Tema Okun, a
white Oberlin College graduate from North Carolina, has spent the last three decades suggesting that Western civilization and its distinguishing features are racist. According to the greying leftist, objectivity, binary thinking, and individuality are “characteristics of white supremacy culture.”
Conservative radio host Jason Rantz of KTTH has
obtained possible evidence that Seattle Public Schools is now subjecting English students to Okun’s racist ravings.
Okun racializes quality and competence
Okun, plagued by apparent feelings of inadequacy and “exasperation,” attempted in the late 1990s to draft a list of “characteristics of white supremacy culture” she perceived to be “prevalent in our culture and institutions.”
The leftist determined that various effective beliefs, behaviors, and modes of thinking — including objectivity, a sense of right and wrong, and individuality — were “damaging because they are used as norms and standards without being pro-actively named or chosen by the group. They are damaging because they promote white supremacy thinking.”
A sense of urgency is supposedly racist, for example, because it “makes it difficult to take time to be inclusive, encourage democratic and / or thoughtful decision-making, to think long-term, to consider consequences.” Even worse, a sense of urgency “frequently results in sacrificing potential allies for quick or highly visible results.”
Paternalism, by which Okun apparently meant decisive leadership, is a characteristic of white supremacy because “those with power think they are capable of making decisions for and in the interests of those without power.”
“Either/or thinking” is racist because it is “closely linked to perfectionism,” “results in trying to simplify complex things,” and “creates conflict and increases sense of urgency.”
Okun also figures individualism to be a characteristic of white supremacy because it promotes a “desire for individual recognition and credit” and “creates a lack of accountability, as the organization values those who can get things done on their own without needing supervision or guidance.”
Objectivity is another such white supremacist characteristic because it requires people to think in a logical fashion and allegedly corresponds with “the belief that emotions are inherently destructive, irrational, and should not play a role in decision-making or group process.”
notes on her blog that “white supremacy culture is inextricably linked to all the other oppressions – capitalism, sexism, class and gender oppression, ableism, ageism, Christian hegemony – these and more are all interconnected and intersected and stirred together in a toxic brew[.] … This brew is a cancer, a disease, an addiction, an infliction and it infects everything with and without our awareness.”
The madness continues to spread
Seattle Public Schools has made no secret of its identitarian leanings, noting in its 2019-2024
strategic plan that it is focused on “ensuring racial equity in our educational system, unapologetically address[ing] the needs of students of color who are further from educational justice, and work[ing] to undo the legacies of racism in our educational system.”
To this end, SPS appears to be singularly focused on helping one group of students.
“By focusing on students of color who are furthest from educational justice, especially African American males, we will make the greatest progress toward our collective vision,” says the strategic plan. “We believe that an intentional focus on African American males will ultimately benefit every student.”
Accommodation of black male students apparently entails divorcing them from desirable traits and convincing them that such traits are racist.
A concerned father told Rantz that students in a class on world literature and composition were given a handout with definitions of the “9 characteristics of white supremacy” as part of “Black Lives Matter at School Week,” which
previously ran from late January to early February.
The English students were apparently told that “Worship of the Written Word” — one of Okun’s proposed characteristics of white supremacy — entails “honoring only what is written and even then only what is written to a narrow standard, full of misinformation and lies. An erasure of the wide range of ways we communicate with each other.”
An updated and textual definition of Okun’s white supremacy characteristic,
circulated by the University of Michigan, indicates that the worship of the written word is especially problematic because it corresponds with an “inability or refusal to acknowledge information that is shared through stories, embodied knowing, intuition and the wide range of ways that we individually and collectively learn and know.”
The other eight characteristics named on the handout, all lifted from Okun’s decades-old article, are as follows: objectivity; individualism; right to comfort; perfectionism; denial and defensiveness; paternalism; either/or and the binary; and fear.
The list is “incoherent and cannot stand any sort of reasoned analysis,” added the father. “How is a 15-year-old kid supposed to object in class when ‘denial and defensiveness’ is itself a characteristic of white supremacy? This is truly educational malpractice.”
KTTH indicated that SPS declined to provide comment.
“I feel bad for any students who actually internalize stuff like this, as it is setting them up for failure,” the father, who chose to remain anonymous for fear of reprisals, told Rantz. “My problem with this curriculum is that this is supposed to be a writing and literature class, and lessons like these do nothing to help my kid become a better writer.”
Lincoln administration will point to the high ELA proficiency scores, but the high proportion of HCC [highly capable] kids (40% of the student body) is a big factor,” added the concerned dad. “With so many smart, hardworking kids (white supremacists) it’s easy to support these luxury beliefs, but system-wide, only 63% of kids are proficient in English. Is this really the best use of class time?”
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