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Clear-thinking educators: Beware of ‘trainers’ bearing racial gifts

By chance this past week I happened upon a column by a “NCCJ Certified Diversity FaciliTrainer.”

Since I had no idea what the NCCJ is, Google told me it is the National Conference for Community and Justice (of Metropolitan St. Louis). Apparently the NCCJ promotes “understanding and respect among all races, religions, and cultures through its advocacy and educational programs that embrace diversity, self-awareness, and community-wide change.”

One can become a NCCJ “FaciliTrainer” by completing an allegedly “rigorous certification process.” For the small fee of $3,050 and a total of two weeks’ time, you can become endowed with the “essential skills to facilitate dialog around and train others on diversity, equity and inclusion content.”

The “Certified Diversity FaciliTrainer” who authored the column, Ms. Kari Utterback, also was awarded the 2019 Columbia Values Diversity Award. Unfortunately, her op-ed is the all-too typical far-left racial indoctrination boilerplate.

Also unfortunately, “trainers” like her have been unleashed upon our schools and universities where they supposedly foster “difficult” and “courageous” dialogues, but in reality urge progressive propaganda mandates.

Utterback’s recommendations for “push[ing] for a more equitable community” are just this. In order to be “anti-racist,” she says, one must engage in “continuous work.” Here are some of her proposals (with my questions/comments in italics):

* Follow racial justice educators and activists on social media. (This means far-left racial justice educators and activists, to be clear.)

* Be aware when the people in your surroundings look like you: at work, at church, in the media, at school, in your neighborhood, while shopping, in advertising, etc. (What does this even mean? What does this do?)

* Diversify the authors you read, the musicians to whom you listen and the artists you support. (Never mind quality or your own personal taste … just make sure the hue of the artists, et. al. is “correct.”)

* Read books or listen to podcasts and blogs by authors of color. Read about white privilege. Read a full history on the racist founding of this country. Buy these same books as gifts for friends and family. (You’ll be the life of the parties and/or family gatherings for years to come.)

* Discuss race and racism with the kids in your life. (In the manner Utterback and those like her prescribe, of course.)

* Investigate the news and media you are taking in and sharing. (But only conservative and right-leaning media, that is.)

* Interrupt racist jokes and ideas. (Unless they’re about white people. Social power dynamics allow for these.)

* Vote and help register others to vote. (Excluding Republicans and conservatives.)

I may sound like a broken record about this topic, but know that as a teacher I had to endure such “trainers” for almost 25 years. At any rate, I am merely following Utterback’s last step (out of a total of 21!) of “Don’t let off the gas.” I won’t, but not in the way she intended.

If you’re an educator who’s weary of the same race-based workshops/inservices year after year after year, my advice is to make use of your personal days during these times. They’ll help you retain your sanity.

MORE: Don’t buckle to the race hucksters

MORE: The poison that is the ‘Courageous Conversation’ program

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About the Author
Associate Editor
Dave has been writing about education, politics, and entertainment for over 18 years, including a stint at the popular media bias site Newsbusters. He is a retired educator with over 25 years of service and is a member of the National Association of Scholars. Dave holds undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Delaware.