How amusing to see the latest letter published about the Minneapolis Public Schools’ Comprehensive District Design (CDD) headlined by “Decentering white parents” (Oct. 29 issue) when all three letters published since September were written
by, well, white parents! I applaud the public nature of a conversation that wrestles with what the role of white parents in the Minne- apolis Public Schools has been/should be, but these letters continue to speak about the topic like they know what is best for children of color. There was plenty of disagreement about the CDD among Somali and Latinx families and African Americans were not in agreement either — some community leaders supported and some opposed the plan and/or the process — but all of these letters glossed over this fact.
It is 100% true that for decades, “nice white parents” have used their influence in this district to the detriment of children of color and to say this did not happen during the CDD process would be disingenuous. But it is white-centric to ignore the differences of opinion among Somali, Latinx and African American families by painting the situation as a purely white versus BIPOC picture (not to mention that the short-hand BIPOC presumes that people of color are a monolithic block with the same opinions, needs and values). While we white parents, myself included, should wrestle with our own roles and motivations in public education and the CDD, we should not perpet- uate the status quo while doing it.
Emily Greenwald Johnson