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An education company co-founded by Attorney General Merrick Garland’s son-in-law issued a “resource” for teachers this year which claims supporters of former President Donald Trump are white supremacists.
The educational workshop released by Panorama Education, co-founded by Alexander “Xan” Tanner, the group’s president, revolves around “systemic racism” and includes an article as a resource that states the Ku Klux Klan and attendees of Trump’s rallies are both “examples of white supremacy.”
The 2021 workshop in question from the group, titled “SEL as Social Justice: Dismantling White Supremacy Within Systems and Self,” includes a portion of “resources” for teachers, one of which links to a Medium article titled “How White Supremacy Lives in Our Schools, written by Altagracia Montilla, a self-described “freedom-dreamer, facilitator, and strategist committed to dismantling oppressive systems.”
In the article, Montilla wrote, “The rise in images of overt white supremacy in the media feeds into the confusion about white supremacy. While the Ku Klux Klan and MAGAs at half-empty Trump rallies (not that these are mutually exclusive groups) are in fact examples of white supremacy, they are not the only examples.”
The article also said “murderous police officers” were examples of white supremacy and claimed “white supremacy is everywhere, pertinent and pervasive, woven into the fabric of our society and reflected in every institution and organization in the U.S. including schools.”
“One of the purposes of listing characteristics of white supremacy culture in schools is to point out how schools consciously or unconsciously use these characteristics as their standards making it difficult, if not impossible, to open the door to other cultural norms and standards,” Montilla claimed, listing “Perfectionism,” “Worship of the Written Word,” “Paternalism,” “Defensiveness,” and “Right to Comfort” as “school practices that act as antidotes to white supremacy culture in schools.”
Montilla went even further in the piece, claiming that schools only “celebrate students who adapt or conform” to ideals that are rooted in white supremacy.
“The reality is while schools may say they’re invested in diversity and equity, they really only celebrate students who adapt or conform to the cultural norms rooted in white supremacy,” the Panorama Education approved resource stated. “Naming and identifying the characteristics of white supremacy culture in schools so we shift from accepting these characteristics as norms towards recognizing them as destructive — is the first step to working toward building schools that value all students.”
Following efforts from Garland and the DOJ to combat what it said is an “increase” in “threats of violence” against school officials and teachers across the country, a Washington Examiner review detailed the ideas promoted by Panorama and some of its “ties to left-wing ideological groups,” which critics questioned.
Ian Prior, a former DOJ spokesman and executive director of Fight for Schools told the Examiner that the family connection “certainly creates an appearance of a conflict of interest.”
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-K.Y., pushed back against the DOJ’s efforts against parents, asking Garland for clarification on his memo and stating that protests from parents are “democracy, not intimidation.”
Texas GOP Rep. Dan Crenshaw also urged parents across the nation to “keep protesting your school’s curriculum,” adding that the DOJ, which Attorney General Garland leads, is attempting to “intimidate” them.
Indiana GOP Rep. Jim Banks also spoke out, saying in a tweet this week that the “AG’s war on parents is not only helping the teachers unions, but his own family!”
The Examiner‘s review concluded that Panorama “pushes race-focused surveys and conducts trainings on systemic oppression, white supremacy, unconscious bias, and intersectionality — all under the rubric of ‘Social-Emotional Learning.'”
Fox News did not receive immediate responses from either the DOJ or Panorama Education regarding a potential conflict of interest.
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