Updated: Jan 23
by: Sloan Rachmuth
North Carolina public schools are expected to add thousands of social workers this year, according to a report by the Department of Public Instruction. In the classroom, social workers are trained to assist teachers in handling problem behaviors and helping students develop healthy ones.
However, North Carolina's leading membership organization for school social workers is providing them with biased trainings meant to promote racism in their work with students.
Yesterday, the North Carolina chapter of the National Association of Social Work (NC-NASW) association offered a seminar titled “Behind Closed Doors: White Supremacy and the Roots of Anti-Blackness Among Latino, and Asian American and Pacific Islander Communities.” Yes, you read that title correctly. NC-NASW offers training that gaslights social workers into believing that "white supremacy" isn’t just for Caucasians anymore.
The sponsor of the webinar promises the four-part series will address an incident last year when two Hispanic Los Angeles City Council members were caught on video making racist remarks about a black child.
Was this a disgusting incident that should be addressed? Yes, absolutely. But one incident of bigotry a national epidemic does not make. The webinar has taken one terrible incident and extrapolated it to label all Hispanics as racists, and Asians, Hawaiians, and Samoans too.
Of course, this NC-NASW programming suffers from the logical fallacy of hasty generalization, (AKA stereotyping). It happens when a special case is used as the basis of a general rule for every occasion.
The irony is that if we heard someone say “Indians are cheap” during a workplace chat, we would immediately recognize the comment for the trope it is. Yet, through this webinar, NC-NASW is teaching school social workers that it’s cool to racially stereotype.
No one should be surprised that NC-NASW throws white people under the bus as well. Next week the organization is training social workers on being "anti-racist advocates" to advance racial equity. In the coming month, NC-NASW will host "Understanding Economic Mobility through a Racial Equity Lens," which uses Census Bureau data to show that whites earn more than blacks. Therefore, there is a permanent “structural disadvantage for individuals and families of color” and social workers must act to reverse the unfairness (equity).
But the wizards at NC-NASW misunderstand the nature of statistics, and thus, operate on the logical fallacy of dicto simpliciter, or sweeping generalization, which may just be the most important factor that causes racism.
To generalize is to make assumptions, and with assumptions, people divide. It is the consideration of race in the treatment of people that is the biggest pitfall of racism.
Supporting critical race theory (CRT) in the classroom is a natural fit for the social worker’s organization, which is why they lobbied the General Assembly to block the Ensuring Dignity & Nondiscrimination/ Schools Act proposed in May 2021. From its website:
“NASW is committed to social justice for all and ending racism. Discrimination and prejudice directed against any group are damaging to the social, emotional, and economic well-being of the affected group and of society as a whole.”
The real challenge for NC-NASW should not be joining ethnic groups together into a victim class aimed at punishing the “white patriarchy," but rather integrating all low-income children (of every race and creed) into the broader economy and society by the time they reach adulthood. That comes from education - a real education that focuses on literature appreciation, advanced math, and developing a healthy appreciation of the history of Western Civilization.
Ensuring that children whose families cannot afford extracurriculars receive high-quality education should reduce the scale and intensity of that personal suffering and societal strife, which should be the goal of social work writ large.
The irony that NC-NASW is indoctrinating social workers to discriminate against Hispanics, Asians, and white people while claiming to be fighting "discrimination and prejudice" is lost on no one. Sadly, according to DPI’s website, school social workers must follow the NC-NASW Code of Ethics and practice “social justice,” which means these divisive tactics will be showing up more often in the classroom.