One of the country’s top public high schools will be celebrating Martin Luther King Jr. Day with a mandatory series of seminars focused on topics like white privilege, white guilt, and the “oppression” inherent in Illinois’ public school system.
New Trier High School is one of the country’s top public high schools, located in the extremely wealthy Chicago suburb of Winnetka. The school is over 90 percent white and Asian, but it has an extremely ambitious program scheduled for MLK Day. It’s planning to hold over 60 different seminars on topics of racial identity. The seminars will be presented by a mix of teachers, student groups, and outside experts from the Chicago area.
“The goals for this day are to help New Trier students develop a deeper understanding of their own racial identities and the identities of others, and to better understand how we can all work to counter the impact of systemic racism in our lives,” the school says on its page discussing the seminars.
Breitbart reports that despite falling on a federal holiday, the MLK Seminar Day on Race will be a normal attendance day for New Trier students, meaning students will be expected to attend.
Those attending will have no shortage of seminars to explore, and some of them appear to have very political premises despite being hosted by a public school. For example, one seminar “One Person, One Vote: Can the Voting Rights Act Be Saved?” appears to criticize voter ID laws and other acts of “voter disenfranchisement.” Another, “The Zip Code Effect: How Illinois School Funding Perpetuates Oppression” seeks to educate students about the “savage inequalities” of Illinois school funding laws and tell them “how we can fix the system,” an overtly political goal.
Other seminars appear designed to hit high schoolers with a heavy dose of rhetoric on white privilege, white guilt, and other concept associated with campus activism. Here are some of the most notable examples:
Why Do I Have to Feel Guilty for Being White?
Talking about race doesn’t usually feel good for anyone. White people often walk away feeling guilty and thinking, “But I didn’t do anything!” In this workshop, we’ll explore how white guilt can become a roadblock in our journeys toward becoming white allies.
Western Bias in Science
Copernicus, Galileo, Newton, Einstein… Were all of the great discoveries in science made by Greeks and Europeans? Explore the impact of our western bias in the history of science in this discussion session.
Yer’ A White Wizard, Harry: Whitewashing in Cinema
This is a discussion about white dominance in the film industry. We are going to be taking a look at different cases where the voices of People of Color were silenced by the industry and how we can change it.
Womanism and the Intersection of Racial and Gender Equity
We will unravel the shortcomings of “white feminism” and discuss the fole of marginalized groups in mainstream feminism. Other topics include the significance of womanism, the work of women of color in the fight for gender equity, and the importance of intersectionality. How can we advance towards better inclusion?
In addition to the many seminars, the MLK Seminar Day on Race will include a keynote address by Isabel Wilkerson, a journalist and the author of “The Warmth of Other Suns,” a Pulitzer Prize-winning book about the Great Migration of black Americans from the South into cities such as Chicago.
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