Parents have expressed outrage about a graphic detailing the “eight levels of white identity”. After a school Principal distributed policies urging students to dismantle the “regime of whiteness,” calling white people “traitors.” Asking them to rate their “whiteness” on a scale from “white abolitionists” to “white supremacists,” Mark Federman sent a “whiteness” booklet to parents of students at the school.
The poll was distributed to parents of children at the school in Manhattan’s Lower East Side after the administration approved the idea. “Eight white identities” from “white supremacist” to “white abolitionists” are depicted in the handout’s image. And the staff were given a chance to review the materials before the principal distributed them to parents.
Since 2001, Mark Federman has been the school’s principal and has worked there for almost 20 years.
Reports say that Barnor Hesse, an associate professor of African American studies, political science, and sociology at Northwestern University, appears to have created the categories featured in the handout. A non-profit organization called the Slow Factory Foundation, which seeks to reduce racial disparity in America, appears to have created the graphic in the handout.
Hesse wrote above the eight-point list, “There is a regime of whiteness, and there are action-oriented white identities . People who identify with whiteness are one of these. It’s about time we build an ethnography of whiteness since white people have been the ones writing about and governing others.”
White supremacy, white voyeurism, white privilege, white benefit, white confessional, white critical, white traitor, and white abolitionist are some of the categories of whiteness.
White supremacists adhere to a “clearly identifiable white culture that preserves, names, and honors white superiority,” according to Hesse’s writings.
Because it’s interesting and pleasurable; seeks to control the consumption and appropriation of non-whiteness; fascination with culture (ex: consuming Black culture without the burden of Blackness), The second category on the list, white voyeurism, wouldn’t challenge a white supremacist; desires non-whiteness.
Works to “change institutions, dismantle whiteness and prevent whiteness from reasserting itself,” The “white abolitionist” occupies the opposite end of the spectrum.
One who “actively refuses complicity; names what’s going on; the objective is to subvert white authority and tell the truth at whatever cost; need them to dismantle institutions” is referred to as a “white traitor.”
The whiteness brochures were distributed to parents “as part of a series of materials aimed for reflection” and as “food for thought,” a spokesman of the Education Department who defended Principal Federman said.
“Anti-racism and the celebration of diversity are at the core of our work on behalf of the young people of New York City, and the East Side Community School’s students, parents, and staff partner together to advance equity in their community.
“The document in question was shared with the school by parents as a part of ongoing anti-racist work in the school community and is one of many resources the schools utilize,” the official statement declared.