It’s breathtaking in its perverse perniciousness: a Manhattan junior-high school’s plan to racially separate 7th and 8th grade students into so-called “affinity groups” for class discussions on racial identity and social justice. This is a public school teaching children that the color of their skin matters more than the content of their character.
The principal, Shanna Douglas, says the exercise serves the school’s mission to “undo the legacy of racism and oppression in this country that impacts our school community.” No, it’s feeding, even creating, an entirely new racism.
The Lower Manhattan Community School is 44 percent Asian, 29 percent white, 15 percent Hispanic and 8 percent black. That melting pot surely teaches them plenty about how to get along, fostering friendships that show them they’re not really different. Douglas wants them obsessing about differences that shouldn’t matter at all.
And the city Department of Education defends her: DOE flack Nathaniel Styer calls the planned discussions a “two day celebration.”
Some parents are even sold on this madness, though one mom conceded that most parents are too afraid to speak out.
Not all: One father told The Post that some families want teachers to focus on academics, not this garbage. “Teach the history,” he said. “Tell that story. I’m all for an honest accounting. But this is something different. It’s insidious.”
New York parents have no problem with their kids learning about the nation’s history of slavery and discrimination, nor discussing the modern legacy of it. But the goal should surely be Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s vision of a time when we become one big family of Americans: “Not white Americans, not black Americans, not Jewish or Gentile Americans, not Irish or Italian Americans, not Mexican Americans, not Puerto Rican Americans, but just Americans.”
Plenty of work remains to be done. But no one needs the schools actively setting that work back by insisting on maximal race-consciousness, let alone by literally imposing racial segregation on junior-high kids. Dr. King is surely rolling over in his grave.