There’s a petition to remove a TCU professor from Fort Worth ISD’s Racial Equity Committee for a recent column he wrote for us. In “If They Care About Equity, Fort Worth Schools Must Extend Virtual Learning,” Max Krochmal argued that rich white people’s voices overtook everyone else’s in the discussion to resume in-person learning at Fort Worth ISD. A woman responded by starting an online petition to have him removed from the committee. On the petition page, Suzanne Asfar claims that in his Weekly column, Krochmal “made racist, slanderous, and hate-filled remarks primarily against parents advocating for the choice to have in-person learning — individuals he lumps into ‘wealthy white folks’ and the ‘ultra-privileged’ — inciting racial and class hatred.”
As of Monday, nearly 300 people have signed it. The goal is 500. I don’t know how Asfar’s getting the word out and do not care.
Krochmal doesn’t either.
“I was surprised to see a petition targeting my service on the Racial Equity Committee,” he wrote me. “It’s telling that its signers responded so negatively to me and my tone rather than the substance of my arguments. It’s even more telling that within days, privileged parents at Tanglewood and Overton Park succeeded in abusing a [Texas Education Agency] loophole to force those schools to reopen ahead of the district’s approved schedule, thereby proving my points about their entitlement far more effectively than I did. I suggest that those who were offended by my op-ed educate themselves about the scholarly consensus on how structural racism and white privilege continue to operate in our society and that they redirect their ire away from volunteer community servants and toward the elite power brokers and elected officials who constantly shore up racial inequality.”
In a subsequent Star-Telegram story about the column, the TCU prof said he has no plans on leaving the committee and that he welcomes dialogue.
“I will continue to do that work, and I urge people who feel slighted to examine why they feel slighted,” he told the daily paper. “Especially if they read the piece carefully, [it is] really about domination of a small handful of elites.”
There’s more to the petition than Krochmal. Asfar goes on to accuse the entire Racial Equity Committee of using “racist language” at committee meetings. Though having never sat in on any of the group’s get-togethers, I would bet my life that none of the members have ever used terms like the n-word or whatever derogatory names are employed to describe people of color or other minorities. My guess is that Asfar is referring to “language” directed toward white people. History lesson: Reverse racism is a myth. Until white people are systemically denied the right to rent an apartment or buy a car by an authority above them or are killed by police and vigilantes to be able to vote or are killed by police and vigilantes based on skin color connected to racial disenfranchisement dating back 400 years, then white people cannot be discriminated against. Stop saying you can. You’re just embarrassing yourself. Snowflakes.
In the Star-T story, the reporter talks to two detractors and to Krochmal himself but to none of his supporters, whom we know are the quiet majority. The 26 mostly negative comments on Krochmal’s story for us are juxtaposed with 2.4K likes. In the Star-T story, the term “race-baiting” is used at least once. Of course, it was. That’s an idea beloved by whites to describe the long-suppressed sound of disenfranchised voices. No matter what Black or brown people say or do to express their displeasure with the way things are, it’s going to offend white people. Talk about triggered.
For weeks, I’ve been trying to figure out why some parents want to send their children back to virus-infested classrooms. Then it hit me. If parents are working instead of parenting (I guess some folks just think school is daycare), then Dear Leader can take credit for reviving the economy. Can you believe some people are willing to sacrifice their children for a politician? And the slimiest one at that?
The Fort Worth school district began in-person learning last Monday. I guess we know which side won this debate. No, remote learning is not for every child, but why we are not fixing our scary circumstances and are instead trying to just deal with them is costing all of us, not just people with underlying conditions, not just TCU professors and their detractors, not just students. Everyone. Hopefully, this will change on Jan. 20, 2021. — Anthony Mariani
In last week’s issue, we misidentified the photographer who took the cover image, Shauna Benoit. We regret the error. — A.M.
The Weekly welcomes submissions from all political persuasions. Please email Editor Anthony Mariani at firstname.lastname@example.org.