Palm Beach man decries “white advantage” in school equity statement: “Stop trying to incite division among us”
A man who revealed he was a member of the U.S. military delivered an angry speech on video targeted at a Palm Beach school district after it unveiled its new equity statement.
Part of the statement emphasized the “white advantage” and pledged to fight against racism and “other systems of oppression and inequity.”
Parents in the whole district have sent multiple complaints about the racially divisive language that marks the new equity statement. It was approved in May and the district is currently considering whether it should pull out the inflammatory terminology.
How did it all happen?
In the video the un-identified man is shouting at the members of Palm Beach County's school district. His complaints are related to the equity statement and the mask policy.
The meeting took place Wednesday night, and the man can be heard saying, “The school board recently adopted an equity statement. Why? Your only job is education, not indoctrination.”
His words met with cheers from the audience.
He continued his speech and grew more passionate, “Attention board members: Our nation is a republic! We are the people, we have a voice, our votes are our weapons, and we will use them in 2022 and beyond! We in the military, our blood, our sweat, is the equity. It is courage, character; not color, not gender, that makes this nation great. Working Americans are united, we are not divided. Stop trying to incite division among us!”
“We are Americans first, and we will be free always,” he concluded, as The Blaze reports.
Why did the equity statement raise such an uproar?
The school district's new equity statement and mask mandate have made parents worry and raised serious concerns. The public session on Wednesday night lasted more than 7 hours, as WPTV-TV reports.
In the statement it is said that “each student — regardless of race, ethnicity, poverty, disability, language status, undocumented status, religious affiliation, gender identity, and sexual orientation — will have access to the opportunities, resources, and support they need to imagine, nurture, and achieve their dreams. The School District of Palm Beach County is committed to dismantling structures rooted in white advantage and transforming our system by hearing and elevating under-represented voices, sharing power, recognizing and eliminating bias, and redistributing resources to provide equitable outcomes.”
WPTV also revealed that there were additional security measures and increased police presence all throughout the contentious meeting. The board said it resorted to this from “an abundance of caution.”
What were the effects of the speech?
The Palm Beach Post reported on Friday that the school board is considering removing the “white advantage” reference from its declaration.
Board member Karen Brill recommended that the “structures rooted in white advantage” be struck out from the statement.
“It is evident that a few of the words are not helpful, and in fact, are harmful,” Brill said.
“The equity statement was intended to explain the school board's dedication to offset the effects of inequities between children, not to draw a distinction between the school district's white and non-white students,” School Board Chairman Frank Barbieri said according to the news outlet.
“I think it's important that we understand that was the purpose of the equity statement. It wasn't to make it a black and white issue, which is what the perception is now,” the Palm Beach Chairman added.