Members of the Williamson County School System are reportedly looking to implement a cultural competency program, but former Nashville mayoral candidate Carol Swain said it will likely divide different categories of people even further.
The Nashville-based FOX 17 reported last week that Williamson County School System Superintendent Jason Golden wants a cultural strategy program.
But Swain told The Tennessee Star Monday that Golden and school board members need to ponder what, exactly, they want to accomplish.
“Their reasoning for adopting the program is that somehow there is a cultural competency that will somehow eradicate racism. What I have seen from the diversity, equity and inclusion programs have been almost always a very divisive type of approach that results in accentuating rather than decreasing racial and ethnic tension,” Swain said.
“And my concern is it will not improve the situation. The last thing students need is another indoctrination program where minorities are made to feel like victims and then white people are told how they are responsible for all of the sins of the world. That takes us nowhere.”
FOX 17 reported that various racial incidents within the school district prompted Golden to push for a cultural competency program.
But Swain suggested an alternative.
“The right approach looks at the equal protection clause of the Constitution that protects everyone as well as [looking at] the Civil Rights Act. It would include the historical component, but there would be more focus on our responsibilities toward one another. Blacks and people of color have responsibilities as well as white people, and the most important thing we need to do is to learn how to live together and get along. The white people today are not responsible for what took place in the past. The things that minorities label as discrimination are not always discrimination. Some of the problems that people of color have is because of the choices that they make and how they have chosen to interpret the world around them,” Swain told The Star.
“I believe that the right approach to unity training is one that focuses on the unique characteristics and contributions of individuals, and it’s based around the Judeo Christian worldview where we show love. We show compassion. We show respect for one other, but we don’t assume that one group because of their skin color is somehow privileged above another group or that one group is inferior because of the situation their ancestors may have been in in the past. I think the best approach is to focus on team building, teaching mutual respect and going back to the Golden Rule and do unto others as you would have them do unto you. If we went back to the Golden Rule that would solve all of our problems.”
As reported last year, Golden’s predecessor, Mike Looney, initially pushed for — but decided to never again show — a series of controversial Cultural Competency videos to teachers in the school district. As reported, the Cultural Competency videos preached “white privilege” and America’s supposed dysfunctional history.
Williamson County parents and members of the public, as reported, were never supposed to see the Cultural Competency videos that preached white privilege. This, according to what Looney told a group of about 20 people at a meeting with parents. Only teachers were supposed to see the videos, Looney said.
Taxpayers paid for those videos.
Swain said that these approaches “take us nowhere.”
“A lot of the people who push it are well-intentioned, but they will never get what they want to accomplish by using the approaches that are out there because those approaches are grounded in critical race theory, which itself is grounded in Marxism,” Swain said.
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