, the website is filled with diversity/inclusion/equity brainwashing propaganda, and academics has taken a back seat. If I were a child today, there's no way my parents would send me to what that school has become.
Nobody forces you to send your child to private school--you don't like it, send your kid to public school.
Maybe these educational grifters will get back to education and leave off the indoctrination and virtue signaling.
People could save the 54000 a year. You could sit the kid in an airport lounge watching CNN for 12 years and get the same results.
Guttman guts them! There is a fever upon the land, hope it breaks before it breaks our republic. Thanks Andrew Guttman for the courage to stand up to this nonsense.
This parent's anger is based in confusion. He doesn't understand what Critical Race Theory is all about. His anger might be assuaged if he would read Heather McGhee's book The Sum of Us. It will help him understand why it is vitally important for all of us that we see the many ways in which racism (or racial resentment) is hurting all of us. Yes! Even in today's America.
This man is saying "Stop focusing on race!"
He is wrong. We need to understand why there are such vast disparities in achievement and wealth between black and white families. And don't you dare, for one minute, think that there is an easy, simple answer to this question.
Wow! The mean spiritedness behind the CRT message is unbelievable. That is reason enough to remove your kid, and the dogma has pervaded everything. Thank you for being brave and taking care of your daughter. She’s your first priority- a priority her school has clearly lost sight of.
The paragraph copied below about systemic racism betrays a lack of both nuance and historical understanding, and makes me discredit the entire letter. It's over the top inane.
Which is unfortunate, because I suspect that many of the author's criticisms are well founded, if not well argued.
"Systemic racism, properly understood, is segregated schools and separate lunch counters. It is the interning of Japanese and the exterminating of Jews. Systemic racism is unequivocally not a small number of isolated incidences over a period of decades. Ask any girl, of any race, if they have ever experienced insults from friends, have ever felt slighted by teachers or have ever suffered the occasional injustice from a school at which they have spent up to 13 years of their life, and you are bound to hear grievances, some petty, some not. We have not had systemic racism against Blacks in this country since the civil rights reforms of the 1960s, a period of more than 50 years. To state otherwise is a flat-out misrepresentation of our country's history and adds no understanding to any of today's societal issues. If anything, longstanding and widespread policies such as affirmative action, point in precisely the opposite direction."
This letter by Mr. Guttman, and the essay by Paul Rossi, are two of the most eloquent and lucid rebuttals of critical race theory in the schools that I have ever read. They deserve a very wide audience.
Bravo, Bari. You’re on fire!