All of America life, public & private is about making white people uncomfortable. [‘Ashamed to be Caucasian’: School scraps racism lesson because it makes white students ‘uncomfortable’, Raw Story, June 13, 2023]:
A South Carolina school district halted classroom discussion of a book about racism after white students complained it made them “uncomfortable”, The State reported.
Chapin High School students were scheduled to read Ta-Nehisi Coates’ 2015 memoir “Between the World and Me.” According to the lesson plan released by teacher Mary Wood, students were asked to describe Coates’ “primary statement regarding identity and your position about his argument,” and to describe their “understanding of systemic racism,” and if why or why don’t they think “racism is a pervasive problem in America.”
But the project was cut short after some students expressed discomfort with two short videos, “The Unequal Opportunity Race” and “Systemic Racism Explained,” that were played in class to prepare students for the book.
“Hearing (Wood’s) opinion and watching these videos made me feel uncomfortable,” one unidentified student wrote to a school board member. “I actually felt ashamed to be Caucasian… These videos portrayed an inaccurate description of life from past centuries that she is trying to resurface. I don’t feel as though it is right because these videos showed antiquated history. I understand in AP Lang, we are learning to develop an argument and have evidence to support it, yet this topic is too heavy to discuss.”
“I was incredibly uncomfortable throughout both videos, and was in shock that she would do something illegal like that,” another student wrote, adding, “I am pretty sure a teacher talking about systemic racism is illegal in South Carolina.”
As The State points out, South Carolina lawmakers passed a bill meant to combat “critical race theory” in the state’s schools.
In a letter to district Superintendent Akil Ross and the school board, Wood defended the lesson plan, saying that “participation in this course depends on a level of maturity consistent with the age of high school students who have engaged in thoughtful analyses of a variety of texts.”
“The best response to controversial language or ideas in a text might well be a question about the larger meaning, purpose, or overall effect of the language or idea in context,” Wood wrote.
Wood went on to say that of a “lack of clarity” around what the district expects from teachers and the school’s reaction “undermined my classroom integrity and has affected my personal life.”
“In this culture, EVERYTHING may be considered controversial,” she said. “To prevent conversations about experiences which exist outside of heterosexual, caucasian norms is both biased and discriminatory and completely antithetical to the development of critical thinking and civil discourse, which is the entire point of an AP Lang course.”
Either this era ends, or the rest of our posterity’s lives is about feeling uncomfortable… forever.