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Elementary school hosts racially segregated ‘playdate’; critics slammed as ‘racists’

An elementary school in Oakland, California hosted a “playdate” last week exclusively for “black, brown & API [Asian/Pacific Islander]” students, and many are upset a conservative social media account brought the event to light.

The Daily Beast reports “notorious right-wing” X (formerly Twitter) account Libs of TikTok wrote that “a California elementary school reportedly held a race segregated ‘playdate social’ for all students except white kids.”

The account also noted a parent had “blasted” the school for the racially segregated event.

The Oaklandside notes Libs of TikTok had “disparaged members of the school community”; the only thing posted by the account that comes close to fitting this description is a follow-up post stating Chabot Elementary School “is racist against against white people.”

Oaklandside claims a bomb threat at the school and “hateful” messages it received “appear to have been sparked” by 2.5 million-followers account.

The San Francisco Chronicle goes further, claiming those opposed to the segregated event were the real racists: “Their hate only reinforced the importance of creating more of these safe spaces.”

MORE: Black UCLA students say they need racially segregated spaces

The Chronicle notes a member of Chabot Elementary’s equity and inclusion committee feared some sort of danger — she said “something” in her head had told her not to include the names and addresses of the playdate organizers, theorizing it was her “ancestors” speaking to her.

“Race and inequality” reporter Justin Phillips calls Libs of TikTok a “far-right extremist,” and refers to opponents of the no-whites-allowed playdate as “ignorant” and “extremists” who have a “delusional idea of equality.”

Phillips then offers up two academics who share this inverted notion of equality. Cal State East Bay professor Macheo Payne (pictured), an EdD who teaches the course “Race, Gender & Inequality,” said whites and others opposed to events like Chabot’s think making “spaces” for minority children is a “zero-sum” game — they forget that white spaces “exist by default” in American society.

Marlon Richardson, education director for the group Hip Hop for Change, said critics of racially separate events are exemplifying “Jim Crow” and are “the last throes of white supremacists seeking to keep the experiences of Black, brown, AAPI and LGBTQ kids out of education spaces.”

From the Chronicle piece:

This idea of painting critical anti-racism efforts as somehow racist or anti-white is a familiar strategy used by some Republicans to sway voters and win elections. The deliberate distortion of reality paints anti-racism movements as divisive rather than unifying, hateful rather than compassionate.

Chabot, located in the affluent Rockridge neighborhood, is predominantly white. As [the diversity and inclusion member] told me, parents and kids of color don’t often feel welcomed in the community. They aren’t regularly invited to playdates with white families at the school, she said. So they create their own social networks, the same way white families do.

“We created our event knowing we live in a country where everything is white by default. When people say American, they automatically think white,” she said. “We wanted to create a space where families of color feel comfortable and safe.”

Oakland Unified School District Board of Education member Sam Davis, a white guy who’s “committed to working [for] those who have been historically underserved because of racism and economic deprivation” according to the district website, also blasted “the vitriolic response” to the playdate, claiming the event merely “was an attempt by the school to foster racial equity.”

MORE: University to host racially segregated workshop to discuss racism in ‘colonial spaces’

IMAGES: Libs of TikTok/X; Macheo Payne/Linkedin

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About the Author
Associate Editor
Dave has been writing about education, politics, and entertainment for over 20 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.