Virginia mother of biracial child says that ‘anti-racist curriculum’ at school ‘changed her son’

A white Virginia mother of a biracial boy tried suing her son’s school for brainwashing him into caring more about race than about people’s character, but the lawsuit ultimately fell through thanks to a pro-racial essentialist judge.

In an interview this week with the New York Post, Melissa Riley said that her 13-year-old son, who’s half black and half white/Native American, used to be a normal kid concerned with normal things: playing pranks, video games and football. But all that changed, she said, after the Albemarle School District decided to go “anti-racist.”

“Riley said that a new anti-racist curriculum launched at Henley Middle School last spring is itself racist, because it indoctrinates students and teachers in a racial essentialist worldview that emphasizes racial conflict and treats students differently based on their skin color,” according to the Post.

“She said the school has changed her son in ways she doesn’t approve of, filling his head with racial-awareness lessons that emphasize oppression and privilege. Her son now sees himself as different from his mostly white classmates: as a young black man who will have more struggles in life because of his race and because of the systemic racism that is endemic in American life.”

It appears that the school district decided to basically embrace critical race theory:

Speaking in her own words, Riley said of her son, “He is changing. If things don’t go his way or things seem unfair, he will now claim it’s racism. He never did that before. He now identifies as a black man, because that’s how the school told him he looks and who he is.”

The Post notes that the Albemarle School District adopted an “anti-racist” curriculum in 2019 and then launched a pilot program at Henley Middle School last spring.

But despite being called “anti-racist,” the curriculum was predictably brimming with the type of racial essentialist dogma that would make a Klansman proud.

“The curriculum taught middle-schoolers that racism is ‘the marginalization and/or oppression of people of color based on a socially constructed hierarchy that privileges white people.’ Students were urged to be ‘anti-racists,’ and that by not making anti-racist choices, they were unconsciously upholding ‘aspects of white supremacy, white-dominant culture, and unequal institutions and society,'” according to the Post.

“Teachers were trained to identify ‘white privilege’ and to understand that the idea of meritocracy is a myth. They learned about ‘communication as a racialized tool,’ and were taught that ‘white talk’ is verbal, impersonal, intellectual and task-oriented, whereas ‘color commentary’ is nonverbal, personal, emotional and process-oriented — lessons that critics say perpetuate gross racial stereotypes,” the outlet reported.

Riley and several other parents reportedly tried pushing back at local school board hearings but were rebuffed by the board, which penned a letter saying that their “anti-racist” curriculum and everything that came with it were “non-negotiables.”

“We are firmly committed to achieving these outcomes and to supporting the inclusive programs and activities that make this possible. We welcome all points of view in how best to strengthen our continuous growth model, and we reject all efforts that would have us resist positive change in favor of the status quo,” the board wrote.

It appears the so-called desired “outcomes” were to indoctrinate children into embracing a racial essentialist mindset where everything has to do with race.

But it gets worse. The school then tried to recruit her son “to join a mentoring organization for black male students,” according to the Post.

When she refused the offer on his behalf, the school’s staff then began lecturing her about how “parents are not teaching their children what they need to know about race,” she said to the Post.

“He [the specific school staff member] said parents aren’t parenting anymore, and they need to take over. I told him that I chose to be a parent, and that’s my job, and I will not let them be the parent. They are there to teach my child academics. And I will take care of everything else,” she added.

Unfortunately, the lawsuit she filed through the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) wound up being rejected in court last month by a black judge who claimed he saw nothing wrong with children being indoctrinated in racial essentialism.

“During the hearing, [Albemarle Circuit Judge Claude Worrell II] who is black, said ‘there isn’t any evidence’ that the district’s anti-racism policy and curriculum ‘are racist, divisive in any way that’s meaningful, at least to the court.’ In long monologues about racism and schooling, he said, ‘I think it happens during education that certain people are made to feel uncomfortable about history and their place in it,'” according to the Post.

“In response to an ADF lawyer who argued that the school isn’t just teaching about racism or the horrors of slavery, but personalizing it to students in the room by dividing up various characteristics — race, sex, religion — into dominant and subordinate cultures, Worrell asked, ‘Why is that a bad thing? Why are you worried about it? What is wrong with asking students to question themselves and the culture so they can learn something about it?'”

It sounds, for all intents and purposes, like the judge is a racial essentialist himself. And indeed, his fellow racial essentialists — i.e., the type of people who use racist terminology like “white privilege” and “white fragility” — were quick to celebrate his ruling:

ADF reportedly plans to appeal the ruling.

Vivek Saxena


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