Brearley’s Antiracist Loyalty Test
Here’s a foll0w-up to the letter from the angry father who is pulling his daughter out of the ultra-woke elite Brearley School on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. A reader whose daughter goes to Brearley passes along this letter now circulating among the parents of students there:
April 18, 2021
Dear Members of the Board of Trustees of The Brearley School,
For more than a year, we have keenly heard and watched the pain and trauma rocking our nation as heightened attention has been paid to multiple acts of racialized violence. Thousands of Americans of all races and backgrounds have protested, and continue to protest these injustices, demanding systemic change. We have also heard stories from fellow members of the Brearley community (students, faculty, staff, trustees, parents and alumnae) that have described in detail acts of discrimination suffered and witnessed while inside the Brearley community itself. These stories have been shared and recorded in various discussions, correspondence and social media platforms.
Last week, following a surge in anti-Asian violence, while our hearts were on edge waiting for the verdict in the Derek Chauvin trial, we watched the video of a Chicago police officer shooting dead an unarmed, 13-year-old Mexican-American boy, Adam Toledo. We read of a Minnesota police officer shooting dead a 20-year-old Black man, Daunte Wright, during a traffic stop. And then the week ended with the arrival of a letter sent by the father of one of our daughters’ schoolmates that announces, quite angrily, that systemic racism is nothing more than a myth– as if such a thing were a boogeyman invented by some insidious, united leftist front intent on corrupting us all.
We, who are current Brearley parents in receipt of Andrew Gutmann’s letter, other current and past Brearley parents, and alumnae, will not allow ourselves to be tainted by Andrew Gutmann’s vile and racist rant. We denounce his absurd version of the history of racism in this country and of Brearley’s attempts to address diversity, equity and inclusion in our school community. We are disgusted that, rather than conversing with his fellow parents (and there have been ample opportunities in which parents have been invited do so), he instead chose to abuse the school directory in order to send to our homes a manifesto filled with lies, mischaracterizations and an astonishing lack of empathy and civility. Moreover, he sought out fifteen minutes of fame by sharing the letter with media outlets.
Let us state this clearly: Andrew Gutmann does not represent us.
We believe it is crucial for Brearley to continue the pursuit of diversity, equity and inclusion. This multifaceted work includes, but is not limited to:
describing and combating systemic racism
ensuring people of all races, religions, and sexual orientations feel welcomed and celebrated at the School
educating the students in cross-cultural excellence and instilling in them the knowledge, empathy, and versatility required to excel as leaders in this multicultural world
We acknowledge that Brearley has made great strides to begin this work over the course of the past year. The work is messy by design, and takes great effort on everyone’s part to proceed. Nonetheless, we are fiercely proud of our girls and their school, as we know the work that the community is engaging in will equip all Brearley girls with the tools and knowledge to fight against racism and to be leaders in their future chosen professions.
In light of Andrew’s letter, it is clear that this message is not getting through to all Brearley families. Greater analysis of how we can reach every family at Brearley must be done and then action must be taken to implement the necessary steps. It saddens us greatly that any family would feel alienated by the work on diversity, equity and inclusion that we are trying to do. The work comes from a place of love, not division. We must not give up. Only with the re-affirmation and continuing commitment of the leadership of The Brearley School can this important work be implemented for long-term and sustained success.
We thank you for engaging in this hard work and we join you on the road ahead of learning, listening and taking decisive and timely action together. Done right, Brearley’s work to advance diversity, equity and inclusion can be a shining example of the school’s noble motto, “By Truth and Toil.”
Parents of Class VI and all other Classes at Brearley, past parents and alumnae
The reader characterizes this as a “loyalty oath to the antiracist regime.” The reader is right. This battle among the elites is an important fight. As usual, what happens among the elites eventually happens to the rest of us. Pay attention. Notice how therapeutic this battle is. It’s one in which the combatants on the progressive side invoke “pain” and “trauma” as a weapon against their enemies.