Second Largest Teachers Union Encourages Members To Get ‘Enlightened’ Through Texts On ‘Antiracism’ And ‘White Fragility’


Marlo Safi Culture Reporter
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The second largest teachers union in the country is offering members at its San Diego affiliate to read free copies of books about “antiracism” and “white fragility” for “enlightened” summer reading.

American Federation of Teachers website posted a flyer to its website Friday offering union members free copies of “How To Be An Antiracist” by Ibram X. Kendi, “White Fragility” by Robin DiAngelo, and “Reclaiming Our Stories 2” by Khalid (Paul) Alexander and Manuel Paul Lopez. 

“Don’t miss out on these compelling novels!” the flyer says. Below the flyer is a message to union members asking them if they’re “interested in indulging in some anti-racism summertime reading.” The books would be made available at the AFT office in Mission Valley at no cost to members.

“Here’s to an enlightened summer,” the message says. 

Kendi is the founding director of the Center for Antiracism Research at Boston University and his book became a New York Times bestseller. In the book, Kendi redefines racism in terms of actions and policies that are either racist or “antiracist.” He has argued that “you can’t separate the origins of racism from the origins of capitalism,” according to Diverse Education. “You can’t be an antiracist if you’re a pro-capitalist because they’re like conjoined twins.”

Robin DiAngelo’s book, also a New York Times Bestseller, explores the “counterproductive reactions white people have when their assumptions about race are challenged, and how these reactions maintain racial inequality.”

DiAngelo, who is white, thousands of dollars in honorariums to speak about “white fragility.”

“White Fragility is a state in which even a minimal challenge to the white position becomes intolerable, triggering a range of defensive responses,” DiAngelo’s website says. “Racism is the foundation of Western society; we are socialized into a racial hierarchy,” her website says in a description about her approach to “antiracism.”

“Reclaiming Our Stories 2” includes stories about black, brown, and poor people in San Diego who have been “marginalized, labeled as criminals, and discarded by our society.”

Numerous schools across the country have implemented “antiracism” trainings that draw inspiration from DiAngelo and Kendi’s work, including at the San Diego Unified School Districts.

During a “white privilege” training where district teachers were reportedly expected to recognize their roles in perpetuating racism, teachers were also told to watch videos of DiAngelo and Kendi and then think about how they would react if someone said to them “You are Racist.” (RELATED: ‘You Are Upholding Racist Ideas’: Teachers Reportedly Required To Attend ‘White Privilege’ Training At Public School)

Columbus Academy, an elite private school in Ohio, allegedly held training for faculty that included materials by Kendi. Kendi’s book is also on the U.S. Navy reading list