"Whiteness is a bad deal. It always was.” So says the children’s book "Not my Idea, A Book About Whiteness," recently introduced to Wilkes Elementary School. The book goes on to compare “whiteness” to a contract with the devil in which “whiteness gets: to mess endlessly with the lives of … fellow humans of color for the purpose of profit.”
Bainbridge Island School District has pledged to “include antiracism … curricula throughout K-12” under its new District Improvement Plan. Does this book represent the kind of “antiracism” BISD is referring to?
Ibram X Kendi (newly in the Woodward Middle School curriculum) claims “antiracist discrimination” is “the only remedy to past discrimination.” So, "Not My Idea" appears to fit his definition of "antiracism."
As a Bainbridge parent of two young children, I’m certain there is a better way to achieve the noble goals of the District Improvement Plan. That’s why I presented a letter to the school board co-signed by 21 parents and community members, plus Bainbridge Parents for Honest Education and the Foundation Against Intolerance and Racism. I am hopeful BISD rejects the notion that more racism is the answer to our nation's past discrimination, and takes a stand against bigotry and intolerance in all its forms.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr said “Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that.”
Let Bainbridge promote antiracism aligned with Dr. King’s vision for America — not this.
Alex Greene, Bainbridge Island
This article originally appeared on Kitsap Sun: Books offered to Bainbridge students don't fit mission of antiracism