A Texas group of social justice activists called “Dallas Justice Now” (DJN) is urging “wealthy white liberals” to not send their children to Ivy League Schools in order to leave those spots open for “students from Black, LatinX, and other marginalized backgrounds.”
The group issued a pledge calling on “white liberals and allies of the Black Lives Matter movement” to keep slots open at the most expensive, elite institutions for applicants who might otherwise not qualify. The group explained their reasoning in a press release:
Dallas Justice Now, a social justice activist group dedicated to ending institutional racism and creating opportunities for the black community in the segregated city of Dallas, is today asking white liberals and allies of the Black Lives Matter movement to make sacrifices to open up opportunities for students of color.
Specifically, white allies are being asked to sign a pledge to commit to not sending their children to Ivy League or US News & World Report Top 50 schools and instead leave those spots open for students from Black, LatinX, and other marginalized backgrounds who were denied access to these institutions for hundreds of years.
“Open up spaces for Black and LatinX communities by refusing to send your kids to Ivy League and US News & World Report Top 50 schools,” the group added on its website, the Daily Mail reported.
The group urges “wealthy white liberals” to sign this pledge:
As a white person with privilege both from my whiteness and my neighborhood I recognize the need to make sacrifices for the purpose of correcting hundreds of years of murder, slavery, discrimination, and lack of educational and economic opportunities perpetrated upon people of color. I understand that access to top schools is a key component in economic and social advancement. Therefore, I commit that my children will not apply to or attend any Ivy League School or US News & World Report Top 50 School so that position at that school is available for people of color to help correct historical wrongs. If I do not have children under 18 then I will commit to encouraging my white privileged friends, neighbors, and family members with children to sign the pledge and holding them accountable until they do so.
“Imagine if those hundreds of thousands of spots at these institutions were occupied only by marginalized communities. Imagine the opportunities. We can achieve true equity within our lifetimes but only if white folks are willing to sacrifice their privileges,” DJN said.
According to the Daily Mail, DJN sent letters to families in the Highland Park Independent School District in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, assuming the recipient’s race.
“We are writing to you because we understand you are white and live within the Highland Park Independent School District and thus benefit from enormous privileges taken at the expense of communities of color,” the letter said.
“You live in the whitest and wealthiest neighborhood in Dallas, whether you know it or not, you earned or inherited your money through oppressing people of color.”
The group added it will publish the names of those who have “and have not” signed the pledge and urged recipients not to be a “racist hypocrite.” Perhaps ironically, the group’s website says, “We respect your privacy.”
DJN founder Michele Washington told Dallas City Wire “feedback from DJN’s white allies has been supportive for the most part.”
“We understand there are some racist voices who have opposed the pledge,” Washington said to the news site, going so far as to identify one critic’s job title and employer in a quote.
“One racist, in particular, Casie Tomlin, who works as a [redacted], has attempted to harass our supporters in an attempt to distract from the fact that she doesn’t want to make a single sacrifice to remedy the injustices that face our city,” Washington alleged.
Tomlin denied Washington’s attack.
“I wholeheartedly dispute and deny all accusations made by Michele Washington and Dallas Justice Now,” she said, adding her statement was “factually incorrect and intentionally misleading.”
“Her statements are part of an ongoing campaign of harassment lodged against me, a single mother, because of an agenda she wishes to advance. I am now and have always been an active advocate for social justice.”
Washington went on to dub Tomlin a “racist Karen.”