Parents revolt at prestigious US school amid ‘blatantly racist’ video scandal

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There’s an anti-”woke’’ revolt brewing at Manhattan’s posh Spence School.

Some parents involved with the ultra-exclusive Upper East Side academy are mounting a letter-writing campaign demanding that the administration take “a step backward’’ from its alleged out-of-control political correctness — after The Post exposed a flap over a racially offensive class video.

“We will have our day,” a mum said.

“This is becoming a culture war,” the mother said of the perceived over-the-top “woke’’ stance at Spence and other tony private New York City schools. “I guess that’s what people want, instead of being truthful.”

The movement comes after a top former Spence board member said she was yanking her daughter from the school over its “wokeness”.

The irate mum, Gabriela Baron, said a “blatantly racist” video that “tarred and feathered” white women was shown to her daughter and some Spence eighth-graders in their final history class on graduation day earlier this month.

The video was an episode of racially charged comedian Ziwe Fumudoh’s Showtime series and included her snarkily asking a guest, writer Fran Lebowitz, “What percentage of white women do you hate? And there is a right answer.”

Fumudoh also had a sit-down with four white women named Karen, a term she said has come to be synonymous with “obnoxious, angry and entitled, often racist, white women”.

In addition, the footage included Fumudoh reading obscene lyrics of the rap song “WAP”, aka “Wet Ass P****”, by Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion, to women’s rights leader Gloria Steinem — and asking if she felt “empowered” by them.

The school issued a mea culpa to the community this week over the showing of the video — but “it’s not an apology that is needed”, said another longtime school member.

What is required “is a step backward to jump off the bandwagon of this rhetoric that has been going on, to sort of take a look at what you mean to do when you educate a young person”, the woman said.

“Showing a video like that is not education, that’s junk,” the mum said.

“The girls have to be told to make their own decisions, look at all sides of arguments … But in order to do that, they need to have self-worth.

“I didn’t realise that a Spence teacher would feel empowered to do something like that,” she added of the showing of the video.

Sources said a group of parents is writing letters protesting the showing of the video — and the school’s over-the-top “wokeness” in general.

“Parents want to know what steps they’re going to take with this particular teacher and with the students that went through it. There should be outreach to the children,” the first source said.

But parents are also “questioning where Spence is going”, the woman said.

The mum said she recently pulled her daughter out of the K-12 school — which counts Gwyneth Paltrow among its tony alums and charges more than $US57,400 a year — because she and her husband were “feeling very disheartened and crestfallen over the curriculum echoing this sort of culture war even before George Floyd”.

“We felt it wasn’t appropriate, that kind of beating up of the Western canon,” the woman said.

“I wish it were just isolated at Spence,” she said. “We all know the ‘wokeness’ is so huge.”

Ms Baron fired off a scorched-earth letter to the prestigious Upper East Side institution last week seething that the video — shown to her eighth-grade daughter and classmates on graduation day — “openly derides, humiliates and ridicules white women”.

“They sat there in their graduation dresses while the white mothers of the white students – many of whom volunteer, donate, call, email and do whatever the school asks of them – were tarred and feathered in a video their teacher showed them. While their white female teachers were mocked,” Baron raged in the missive, a copy of which was obtained by The Post.

Ms Baron said the footage was just another indication of what she and her husband “see happening at Spence (and many other schools in NYC)”.

“Over the last several years my husband and I have grown increasingly concerned about certain trends at Spence, including what we believe is a de-emphasis of academic rigour and a single-minded focus on race, diversity and inclusion that is now driving the School and everything that goes on within its walls,” she said.

This article originally appeared on NY Post and was reproduced with permission



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