Pro/con: Is Un-Fair Campaign unfairly targeting only white people?Yes: And Duluth should be concerned with what may be coming next
By: RaeAnn Olsen, for the News Tribune
You’ve seen the billboards with the strange white faces and the words scrawled all over, stating things such as, “It’s hard to see racism when you’re white.”
Have you wondered what’s coming next?
I invite Duluthians to go to facebook.com/groups/
stopunfaircampaign/ to find discussions that peel back the layers of the Un-Fair Campaign. We who contribute to this Facebook page have identified books the campaign apparently has gotten its materials from and the radicals from which it seems to have gotten its tactics. We’ve exposed the racialist profiteers who make a living promoting such campaigns.
We’ve been challenged by professional community organizers. We’ve exposed lies and the redefining of words (“1984,” anyone?), and we’ve taken notice of Derrick Bell’s “Critical Race Theory,” which seems alive and well in the Un-Fair Campaign’s rhetoric.
At the page, real examples of racism are discussed.
We don’t accept lies as examples. Racism is too important an issue to resort to that.
Included in our discussions has been the Omaha, Neb., school district, which underwent a similar campaign. Teachers of Duluth, take notice: The Omaha public schools used more than $130,000 in federal stimulus dollars to buy each teacher, administrator and staff member a manual on how to become more culturally sensitive.
“Only those educators who acknowledge the existence of white privilege in America, that ‘white’ is a culture in America and that race ‘is a definer for social and economic status’ can reach proficiency,” the authors of the manual wrote. Omaha educators who scored poorly on a worksheet were asked what they would do “to align yourself with the values expressed.”
Another campaign took place in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.
“The controversial Edmonton anti-racism campaign that called on whites to ‘acknowledge your white privilege’ has now removed the prominent references to ‘white privilege,’” a blog page called “Restructure,” which says its blogs are “by Canadians of Colour and Racialized Canadians,” reported in November 2010. The entry then quoted an Edmonton Journal report on the controversial campaign.
We’ve also discussed on our Facebook page — and have brought to the attention of the Un-Fair Campaign, but to no avail — studies that show, “Aggressive anti-racism campaigns might actually increase bias toward other groups,” as was reported in a July 2011 issues of the Montreal Gazette.
All of us who comment on the Facebook page seem to understand the value of equality and are concerned with eradicating racism from our culture. We disagree with the method being used by the Un-Fair Campaign in Duluth and with the prospect of upcoming curriculum development.
We would take no issue if this was an exclusively privately funded campaign. But it is not. It is supported by Mayor Don Ness, and it is funded by organizations and universities that are subsidized by tax dollars.
This makes it your issue, Duluth. I invite you to gather more information, to understand what undergirds this campaign and to make an informed decision about whether you want it in your community, in your schools, and affecting business regulations.
I invite you also to visit the Un-Fair Campaign’s Facebook page — facebook.com/
unfaircampaign — where you’ll find disrupted conversations. It seems commonplace for objectors’ posts to be deleted and for those people to be banned from participating in the discussion.
RaeAnn Olsen of Fort Sill, Okla., is a contributor to the Facebook page set up in opposition to the Un-Fair Campaign in Duluth. Olsen’s family is from Duluth.