Derb quotes me. This isn’t the first time, however, it is the latest time. And hopefully not the last time.
Young Royce Mann’s spoken production was not poetry. What was it? Basically, distilled ethnomasochism. The kid just hates himself for being white.
Or does he? The degree to which the sentiments expressed are truly Royce’s, and whether he even contributed to the writing of this not-poem, as opposed to having had it put into his hands by his parents or teachers, has been much debated on the internet comment threads.
The comment that I think grasped most of the issue here came from someone using the tag “Question Diversity” on the American Renaissance website:
Remember, this is a school for the Top 0.01 percent … These white … kids aren’t being beaten with a stick, they’re being taught how to use the stick against other white people.
That comment was actually on a another story from a few days earlier, concerning a different school: Bank Street School for Children on the Upper West Side of Manhattan: 610 West 112th Street, New York, NY 10025, to be precise. If you need to ask about condo prices in that zip code, you can’t afford them. Bank Street School was in the news because its students, kindergarten through 8th grade, are given intensive training in diversity by—of course—a Director of Diversity, a female person of subcontinental Indian origins named Anshu Wahi. Ms Wahi’s M.O. is to put white and nonwhite kids into separate classes.
Bank Street’s tuition is between 41 and 46, and Paideia’s is between 21 and 24, all depending on the grade level. In spite of the fact that Bank Street is twice that of Paideia, the cost of living differences between Manhattan and Atlanta mean that they are about on par in terms of affordability and exclusivity. Therefore, these are both top one percent of the top one percent schools in their respective areas.
Whenever the truly privileged supposedly start kvetching about privilege, I presume that the end game is to make them even more privileged.