“Public servants are being required to calculate their ‘white privilege score’”, says ACT Leader David Seymour.

“Public servants are being required to calculate their ‘white privilege score’”, says ACT Leader David Seymour.

ACT revealed earlier this month that schoolchildren were being taught about white privilege and we can now reveal that education staff are undergoing similar training.

“Staff at the Ministry of Education and the Education Review Office are attending a course called Beyond Diversity – Courageous Conversations About Race.

“The people in charge of our education system are having to ask themselves, ‘What is my white privilege score?’ and ‘What is my relationship to white fragility?’

“The Courageous Conversations programme makes a number of claims about so-called ‘white privilege’:

‘“Whiteism”—not recognizing White as a dominating color nor the unearned power and privileges associated with having white skin; having a sense of (White) entitlement…is a condition that more White people must begin to recognize, understand and acknowledge.’

‘…entitled white men do not appreciate the power of their entitlement because they have never experienced the absence of power.’

‘Power, as manifested in the form of privilege, or entitlement, is part of the history, tradition and economic status of white men.’

“The programme suggests that even people who aren’t overtly racist perpetuate racism:

‘We are taught that racism must be intentional and that only bad people commit it. Thus a common white reasoning in crossracial conflicts is that as long as we are good people and don’t intend to perpetuate racism, then our actions don’t count as racism.’

“It also claims that the role of teachers is to end oppression:

‘When history is taught by culturally competent teachers, our society will be much more conscious of the entitlement of some groups, and much more proactive in ending oppression.’

“This is dehumanising. We are saying to educators, ‘we don’t care about you or personal experiences, we’re just going to categorise you based on your colour’.

“This is the kind of attitude we’ve been trying to get away from for centuries, but it’s now pervasive in everything this Government does.

“Ironically, we do need to have courageous conversations about how we value the common dignity of each and every New Zealanders.

“ACT will never accept that New Zealanders should be pushed around on a chess board by government social engineering.”

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