Texas Professor Tells Elementary School Teachers to ‘Interrogate Whiteness’

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An assistant professor at the University of Texas at Arlington wrote a research paper telling elementary school teachers how they can embed Critical Race Theory into their classrooms and “interrogate whiteness,” the College Fix reported Friday.

Written by Annie Daly, the paper is titled “Race Talk Moves for Racial Literacy in the Elementary Classroom” and was published in the Journal of Literary Research. 

The academic article states, “Teachers must engage students in ongoing, critical discussions and be proactive in noticing and naming racist ideologies as they surface in classroom talk and texts.” She also argues that elementary school teachers “need to be talking about race.”

She adds that conversations about race can occur “while reading and discussing literature to empower students of color and white students with knowledge and tools for under-standing, analyzing, and disrupting racism.”

Daly also explains how these conversations “must be ongoing in order for students to develop the knowledge and skills needed to interrogate how racism and whiteness are perpetuated through texts, language, and social norms.”

Meanwhile, she also criticized white teachers, saying that “Classroom race talk is often difficult to sustain, especially for white teachers whose racial identities influence how they resist or comply with dominant social and political discourses that silence conversations about race.”

She also added that research shows “white teachers often fall short in talking critically about race by drawing on ideological frameworks of neutrality and race evasion that minimize the history and continued impacts of racial oppression.”

Perhaps most interesting, Daly explained that as part of her research she spent 10 months sitting in on a fourth-grade classroom with a teacher who had “developed a yearlong literacy curriculum focused on culture, race, and equity.” Daly noted that she observed 31 different conversations on race over the 10-month period, when she would go into the class twice a week. 

The discussion topics included “how white ‘founding fathers’ enslaved Africans and African Americans, the possibilities and challenges of the Reconstruction era for Black liberation, and child activism during the civil rights movement.” 

There were also discussions on “Colin Kaepernick’s protest of police brutality, immigration, and the Black Lives Matter movement.”

In her paper, Daly created a framework that begins off the assumption that “ideologies of whiteness are actively constructed in the everyday ways people talk, silence, and interact with issues of race.” 

She also argued that “Research informed by critical theories of race and discourse … is needed to illustrate how dominant racial ideologies and norms of whiteness are constructed, contested, and ultimately changed.”

An original report from Breitbart News revealed that at St. Matthew’s Parish School in California’s Pacific Palisades, one middle school teacher sent out a letter to parents where she called whiteness “poison.” 

In the letter, which was titled “Dismantling White Supremacy in an Independent School,” she also pledged to expose white students to “racially stressful encounters” so that they can become better at “processing, discussing, and enacting change against white supremacy.”

St. Matthews is associated with the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS), America’s largest private school accreditor. 

Another original investigation from Breitbart News revealed that Kalea Selmon, the former diversity director at an NAIS-affiliated, Catholic all-girls school in Maryland, advocated for separating white and non-white students. 

In one speech she gave at an NAIS conference, Selmon asserted that “BIPOC spaces are sacred,” before also adding that “it’s necessary for BIPOC students to have space away from white gaze and that it is absolutely okay to give black and brown students things you’re not giving white children because the white children are fine.” She later resigned following the investigation.

Spencer Lindquist is a reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter @SpencerLndqst and reach out at slindquist@breitbart.com.


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