Last week, we reported that Rayla Campbell, a Black Republican candidate for secretary of state in Massachusetts, not only proved that she’s deep in the sunken place but also that she has a sick enough mind to conjure up a non-existent school curriculum that teaches five-year-olds to perform oral sex on each other. We also reported that Republican gubernatorial candidate Geoff Diehl expressed that the language Campbell used “is not appropriate” while defending what he said was her larger point without acknowledging that what she said about the kiddie porn curriculum was flat out untrue.
Then he went on to tell a lie of his own.
Diehl claimed school students were being taught “inappropriate” lessons. When asked for an example, he claimed his daughter, a sophomore at Whitman Hanson Regional High School in the town of Hanson, was made to sign a pledge acknowledging her white privilege.
Now, if you’re familiar with the insidiousness of conservative whiteness, you already knew Diehl was lying. So it’s no surprise that Whitman-Hanson Regional School District Superintendent Jeff Szymaniak told the Boston Globe that no such pledge exists.
I did speak with Mr. Diehl,” Szymaniak told the Globe via email last week. “No student in the Whitman-Hanson Regional School District is required, or is even asked, to take any sort of pledge involving white privilege.”
From the Globe:
Szymaniak explained that Diehl’s concern was over a pledge student athletes were expected to sign to participate in MIAA sponsored athletics. Diehl’s daughter, a student athlete, signed the pledge, which is an eight-point list of rules regarding discriminatory practices.
She also took a one-hour implicit bias training created by the National Federation of State High Schools and required of all student athletes, Szymaniak said.
To be perfectly clear, I would have no problem with white high school students learning about white privilege. But the way white fragility is set up, I wouldn’t expect any K-12 school to be so bold as to teach it explicitly, let alone make students sign a pledge declaring that they benefit from it. It just sounded like Diehl was lying and when the Globe asked him about his claim, he all but admitted the white privilege pledge signing never happened.
“As a prerequisite for participating in high school sports, my daughter was required to sign a form acknowledging that she took a course to help her manage the influence implicit bias as to race, ethnicity, gender, disability, and sexuality has on her real-world behavior,” Diehl clarified. “It’s the nineteenth clause in a multi-page permission slip to participate in school sports in town. In the preceding clause, she was also required to sign a pledge whereby she promised to hold her community responsible for the use of exhibition of any discriminatory practices. In this case, the MIAA and the public schools are coordinating to require this of athletes in our public schools. Certainly, the public schools are aware and supporting this, because they allow the MIAA to use the schools’ athletic programs to carry this out.”
Diehl is doing Olympic-level mental gymnastics to deflect from the fact that the pledge his daughter had to sign was not the “white privilege” pledge he claimed it was and that he’s really just mad student-athletes are being made to take anti-discrimination courses.
“The argument is not whether bias or discrimination is acceptable,” he continued. “No such argument reasonably can be had because hatred and discrimination are never acceptable.”
And yet, “hatred and discrimination” demonstrably exist all over America, including in our schools. The myriad of racist prom-posals, pro-slavery Snapchat groups, n-word-ridden videos and n-word displays clearly demonstrate this fact.
What Diehl is doing is stretching himself into a knot of white delusion in an effort to squeeze out a plausible “post-racial America” argument that says teaching white students anti-racism lessons is unnecessary.
So, to recap: Diehl told a lie while defending a lie and perpetuating the ultimate lie that racism is no longer a real problem in America—or at least not a big enough problem that white students need to learn about it.