- Jan 8, 2021
A New York City high school principal is facing scrutiny after asking students’ parents to reflect on their “whiteness.”
The New York Post reports East Side Community High School Principal Mark “Federman“ sent a survey to white parents at the Manhattan public school that included a list of “The 8 White Identities.”
The document, written by African-American studies professor Barnor Hesse of Northwestern University, describes eight different types of “whiteness,” including “White Supremacist,” “White Abolitionist” and “White Traitor.”
“There is a regime of whiteness, and there are action-oriented white identities. People who identify with whiteness are one of these,” Hesse wrote.
According to the Post, the handout included a color-coordinated meter showing “White Supremacist” in the red zone on the left and “White Abolitionist” in green on the right. “White Benefit” and “White Confessional” ranked in the middle, and “White Privilege” — described by Hesse as “sympathetic to a set of issues but only privately; won’t speak/act in solidarity publicly because benefitting through whiteness in public (some POC are in this category as well)” — was between “Supremacist” and “Benefit.””
A New York City Department of Education official told the Post that the pamphlet was first shared by parents with staff, and then Principal Federman disseminated it to every parent “as part of a series of materials meant for reflection” and as “food for thought.”SCOOP: The principal of East Side Community School in New York sent white parents this "tool for action," which tells them they must become "white traitors" and then advocate for full "white abolition."
This is the new language of public education. pic.twitter.com/0XA3xUpcuT
— Christopher F. Rufo (@realchrisrufo) February 15, 2021
“Anti-racism and the celebration of diversity is at the core of our work on behalf of the young people of New York City, and the East Side Community School’s students, parents and staff partner together to advance equity in their community,” the DOE official said in a statement. “The document in question was shared with the school by parents as a part of ongoing anti-racist work in the school community and is one of many resources the schools utilizes.”
Images of the documents have gone viral on social media. The spokesperson told the newspaper that the school’s staff are now being targeted with “vile racist, anti-Semitic and homophobic slurs and degrading language from people outside of their school.” (I CALL BULLSHIT. THIS IS A LIE. THESE “PEOPLE” ALWAYS STATE THIS BS THEN CLAIM IT WAS WHITE SUPREMACISTS WHEN IT WAS THEMSELVES DOING IT ALL ALONG.)
It’s unclear if the materials were meant for parents to discuss with their children. “Federman has not commented publicly on its distribution.