The Lunatics Are Running the Asylum Now

at least in Seatle. Talk about some nutty-ass nonsense.

Cultural Racism:
Those aspects of society that overtly and covertly attribute value and normality to white people and Whiteness, and devalue, stereotype, and label people of color as “other”, different, less than, or render them invisible. Examples of these norms include defining white skin tones as nude or flesh colored, having a future time orientation, emphasizing individualism as opposed to a more collective ideology, defining one form of English as standard, and identifying only Whites as great writers or composers.

I guess things like planning for retirement, college, children and buying a home are now racist. And who knew that savings in general is racist. Banks…we must shut down all banks. The whole concept of banks are “future time orientation”. And rugged individualism is racist? As Radley Balko notes, we are all racists now.

FILED UNDER: Education, Race and Politics, US Politics, , ,
Steve Verdon
About Steve Verdon
Steve has a B.A. in Economics from the University of California, Los Angeles and attended graduate school at The George Washington University, leaving school shortly before staring work on his dissertation when his first child was born. He works in the energy industry and prior to that worked at the Bureau of Labor Statistics in the Division of Price Index and Number Research. He joined the staff at OTB in November 2004.


  1. Hibbs says:

    Plame had a retirement party and some of it may have looked racist, not like these guys are trained to do these things……..

  2. RA says:

    All whites who speak gramatically correct English are racists. Only white hating, ebonics speaking, people of color are not racist.

  3. McGehee says:

    Next time someone accuses Republicans of wanting to destroy public education, I’m going to point them to this and tell them even if it were true we’d be too late.

  4. Randal Robinson says:

    Not being fluent in moonbatese, can someone please expain to me what “having a future time orientation” is supposed to mean?

  5. legion says:

    “having a future time orientation”?!?

    What does that even mean?

    And does this mean teachers can’t wear ‘nude’ colored pantyhose?

    And I’ve never heard of ‘individualism’ being equated with racism. Are we sure this isn’t some sort of scam?

  6. spacemonkey says:

    legion, In other words. It’s whatever they want it to be.

  7. Steve Verdon says:

    I took future time orientation to mean you plan for the future–e.g. retirement, savings, planning when to have kids, a career, etc. I guess it is designed to make people who don’t do this feel good about themselves as being victims of racism…or something. Basically it beats the shit out of me.

  8. Randal Robinson says:

    I googled “future time orientation” and came up with this definition:

    Future Time Orientation for career is a personality characteristic defined as the “general capacity to anticipate, shed light on and structure the future of one’s career. (Gjesme, 1983)” Those who score high in the construct are likely to spend more time thinking about their future career and engaging in career development activities for the benefit of their future career than those who score low in the construct.

    Yep, planning your future is pure unadulterated racism all right.

  9. Mark says:

    emphasizing individualism as opposed to a more collective ideology

    I had no idea it was racist to give out MVP awards for college football bowl games and professional sports leagues.

    Thanks to the Seattle school district for pointing this out to me…

  10. NA says:

    Future Time Orientation makes no sense within time because one can only go backward, not forward. Unless, one goes back and plans ahead, future time orientation, for things like…..’Vanity Fair’……..were one shows what one is to society in England, this, however really is not condusive to a future time orientation because, if one is female, there would be discrimination at that time and this would have little or no use for one’s future career, unless one worked within that time’s orientation to, for example again, females, and worked within that construct to ‘get ahead’ or plan for a future career. In fact, what has been seen is returning to one’s time, having oriented in the past, a somewhat destructive and angry person, which affects lives in the future time orientation making this person and career a write off and non savagable within that person’s current time orientation.

    The answer was always move forward and George Senior knew this and advised everyone to look back and they did without thinking about their future time orientation.

    Future Time Orientation for career is a personality characteristic that is, in fact, a flaw if one goes back in time and plans ahead.

  11. lily says:

    Conservatives make themselves look silly by perseverating on this sort of thing. Sure, it’s stupid. It is also unimportant. Some committee cobbled this together, it will be issued, those who read it will snort with derision, and it will disappear with no impact on anybody. I lived in Seattle, worked for the schools there, and I know.

    The Froomkin post is more to the point since he’s actually a public figure and he is trying to effect the public discourse.

  12. Steve Verdon says:

    Actually lily, I don’t think so, the person most likely behind it is really quite the kook. Check out the link to Radley Balko. Not that I expect you to comment again, your comment has all the hallmarks of a hit-and-run.

  13. lily says:

    I did go to the Balko site and all he says is that he thinks he knows who is behind it, but he doesn’t say who. Look, I’m not defending the sentiments expressed in the statement.., I think it is time to rethink race relations in this country and I think one of our new assumptions should be that racism is no longer the defining concept in relations between people of different skin colors and that racism is no longer the biggest barrier to success for ethnic minorities that have traditionally been held back by it. So, Seattle area liberal that I am, I am not a supporter of this statement. I just know, from long experience in the public schools, that teachers have a great ability to ignore proclamations and pronouncements from above. There could very well be more people on this site that have read this than in the Seattle schools. The annoying way people have of clinging to the conventional wisdoms of a previous era in regard to race relations is worth talking about. This, however, doesm’t seem worth the attention. I saw a reference to this at the Corner, too, and it just seemed like a silly thing to start bouncing around the blogisphere. I’m sure every public school district ( or agency of any sort)has at least one jaw-droppingly stupid statement published somewhere.

  14. Anderson says:

    Seattle is sooooooo fitting a place for my ex-girlfriend to reside.

    She used to groan about how loathsome it would be to have a boy.

    Few years later, she had one. (Not mine, thank God.)

    Seattle is welcome to have her. She may have drafted that ridiculous statement, FAIK. (Not that I haven’t wondered how black kids felt about the old “flesh” Crayola, which I believe is now history.)

  15. Anderson says:

    Oh, btw, Lily, you will have to find some less culturally racist name under which to post further comments, as your name’s association with the expression “lily-white” may be felt to be offensive by some persons.

  16. Future time orientation

    Do they mean the expectation or desire to live until tomorrow?

  17. floyd says:

    steve; great perspective.

  18. Steve Verdon says:

    Really lily? You didn’t notice the link at Balko’s site? Makes me wonder if you really did go there. Here name is Brita Butler-Wall. She is a big advocate of teaching Ebonics (hence the English language part of the standards) and also getting vending machines out of schools because kids are getting fat (never mind that kids can get the same stuff down the street at the local 7-11 type store). She seems like quite the nutjob based on what Balko writes.

    I’m sure most teachers will ignore this nonsense, but having a loon like that on the board is definitely enough to cross Seattle off of my list of places to move too. And given that I live in Southern CA that’s saying something!

  19. John Burgess says:

    Meaningless regulations in the rule book are not benign, nor are they to be casually ignored. They lurk there, waiting to be pulled out and used as clubs when one lacks anything better.

    It’s like the GA laws prohibiting oral sex. Nobody gives a damn about the law, until one party in a nasty divorce pulls it out and gets a criminal indictment against the other party, just to ensure that the divorce proceedings go smoothly.

    Or may we posit, a teacher who doesn’t toe the line?

    Stupidity has no place in government regulation, even at the school board level. Those who try to stick stupidity into rules and laws and regulations should be chastised for it, promptly and repeatedly.

  20. ICallMasICM says:

    ‘I just know, from long experience in the public schools, that teachers have a great ability to ignore proclamations and pronouncements from above. ‘

    I know from my own experience, and am sure you know as well, that many ignore and many do not. My kids go to public school in Boston and are graded on cultural awareness and respect for and sensitivity to other cultures and blah, blah, blah……

    Personally I thought the first definition

    The systematic subordination of members of targeted racial groups who have relatively little social power in the United States (Blacks, Latino/as, Native Americans, and Asians), by the members of the agent racial group who have relatively more social power (Whites). ‘

    was the most offensive. Of course we all know it’s only whites who are racist and by implication all whites, except the school teachers, are. Talk about teaching kids to be victims.

  21. HFB says:

    The Seattle school district has a nasty, insane message for budding entrepreneurs, civil libertarians, and free market conservatives: your belief in individual rights or individual initiative brands you as a racist.

    The Seattle Public Schools formally define individualism as a form of â??cultural racism,â?? declaring that â??cultural racismâ?? includes â??emphasizing individualism as opposed to a more collective ideology.â??

    On their web site, they also define racism to include stereotypically white traits such as â??future time orientation,â?? which is a pejorative word for studying, working hard, and â??acting whiteâ?? to reap future advancement, rather than fatalistically enjoying the moment as minorities supposedly do.

    It is racist for the Seattle schools to stereotype achievement as a â??whiteâ?? characteristic. Plenty of non-whites study and exercise self-discipline. Certainly my non-white relatives do.

    No school system should disparage student studying and achievement. That is at odds with a school systemâ??s basic educational mission.

    The Seattle schools also declare â??equalityâ?? of treatment to be a form of racially-biased assimilation, favoring instead affirmative action in the form of â??unequal treatment for those who have been disadvantaged over time,â?? to give historically oppressed groups â??special programs and benefits.â??

    The â??equalityâ?? they deride â?? the notion that â??people who are the same in those respects relevant to how they are treated in those circumstances should receive the same treatmentâ?? â?? is the same notion of equal treatment whose infringement is grounds for a disparate-treatment discrimination lawsuit under the federal civil rights laws.

    In an apparent conflict with federal law, the Seattle schools deny that whites can be the victims of racism. They define racism as limited to acts against groups that have â??little social power in the United States (Blacks, Latino/as, Native Americans, and Asians), by the members of the agent racial group who have relatively more social power (Whites).â??

    By contrast, federal appeals courts routinely rule against institutions that fire or harass white employees, recognizing that whites can indeed be victims of racism. See, e.g., Bowen v. Missouri Department of Social Services (2002) (racial harassment of white employee by black co-worker); Taxman v. Board of Education (1996) (termination of white teacher instead of black teacher). And the Supreme Court held that racial discrimination against whites by local governments is generally illegal in City of Richmond v. J.A. Croson Co. (1989). Affirmative action canâ??t be used to justify terminating or harassing an employee.

    It appears that the Seattle schools would rather spend their time teaching (and practicing) racism, rather than reading, writing, and arithmetic.

    How ironic that this racist garbage appears on the Seattle school district’s “Equity and Race Relations” web site, under the supervision of its director, professional race-baiter Caprice Hollins.

    How sad it is that the Seattle school district has placed racists such as Caprice Hollins in charge of responding to complaints about racism.

  22. jake says:

    Ok, as far as I see it, the Seattle Public Schools board is not saying that future time orientation (FTO) is racist perse, they are saying that when FTO is CONSIDERED THE NORM, it can be a problem. Why? Well, just imagine a career counsellor ( Mr C )speaks to a group of children. 50% are from affluent families (mostly white), 50% from ethnic families (mostly underprivileged). Mr C notices that the majority of affluent kids have an idea of what they want to do, plans for their future careers, and how to get there whereas many of the underprivileged kids don’t really seem to have a clue, or at least haven’t really thought about it and are not really sure about the future at all. There are two possible conclusions: 1) ethnic kids are lazy/stupid/uninterested in the future or 2) because of the nature of their lives kids from underprivileged backgrounds tend to live in the “now” and don’t (can’t) make plans for the future because of financial constraints etc. I suggest, that the Settles Public Schools board is saying that the first conclusion is not only wrong, it is racist, i.e it asserts inferiority on the basis of race, when in actual fact it is the social conditions which are the determining actor. I think they have a point. Cream is not “flesh tone”, there are far too many skin colours for that to be true. Likewise future time orientation is not “the norm”, there are other modes of thinking, determined by social situation. Inferiority (or superiority)can’t be asserted on the basis of that alone, which is all the Seattle Public Schools board is trying to say (I think). just my 2 cents.