NYC Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza has made whiteness ‘toxic’, DOE insiders claim
By Susan Edelman May 18, 2019 | 6:26pm | Updated
Whiteness has become “toxic” under schools Chancellor Richard Carranza’s regime, insiders charge.
At least four top Department of Education executives who have been demoted or stripped of duties under Carranza’s sweeping reorganization are poised to sue the city, claiming he has created “an environment which is hostile toward whites,” a source told The Post.
The women — all white, veteran administrators — contend they were pushed aside for less qualified persons of color.
“These decisions are being made because DOE leadership believes that skin color plays a role in how to get equity — that white people can’t convey the message,” said a source familiar with the complaints.
“There’s a toxic whiteness concept going on.” …
Under Carranza’s leadership, sources said, whites, in some cases, are being told they must give up power or lose responsibilities no matter how well they have performed. …
Meanwhile, the DOE has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on consultants to coach supervisors on how to “disrupt the power structure and dismantle institutional racism,” a supervisor said.
“There’s been a lot of discussion of white supremacy and how it manifests in the workplace, conversations about race, and looking at how the white culture behaves,” said a white executive who received the training.
“White supremacy is characterized by perfectionism, a belief in meritocracy, and the Protestant work ethic,” the exec said, adding that whites who object when accused of deep-rooted bias are called “fragile” and “defensive.”
“Can you imagine if we scrutinized blackness or brownness? We’re being trained in anti-bias not to stereotype blacks, but they’re fostering a stereotyping of whites.”
Besides the four administrators who have signed up to sue the city, others may file Equal Employment Opportunity discrimination complaints, insiders said.
Several of the women work in Carranza’s new School Climate and Wellness division led by his appointee, deputy chancellor LaShawn Robinson.
That division includes the Office of Equity and Access, led by senior executive director Ruby Ababio-Fernandez, appointed by Robinson. Both women are African-American.
The office has adopted “Courageous Conversation,” a protocol for training on racism in the workplace founded by Glenn Singleton, the president of Pacific Educational Group Inc.
The DOE has contracted the company for $775,000 in services, paying $582,603 to date, records compiled by the City Comptroller show.
Singleton’s protocol defines racism as: “Any act that even unwittingly tolerates, accepts or reinforces racially unequal opportunities or outcomes for children to learn and thrive.”
“Whiteness” is defined as: “The component of each and every one of ourselves that expects assimilation to the dominant culture.” …
Another consultant hired by the office is Darnisa Amante, CEO and founder of Disruptive Equity Education Project, or DEEP. The DOE has contracted the outfit for $175,000, paying $54,200 so far, records show.
“We work together to change mindsets around equity and dismantling systemic oppression and racism,” Amante is quoted on the DEEP website.
“They’ve trained people in these approaches — interrogating whiteness, examining its relationship to power and privilege,” said the DOE exec who had training.
“The intent is to create a shared understanding. They believe this is positive and helpful. But it’s resulted in a hostile environment where whites are subject to being criticized, belittled and harassed.