OLIVER: Private School Chic — And Black Lives Matter

(Kena Betancur/AFP via Getty Images)

Daniel Oliver Contributor
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For those of you confined to quarters by fascist politicians and who as penance for your sins want to read obsequious unmitigated mind-bending, virtue-signaling cr*π, we rush to your rescue with quotes from some of the nation’s most exclusive and prestigious educational institutions.

First, Milton Academy, located in Milton, Massachusetts, where the $59,560 tuition for boarders is only a rounding error on a hedge fund manager’s annual (or is it monthly?) take.

A letter sent recently to the Milton community says: “Black Lives Matter. Milton affirms the beliefs of the BLM movement as we work toward improving justice, diversity, equity, and inclusion within our community.”

This from adults, who are in the business of teaching reading, writing and discriminating.

How could any sentient person of good will affirm the beliefs of the BLM movement? The statement “black live matter” is unarguably true — and no one is arguing with it. But when you capitalize “BLM” you refer, obviously, to the organization, not the proposition, as the Milton letter makes absolutely clear when it says it “affirms the beliefs of the BLM movement.”

The BLM organization was founded in 2013 by three self-described radical Marxists. One of the founders said she and one of her colleagues are “trained Marxists,” and that one of her mentors is Angela Davis, a committed communist. The BLM founders have praised domestic terrorists Assata Shakur, a convicted cop-killer, now on the FBI’s Most Wanted Terrorists List and thought to be hiding out in Cuba.

BLM’s top priority is defunding the police across the country, which, among other consequences, will create havoc in poor black neighborhoods. BLM has a long record of anti-Semitism, and of being anti-Israel. On its website, BLM calls for a boycott of white capitalism, and says one of its objectives is dismantling patriarchal practices and disrupting the “Western-prescribed nuclear family.”

Is Milton affirming those beliefs?

Naturally, Milton has convened a “Commission for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI)” made up, no doubt, of people expert at virtue signaling and stamping out microaggressions, of which apparently there is a fair amount at the school and, experts would report if asked, at just about every other place on the planet.

“Out of my way, jerk-head.” “Where do you think you’re going, flat-face?” “MOVE, fatso!” “Get outta here, wop.” Sound familiar? A few lucky (and bright) students in high school may learn how to use the square root of π as a number base, or develop a new allegorical interpretation of Moby Dick. Most of the rest just learn to deal with microaggressions.

For the technically minded, incidentally, “micro” is a unit prefix in the metric system denoting a factor of 10−6 (one millionth), i.e., (that stands for “id est” which means “that is”) something very small. For English majors, two dictionary definitions of “micro” are “extremely small” and “minute in scope or capability,” i.e., (see above) something verrrrrrry small. And to address that tiny problem, Milton (and innumerable other institutions) are convening whole commissions on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. No wonder the tuition is $59,560.

And speaking of “microaggression,” we should note that there was nothing micro about the aggression that killed the approximately seventeen people who died in the riots following the death of George Floyd.

In a letter from St. Paul’s School in Concord, New Hampshire (tuition: $62,000), to its community, the school wrote: “We affirm that all Black Lives Matter” with B, L, and M capitalized. Their letter notes “harrowing stories of racism and isolation that undermine our commitment to inclusivity” which would seem to make the school’s “developing a ‘reporting’ protocol for microaggressions” inadequate. “Harrowing stories”? Why would anyone go there?

At St. Bernard’s School in New York City (tuition: $44,000 — it’s just a day school), the board’s Diversity Committee determined that it needed to be better educated “to engage in thoughtful discourse as it assesses a myriad of initiatives. To accomplish this, this month the Diversity Committee … will be taking Justiceology-By-Design, a training course created by newly elected Trustee Jonathan Perez ’96. Jonathan teaches a course at Wesleyan on Race, Law and Critical Consciousness, is a certified trainer in equityXdesign (Equity Meets Design), and more recently, founded his own DEI training firm.” Wow! GobbledegookXMumboJumbo.

The Brearley School in New York City (tuition $49,680) “will contract with an independent consultant with expertise in hiring educators of color to review current hiring practices and work with individual department heads and departments in the fall in anticipation of the 2021 hiring season.” It is difficult to object to violations of civil rights laws forbidding hiring on the basis of color these days, especially after the Democrat nominee for president chose his running mate on the basis of sex and color. Wonder what will happen to the first Brearley student (there obviously won’t be a second) who points that out to Brearley officials.

At Foxcroft School in Middleburg, Virginia, the boarding tuition is $57,300. A letter from head of school Catherine S. McGehee states: “We struggle with the loss of yet more unarmed Black men and women, which regrettably continues as a cruel legacy of our nation’s racist history.”

If Ms. McGehee had bothered to determine how many “unarmed Black men and women” have been “lost” recently she might not have had to struggle quite so much. The answer to the question she didn’t bother to ask is, in the last year one unarmed black woman was killed by police, and nine unarmed black men were, but of the ten, only two have resulted in criminal prosecution, because all of the others were considered justified.

Of course, if McGehee was instead referring to the loss of unarmed and peaceful black men, women and children in inner cities, that would be different. In Chicago alone, 538 people have been killed this year; 154 more than in 2019, according to the Chicago Tribune. The majority were young, black men.

Is it possible that that’s the “racist history” McGehee was referring to in her letter: the lack of caring by woke heads of unbelievably chic and expensive private schools about the drive-by shootings in the ghettos of Democrat-run inner cities? Are those the people she had in mind when she wrote, “The Black community needs our support”?


Go back to your quarters. And do as you’re told, by people far more virtuous than you will ever be.

Daniel Oliver is Chairman of the Board of the Education and Research Institute and a Director of Pacific Research Institute for Public Policy in San Francisco. In addition to serving as Chairman of the Federal Trade Commission under President Reagan, he was Executive Editor and subsequently Chairman of the Board of William F. Buckley Jr.’s National Review.