Southern Poverty Law Center Releases Guide for Managing 'White Fragility'

Students at a Loudoun County, Va., elementary school / Getty Images
October 28, 2020

The Southern Poverty Law Center released a free instructional guide for teachers seeking to "manage their white fragility."

The guidelines, published by SPLC's "Teaching Tolerance" division, claim that educators of color are often "burdened" by anti-racist work because their white colleagues turn a blind eye to discrimination.

"We know we all live in the same society of racism and white supremacy," the guidelines read. "We know white educators have the privilege to ignore these conditions and often do.… While all educators of color carry the burden of white supremacy, Black teachers have even more weight placed on them."

The material encourages educators to follow anti-racist Twitter activists and to shun other teachers, faculty, and students who refuse "anti-bias, anti-racist" training, even if parents complain and staff members leave.

Anna Miller, an education policy analyst at the Idaho Freedom Foundation, told the Washington Free Beacon that such trainings will persuade some parents to pull their children from public schools.

"Families will surely exit the system as public schools increasingly mandate anti-racist, anti-bias reeducation and teach children to hate their country," Miller said. "Many poor and middle-class students, however, will remain trapped in a debased system void of educational value."

Teaching Tolerance has already developed "social justice" curricula that recommend restructuring history and social-studies classes to emphasize slavery, designing those lesson plans for students as young as kindergartners.

The group's new guidelines come as similar companies are raking in hundreds of thousands of dollars in anti-racist consultancy fees. In Virginia's Loudoun County, the school district spent $422,500 on equity and diversity training in less than two years.

Teaching Tolerance also works with the Black Lives Matter at School group, which advocates "funding counselors not cops." The BLM at School website cites a quotation by domestic terrorist Assata Shakur, who remains on the FBI's "Most Wanted" list. Teaching Tolerance encourages educators to incorporate BLM at School resources into their lesson plans.

Miller told the Free Beacon that such partnerships exist to push a political doctrine on students and teachers, not to allow for free and open thought in the classroom.

"If black lives really matter to today's institutions, as they should, there would be no greater purpose than cultivating students' minds instead of demanding acquiescence to a corrupt political cause," Miller said.

The SPLC guidelines conclude by calling on all educators to unlearn "anti-blackness."

"Anti-blackness is something that we have learned over the course of our lives," the guidelines read. "Unlearning will take a lot of introspection and conversation."