Elite Prep Schools Turn to Critical Race Theory to ‘Decenter Whiteness’

Harvard-Westlake School
Harvard-Westlake School

Fieldston School, an elite prep school in New York City, has renamed “Newton’s laws” to “the three fundamental laws of physics” in order to “decenter whiteness” from physics. At elite high schools around the country, including Harvard-Westlake in Los Angeles, efforts to build Critical Race Theory are well underway. One Harvard-Westlake parent reported that her mixed-race child came home from school and told her: “”Mom, I just found out I’m a racist and I prefer white Europeans.”

“We don’t call them Newton’s laws anymore,” a Fieldston student told Bari Weiss, writing for the City Journal. “We call them the three fundamental laws of physics. They say we need to ‘decenter whiteness,’ and we need to acknowledge that there’s more than just Newton in physics.”

Another student told Weiss that he tries to take “the fact classes, not the identity classes,” but that it has gotten more difficult to distinguish between the two. The report added that at Fieldston, there is also an elective offered to upperclassmen called “historicizing whiteness.”

Three thousand miles away, at another prep school in L.A., Harvard-Westlake — which Breitbart News editor-in-chief Alex Marlow graduated from — an extensive “antiracist” plan is now underway, with the goal of “redesigning the 11th grade US History course from a critical race theory perspective,” among other subjects being revamped.

Critical Race Theory is an ideology now being taught in schools that “objectifies people based on race,” according to Cornell Law Professor William Jacobson. Breitbart News’ Ezra Dulis laid out the basics of Critical Race Theory in a 2020 explainer:

“Racism” is no longer about ethnic prejudice but about some demographics having less wealth, status, or safety than others. “Whiteness” is no longer a physical trait but a king-of-the-hill sociopolitical caste, where your every action is understood as subconsciously motivated to maintain power through subjugation. Said racism cannot be defeated by refraining from hatred and discrimination; it requires an active posture of antiracism — discrimination in service of evening up those demographic stats on wealth, status, and safety.

And parents are worrying that the elite schools’ new plans will make their children obsessed with race.

One mother said that her mixed-race son came home from school one day and told her, “Mom, I just found out I’m a racist and I prefer white Europeans. For my kid to come home and be told by his school you are a racist — I was aghast. I was so, so angry,” the mother said.

Meanwhile, at Brentwood School in L.A. — which counts Andrew Breitbart as a graduate — a parent says that “they replaced all the books with no input or even informing the parents,” adding that books such as The Scarlet Letter, Little Women, To Kill a Mockingbird, and Lord of the Flies have been axed.

“The dean said to me, basically, it’s important to change with the times,” the Brentwood parent said. One parent who was born in a Communist country told City Journal, “I came to this country escaping the very same fear of retaliation that now my own child feels.”


Parents have also noted that they are not the only ones concerned about what is going on in schools. Their children share their fears, as they find themselves too afraid to speak up or express their real opinions in class. For the students, it goes beyond just having the fear of getting a bad grade or getting turned down for a college recommendation. Beyond concerns for their future, they also fear social shaming.

“If you publish my name, it would ruin my life,” one Fieldston student told the magazine. “People would attack me for even questioning this ideology. I don’t even want people knowing I’m a capitalist.”

A Manhattan student told the Journal that this new curriculum “has made me think about race more.”

The curriculum, the student explained, is trying to teach him to feel obsessed with his whiteness, which is the opposite of what his parents had taught him to do. The student added that he believes separating students based on race in affinity groups is racist.

“MLK would condemn my school,” the student said.

Read the full piece by Bari Weiss at City Journal here.

You can follow Alana Mastrangelo on Facebook and Twitter at @ARmastrangelo, on Parler @alana, and on Instagram.


Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.