Students who attended a recent Black History Month program at Glen Allen High School in Henrico, Virginia were shown a pro-Affirmative Action video that some parents slammed as causing racial division by advancing "white guilt."
The video titled "Structural Discrimination: The Unequal Opportunity Race," was uploaded to YouTube in 2010. It shows two whites and two minorities running a race around a track. After the starting pistol fires, the two white runners race off and easily travel the track. Along the way, they pass off batons inscribed with a dollar sign. As they make laps, the "money" baton gets bigger and bigger, but left behind are the two brown-skinned runners who aren't yet allowed to run.
On the field is a clock that represents years: it begins on 1492 (when Columbus sailed the ocean blue) and ticks away hundreds of years, while the brown runners are held back by stop lights representing "slavery," "genocide," and "Manifest Destiny." When the timer hits 1964, those runners are finally able to begin the race, but along their lanes are obstacles of "discrimination" that trip them up, like pools of sharks, boulders, and sink holes, all representing "poor schooling," "underemployment," and "standardized tests."
At a later point in the short film, one of the minority runners is fed through the "school to prison pipeline," and floats off in a jail cell as the black female is stopped mid-race for a drug test via racial profiling. She finally reaches a "dead end" (her death) and takes a seat, defeated. A moving sidewalk is then constructed behind her for the white-male runner to step on and easily finish the race. He wins based only on his "privilege," "wealth," and "old boy network." (For an added bonus, the white female runner comes in second, but only because she didn't have the luxury of a moving sidewalk.)
The video ends with this plea: "Affirmative Action helps level the playing field."
Some parents expressed outrage at the divisive message. A grandfather of one of the students said to KSLA 12, "They are sitting there watching a video that is dividing them up from a racial standpoint. It's a white guilt kind of video. I think somebody should be held accountable for this."
But others weren't offended by the video, offering social media comments like, "Y'all are privileged. Get the f*** over it."
Black radio personality Craig Johnson railed against the school's decision to show this video:
Dr. King gave his life so that America would be a place where we are judged by the content of our character not the color of our skin. Now we have poverty pimps being led by our current president Barack Obama who all they talk about is the color of skin.
Johnson agreed that someone should be held accountable and seemingly offered to counter their defense in a debate: "Force that person to stand on that stage and defend that video," he said. "I'm telling you, I will mop the floor with that person."
The school released a statement amid the controversy:
The students participated in a presentation that involved American history and racial discourse. A segment of the video was one component of a thoughtful discussion in which all viewpoints were encouraged. As always, we are welcoming of feedback from students and their families, and we address concerns directly as they come forward.
Imagine if students were introduced to famed economist Walter Williams for an alternative view against Affirmative Action: