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Janney Elementary School in Washington, D.C. announced in a Nov. 30 letter from last year that students as young as 4-years-old took part in an “Anti-Racism Fight Club” and were given a “fistbook” while being urged to identify racist members of their families.
“As part of this work, each student has a fistbook to help continue the dialogue at school and home,” Singh’s letter noted with a link to Richards’ presentation. “We recognize that any time we engage topics such as race and equity, we may experience a variety of emotions. This is a normal part of the learning and growing process. As a school community we want to continue the dialogue with our students and understand this is just the beginning.”
The “fistbook” explains to students that “white people are a part of a society that benefits them in almost every instance,” and “it’s as if white people walk around with an invisible force field because they hold all of the power in America.”
DC Janney elementary school gave 4year-olds ‘anti-racism’ ‘fist book’ asking them to identify racist family members.
‘It’s not your fault for having white privilege, but it is your fault if you choose to ignore it,’ a presentation told kids in Pre-K through 3rd grade. pic.twitter.com/akcQkExy1Y
— 🌺🦋Just me👀Cassie🌺🦋🌺 (@browneyegirl400) May 2, 2022
“If you are a white person, white privilege is something you were born with and it simply means that your life is not more difficult due to the color of your skin,” the book elaborates. “Put differently, it’s not your fault for having white privilege, but it is your fault if you choose to ignore it.”
The book also contends that anti-racism “isn’t a spectator sport.” It requires “being loud, uncomfortable, confrontational and visible to ensure change is made.”
The “Anti-Racism Fight Club Fistbook for Kids” asks children a number of probative questions, such as, “Where do you see racism in yourself? This requires true soul-searching. Be real with yourself, don’t feel guilt/shame and own it. It’s the first step in becoming an anti-racist.”
A disturbing section called, “How to deal with racism from loved ones,” informs students that “just because someone is older than you doesn’t mean that they’re right all of the time.”
Teach distrust at 4. What can go wrong.
— NC ShangriLa 🏝 (@NCShangriLa) May 2, 2022
“If someone doesn’t believe that people should be treated equally based on the color of their skin, then they are the problem. Parents need to stop making excuses for that behavior if they truly believe in anti-racism,” the book asserts. “Who in your family has racist beliefs? Do you think you can change their ways? What is your strategy for dealing with them?”
The book also emphatically states that “racism is as American as apple pie and baseball.”
“As we sit here today, it is still woven into the fabric of our homes, communities, schools, government, economic system, healthcare, and so much more. As a matter of fact, it would be difficult to find one facet of our society where racism does not exist,” the book disingenuously proclaims. “White supremacy isn’t the shark, it’s the ocean.”
4 year Olds shouldn’t know what racism is. Period. This is disgusting.
— Jon Allen (@JonAlle47471821) May 2, 2022
The original “Fistbook” purportedly claims that “if the police don’t murder citizens without penalty, then the riots/looting don’t happen,” and that “your feelings about Colin Kaepernick serve as a great barometer of how you would feel about Dr. King.”
“If you hate Kaepernick now, you’d hate Dr. King if he was alive today,” the book pointedly states. “And do you know what’s funny? In 50 years from now, white people will probably talk glowingly of Kaepernick as they are with Dr. King now. Stop using his quotes to benefit your racism.”
According to Fox News, D.C. Public Schools issued a statement that the original “Fistbook” was not given to students.
No. It’s not appropriate for any grade. It’s not the place for indoctrination…it’s for education and teaching. Asking kids who they think in their family is racist? Ridiculous
— Williamsnews24 (@williamsnews24) May 2, 2022
“DC Public Schools provides joyful and rigorous academic experiences for our students and is committed to advancing educational equity,” the district declared. “In December, a resource link with this content was shared in a parent newsletter at one of our schools. It is not part of our DCPS curriculum and was not shared with students.”
“Anyone else’s Kindergarten kid freaked out by an anti-racism assembly today? My kid needed to sleep with a light on and the door open tonight,” one parent posted anonymously complaining about the presentation. “Anyone know what specifically was talked about? My kid couldn’t relay much except that she was scared.”
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