National School Choice Week

N.Y. Schools Chief Richard Carranza Can't Quit Calling Parents 'Racist'

Embattled chancellor even playing the outside agitators card in the face of mounting parental criticism

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In September 2019, I wrote a long Reason feature about how New York City politicians and education bureaucrats, particularly Department of Education (DOE) Chancellor Richard Carranza, were pushing through their preferred policy changes in part by weaponizing charges of "racism" against opponents, skeptics, and parents. So what's Carranza been up to since then?

Weaponizing charges of "racism" against opponents, skeptics, and parents!

The kerfuffle currently making local headlines concerns a raucous Jan. 16 Community Education Council meeting in Queens that Carranza cut short after being booed and yelled at by parents of middle-schoolers who had been assaulted on campus. Critics contend that Carranza's new "restorative justice" approach to discipline is leaving violent perpetrators unpunished.

"It was unproductive," Carranza explained to CBS News the next morning. "People were yelling. People weren't allowing anybody to answer. They weren't allowing me to answer. And it was grandstanding."

Italics mine, to emphasize the next phase of the controversy. "How can you say a parent is grandstanding when their child has been sexually harassed and assaulted?" NYC Parents Union President Mona Davids told the New York Post, which has been calling for the chancellor to be fired. "I empathize with the anger and frustration of parents and families when they're not being heard," added City Councilman Mark Treyger from Queens.

Nine City Council members last June called on Mayor Bill de Blasio to fire Carranza unless the chancellor cuts back on his "divisive rhetoric," so you might think that the embattled educrat would choose his next words carefully. If so, his ensuing choice speaks volumes about Carranza's judgment, or the tilt of the intended audience, or both.

At a press conference with Mayor de Blasio Tuesday, the chancellor called the Queens meeting a "setup," claiming that protesters were "brought in vans to agitate" from outside the district, and then accused his critics of being "racist."

"This is about some voices in the community that don't like me," he said. "Just look at the abject racist things that are said about me: 'Go back where I came from,' 'taco-eating Carranza,' 'fire Carranza Ai Yi Yi,' with the exclamation points in Spanish. Absolutely, they're racist."

Faced with pushback from Rep. Grace Meng (D–N.Y.)—"please don't accuse [parents] of pretending or grandstanding," Meng tweeted. "They are hurt and deserve to be treated with compassion"—Carranza clapped back: "No. Enough," he tweeted. "No more politics."

N.Y. State Senator John Liu (D), chair of the Senate's New York City Education Committee, also was not impressed. "Chancellor Carranza's comments today displayed at best lack of judgment and at worst woeful disregard for parent concerns," Liu said in a statement. "It's disturbing that he would marginalize the voices of hundreds of parents at an education town hall meeting by characterizing the meeting as a 'set up' and fixating on some participants as 'outside agitators.'"

What about Bill de Blasio? "This is just unfair," the mayor said in Carranza's defense. "Some people have it out for the chancellor because he is ideologically different than them and because he is trying to shake things up." Last June, de Blasio spokeswoman Freddi Goldstein called the lawmaker criticism of Carranza a "racially charged smear campaign."

It's worth noting, as CBS New York did this week, that six of the nine previous New York City school chancellors have been either Latino or African-American. Provided anonymity, those former chancellors have such advice for Carranza as "Put on your big boy pants," and "Playing the race card is [expletive], a cop-out."

As I argue in a video today, and in that September piece, the idiosyncratic politics of New York are sadly not contained within the boundaries of the five boroughs. Not only are gifted and talented programs being shuttered around the country in the name of addressing racial disparities, but those who object to policy changes that are adopted in the name of "desegregation" are also commonly accused of, at the very least, perpetuating an unjust system anchored in racism.

For those parents unaccustomed to being in the public eye, the prospect of getting labeled a racist even by random people on social media, let alone powerful government officials, is an effective deterrent to public participation. The provision of education is challenging enough—due in no small part to the very real history of racism both in the country as a whole and particularly within the development of the K-12 system—that discouraging entire categories of parental involvement is unlikely to produce either wise policy or widespread participation. By so freely denigrating his ostensible customers, Richard Carranza is sowing discord and planting the seeds for his own eventual failure.

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  1. Democrats function best in environments of dysfunction. Race-based politics, certain to divide and incense, are employed precisely to throw the educational system, and society broadly, into chaos. Dysfunction is the goal, not an accident.

    1. Correct. It is now abundantly clear that division, not equality, is the goal.

  2. Yet another example of the most obvious solution there could be: leave in government funding, get rid of government control. Vouchers for all ought to be common sense for everybody except those who want government indoctrination because they don’t trust parents to educate their own children.

    1. One of the things I like best about leaving in government funding via vouchers is that government schools are so bloated that private schools, which can educate students for half the price, would be able to get the small class size the Progressives claim they want, they could get the new science labs and other capital projects that Progressives claim they want, and could still have good profits left over.

      And public schools would shrink more and more, as more and more parents get voucher schools nearby, and as they see what choices they have. Eventually public schools would shrivel away, and voucher funding would shrink as private schools competed on price in addition to quality. Markets FTW!

      Of course it will never happen. If voucher schools did get so popular as to actually shrink public schools, governments would step in with all sorts of new mandates for diversity training, management counselors, etc. Someone’s got to supply jobs for all those laid-off public school admins!

    2. Since the states have taken over education of its children from churches and private schools and tax the adult citizens to educate that child the tax money collected should belong to the child to be used for education. This money could be used at a state school or private school or a religious affiliated school that met the educational requirements. This system would improve the quality of both the state school and the private school. How ever good this system might be it would never be accepted because it would not allow the state education union and the politicians to have the control over education that they have now. I, even I, have seen the quality of public education plummet to extreme lows. When I was in grade school all those decades ago the highest grade that could be gotten was an “A”. Based on the percentage of correct answers. An “A” was from 96% to 100% while the lowest passing grade was “D” which was from 70% to 77% with grade “B” and ‘C” divided the points in between. But now days the failing percentage is much lower somewhere in the 50% +/- range about 5%. So even when a student earns a A (in some cases an A+) the student does not have to know as much as we had to know. But all that means is the education system is just graduating students that is not fully educated.

    3. Mr. Madison, what you’ve just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.

  3. New York politicians have stopped being coy. They are quite explicit now that they are the lords and we are the serfs. “Shut up and do what we say, you ungrateful peasants!”

    Fuck them all.

    1. Seems to me that the time for talking at a council meeting would be over. Start with lawsuits accusing him of being at the very least criminally negligent enough to allow these assaults, sexual or otherwise, to happen, and then go from there.

      NY City’s probably gonna need some Revolutione de Francais before any politicians there start getting the message though if we’re gonna be honest.

      1. I don’t know – maybe go one better and use his fire against him.

        Kavanaugh his ass. Don’t talk about how his negligence allowed these things, start putting out allegations that he himself assaulted people. See if you can find someone of the right age from the right place to ‘credibly’ claim he showed her (or him) his penis.

        Fuck it. There really isn’t much to be done now except light the place on fire and then rebuild in the ashes.

        1. This is another example of the inherent paradox of the SJW movement. Which is more important, charges of racism or the metoo movement?

  4. I learned in college calling people “racist” is one of the most effective ways to win an argument. In fact I use this technique all the time when denouncing critics of the Koch / Reason open borders agenda.

    1. #BordersSoRacistButOnlyWhenWhiteyDoesIt

  5. Only 20% of eligible voters voted in the last 2 mayoral elections. Wilhelm won 75% or 15% of the eligible vote. Is it impossible to get 15.01% to get off their fat asses once every four years to coalesce around 1 sane candidate? I wonder who the NIMBY author voted for?

    1. NYC had five sane mayoral outcomes in a row: 1993,1997,2001,2005, and 2009, rather good by American big city standards, creating America’s safest and most prosperous big city. Unfortunately, but perhaps inevitably, the effortless good times have fostered a new breed of complacent voter with no memory of the John Lindsay era.

  6. And the progressives continue to cry “wolf” when called out on their BS.

  7. Time to start owning the racist label.
    If it’s racist to not want my child sexually assaulted on the playground, then I’m a racist.

    1. Conservatives have owned the racist label for at least a half-century.

      They no longer wish to be known as bigots, though, at least not publicly, because better Americans improved America by making it socially hazardous to be known as a bigot. Fifty or sixty years ago, the bigotry was open, casual, common; the bigots wanted everyone to know how they saw things and how it would be. Today’s bigots are more guarded, hiding behind euphemisms such as “traditional values,” or “color-blind,” or “family values,” or “Republican.”

      1. I love that your entire post is just bitching about faux bigotry by being a bigot lololo

        1. It’s actually normal democratic projections.

      2. Like all Leftists, he projects his hatred onto others.

      3. Depends what you mean by “open, casual, and common”. Except for certain enclaves, bigotry was not commonly accepted fifty years ago. Openly racist statements were considered rude. Calling someone a bigot was to place shame on them. The N word was as bad as the F word. Etc.

        That is NOT to say racism-lite wasn’t common an pervasive. It certainly was. But someone who was openly and casually racist was considered a boor and social misfit. Except for the deep South and certain enclaves (Portland), the bigots kept their bigotry at home and in their circles. To be publicly bigoted was to be a bad person in the eyes of others.

        That was fifty years ago. 1970. Seventy five years ago it was different. You’ve been sunk into a leftist narrative that exaggerates the bigotry of the few.

        Also, Republicans as a whole were never racists. There were certainly racist elements within the party, but as a whole they were much less bigoted than the Democrats.

      4. Haha. Yeah. White people are terrible.

    2. The problem is that a lot of facts ARE racist… And I am a fact based guy. So therefore I suppose I am racist for realizing that half the problems we have in this country are explicitly along racial lines.

      I’m not hateful, but anybody who can read statistics should be able to see that almost none of the problems in the USA come from white people, Asians, or Jews. Almost all the problems come from other groups.

      It’s shitty that that’s the way it is… But I’m not going to deny reality. So as far as I’m concerned people can call me racist if they want. I’d rather be called a racist than mind fuck myself into believing lies to avoid that charge.

  8. You know what works? Calling everyone around you a racist. It really gets them in line fast.

    1. Far more effective: Calling a bigot a bigot. Most people don’t like bigots these days.

      1. Correct, most people don’t like you, bigot.

      2. If you had any self awareness you would realize you are extremely bigoted towards anyone who disagrees with you, no matter why they disagree with you. It is easier for you to label others as bad then to examine your own hatred.

      3. “Far more effective: Calling a bigot a bigot.”

        Asshole bigot hardest hit.

      4. Far more effective would be you sucking on the business end of a .45.

        1. “ Far more effective would be you sucking on the business end of a .45.”

          I could have used a spit take warning before I read this.

      5. Got anything to say about the article, Rev, or are you just gonna waste our precious fucking time with your tired old bullshit?

        Let me guess: you think Matt Welch is a bigot. Of course you do. See, you didn’t even have to post for me to know what you think. You’re getting predictable, Rev. One might even say.. stale? Clingy?

    1. Is that the new DSM designation for “PTSD as a result of suffering a sexual assault?”

  9. There’s an election for mayor next year. The results will show how committed parents are to the education opportunities of their kids.

    1. That is if de Blasio isn’t behind bars by then, the DoJ is investigating him and his administration for fraud in the New York schools. Turns out they have been accused of falsifying test scores and promoting cheating to bolster their claims that their educational system works.

      1. LOL. Wouldn’t that be rich. I’d fucking love to see that. Hope it takes Carranza down, too. Piece of shit…

  10. “Some people have it out for the chancellor because he is ideologically different than them and because he is trying to shake things up.”

    What a nice generic statement that can be applied to all sorts of politicians. It’s a nice way of saying that those people have Carranza Derangement Syndrome.

    1. Yes it must be ideological differences not to want your kids sexually harassed and assaulted in middle school by other middle schoolers.

      1. Obviously. They wouldn’t be sexually assaulted if they didn’t DESERVE to be sexually assaulted, right?

        #WEAREYOURMASTERS

  11. A bit off topic, but since we are talking about NYC politics:
    Remember just a few short years ago when Giuliani was everybody’s favorite? A pro-choice, socially liberal, fiscally conservative Republican? Now he is the butt of every SNL joke.
    And it also was only a few years ago, when both Dems and Reps would say that Trump should run for president. NYers use to LOVE Trump. (As a once and possibly future NYer, I can attest to this).
    Now he is literally Hitler AND the Devil combined.

    1. “NYers use to LOVE Trump. (As a once and possibly future NYer, I can attest to this).
      Now he is literally Hitler AND the Devil combined.”

      Yeah, well. Stealing a Presidential election, ruining the economy, building concentration camps, and starting World War 3 will tend to change people’s minds.

      #WorstPresidentEver

    2. Trump has been said to foul and discredit everyone he touches. Giuliani would seem to be a good example.

      1. Giuliani discredits himself. He’s always been a worthless piece of shit.

        1. When he was still riding high from 9/11, and was looking to run for the presidency, I recall government workers unions from NY running ads about how horrible he was because he tangled with them.

          I assume your objections are along those lines.

      2. It’s more like everyone he touches has a hit job pulled on them by the media…

    1. Alt-right Matt Welch. This article sealed it, LOL.

  12. “Some people have it out for the chancellor because he is ideologically different than them and because he is trying to shake things up.”

    Yeah, parents are against their kids being beaten….who knew

  13. “…his own *eventual* failure.”????? WTF?

    What part of “parents of students BEATEN OR SEXUALLY ABUSED” do you not get?? F this racist piece of shit. He IS a failure and is using tools that society as a whole needs badly to rip from the arsenal of the fucking SJWs and forever thereafter disregard. No more automatic “get out of incompetent performance free” card for these folks. He’s doing a bad job. I gather NY schools do no better at education than they do in providing a safe environment, so boot the guy.

  14. Playing the race card? When someone does this they are almost always the racist involved. I wonder how this guy feels about Italians…or Irish? the issue comes down to “culture”…some cultures have bitterness when they see how other cultures have advanced…and have to find “blame.” Asians or Irish or Italians getting beat up probably is considered “retribution.” Very sad person…NYC needs to end welfare of any kind and have no toleration of any bullying in the schools..bully and you get thrown out. ICE showing up at each school would also send a message no bullying allowed.

  15. Effectively, he is saying kids who have racist parents deserve to get assaulted at school and don’t deserve to be allowed to get an education.

  16. My OT diversion: this is just another bit of evidence for insane, useless public bickering passing for politics. And it supports my fundamental theorem of human politics: the more people crammed into a small area, and the longer the area has been crammed, the more bat shit crazy the people behave. NYC is going to have to step it up, though to match places like Bagdad or Jerusalem, given their multi-millennia head start.

  17. (Apologies to Thomas Sowell for modifying his metaphor, but…)

    The term “racist” is like that sauce they advertise where people say “I put that *&^% on everything.”

  18. So this article admits that you all we’re using racist language, and no proof of assault.

    Matt keeps trying to profit off angry racists, and doesn’t want people he looks down upon in his kid’s school. Was there anything I missed? Cause this was pretty basic to anyone who can read.

    If your kids are so special, and gifted, what does it matter which school they go to if they can do the work?

    So transparent.

    1. Yeah bro, you are.

      “So this article admits that you all we’re using racist
      language”

      Nope.

      “and no proof of assault.”

      Yes, they were all lying. Go with that, it’ll get him fired that much faster.

    2. “Spanish. Absolutely, they’re racist.”

      See, your problem is you’re as stupid as Carranza, and think “Spanish” is a race and not a language cohort.

      Oh wait, you mean “Hispanic” or “Latino”? The descendants of white Europeans don’t magically become brown just because you cry a lot about it.

      1. No, but they do when they get cut with Native Americans genetically. I’m part Mexican myself, and Latin America has a range of people… Everything from people anybody would look at and think “white” to people anybody would look at and think “not white,” and a bunch in between.

        In general, Latin Americans are mostly on the edge of being white, but not quite. Unless you’re talking Argentina and Uruguay, which is 90%ish European genetically.

    3. “BELIEVE WOMEN, EXCEPT”

    4. At least two of the assaults that are the focus of this situation were in fact caught on video and posted publicly.

  19. He is a LEFTIST and being a Leftist he thinks that you should not punish the bad behavior of the Underclass. They are not expected to conform to the norms of society and they are allowed to misbehave and use violence. You see this in the cities the Democrats control, in the violence and the crime.

    1. Wow, lots of suspension of disbelief here. I guess I can say you tried with your gibberish. It’s almost missing SEVO with that touch of declarative ignorance. So much willful ignorance

      1. But true? Think of all the RIOTS that blacks have perpetrated for bogus ostensibly political reasons… Now imagine white Americans burning cities to the ground for political reasons, and how much different the spin on the narrative would be.

        The media/commies don’t try to enforce civilized social norms on minorities, because that’s be racist or something…

  20. Are far-left Democrats part of a weird scheme to promote gun sales and boost private-school enrollments?

    1. And lose elections.

      1. I for the life of me still can’t understand how a) the Dems got the House in 2018 and b) Trudeau was re-elected.

        It’s mind boggling to me knowing how they engage in ideological gibberish.

  21. I feel for the kids, but not for the parents. Pick one of the thirteen states with an unemployment rate under 3% and move there already. If you’re choosing to continue to live in a city that re-elected de Blasio, frankly, you’re volunteering to be shat upon.

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  23. To democrats/liberals/progressives please keep calling everything and everyone racist. You will soon make the word meaningless and then we can finally achieve a post racial society.

    1. “Post racial society”

      Yeah, some well meaning members of the chattering class bandied that about for a short while after Obama was elected POTUS.

      Then the sociology term “white privilege” was dug out of an academic article from the 80s. When one racism ends, just redefine it for further use.

      Way way to useful a cudgel to counter any one you don’t like or agree with to give up that easily.

    2. That’s what I’ve been telling em.

      “Don’t change a thing”. Haha

    3. There will never be a post racial society man, sorry. People are hard wired to prefer people that look like them. Even white people, who have had any sense of cohesion beaten out of them 1000 times more than any other group, are still totally racist in their day to day lives.

      Everybody has friends that are mostly like them, prefer to live in neighborhoods like them, marry/breed with people like them, feel more comfortable around people like them, etc. The truth is we need to accept these facts and actually plan around reality, vs believing in a utopia that will never exist.

  24. You know what would fix this? More money.

    1. Taken from the racists who don’t deserve it.

      Of course, there’s a difference between pouring water into a cup and pouring it into a sieve. Giving money to the NYC school system is more in line with the sieve analogy.

      1. There were good schools that engaged, intelligent parents were comfortable sending their kids to. De Blasio and Carranza are trying to change that.

        1. They want to ‘shake things up’.

          Like in Venezuela.

        2. “There were good schools that engaged, intelligent parents were comfortable sending their kids to. De Blasio and Carranza are trying to change that.”

          The “sieve” in my comparison was the system as a whole, not particular good schools.

  25. Carranza is projecting SO hard. Dude is explicitly an anti-Asian and anti-white racist. Which is the same to him, because he says Asians have white privilege, despite the ones in NYC having an average income the same as black people.

    The courses he’s forced teachers to take teach that white supremacy values that are part of white supremacy culture include: Perfectionism, sense of urgency, worship of the written word, fear of conflict, individualism, progress, and a right to comfort (which includes any objection white people have to explicit bigotry against them). It’s a fucking joke.

    1. The privilege is having two parents, with at least one giving a shit about the child’s development.

      1. You should probably think more about what you posted, but I doubt you will. You were probably just being derogatory and racist. What were you thinking when you hit submit?

        1. Maybe they’ve just read statistics and know the differences between one and two parent households based on ethnicity?

  26. How is making fun of Carranza’s Spanish heritage racist? He is descended from white European imperialists and slave owners. He even behaves like one.

  27. “…For those parents unaccustomed to being in the public eye, the prospect of getting labeled a racist even by random people on social media, let alone powerful government officials, is an effective deterrent to public participation.”

    Isn’t that the point? It’s in-line with ‘denier!’ and ‘clinger’ and other words used to silence opponents.

    And it all comes from the left.

    Just look at that left-wing bigoted asshat Kirkland around here.

  28. The long-range goal is to have a public school system with thousands of employees and hundreds of students.

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  30. Matt Welch, you’re an idiot. You voluntarily moved to shit central aka New York City. That city is, was and always will be utterly and hopelessly corrupt. The hustlers change, the politicians change but the corruption remains. It’s the life blood of the city. Tammany Hall may be gone but its spirit lives on.

    From long before the Civil War if you wanted to get something done in New York you had to “know a guy who knows a guy”. This schmuck, Carranza, got his job because “knows a guy” and only someone more powerful and more corrupt can remove him.

    As long as fools continue to move to the city, pay insanely high taxes and tolerate absurd levels of control on their lives, this will never end. Corruption can only die of starvation and that will only come when productive people say “Enough!” and leave the Cesspool on the Hudson.

    You may be thinking that you don’t have to worry because you “know a guy”. Every sap New Yorker thinks he’s got the city wired. Trust me, your guy will throw you under the bus to get ahead the minute the opportunity presents itself.

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  33. Personally I think people like him should all be deported… Even if they were born here. I think he would LOVE Venezuela, so it’s really just doing him a favor sending him there.

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