A Dallas-based Black Lives Matter group is asking wealthy White liberals to pledge their children will not attend an Ivy League school or another ranked in a commonly used list of the top 50 in the United States.
Dallas Justice Now, which has been devoted to defunding the Dallas Police Department, has now launched a college pledge they say will demonstrate support for the Black Lives Matter cause more than a yard sign or small donation.
The group says it will name all in the Highland Park Independent School District who sign — and do not sign — the pledge.
“Talk is not enough,” the group says in its “Open Letter to Wealthy White Liberals of HPISD.” The letter is available online and is being sent to the 95% White residents of Highland Park and University Park, according to Dallas Justice.
“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 or murder, slavery, discrimination and lack of educational and economic opportunities perpetrated upon people of color,” the pledge reads.
Highland Park is an upscale neighborhood in Dallas of fewer than 10,000 people with a median income of $211,136 and an average home value of $1.51 million. In the 2018-2019 school year, the HPISD had 6,824 K-12 public and charter schools students of which 82.4% were White and less than 1% Black, according to recent statistics.
“I commit that my children will not apply to or attend an Ivy League school or U.S. News and World Report top 50 school so that position at that school is available for people of color to right historical wrongs,” the pledge reads.
“Don’t be a racist hypocrite! Sign the pledge today!” Dallas Justice Now writes.
Neither the Dallas Justice Now website nor the listed contact for it replied to a request for comment Monday.
Already, however, the pledge has led to controversy. In the letter, posted on various social media accounts, the group accuses all White people in the neighborhood of being complicit in the historical mistreatment and disenfranchisement of minorities.
“You live in the whitest and wealthiest neighborhood in Dallas,” it reads. “Whether you know it nor not, you earned or inherited your money through oppressing people of color.
“However, it is also our understanding you are a Democrat and supporter of the Black Lives Matter movement which makes you one of our white allies and puts you in a position to help correct these cruel injustices.”
Dallas Justice Now acknowledges it is a very tough ask to make of parents who no doubt yearn to send their children to the precise schools identified in the pledge. But it is only through that sort of sacrifice, as opposed to the “minimal sacrifice” of “posting #BlackLivesMatter on social media or yard signs” that wealthy White liberals can prove their loyalty to the cause.
• James Varney can be reached at email@example.com.
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