Amazon Offered a School District Kindles for Kids, the District Requested 'Antiracism' Books

(AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)

In Virginia, at least one town’s trying to educate kids about racism.

Via a Freedom of Information Act request, advocacy group Parents Defending Education recently obtained emails between Amazon and Arlington Public Schools.

According to documents, in February, Amazon contacted the district as part of a donation effort by its NeighborGood program.

From the initiative’s website:

NeighborGood is a not-for-profit corporation that mobilizes, empowers, and resources neighborhoods financially and/or organizationally to start initiatives that benefit the schools and/or communities to which they belong. We help identify the biggest community needs and helps connect those needs to particular neighborhoods who can help.

As part of the retail giant’s Black History Month measures, Amazon Public Relations Manager Justin Grayson wrote the following to Arlington Public Schools Director of Communications Frank Bellavia:

“Amazon Logistics will be delivering smiles to educational institutions and nonprofit organizations that empower Black voices and serve Black communities. Through Amazon’s NeighborGood program, we have committed to donating $100,000 to a select group of recipients in Atlanta, Georgia; Arlington, Virginia; Houston, Texas; and Nashville, Tennessee.”

The email indicated Amazon would contribute “items from Black-owned small businesses and books by Black authors, as well as financial donations that support the company’s efforts to invest in education and technology by providing devices to students and families in historically underserved communities.”

Justin went on to explain that, in the past, Amazon had “donated kindles, laptops, school supplies, robotics equipment.”

He relayed he’d “work to ID the best options” once the “appropriate parties” were reached.

Justin also explained the company was “looking for a school that serves a large population of Black students and families.”

Also attractive: schools “located in an historically underserved community,” comprised of students “interested in the arts or innovation,” and having “specific other needs related to student access to technology and devices.”

Kindles may have been good, but Arlington Public Schools Director of Diversity and Inclusion Arron Gregory wrote back with the following request:

“I corresponded with our library services, and this opportunity is so timely. Library services just spoke to Wakefield about trying to purchase the book Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You, by Jason R and Ibram X. However, we ran into a financial hardship with the initial purchase so this would be huge for us.”

Ibram, as you may know, is also the author of seminal New York Times Best Seller How to Be An Antiracist.

Per The Washington Free Beacon, “Stamped is billed as a young adult ‘remix’ of Kendi’s Stamped From the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America.” 

According to the messages, Amazon spent $5,000 to gift roughly 550 copies of the work to Wakefield High School.

Furthermore, it forked over $10,000 to have Ibram’s cowriter — Jason R — speak to students.

In a statement to the Free Beacon, Parents Defending Education’s Asra Nomani lamented the choice:

“Instead of donating Kindles and hot spots to students in Arlington Public Schools, Amazon chose to spread the controversial ideology of Critical Race Theory. The shortsighted decisions during a pandemic, with so many students vulnerable, reflect the national crisis of school districts circumventing parents to indoctrinate students — in this case, with the help of corporate America.”

Meanwhile, the outlet observes, although Amazon Prime offered an “Amplify Black Voices” in February, during that same month, it removed a “top rated” documentary about Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.

As for Arlington, it’s a definite supporter of social justice. On Columbus Day of last year, the district reportedly required teachers to spend their day off-day receiving equity training.

From the Beacon:

According to emails and videos…the mandatory session coached over 4,300 staff members on how to become “equity influencers.” Paul Gorski, the consultant whose Equity Literacy Institute ran the training, asserted…that black students constantly hear the “N-word” in schools across the Northeastern United States. The hour-and-a-half program gave such further examples of “inequities” as yearbooks, which Gorski said are easier for rich families to afford.

“Antiracism” — which, as defined by CNN, teaches that statements of colorblindness are “microaggressions” — has gotten quite a boost over the last year.

The same goes for realm-sharer Critical Race Theory.

But many states are moving to ban CRT from schools, as some parents are speaking out against the ideology being promoted in classrooms.

Case in point — Illinois father of two Ty Smith:

Meanwhile, it appears, in Virginia, they’ve got other ideas.

As suggested by the emails, each book was accompanied by a study guide, which the Beacon describes thusly:

The guide explains how Stamped “debunks the myths of several master narrative themes,” including the notion that “America is a meritocracy” and that “truth and justice (or law and order) should be valued.”

It sounds like students will have a lot to learn.

-ALEX

 

See more pieces from me:

For Pride Weekend, Bar Bans Budweiser Due to ‘Donations That Fuel Hate’

Colorado Mayor Does Away With the Pledge of Allegiance Due to ‘Divisiveness’

ACLU Demands Uber Eats Stops ‘Deadnaming’ and Misgendering Its Drivers

Find all my RedState work here.

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