Betraying parents while working out “karma and deeply seated issues on the cellular level.” In November, the American Federation of Teachers was touting Kelly Trautner’s views on safe school reopenings. Earlier in the pandemic year, Trautner had promoted a webinar on a safe return to schools. By 2021, the AFT’s Director of Healthcare, was offering her own lessons on “yoga and pranayama practices” and “meditation and mindfulness”. As a certified yoga teacher and “Registered Karuna Reiki Master” (meaning she had mastered Stage III of Holy Fire of the pseudoscience which includes “healing past life issues” and “clearing cellular memories from the DNA”), this was something Trautner was qualified to do. But the AFT’s Director of Healthcare, occasional yoga teacher, executive coach, and master of the secret energy arts was telling the CDC under what conditions schools could be reopened. And she was doing it with the backing of the Biden administration.
Columbia professor, linguist and author John McWhorter has no time for black fragility. He sees the new anti-racism movement, hyped by writers like Robin DiAngelo and Ibram Kendi, to be playing on the bigotry of low expectations. Speaking to Bill Maher on Friday, McWhorter said the way anti-racism is being perpetuated now doesn’t make any sense. “If you are a good black person,” McWhorter told Maher, “you’re often told that when it comes to certain race issues, you’re supposed to not quite make sense, and that you’re supposed to deal with a certain kind of word magic. I have never felt that. I’ve always felt that I’m black and I would like that to make sense too. And that’s why I end up looking brave when I’m really just obsessive.” McWhorter said that the new anti-racism movement leaves him feeling condescended to. DiAngelo’s book White Fragility, which he said would be best used to even out the leg on a wobbly table, portrays “black people as these hot house flowers,” he said, “where everyone has to tiptoe around us…” “I don’t feel like that person,” he said.
Queen’s University professors Margaret Walker and Robin Attas wrote a guest editorial for the Canadian Music Society, in which they argue for “decolonizing” music. In their editorial, addressed “to all who should be concerned,” the co-authors argue that Canada’s music education systems contain “white supremacist and settler colonial structures.” “As the continuation of anti-black and anti-Indigenous violence of the past months, years and lifetimes has made evident, the time has ended for further working groups and “Equity, Diversity and Inclusion recommendation committees on how we as educators across all scholarly disciplines must work toward systemic forms of change that are decolonial and anti-racist,” they write. In a section labeled “Instructions for structural change,” the pair write that the current configuration of entrance requirements, including the “entrance audition,” are “white supremacist forms of gate-keeping.” Other “white supremacist” structures include “learning scales,” which they say “perpetuate and solidify the hegemony of Euro-American repertoire, music history, and analysis.”
A now-defunct Ontario Christian college and the estates of two former headmasters shouldn’t be held accountable for verbal and emotional abuse suffered by students, their lawyers argued in court on Tuesday, saying their clients had no way of knowing it would cause harm. In February 2020, a judge presiding over a class-action lawsuit on behalf of former students found the staff at Grenville Christian College responsible for systematically abusing girls and boys who attended the boarding school in the 1970s, ’80s and ’90s. That abuse included repeated references to girls in their care as “sluts, whores, Jezebels [and] bitches in heat” and saying rape is the result of girls and boys being too “tempting to men.” An appeal of the trial court decision in favour of the students was heard in the Ontario Court of Appeal in Toronto on Tuesday. The school, located near Brockville, Ont., about 350 kilometres east of Toronto, was founded in 1973 and advertised itself as an Anglican institution. It also had ties to a controversial Christian group in the United States called the Community of Jesus. The school closed in 2007.
The Toronto District School Board (TDSB) is currently evaluating whether or not it should allow LGBTQ students to change their preferred names in their school’s IT systems without having prior parental approval. According to a report by the LGBTQS Community Advisory Committee, the committee has a table working with human rights groups to discuss the matter. “In our student information system (SIS), there is a legal name and preferred name field. There is a table working with Human Rights to discuss what students have access to change on their profile without parental consent,” the report writes. As part of the consultation process, the committee hopes to invite IT professionals and others to further discuss the potential change. True North reached out to the committee for further details on the matter but did not hear back by the time this article was published. Gender transitions by youth and teenagers has been a contentious issue as an increasing number of teens have considered transitioning into their preferred gender. Critics of allowing youth to transition have argued that the “experimental” nature of treatment and other issues puts kids at risk.
Talking to children about race and racism is a difficult undertaking for parents, regardless of their background. And a small but timely new study published this week suggests white parents may have an especially long way to go in leading those conversations, finding that many are still espousing a “colorblind” ideology that does little to raise race-conscious children and that has been called “bad for everyone.” “There’s a subtle distinction between saying ‘race doesn’t matter’ and ‘race shouldn’t matter,’” Jamie Abaied, an associate professor of psychology at the University of Vermont and an author on the new study, published in the journal Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology, told HuffPost. Abaied, whose research often focused on how parents and their children talk to each other about people who are different from them, added that the concept of “‘colorblindness’ is sort of muddying the waters.” “It might make it harder for children to understand that racism is real if parents are also saying ‘race isn’t important,’” she said. “Because it is important for people’s lived experience.”