Wake County principals and assistant principals have been reading “ Cultural Proficiency: A Manual For School Leaders.”
As noted in today’s article, the book is being used as part of Wake’s efforts to increase cultural proficiency training among district employees. Elements from the book, including various training activities, are expected to be used at schools around the district.
Your political viewpoint may dictate how you view the book, which is widely used in schools around the country. A central theme of the book is that “culturally relevant educators” should recognize the impact of systemic oppression of people in America who are not heterosexual white men.
“U.S. white men have enjoyed power, as manifested in the form of privilege or entitlement, as an integral part of their history, tradition and economic status,” the book says.
The books says that U.S. white men “do not appreciate the power of their entitlement because they have never experienced the systemic absence of power.” The book says the “milieu of entitlement insulates them from the cries of those who live in fear of sexual assaults, battering, racist acts, and other forms of discrimination.”
“The reality is that once entitled people react, they still can choose whether or not they will address issues of power and oppose acts that perpetuate oppression,” the book later says. “The first step in addressing these issues and opposing these actions is simply to acknowledge that the dynamics of entitlement do not accord people of color, women, LGBT people, or Differently abled people the same opportunity to choose whether to deal with issues of entitlement and oppression.
These issues are part of their daily existence, just as power is an unacknowledged reality for straight white men.”
Suggested book activities include taking “A Survey of Privilege and Entitlement,” that asks questions like how sure you’d feel you weren’t singled out because of your ethnicity if you were pulled over by a traffic cop.
Another activity asks people to stand in one of two lines for various questions such as if they or a family member have been incarcerated, on welfare or public assistance, or been held involuntarily in a mental institution.