FAIR News: Standing Up For Our Common Humanity
Dear Friends of FAIR,
On April 5, 1968, the day after Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated, Jane Elliott, a school teacher in Riceville, Iowa, divided her third-grade students into two groups: blue-eyed and brown-eyed. For two days, she encouraged the children to see themselves, and each other, as inherently different based on the color of their eyes. On the first day, the blue-eyed children were told that they were genetically inferior. They were told not to bother doing their homework, since they would probably just forget to bring it in the next day, and that they were not allowed to play on the jungle gym or swings. They were made to use paper cups to drink out of the water fountain, and not allowed second helpings at lunch. The following day, the roles were reversed, and the blue-eyed children were told that they were superior.
The objective of Jane Elliott’s controversial experiment was to help her students understand first-hand the absurdity of seeing people through the lens of color—whether it be eye color, or skin color. Today, driven by a different objective, thousands of schools across the country have implemented a more permanent and insidious form of the “blue-eyes, brown-eyes” experiment, in the form of “racial affinity” groups. For example, the Pathfinder K-8 school in Seattle, Washington has for the past year been dividing young children into “BIPOC, Mixed Race, White, LGBTQIA2+, Disabled, and Jewish” affinity groups. In theory, the “White” affinity group focuses on teaching students about “white privilege,” while the other affinity groups are intended to serve as a safe space for therapeutic healing and bonding sessions. In practice, separating children based on skin color encourages them to adopt a flattening racialized group identity, and reinforces in-group bias.
Last month, FAIR’s legal team reached out to Pathfinder K-8 to remind them that “racial separation and exclusion undertaken even for an assertedly benign purpose are unconstitutional and unlawful,” and that we believe their actions violate both the Constitution’s Equal Protection guarantee and Title VI of the Civil Rights Act. We are standing up against the currently popular trend of school-sponsored “racial affinity groups” because it is harmful—not only to the children at Pathfinder and other schools who are being taught to see the world through the reductive, flattening and false lens of “race”—but to society as a whole. Decades of research, and common sense, tell us that the best way to overcome racism is by emphasizing what we have in common. Grouping, and dividing, children based on skin color acts as a barrier to progress on racism, and not a remedy.
Earlier this year, journalist and author Stephen Bloom wrote about how one young student in Jane Elliott’s third-grade classroom reacted to the premise of the “blue-eyes, brown-eyes” experiment five decades ago:
When she separated the class by eye color and announced that blue-eyed children were superior, Paul Bodensteiner objected at every turn.
“It’s not true!” he challenged.
Undeterred, Elliott tried to appeal to Paul’s self-interest. “You should be happy! You have the right color eyes!”
But Paul, one of eight siblings and the son of a dairy farmer, didn’t buy Elliott’s mollification. “It’s not true and it’s not fair no matter what you say!” he responded.
I often think about Paul Bodensteiner. How can we teach kids to be more like him? Is it even possible today?
Being pro-human, means being more like Paul Bodensteiner. In the face of misguided institutional efforts to divide our children into increasingly meaningless racialized groups, we need more people to speak up, and to insist on our common humanity. We are all part of one human race, and that is what we need to be teaching our children.
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Illiberalism in Medicine: A Conversation With Heather MacDonald and Sally Satel
Join FAIR in Medicine for our webinar Illiberalism in Medicine: A Conversation With Heather MacDonald and Sally Satel hosted by FAIR Board of Advisor, Co-Founder & CEO of Vertex Partnership Academies, and AEI Senior Fellow Ian Rowe. How is DEI affecting medical training and practice? What are solutions to illiberalism in healthcare? Hear from Manhattan Institute Fellow and New York Times bestselling author, Heather MacDonald, and AEI Fellow, author, and practicing psychiatrist Sally Satel, MD. To learn more about their thoughts, read Heather MacDonald’s The Corruption of Medicine and Sally Satel’s What Is Happening to My Profession?
Santa Monica: December Screenings of The Unredacted
From December 9th-15th, Laemmle Theater in Santa Monica, CA will be screening Meg Smaker's film The UnRedacted with live Q&A sessions featuring Smaker. Tickets go on sale December 6th. Read more about Smaker's story from Sharon Waxman (for The Wrap): Canceled ‘Jihad Rehab’ Filmmaker Finds Vindication – and Now She Wants an Oscar Nom.
Having been one of the first organizations to platform this film following the activist campaign attempting to censor it, FAIR in the Arts is proud to continue supporting Meg Smaker. Together, Smaker and FAIR are standing up for free expression and the ability to tell important and powerful stories through the arts.
Rights and Responsibilities: A Symposium for School Board Members
The importance of school boards has come to the forefront in recent years. Join us at the Great Wolf Lodge in the Wisconsin Dells from the evening of Thursday, December 15th to Saturday, December 17th to learn more about your rights and responsibilities as a board member, and how to approach your local community leadership position using FAIR’s principles of fairness, understanding, and humanity.
Presenters include FAIR Advisors Robert Pondiscio, Adam Seagrave, and Zander Keig, along with Cory Brewer, Jennifer Meinhardt, and FAIR Action Fellow Tanya Simons.
GRASSROOTS LEADERSHIP ACADEMY: HOW TO RUN FOR SCHOOL BOARD | JANUARY 30-FEBRUARY 2, 2023
You care about your kids and your community, we get it! So do we. Join FAIR in partnership with the Grassroots Leadership Academy for a 4-session, training experience to empower you to roll up your sleeves and run for school board (or effectively organize your community for someone you want to run for school board). This training experience is four, 90 minute sessions over four days, 6:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. ET each day. This training is great for those of you who want to run and your core supporters alike. Together you will learn in:
Session 1 on January 30 – How to become the candidate and set yourself up for success
Session 2 on January 31 – How to communicate your why and connect with the whys of those in your district
Session 3 on February 1 – How to create a messaging plan and stay on message no matter what
Session 4 on February 2 – How to talk to voters and raise money
FAIR Summer Internship Program
Applications are now open for our full-time summer internship program for highly motivated and open-minded undergraduate students.
Ideal candidates value curiosity, compassion, and courage, have excellent communication and leadership skills, and show a passion for FAIR’s pro-human values and vision. This internship provides students with real-world experience in a nonpartisan, dynamic, and mission-driven organization, while also empowering students to become ambassadors for FAIR’s mission. See what Summer 2022 Interns have to say about their experience below.
The internship is fully remote, except for an in-person orientation during the first week of the internship. Over the course of the internship, interns attend weekly all-hands meetings and work with a specific team to assist with new and ongoing projects. As a cohort, interns attend lunch & learns and seminars with thought leaders who promote our pro-human mission. Interns are expected to return to campus with a plan for bringing FAIR’s mission and approach to their respective colleges and universities.
Clinical Guide for Therapists Working With Gender Questioning Youth
GETA's Clinical Guide was written by therapists who have worked extensively with LGBT clients. GETA believes that a psychological approach should be the first line of treatment for psychological distress. Our guide offers an alternative to a gender affirming approach, putting forth an accessible, practical framework for clinicians. There is a need for therapists who validate the client as a whole person and who can facilitate an open-ended exploration rather than applying a one-size-fits-all treatment model. Many clinicians want to offer this type of therapeutic process, but may need guidance in how to achieve this stance amidst the contentious landscape. GETA's Clinical Guide is rooted in established and evidence-based psychotherapeutic traditions.
This webinar will provide a brief overview to the Clinical Guide and we’ll offer case examples and a discussion on working through common issues that arise in therapy with gender-questioning youth. Since this will be a webinar format, your attendance at this event will be anonymous.
FAIR Perspectives Podcast
This week on Fair Perspectives, we speak with David Bernstein. David is the founder of the Jewish Institute for Liberal Values, which supports viewpoint diversity, counters radical ideology in the Jewish community, and opposes novel forms of anti-Semitism. His recent book Woke Antisemitism: How a Progressive Ideology Harms Jews is now available on Amazon. It's a first hand account from a longtime Jewish leader about how woke ideology shuts down discourse, corrupts Jewish values and sponsors a viral and new strain of anti-Semitism. In this episode, we discuss how woke anti-Semitism differs from other forms of anti-Semitism. Jews as an identity group, the difference between identity and identity politics, the role of Israeli geopolitics in anti-Semitism, the pros and cons of tribalism, the conflict between blacks and Jews, culture as a strategy for living in the world. And what the Jewish style of cancel culture is.
FAIR News Podcast
Join the Pro-Human Movement With FAIR Merch!
How To Deal With Hatred: Featuring FAIR Advisory Board Member Zander Keig
"When I was angry, I doubt I changed a single mind. The man who walked away from me in Denver, if I had not apologized to him, I am fairly certain he would have returned home to come up with every reason in the world why he was right and I was wrong. But when I engage people with friendship, conversation, and genuine interest, that attitude is so often returned back to me. I know I’ve helped others find acceptance that way, because I’ve seen the proof."
FAIR Educators Alliance & Administrators Alliance Happy Hours
Teachers often feel isolated and alone in their schools, but FAIR is here for you! The FAIR Educators Alliance brings together educators from all levels to share experiences and concerns and work on developing resources that can support teachers, community members, and FAIR chapters.
FAIR’s Educator’s Alliance is hosting an informal happy hour every other Thursday evening, alternating between beginning at 7:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. ET, and will hold more formal monthly meetings that will address issues based on your interests and needs.
If you’re a K-12 school administrator, we’re here to support you too! You’re invited to join the FAIR Administrators Alliance, which holds meetings the last Thursday of every month at 1:00 p.m. ET!
All teachers and administrators are welcome! For more information and to subscribe to the calendar, reach out to email@example.com.
Calling all FAIR Member Librarians and Library Staff! FAIR has established a network for members to connect and discuss key issues affecting their profession, advance pro-human principles, and preserve academic freedoms in library systems. The group meets biweekly.
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in joining!