Whitewash, Rinse, and Repeat

Danyelle D. Kimp & Roz’lyn Wyche (President, VP, & Co-Founders, Alaska Coalition of BIPOC Educators)

“Whatever white people do not know about Negroes reveals, precisely and inexorably, what they do not know about themselves.” – James Baldwin

A Brief History

White people have been disrespected and lied to since the existence of formalized education in America. They have not been provided the full length, breadth, and truth of the history of their own country. Even now, Regressives such as Alaska Parents Rights, Save Anchorage, Alaska Must Read, Alaska Watchman, and other organizations of their ilk [and their representatives] continue to insult them with lies and by withholding the truth…again. White people deserve better and should demand more. They should demand nothing less than the truth.

White supremacy and its allies have run this continuing narrative for the last two centuries, that white people are “victims of oppression” and that white privilege “does not exist.” This is provably false and part of what we call the Continuum of Lies (an ongoing sequence of branching lies rooted in the original big lie of white supremacy). White people have never been victims of racial oppression, but rather victims of the white supremacy lie — that white people constitute a superior race and should therefore dominate society, typically to the exclusion or detriment of other racial and ethnic groups, particularly Black, Indigenous, or Jewish people.

The Big Lie

White supremacy has been the biggest and longest-running threat to American progress and potential in history. This is the beginning of the Continuum of Lies. The lie of white supremacy caused the theft, enslavement, brutalization, rape, murder, child sex trafficking, mutilation, family separation, stolen wealth, and cultural genocide of a combined total of over 15 million captured Africans and their Black American descendants for over 250 years. The lie of white supremacy then manifested into the broken promises of Reconstruction, the lynching of over 6,000 Black people, countless rapes, the enduring disenfranchisement of Black people’s right to vote, state-sanctioned terrorism, over 100 race massacres, persistent mass incarceration, and the re-enslavement of Black people through the 13th Amendment’s Slavery Clause loophole, the theft of Black wealth through Redlining practices which still contributes to the widening racial wealth gap, and continued police brutality and targeting of Black people. And it is the same lie of white supremacy and its Regressive allies, which continues to treat white people as if they are incapable of understanding this American history or simply comprehending the truth.

White people are no more fragile or intellectually inferior than anyone else. They will not crumble under the weight of the truth. They will be fine but can no longer subsist on a diet of lies. It can no longer sustain them or our country. Only the truth can do that.

My mother, Gertrude Kimp, once told me, “Son, if you tell one lie, then you will have to tell another to cover up for the first one – and so forth and so on until eventually, you end up with so many lies that you can’t keep up with them all. And some of those lies will end up hurting people, even yourself. All to cover up for that original first lie.” White supremacy is that original first lie and all other lies told to cover it up since—the Continuum of Lies.

Over the centuries, there have been so many lies to cover up for white supremacy that now, Regressives can’t keep up with them all. The lies about Critical Race Theory and accompanying attacks on the truth in education are just the latest in a long line. White people deserve better than to be continually insulted, especially from Regressives peddling this garbage. They deserve the truth. And anyone not willing to tell the truth doesn’t deserve their attention or support.

The CRT Catch-All

These Regressives are now giving away their Critical Race Theory (CRT) hand. As time has passed, it has become apparent that they have no idea what CRT is. They have described Critical Race Theory as everything from an ideology that threatens to overturn the last 500 years of civilization, to a white-guilt trap, to a climate change conspiracy, a voting rights scheme, a women’s rights plot, etc. It’s gotten hard to keep up with all their lies. OAN even claimed that CRT was an Oedipal notion that all kids want to kill their father and marry their mother. Essentially, CRT is just the latest catch-all phrase that Regressives are using to cover anything about white supremacy and racism they don’t like to talk about. As silly as their explanations of CRT have become, they are still very dangerous, as they are all based on a lie. 

Fox News host Brian Kilmeade recently claimed on Fox and Friends that white people are being “marginalized” as schools take steps to address racism in America. This lie might seem silly and trivial on the surface, but it is a dangerous premise. These far-right propaganda campaigns are clearly designed to stoke white resentment and, if left unchecked and unchallenged, will lead to treacherous outcomes. As Regressive media consumers internalize the lies, they hear it begins to distort their view of reality. From the denial of white privilege to the stoking of unfounded fear and resentment of people of color for having the nerve to demand more from what they were “generously given” already, to the zealotry and white grievance that eventually manifests into a rage and eventually violence and terrorism against people of color and their advocates. 

An Unmistakable Pattern

We saw this expression of grievance during post-Civil War America, where white mobs were brought to violence by newspaper articles and headlines, and a century later when they descended upon our nation’s capital to overturn an election. The pattern is unmistakable:

     – November 1898, Wilmington, Delaware. At least 14 Black people were killed, and countless were displaced from their homes due to the election of mostly Black officials. Opposition political campaigns used speeches, propaganda cartoons, and the threat of violence to create support for white supremacy. All based on the lie that the officials in charge were not rightfully elected. After the massacre and Coup D’état, local elected officials were forced to resign and replaced white supremacist leaders. This was the first Coup D’état in American history and should have served as a warning sign to prevent the January 6, 2021, Insurrection and attempted Coup D’état on our nation’s capital.

     – August 1908, Springfield, Illinois. Six black people were shot and killed, two were lynched, and hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of property destroyed because a white woman lied about being assaulted by a Black man.

     – July 29, 1910, Slocum, Texas. A white mob massacred up to 200 Black people because the local newspaper circulated a rumor that Black residents were planning an armed rebellion. 

     – May 28, 1919, East St. Louis, Illinois. Up to 250 Black people were killed, another 6,000 black people were left homeless, and the burning and vandalism cost approximately $400,000 in property damage because local news spread the rumor of an attempted robbery of a white man by an armed black man.

     – June 1, 1921, Tulsa, Oklahoma. Up to 300 Black people were killed, hundreds injured, and more than 1,000 black-owned homes and businesses were destroyed due to a false report of a white woman accusing a Black man of assault and a subsequent local newspaper article calling for his lynching.

     – January 6, 2021, Washington, D.C. Five people killed, over $3 million in damage, and an attempted overthrow of our Constitution and government (Coup D’état) due to an ongoing campaign of disinformation in the news media and the creation and perpetuation of the “Big Lie” that Donald Trump won the 2020 Presidential election as well as the whitelash to the election of a Black man (Raphael Warnock) and Jewish man (Jon Ossoff) to the US Senate. 

These are only a few of over 100 historically significant incidents of violence, from the Cincinnati Riots of 1828 to the Insurrection of January 6, 2021, where mobs attacked Black people and their advocates because of the white supremacist lie and misinformation fed to them by the news media. What’s more poignant is that the January 6th Insurrection could even have been wholly avoided if we hadn’t been lied to in our educational system. 

Missed Opportunities

If the Massacre and Coup D’état of Wilmington 1898 had been properly taught in our schools, then enough people might have recognized the signs of a pending attempt to overthrow the government and avoided such a terrible day in our nation’s history. Moreover, if taught the truth, those insurrectionists would have been less inclined to commit such a heinous act in the first place and less likely to lash out at a system they falsely believed was “oppressing” them. They would have been better prepared and able to perceive the lies they were being fed from Regressive media with a critical eye instead of accepting them at face value.

Education is the Key

It’s no coincidence then that these new voter suppression laws and attacks on truth in education are happening simultaneously. Education and democracy go hand-in-hand. The less knowledge someone has about the truth of a matter, the more susceptible they are to lies and manipulation. This is how Regressivism works. By suppressing both the vote and voter’s education. They require a constituency that is both susceptible to lies and being easily manipulated. But how do you get a constituency like that? Simple. You shape our educational system to feel-good stories with benevolent white patriots as heroes and people of color playing side characters and bit parts (or, as we like to say in the gaming community, NPCs or Non-Player Characters). Just think about it. For your entire educational life, from PreK to 12th grade, you were taught that people with skin like yours had discovered and founded your country and that people whose skin is darker than yours were primitives and savages who were eventually tamed and taught how to be American like you. You might then begin to erroneously believe, subconsciously or consciously, that in your country, your needs and wants come first and that all others who don’t look like you need to get in line behind you or get out. Couple that with lies, rampant omissions, a media landscape that advances a false victimhood rationalization, and a home environment that reinforces the same, then what you get is an electorate willing to violate the sanctity of our nation’s capital and commit murder to overthrow a government it wrongly believes stole an election from them. Regressives who cry indoctrination should be angry that they themselves have been indoctrinated their entire educational lives.

Devil at the Door

The anti-truth in education movement has now found its way here and is knocking on Alaska’s door. A bill was pre-filed on July 15th, which would limit the ability of our educators to teach truthful and accurate history, literature, or any subject with any mention of race or racism. We are the latest in a growing list of states with legislation introduced or passed to suppress and subvert the truth. These Regressives’ ideal outcome for our children’s education is to limit their ability to think critically or question what is put before them. Why else would they limit free speech and use deceit, if not to create a population and constituency that does only what they are told, void of independent thought and reason? This is extremely dangerous for our kids, community, and nation as it would have long-term effects on everything — from the quality of our workforce, national security, and democracy itself.

Call to Action

Join us in solidarity on August 28, 2021, at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial in downtown Anchorage at 1 pm where we will hold a Truth in Education Rally, to not just condemn the ongoing attacks on the truth in education but rally around our children and their educators as well. To let them know that we support them and have their backs.

From the classroom to Fox News, it’s all been one vicious cycle. Whitewash, rinse, and repeat. If we do not stop the lie of white supremacy, we will have more January 6ths or worse coming our way. It’s, therefore, past time to sever that continuum and break the cycle with truth in education. See you on August 28th. #alaskacbe #truthineducation #acbe #wewontlie #teachtruth

The Alaska Coalition of BIPOC Educators (ACBE) is a non-profit organization whose mission is to “Champion equity in education for communities of color to achieve equality.” Their top three priorities are 1. Health and safety of educators, students, and communities of color 2. Equity in academic opportunities and curriculum 3. Hiring and retention of educators of color.

The ACBE is now accepting new members. For more information, visit theacbe.org.