Policy Committee Discusses Changes to the FCPS Definition of Racism

May 18, 2022

In the Policy Committee meeting of May 18th the newest version of the Racial Equity Committee’s Anti-Racism policy was reviewed. In that policy the definition of Racism is as follows: ”Racism is a complex system of beliefs and behaviors, grounded in a presumed superiority of the white race.” The definition concludes that this will “result in the oppression of people of color and benefit the dominant group, whites.” Concern has been expressed to the Policy and REC committees that these definitions focus solely on white racism, implying that the only racism we should concentrate on in the school system, and the only one worth confronting, is white racism. Racism against people of color by whites is certainly the most obvious and most ubiquitous, but racism by any race, against any race is wrong and the efforts to educate our students, faculty, and staff and mitigate racism must include all forms of racism. The definition in the policy proposal directly implies that racism against people of color should be assumed to be present in all whites, ignoring that racism could and often is a matter of ones own personal beliefs, not the product of an entire class of people based on their skin color. As mentioned in a separate article on this website, this manner of defining racism is derived from concepts contained in CRT and can be counterproductive to progress against racism by their base supposition that systemic racism and oppression is an inherent part of the white culture.

The BOE members in the Policy Committee meeting reached a consensus that they will “not go with” the definitions mentioned above and not use the word “white” but rather look for alternative terms. David Bass suggested using more general terms like “marginalized groups” but did not specify how that would fit into the definition.

An update will be posted after the next Policy Committee meeting on June 22nd.