Head of Grace Church School 'We're demonizing white people for being born'

Last week, Bari Weiss published a piece written by a high school teacher named Paul Rossi which was extremely critical of the critical race theory dogma that Grace Church School (a private high school in New York) had adopted. Rossi wrote that he knew by criticizing the school in public he was risking his career:


I know that by attaching my name to this I’m risking not only my current job but my career as an educator, since most schools, both public and private, are now captive to this backward ideology. But witnessing the harmful impact it has on children, I can’t stay silent.

My school, like so many others, induces students via shame and sophistry to identify primarily with their race before their individual identities are fully formed.

He was quickly proven right about the risk of speaking up. After the essay was published Rossi said he was threatened by an unnamed member of the Grace Church community. Rossi reported the threat to the head of the school, George Davison, who then ordered him to remain off campus allegedly for his own safety.

A couple of days later Davison sent out an email which said, “It is clear to me that Paul cannot be effective as a teacher at Grace any more. I have informed him that he is relieved of his teaching duties, and we’ve asked two support teachers to take over his math classes for the final quarter.” It would be Rossi’s final quarter because he had declined to renew his contract for the fall. Yesterday, Rossi sent a response to Davison’s email which contained some explosive quotes attributed to Davison, including that he had admitted the school was “demonizing white people for being born.”

I believe that you share my desire to ensure that racism does not mar the experience of students at Grace. But, like me, you also expressed “grave doubts about some of the doctrinaire stuff that gets spouted at us, in the name of antiracism.” When I told you “they’re fighting a revolution” and “will hollow out Grace and move on to the next institution,” you acknowledged that “they’ve hollowed out a bunch of other ones ahead of us.”

In the letter, you say that “the wellbeing of our community is our first priority,” and that Grace cares “deeply about human dignity.”

And yet you admitted to me that Grace Church is, in fact, “demonizing white people for being born,” and that the school is making white students “feel less than, for nothing that they are personally responsible for.”

While I cannot know for certain, I suspect that the reason you have not shared these concerns with the broader Grace community is because you know exactly what happens to people who do — it is what is happening to me right now. I understand that. It is because of the fear I see in so many people, including so many of our students, that I felt compelled to speak out even though I knew I would pay a steep price for it.


In a response to Rossi quoted by the NY Post, Davison denied those quotes were accurate. “You misquoted me and attributed to me things that I had never said nor would ever say in the press.” He added, “I will not in an email get into a point by point rebuttal because I know that you are not trustworthy given your past performance.”

There’s just one problem for George Davison trying to ride off on his high horse. Rossi recorded their conversations. Here he is saying “we’re demonizing white people for being born.”

And here’s Davison in the same conversation admitting the “demonization of being white” is a problem. Below that is another clip in which Davison admits critical race theory has “hollowed out” institutions.

Now I think it’s clear even from these excerpts that Davison still believes in anti-racism and supports it. He’s making admissions against interest so he can then come back and say he’s not being dogmatic and is listening to criticism. But the first important point here is that he wasn’t misquoted. He did say the things Rossi quoted him as saying.


Now that Davison can’t deny having said it, it will be interesting to see if he survives. It’s one thing to admit these things in a private conversation with a skeptic. It’s another to have them out in public. There’s simply no place in Robin DiAngelo’s worldview for the belief that white people are being demonized unfairly by anti-racists. It does not compute. Davison’s only course of action will be to apologize profusely and promise not to say anything like this ever again. Not only not say it but not believe it.

Of course if reasonable people could raise doubts about critical race theory it wouldn’t be the dogmatic cult it is. If Davison gets dumped from his job because of this and no one comes to defend him, he’ll certainly deserve it. I’ll close with Andrew Sullivan’s take on the bigger lesson:

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