MADISON (WKOW) — A conservative law firm threatened to sue the Madison Metropolitan School District over an email sent to West High School families inviting them to participate in discussion of police brutality.
The email gave two links to video conferences for families to join: one for white parents and one for parents of color.
The Wisconsin Institute of Law and Liberty claimed that the email amounted to “racial segregation.”
A spokesperson for the school district called the email to families “poorly worded” but also said the separate links reflected MMSD’s use of the “Affinity Group Model.”
“The Affinity Group model is a well established method to provide opportunity for people who share a common identity to connect with other people who share aspects of their identity, especially in a situation where they feel their identity is marginalized,” the district spokesperson said.
WILL sent a letter to the district’s superintendent, Dr. Carlton Jenkins, Monday laying out their complaints against the use of separate video conferences for families based on race.
“Madison West’s justifications for racial segregation are indistinguishable
from the segregationists of the 1950s,” the letter said. “These arguments are no different from those advanced by the proponents of Jim Crow.”
BTW, I’d never heard of an “Affinity Group” before, so I turned to good ol’ DuckDuckGo. It appears to be a concept that comes out of the anarchist movement.
The affinity group is not only a vehicle for changing the world—like any good anarchist practice, it is also a model for alternative worlds, and a seed from which such worlds can grow. In an anarchist economy, decisions are not made by boards of directors, nor tasks carried out by masses of worker drones: affinity groups decide and act together. Indeed, the affinity group/cluster/spokescouncil model is simply another incarnation of the communes and workers’ councils that formed the backbone of earlier successful (however short-lived) anarchist revolutions.