Op-Ed: Mayor Keith James of West Palm Beach Buys Into CRT, Hires Group to Address Systemic Racism

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Mayor Keith James of West Palm Beach
The architecturally beautiful City Hall dome, on November 12, 2016 in downtown West Palm Beach, Florida; the center of local government affairs. File photo: Thomas Barrat, Shutter Stock, licensed.

PALM BEACH, FL – “Today’s anti-racism crusaders have a lot more in common with Malcolm X than Martin Luther King, Jr. They have become so zealous in opposing racism that they see racism in everything—even breakfast cereal,” writes journalist Timothy Hsiao at The Federalist

Critical race theory was revealed in 2020 when then-President Donald Trump took aim at the 1619 Project, which was in partnership with New York Times, during a White House event focused on the nation’s history. He called both “a crusade against American history” and “ideological poison that … will destroy our country.” 

Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a bill called Stop Wrongs Against Our Kids and Employees (WOKE) Act or ‘Stop WOKE Act’ in 2021 banning critical race theory at both schools and such events as workplace training sessions, calling the concept an instrument of division. 

My question: Are mayors in Florida flipping their noses at Gov. DeSantis? 

Governor Ron DeSantis held a roundtable discussion on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) initiatives in Florida’s higher education institutions. Panelists also discussed Critical Race Theory (CRT). Watch the 2023 full roundtable discussion here.  

CRT and DEI travel together to promote the aggressive theory of systemic racism. 

Review: 

What is Critical Race Theory (CRT)? 

Excerpts from Christopher Rufo’s article: 

In explaining critical race theory, it helps to begin with a brief history of Marxism. Originally, the Marxist Left built its political program on the theory of class conflict. Marx believed that the primary characteristic of industrial societies was the imbalance of power between capitalists and workers. The solution to that imbalance, according to Marx, was revolution: the workers would eventually gain consciousness of their plight, seize the means of production, overthrow the capitalist class, and usher in a new socialist society. 

Critical race theory is an academic discipline, formulated in the 1990s, built on the intellectual framework of identity-based Marxism. Relegated for many years to universities and obscure academic journals, over the past decade it has increasingly become the default ideology in our public institutions. It has been injected into government agencies, public school systems, teacher training programs, and corporate human resources departments in the form of diversity training programs, human resources modules, public policy frameworks, and school curricula. 

Critical race theorists must be confronted with and forced to speak to the facts: 

  • Do they support public schools separating first-graders into groups of “oppressors” and “oppressed?”  
  • Do they support mandatory curricula teaching that “all white people play a part in perpetuating systemic racism?”  
  • Do they support public schools instructing white parents to become “white traitors” and advocate for “white abolition?”  
  • Do they want those who work in government to be required to undergo this kind of reeducation?  
  • How about managers and workers in corporate America?  
  • How about the men and women in our military?  
  • How about every one of us? 

Hmmm. Perhaps a CRT and DEI questionnaire should be sent to Florida’s mayors, city council members, commissioners, and city managers to see if they are complying with new legislation.

Review:

What is Systemic Racism? 

Excerpt from Heritage Foundation: 

CRT’s key assertion is that racism is not the result of individual, conscious racist actions or thoughts. Racism is “systemic” and “structural.” It is embedded in America’s legal system, institutions, and free enterprise system, and imposes “whiteness” as the societal norm. The system, including capitalism, is “rigged” to reward white behavior and preserve white supremacy. Curricula and training sessions that teach that racism is systemic and structural, and demand that Americans work to dismantle laws, traditions, norms, institutions, and free-market enterprise— the entire American system itself—are part of CRT. 

Mayor James Task Force of RACIAL & ETHNIC EQUALITY  

The mission of the West Palm Beach Mayor’s Task Force for Racial and Ethnic Equality was to identify and help address issues of racial/ethnic equity through education about racial and ethnic inequities, research of best practices, and issuance of policy/funding recommendations to address racial/ethnic inequity in the City of West Palm Beach.” 

The City of West Palm Beach engaged the services of Justice & Sustainability Associates, LLC (JSA) to assist with the Racial and Ethnic Equality Task Force dialogue, deliberation and civic engagement and education process in 2020 – 2021. 

Project Description for West Palm Beach, Florida:  

In July of 2020, City of West Palm Beach Mayor Keith James formed the Task Force for Racial and Ethnic Equality (the “Task Force”) to highlight and address systemic racism impacting communities of color in the city. The City hired JSA to provide facilitation support, community engagement, and subject matter guidance for the Task Force and its five working groups (education and workforce development; health; housing and real estate; finance, banking and business; criminal justice). 

More than 600 stakeholders engaged in Action Summits and Task Force activities reflecting diverse demographics of the city. From October 2020 through September 2021, JSA facilitated 67 meetings: 11 Task Force meetings and 56 Subcommittee meetings where stakeholders shared their voice. 

Areas of examination: 

Mayor James established the Mayor’s Task Force for Racial and Ethnic Equality in August 2020. Created by Executive Orders 2020-13 2020-13A, and 2020-13B  and signed by Mayor James, the task force grew from the national outcry and racial unrest after the death of George Floyd and a series of police-involved shootings exposed a decaying trust in the nation’s system of policing and criminal justice. 

My questions: How much did the aforementioned project cost the taxpayers? Citizens can peruse myriad policy recommendations HERE, but how many were put into action? 

Resources: 

Documentary: The Greatest Lie Ever Sold: George Floyd and the Rise of BLM. On the 2-year anniversary of George Floyd’s death, Candace Owens revisits Minneapolis and the violent, racially-divided aftermath that fueled BLM’s global rise-and filled its coffers. 

Book: “I Can’t Breathe: How a Racial Hoax Is Killing America,” by David Horowitz. The unchallenged myths about racist murders by the police have brought mayhem and crime to our cities, where the victims are predominantly black. They are also a slander against the United States, the least racist country in history, and against black Americans, the vast majority of whom are successful and law-abiding citizens. 

Book: “They’re Lying: The Media, The Left, and The Death of George Floyd,” by Liz Collin. Collin exposes how the media and the Left manipulated the facts to dupe and divide America. This book also reveals some of the cover-ups, collusion, and hidden political connections in Minneapolis.  

My column will be updated if the West Palm Beach office of Mayor James answers any of the questions. 

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