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Asians benefit from white privilege and white supremacy, NYC Department of Education-sponsored group says

The comments made by the panel drew outrage from some parents and Asian activists, however, the DOE, led by Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza, did not denounce them
UPDATED MAY 28, 2019

A New York City Department of Education-sponsored panel, formulated to combat racism, reportedly told parents Asian American students "benefit from white supremacy" and "proximity to white privilege," an outraged mother said, according to reports. The comments made by the panel drew outrage from some parents and Asian activists, however, the DOE, led by Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza, did not denounce them, according to the New York Post.

The panel, monitored by the Center for Racial Justice in Education (CRJE), was asked to conduct near-weekly training sessions throughout the city in an attempt to address rampant racism in schools. The CRJE is reportedly paid nearly $400,000 by the DOE.

Two CRJE presenters at a meeting in February outlined a racial-advantage hierarchy, with African Americans at the bottom and whites at the top, according to one of the attendees Ingrid Flinn. The event included nearly 30 District 3 parents from the Upper West Side and Harlem in Manhattan.

Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza joins New York Mayor Bill de Blasio and school children for lunch at PS130, a Brooklyn public school, for an announcement about Meatless Monday's on March 11, 2019, in New York City. (Getty Images)

Flinn said Asians were not mentioned in the presentation and that she felt compelled to ask about their status considering she has an adopted Asian child. The presenters reportedly told her Asians were on the upper rungs, nearly in "proximity to white privilege” with regards to “benefit[ing] from white supremacy."

Flinn said the presenter's statement suggested Asians did not need to be acknowledged separately in the hierarchy, The Post reported. "I was offended," she said. "It was like Asians were just invisible. [But] they have their own problems, their own issues they have to deal with."

Wai Wah Chin of the Chinese American Citizens Alliance of Greater New York slammed the meeting, calling it "racist and divisive." A member of the Coalition for Asian American Children and Families and of City Hall’s School Diversity Advisory Group, Vanessa Leung, said she supports integration efforts but also denounced the categorization of Asians by the panel.

“When folks lump us with whites, we are being erased,” she said. “Our challenges and the struggles that our community has faced and is facing becomes invisible.” The CRJE, however, in a statement to the outlet said its instruction reflects social realities.

The group, in a statement, said: "In our trainings, we define racism as a system that is based on a false racial hierarchy of categorizing people. This classification system provides or denies access, safety, resources and power, based on racial categories. Our goal is that participants will reflect on their own racial identity and the diverse ways the system of racism has impacted their lives.”