by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
In July, the leadership of Los Angeles’s elite Harvard-Westlake School issued a 20-page confessional about the school’s role in perpetuating “racism and injustice” and promised changes. The school, which sends dozens of kids to the Ivy League every year, will now teach 11th-grade U.S. history from a “critical race theory perspective.” And diversity consultancies, which routinely charge six figures for their services, will facilitate the school’s transformation at every step.
On the East Coast, the wealthy Fairfax County public school district shelled out $20,000 for an hourlong speech from critical-race commentator Dr. Ibram X. Kendi. At one school in the district, faculty went further, disseminating “anti-racist” reading lists to parents and organizing students into “equity” committees.
Dozens of schools across the country, both public and private, have taken similar steps. The perceived need to announce sweeping changes in leadership and curricula has been a boon to the growing diversity-consulting industry, which is designed to profit from racial discontent.
A list of “anti-racism” resources, compiled just days after the death of George Floyd and featuring such writers as Kendi, Dr. Robin DiAngelo, and the authors of the New York Times‘s controversial 1619 project, was shared widely by colleges and high schools across the country.
At Fairfax’s Justice High School, emails obtained by the Washington Free Beacon show one of the school’s “equity leads” shared the list in an impassioned email to her colleagues. It was subsequently posted to the school’s website with the principal’s approval and shared in multiple community-wide emails. A representative of principal Maria Eck told the Free Beacon the list “represented the diversity of our families and students” and was posted “during a time of broad discussion of these issues in our community and in our society.”