Glenn Singleton’s Racism and the Arlington Public Schools

Earlier, I wrote about the racist “diversity” consultant Glenn Singleton, who is hired by school officials, like the Arlington, Virginia schools, despite his long record of promoting offensive racial stereotypes, such as claiming that minority students are “emotional” and not “intellectual” or “task-oriented.”

What is commonly overlooked about Glenn Singleton’s racist approach is who his real victims are: America’s minority children. The Maoist indoctrination by Singleton that civil-rights historian and professor David Beito recounts here and here is no doubt humiliating and uncomfortable for the white teachers and professors forced to undergo it, especially given Singleton’s claim that racism is “ubiquitous” among whites, and his assertion that white teachers are to blame for minority students’ bad grades.

But the biggest losers in the long run from Singleton’s approach will be minority students, not the white teachers that Singleton scapegoats for poor performance by minority students. Being subjected to Singleton’s “diversity” training won’t cost white teachers their jobs, and if such “diversity” training gets too abusive, they may even be able to sue Glenn Singleton or their school system for it, since a federal court ruled in Hartman v. Pena (1995) that a man could sue for discriminatory harassment after being subjected to a humiliating 3-day diversity training seminar. But Singleton doesn’t just humiliate white teachers. He also promotes stereotypes about minority children that could aggravate the minority achievement gap.

Singleton claims that “white talk” is “verbal,” “intellectual” and “task-oriented,” while “color commentary” is “emotional” and “personal.” See, e.g., Vincent Carroll, “On Point: The Whiteness Trap,” Rocky Mountain News, May 10, 2006, at page 34A. That’s exactly the sort of racist stereotype that contributes to the poor performance of some minority students, who believe that studying is “acting white.”

The fact that Singleton puts a superficially positive spin on this negative stereotype (by claiming that whites’ fous on achievement is coldly “impersonal” and “task-oriented”) makes it all the more seductive to those minority students who already perceive studying as “acting white” and being a “grind” (and who taunt studious classmates of their own race by referring to them as “schoolboy,” “schoolgirl” and “little miss perfect”).

Singleton is hired for big bucks — a “six-figure fee” — to conduct diversity training seminars in order to supposedly remedy the minority achievement gap. But the truth is that his own teachings aggravate and reinforce the minority achievement gap. And America’s minority students will be the losers.

For that reason, I was especially saddened to learn in a November 28 letter from Arlington Schools Superintendent Robert G. Smith that Singleton was supposedly hired to remedy “the disparity in achievement between white students and students of color.” Hiring Singleton to reduce the minority achievement gap is like hiring a flat-earther to teach astronomy and biology.

In his letter, Dr. Robert Smith admitted that Singleton’s bizarre racial theories are “provocative.” Provocative, indeed. Singleton’s racial theories resemble those of the infamous racist Leonard Jeffries, who was belatedly removed from his position as head of the black studies department at the City University of New York, after he decided to go beyond promoting racism to preaching antisemitism. His racial claims, too, were described as “provocative.” But in Jeffries v. Harleston (1995), the federal appeals court upheld his removal from his administrative position because of his bigotry.

Glenn Singleton’s racial theories closely parallel those of Leonard Jeffries. Jeffries taught that whites were cold, individualistic, competitive “ice people,” while minorities are warm, “communal” “sun people.” Similarly, Singleton claims that “white and Asian students are more competitive and individualistic,” while minorities have a “collective,” communal orientation (see Vincent Carroll, “On Point: ‘Culture of Whiteness,'” Rocky Mountain News, October 19, 2005, at page 37A). And he claims that whites are “impersonal,” “verbal,” “intellectual” and “task-oriented,” while minorities are “non-verbal, personal” and “emotional.” (See Vincent Carroll, “On Point: The Whiteness Trap,” Rocky Mountain News, May 10, 2006, at page 34A). Ironically, Asian students end up being classified as as “majority students” in school systems advised by Singleton, because they have the temerity to succeed academically in a predominantly-white society.

Why Singleton continues to be hired by school systems (like the Arlington County schools) is a mystery, given how much public embarrassment he has caused some of them. Perhaps white school officials harbor so much politically-correct racial guilt that they fixate on his anti-white rhetoric and thus lose sight of how damaging his racial stereotypes are to minority children. Anti-white rhetoric is sometimes rewarded, as Leonard Jeffries showed by obtaining tenure and administrative authority at CUNY as a result of his flagrantly racist “scholarship” and writings.

Singleton recently embarrassed California Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O’Connell. This year, he was hired by the gullible O’Connell to give diversity training. O’Connell then was publicly ridiculed after he repeated an offensive stereotype voiced by Glenn Singleton: that blacks, as a people, are loud, and need to have their loudness accommodated in the schools. (In fact, many minority students express dismay about how loud and disorderly their classes are, finding that to be a major impediment to learning. They want “simple, elusive quiet” so they can study. My Asian, Hispanic, and black relatives are not loud and noisy). The head of San Francisco’s NAACP has demanded an apology from O’Connell for spreading this unfounded racial stereotype.  Singleton also embarrassed the Seattle Schools in a landmark Supreme Court case.

But Singleton himself continues to be hired, probably because of his anti-white rhetoric. A case in point is the enthusiastic reception that speakers from the anti-white Nation of Islam receive on campus. At both of my alma maters (Harvard Law School and the University of Virginia), a Nation of Islam speaker, Abdul Alim Muhammad, received an enthusiastic reception from predominantly-black audiences, even though he said things that were antisemitic, not just racist. He got away with his anti-semitism as a reward for his anti-white racism. Anti-white racism apparently excuses all sins.

No student newspaper would even criticize the bigoted Nation of Islam speech at U.Va. on November 15, 1990, which lasted for four hours, featured an enthusiastic audience of 600 students, and was filled with racial hatred and antisemitism. Nor would any individual journalist criticize it (except for me), until a Muslim minority student from Bangladesh (Arshad Rahman) publicly condemned the speech on November 28 as a “heretical expression of race hatred.” That broke the politically-correct taboo among journalists against criticizing anti-white racism, and suddenly, guilty whites began to gingerly criticize the speech, although they focused not on its racism but on its antisemitism and one arguably antigay remark made by the speaker.