The New York City teacher’s union is hosting a seminar on the “harmful effects of whiteness.”
The racist seminar from the United Federation of Teachers is titled “Holding the weight of whiteness” and will take place virtually on March 27 from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.
“This course is about cultural humility and inclusion. It will allow us to discuss how whiteness relates to privilege and identity, and how both become normalized and invisible. It will focus on key cultural themes (e.g., internalized racism, privilege, microaggressions, white identity) related to Latinx/e communities,” the event description reads.
The event summary continues, “our presenter will share personal stories and experiences that relate to her identities and how these experiences have been shaped by racism. Participants will leave the workshop with a better understanding of how to center ourselves as a form of resistance against the harmful effects of whiteness in our lives, the organizations we work for or direct and the communities in which we serve.”
Erica Sandoval, a psychotherapy consultant and self-proclaimed “Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Leader,” is presenting the seminar.
The New York Post reports that “UFT members who are licensed mental health professionals can earn two hours of credit toward their continuing education credentials, which can eventually result in a higher salary.”
Council Minority Leader Joe Borelli wrote a letter on Friday to Tina Puccio, director of the UFT’s Member Assistance Program, after being contacted about the event by many outraged parents and constituents.
“Why is it important for employees of the New York City Department of Education to serve as a form of resistance against the effects of whiteness in their lives, the Department of Education, and the diverse communities in which they serve, which may consist of white students and families?” wrote Borelli, according to the Post report.
“To be clear, I don’t actually care what your speakers tell your members in an optional and private seminar,” Borelli continued. “I care how members will implement the ‘resistance’ against these ‘harmful effects of whiteness’ when dealing with students and parents as part of their employment with the department.”
According to the Department of Education, only about 14.7 percent of students in New York City public schools are white.
The Post report adds that “in recent years, the DOE itself has come under attack from critics for openly pushing an anti-white agenda that included distributing a book to students as young as 2 claiming the concept of race was created by white people who thought they were ‘better, smarter, [and] prettier’ than others.”
Maud Maron, a public school parent, blasted the workshop as “racist” in a comment to the newspaper.
“There is nothing wrong with being white, and the sleight of hand of talking about whiteness is not even a fig’s leaf worth of cover,” she said. “My kids have a white mom and Latino dad. This training says there is something wrong with mom and absurdly calls dad ‘Latinx’ — a word he would never use.”