LOUISVILLE, Ky. — This year’s recently-concluded White Privilege Conference in Louisville, Ky. featured a workshop promoting lesson plans designed to teach children as young as kindergarten about “genderqueer,” “gender-fluid” and “transgender folks.”
The workshop, entitled “‘Your skin is too brown’: Taking Action to Address White Privilege in the K-5 Classroom.” occurred on the closing day of the conference, which was held at a posh downtown hotel.
Despite the workshop name, a very low percentage of the workshop was actually dedicated to skin color. Instead, workshop presenters Johanna Eager and Tarah Fleming focused overwhelmingly on how to lecture elementary school-aged children about gay, lesbian and transgender issues.
The workshop presenters described the political problem they wish to combat as “identity-based bullying and how it plays out in the classroom with regard to power, oppression and privilege.”
America’s elementary school teachers need to instruct children that it’s wrong to “adhere to the gender binary,” the workshop presenters explained, because “the gender binary” creates “more power and privilege in the classroom.”
A member of the overwhelmingly white, female workshop audience helpfully explained that “binary” means “there’s a male gender and female gender and no in-between.”
Middle school is too late for such a message, the presenters stressed.
Eager and Fleming promoted a prefabricated grade-school curriculum called Welcoming Schools, which is “a project of the Human Rights Campaign Foundation.”
Eager and Fleming distributed a flyer during the workshop advertising “over 25” “lessons aligned with the Common Core State Standards.”
Fleming enthusiastically emphasized to workshop attendees that the curriculum is “Core-aligned.”
The flyer describes Welcoming Schools as “a comprehensive approach to improve elementary school climate.” The three goals of the approach are to “embrace family diversity,” “avoid gender stereotyping” and “end bullying & name-calling.”
The flyer also promises to “help your school” to “create a Welcoming Schools task force.”
The White Privilege Conference workshop included a 14-minute film illustrating a lesson in identity-based bullying. The video, which opened with ominous yet tragically sad music, featured a lesson centered on color blobs. A mean red color blob made fun of other color blobs. Then, the other color blobs unite against the red blob.
“Does anybody know what it means to be gay or lesbian?” the teacher in the video delivering the lesson asks a group of young elementary school kids — perhaps third graders.
Near the end of the workshop, attendees broke into small groups to discuss power and privilege structures as well as issues such as, “How do heterosexual families end up being what the norm is?” (RELATED: Everything You Need To Know About The 2015 White Privilege Conference In 11 Tweets)
Both Eager and Fleming, the workshop presenters, have Facebook pages.
The Southern Poverty Law Center is, of course, famous because a man named Floyd Lee Corkins used its “Hate Map” to find the Family Research Council headquarters in Washington, D.C. and then tried to “kill as many people as possible” and “smother Chick-fil-A sandwiches in their faces” because he disagreed with the conservative organization about gay marriage. Corkins managed to shoot a security guard. The guard disarmed him. (RELATED: FBI Severs Ties With Liberal, Domestic Terrorism-Inspiring Southern Poverty Law Center)