Culture Wars/Current Controversies

The Holy War of Loudoun County, Virginia

By Matt Taibbi

In part three of a series. an opposition galvanized by revelations of bizarre school policies finds itself on an enemies list.

Part three of a series. For parts one and two of “A Culture War in Four Acts: Loudoun County, Virginia,” click here and here.

In their zeal to implement the “Action Plan to Eliminate Systemic Racism” devised by a California consultancy called the Equity Collaborative, the Loudoun County, Virginia Schools seemed to get everything wrong. Like the crew of a hijacked jetliner, they kept trying to win favor with displays of groveling and obedience, but only inspired annoyance and heightened tensions.

One of the Collaborative’s recommendations was that Loudoun “publish on the ‘Superintendent’s Message’ page” a statement “defining and condemning white supremacy.” School leaders hurled themselves into the task with élan, planning a microwave apology for a hundred-plus years of history. In preparation for both a written and videotaped statement, which was to include local African-American leaders like Board of Supervisors Chair Phyllis Randall, they asked Loudoun’s NAACP chapter head, pastor Michelle Thomas, if she wanted to participate. Her furious reply denounced the thoughtless demand for emotional labor.

“As victims of racism and discrimination, with its beginnings in segregated education,” Thomas said, “it is unconscionable for the abuser to ask the victim to provide assistance in writing an apology for the abuse.”


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