Debera Carlton Harrell, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, June 2, 2006
An outpouring of criticism forced Seattle Public Schools on Thursday to pull a Web site that viewed planning for the future, emphasizing individualism and defining standard English as examples of cultural racism.
The message had appeared under an equity and race relations section of the districts Web site and was mentioned Thursday in an opinion piece by a Libertarian writer in the Seattle P-I. Criticism of the site has been building in the world of blogs for weeks.
In its place Thursday was a message that the site will be revised to provide more context to reader around the work that Seattle Public Schools is doing to address institutional racism.
That message, written by Caprice Hollins, the districts director of equity and race relations, said the site wasnt intended to develop an us against them mind-set.
But she may have stepped into a second controversy by saying the site also wasnt intended to hold onto unsuccessful concepts such as melting pot or colorblind mentality.
Andrew Coulson, director of the Cato Institutes Center for Educational Freedom, was the author of Thursdays opinion piece. Among other things, he drew from the sites definition of cultural racism.
Those aspects of society that overtly and covertly attribute value and normality to white people and whiteness, and devalue, stereotype, and label people of color as other, different, less than, or render them invisible. Examples of these norms include defining white skin tones as nude or flesh colored, having a future time orientation, emphasizing individualism as opposed to a more collective ideology, defining one form of English as standard, and identifying only Whites as great writers or composers, the definition said.