“I am not the CRT (Critical Race Theory) Boogeyman,” Whitfield wrote in a Facebook post responding to allegations against him on July 31. “I am the first African American to assume the role of Principal at my current school in its 25-year history, and I am keenly aware of how much fear this strikes in the hearts of a small minority who would much rather things go back to the way they used to be. But here’s the deal – I’m here, so let’s dive into their claims about me.”
Whitfield went on to write:
“In late spring of 2019, I was named Principal at Heritage Middle School after serving one year as Assistant Principal at Colleyville Heritage High School. Those in education know that it is rare for someone to come in from “the outside” of a district and ascend to promotion in that short of a time, but I digress. In leading up to planning for the fall semester, I was asked by a colleague if I would be interested in presenting with her and another female colleague on Breaking the Barriers and talking about our differences. This would be a choice session for our professional learning day in the fall and would need to be approved by the district prior to being published. My colleague curated the presentation and I happily joined them in sharing my experiences and story during this presentation in the fall, as I believe there is power in understanding varied voices and hearing people with other lived experiences than myself. Meeting people where they’re at is something I hold near to my heart.
Unfortunately, this presentation has been used to vilify my colleagues and me. The fact that they know I am not the creator of this presentation and falsely label me as such is one piece of how race plays into their hateful agenda. Again, there was absolutely nothing wrong with the presentation, it was approved for us to present by the district, and it was a choice session (amongst many others) that people had a choice to attend. Those who attended had a desire to talk about our difference and work towards growing as humans – how dare we.”
Whitfield also said in his post that his critics disproved of his support of the Southern Poverty Law Center, specifically his recommendation of author Lonnie Bunch III’s A Fool’s Errand: Creating the National Museum of African American History and Culture in the Age of Bush, Obama, and Trump.
They disapproved of his response to the murder of George Floyd, which happened the week after Whitfield had started his position as principal of Colleyville Heritage High School. His response was to send his school community this message:
𝑰 𝒕𝒓𝒖𝒔𝒕 𝒕𝒉𝒊𝒔 𝒎𝒆𝒔𝒔𝒂𝒈𝒆 𝒇𝒊𝒏𝒅𝒔 𝒚𝒐𝒖 𝒔𝒂𝒇𝒆 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝒘𝒆𝒍𝒍. 𝑨𝒔 𝑰 𝒕𝒚𝒑𝒆 𝒕𝒉𝒆𝒔𝒆 𝒘𝒐𝒓𝒅𝒔, 𝒊𝒕’𝒔 4:30 𝒊𝒏 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒎𝒐𝒓𝒏𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝑰 𝒄𝒂𝒏’𝒕 𝒔𝒍𝒆𝒆𝒑. 𝑭𝒐𝒓 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒑𝒂𝒔𝒕 𝒔𝒆𝒗𝒆𝒓𝒂𝒍 𝒅𝒂𝒚𝒔, 𝒕𝒉𝒊𝒔 𝒉𝒂𝒔 𝒃𝒆𝒆𝒏 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒄𝒂𝒔𝒆.
𝑻𝒉𝒊𝒔 𝒔𝒑𝒓𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒚𝒐𝒖 𝒃𝒂𝒕𝒕𝒍𝒆𝒅 𝒂𝒏 𝒊𝒏𝒗𝒊𝒔𝒊𝒃𝒍𝒆 𝒆𝒏𝒆𝒎𝒚 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝒆𝒇𝒇𝒆𝒄𝒕𝒊𝒗𝒆𝒍𝒚 𝒕𝒐𝒐𝒌 𝒚𝒐𝒖𝒓 𝒄𝒍𝒂𝒔𝒔𝒓𝒐𝒐𝒎𝒔 𝒗𝒊𝒓𝒕𝒖𝒂𝒍 𝒐𝒗𝒆𝒓𝒏𝒊𝒈𝒉𝒕. 𝑾𝒆 𝒂𝒍𝒍 𝒌𝒏𝒐𝒘 𝒊𝒕 𝒘𝒂𝒔 𝒏𝒐𝒕 𝒑𝒆𝒓𝒇𝒆𝒄𝒕, 𝒃𝒖𝒕 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒘𝒐𝒓𝒌 𝒚𝒐𝒖 𝒅𝒊𝒅 𝒕𝒐 𝒆𝒏𝒔𝒖𝒓𝒆 𝒐𝒖𝒓 𝒔𝒕𝒖𝒅𝒆𝒏𝒕𝒔 𝒈𝒐𝒕 𝒘𝒉𝒂𝒕 𝒕𝒉𝒆𝒚 𝒏𝒆𝒆𝒅𝒆𝒅 𝒘𝒂𝒔 𝒏𝒐𝒕𝒉𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒔𝒉𝒐𝒓𝒕 𝒐𝒇 𝒂 𝒎𝒊𝒓𝒂𝒄𝒍𝒆.
𝑵𝒐𝒘, 𝒂𝒔 𝒚𝒐𝒖 𝒃𝒆𝒈𝒊𝒏 𝒚𝒐𝒖𝒓 𝒔𝒖𝒎𝒎𝒆𝒓, 𝒂𝒏 𝒂𝒍𝒍 𝒕𝒐𝒐 𝒇𝒂𝒎𝒊𝒍𝒊𝒂𝒓 𝒆𝒏𝒆𝒎𝒚 – 𝒐𝒏𝒆 𝒕𝒉𝒂𝒕 𝒉𝒂𝒔 𝒂𝒍𝒘𝒂𝒚𝒔 𝒃𝒆𝒆𝒏 𝒊𝒏 𝒐𝒖𝒓 𝒎𝒊𝒅𝒔𝒕 – 𝒉𝒂𝒔 𝒍𝒂𝒏𝒅𝒆𝒅 𝒂𝒏𝒐𝒕𝒉𝒆𝒓 𝒅𝒆𝒗𝒂𝒔𝒕𝒂𝒕𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒃𝒍𝒐𝒘 𝒕𝒐 𝒐𝒖𝒓 𝒏𝒂𝒕𝒊𝒐𝒏’𝒔 𝒔𝒑𝒊𝒓𝒊𝒕.
𝑻𝒉𝒆 𝒓𝒆𝒄𝒆𝒏𝒕 𝒅𝒆𝒂𝒕𝒉𝒔 𝒐𝒇 𝑮𝒆𝒐𝒓𝒈𝒆 𝑭𝒍𝒐𝒚𝒅, 𝑨𝒉𝒎𝒂𝒖𝒅 𝑨𝒓𝒃𝒆𝒓𝒚, 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝑩𝒓𝒆𝒐𝒏𝒏𝒂 𝑻𝒂𝒚𝒍𝒐𝒓 𝒉𝒂𝒗𝒆 𝒔𝒉𝒐𝒐𝒌 𝒖𝒔 𝒕𝒐 𝒐𝒖𝒓 𝒄𝒐𝒓𝒆, 𝒂𝒅𝒅𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒕𝒐 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒆𝒗𝒆𝒓-𝒈𝒓𝒐𝒘𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒍𝒊𝒔𝒕 𝒐𝒇 𝒃𝒍𝒂𝒄𝒌 𝑨𝒎𝒆𝒓𝒊𝒄𝒂𝒏𝒔 𝒘𝒉𝒐 𝒉𝒂𝒗𝒆 𝒍𝒐𝒔𝒕 𝒕𝒉𝒆𝒊𝒓 𝒍𝒊𝒗𝒆𝒔 𝒃𝒆𝒄𝒂𝒖𝒔𝒆 𝒐𝒇 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒄𝒐𝒍𝒐𝒓 𝒐𝒇 𝒕𝒉𝒆𝒊𝒓 𝒔𝒌𝒊𝒏. 𝑺𝒚𝒔𝒕𝒆𝒎𝒊𝒄 𝒓𝒂𝒄𝒊𝒔𝒎 𝒊𝒔 𝒂𝒍𝒊𝒗𝒆 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝒘𝒆𝒍𝒍, 𝒅𝒐𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒑𝒓𝒆𝒄𝒊𝒔𝒆𝒍𝒚 𝒘𝒉𝒂𝒕 𝒊𝒕 𝒘𝒂𝒔 𝒔𝒆𝒕 𝒖𝒑 𝒕𝒐 𝒅𝒐.
𝑻𝒉𝒆 𝒔𝒂𝒎𝒆 𝒒𝒖𝒆𝒔𝒕𝒊𝒐𝒏𝒔 𝒄𝒓𝒐𝒑 𝒖𝒑:
𝑾𝒉𝒂𝒕 𝒄𝒂𝒏 𝑰 𝒅𝒐 𝒕𝒐 𝒂𝒇𝒇𝒆𝒄𝒕 𝒄𝒉𝒂𝒏𝒈𝒆?
𝑾𝒉𝒚 𝒊𝒔 𝒕𝒉𝒊𝒔 𝒔𝒕𝒊𝒍𝒍 𝒉𝒂𝒑𝒑𝒆𝒏𝒊𝒏𝒈?
𝑾𝒉𝒚 𝒅𝒐 𝒔𝒐𝒎𝒆 𝒑𝒆𝒐𝒑𝒍𝒆’𝒔 𝒍𝒊𝒗𝒆𝒔 𝒔𝒆𝒆𝒎 𝒕𝒐 𝒏𝒐𝒕 𝒉𝒂𝒗𝒆 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒔𝒂𝒎𝒆 𝒗𝒂𝒍𝒖𝒆 𝒂𝒔 𝒐𝒕𝒉𝒆𝒓𝒔?
𝑽𝒆𝒓𝒚 𝒅𝒆𝒆𝒑 𝒒𝒖𝒆𝒔𝒕𝒊𝒐𝒏𝒔 𝒕𝒉𝒂𝒕 𝒓𝒆𝒒𝒖𝒊𝒓𝒆 𝒔𝒆𝒓𝒊𝒐𝒖𝒔 𝒓𝒆𝒇𝒍𝒆𝒄𝒕𝒊𝒐𝒏 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝒅𝒊𝒔𝒄𝒖𝒔𝒔𝒊𝒐𝒏. 𝑴𝒖𝒄𝒉 𝒍𝒊𝒌𝒆 𝒕𝒉𝒐𝒔𝒆 𝒇𝒂𝒄𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒗𝒂𝒓𝒊𝒐𝒖𝒔 𝒇𝒐𝒓𝒎𝒔 𝒐𝒇 𝒂𝒅𝒅𝒊𝒄𝒕𝒊𝒐𝒏 𝒘𝒆 𝒎𝒖𝒔𝒕 𝒇𝒊𝒓𝒔𝒕 𝒄𝒐𝒎𝒆 𝒕𝒐 𝒕𝒆𝒓𝒎𝒔 𝒘𝒊𝒕𝒉 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒇𝒂𝒄𝒕 𝒕𝒉𝒂𝒕 𝒘𝒆 𝒉𝒂𝒗𝒆 𝒂 𝒑𝒓𝒐𝒃𝒍𝒆𝒎. 𝑭𝒐𝒓 𝒔𝒐 𝒍𝒐𝒏𝒈 𝒕𝒉𝒆𝒔𝒆 𝒂𝒕𝒓𝒐𝒄𝒊𝒕𝒊𝒆𝒔 𝒉𝒂𝒗𝒆 𝒐𝒄𝒄𝒖𝒓𝒓𝒆𝒅 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝒘𝒆’𝒗𝒆 𝒔𝒊𝒎𝒑𝒍𝒚 𝒎𝒐𝒗𝒆𝒅 𝒐𝒏 𝒘𝒊𝒕𝒉 𝒐𝒖𝒓 𝒅𝒂𝒊𝒍𝒚 𝒍𝒊𝒗𝒆𝒔. 𝑴𝒐𝒔𝒕 𝒐𝒇 𝒎𝒚 𝒍𝒊𝒇𝒆 𝑰’𝒗𝒆 𝒉𝒆𝒂𝒓𝒅 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒔𝒂𝒎𝒆 𝒐𝒍𝒅 𝒍𝒊𝒏𝒆𝒔:
“𝑫𝒐𝒏’𝒕 𝒑𝒍𝒂𝒚 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒓𝒂𝒄𝒆 𝒄𝒂𝒓𝒅!”
“𝑫𝒐𝒏’𝒕 𝒎𝒂𝒌𝒆 𝒆𝒗𝒆𝒓𝒚𝒕𝒉𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒂𝒃𝒐𝒖𝒕 𝒓𝒂𝒄𝒆!”
“𝑰 𝒅𝒐𝒏’𝒕 𝒔𝒆𝒆 𝒄𝒐𝒍𝒐𝒓”
“𝒀𝒐𝒖’𝒓𝒆 𝒏𝒐𝒕 𝒍𝒊𝒌𝒆 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒐𝒕𝒉𝒆𝒓𝒔!”
“𝒀𝒐𝒖 𝒔𝒑𝒆𝒂𝒌 𝒔𝒐 𝒘𝒆𝒍𝒍.”
“𝑺𝒍𝒂𝒗𝒆𝒓𝒚 𝒊𝒔 𝒊𝒏 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒑𝒂𝒔𝒕. 𝑪𝒂𝒏’𝒕 𝒘𝒆 𝒋𝒖𝒔𝒕 𝒎𝒐𝒗𝒆 𝒐𝒏?”
𝑵𝒐𝒘, 𝒊𝒕 𝒂𝒑𝒑𝒆𝒂𝒓𝒔 𝒂𝒔 𝒕𝒉𝒐𝒖𝒈𝒉 𝒘𝒆 𝒂𝒓𝒆 𝒄𝒐𝒍𝒍𝒆𝒄𝒕𝒊𝒗𝒆𝒍𝒚 𝒖𝒔𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒐𝒖𝒓 𝒗𝒐𝒊𝒄𝒆 𝒕𝒐 𝒅𝒆𝒏𝒐𝒖𝒏𝒄𝒆 𝒔𝒚𝒔𝒕𝒆𝒎𝒊𝒄 𝒓𝒂𝒄𝒊𝒔𝒎 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒊𝒏𝒆𝒒𝒖𝒊𝒕𝒊𝒆𝒔 𝒕𝒉𝒂𝒕 𝒑𝒆𝒐𝒑𝒍𝒆 𝒐𝒇 𝒄𝒐𝒍𝒐𝒓 𝒇𝒂𝒄𝒆 𝒐𝒏 𝒂 𝒅𝒂𝒊𝒍𝒚 𝒃𝒂𝒔𝒊𝒔 𝒊𝒏 𝒐𝒖𝒓 𝒄𝒐𝒖𝒏𝒕𝒓𝒚.
𝑰 𝒘𝒊𝒍𝒍 𝒃𝒆 42 𝒚𝒆𝒂𝒓𝒔 𝒐𝒍𝒅 𝒏𝒆𝒙𝒕 𝒎𝒐𝒏𝒕𝒉 𝒂𝒏𝒅, 𝒏𝒆𝒗𝒆𝒓 𝒊𝒏 𝒎𝒚 𝒍𝒊𝒇𝒆, 𝒉𝒂𝒗𝒆 𝑰 𝒆𝒙𝒑𝒆𝒓𝒊𝒆𝒏𝒄𝒆𝒅 𝒕𝒉𝒊𝒔 𝒍𝒆𝒗𝒆𝒍 𝒐𝒇 𝒔𝒖𝒑𝒑𝒐𝒓𝒕 𝒘𝒉𝒆𝒏 𝒊𝒕 𝒄𝒐𝒎𝒆𝒔 𝒕𝒐 𝒊𝒔𝒔𝒖𝒆𝒔 𝒐𝒇 𝒓𝒂𝒄𝒆. 𝑰 𝒄𝒂𝒏𝒏𝒐𝒕 𝒃𝒆𝒈𝒊𝒏 𝒕𝒐 𝒕𝒆𝒍𝒍 𝒚𝒐𝒖 𝒉𝒐𝒘 𝒆𝒏𝒄𝒐𝒖𝒓𝒂𝒈𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒊𝒕 𝒉𝒂𝒔 𝒃𝒆𝒆𝒏 𝒕𝒐 𝒉𝒂𝒗𝒆 𝒔𝒐 𝒎𝒂𝒏𝒚 𝒐𝒇 𝒎𝒚 𝒘𝒉𝒊𝒕𝒆 𝒃𝒓𝒐𝒕𝒉𝒆𝒓𝒔 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝒔𝒊𝒔𝒕𝒆𝒓𝒔 𝒃𝒖𝒄𝒌 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒔𝒕𝒂𝒕𝒖𝒔 𝒒𝒖𝒐 𝒃𝒚 𝒄𝒂𝒍𝒍𝒊𝒏𝒈, 𝒕𝒆𝒙𝒕𝒊𝒏𝒈, 𝒖𝒏𝒂𝒔𝒉𝒂𝒎𝒆𝒅𝒍𝒚 𝒔𝒂𝒚𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒕𝒉𝒂𝒕 𝒃𝒍𝒂𝒄𝒌 𝒍𝒊𝒗𝒆𝒔 𝒅𝒐, 𝒊𝒏𝒅𝒆𝒆𝒅, 𝒎𝒂𝒕𝒕𝒆𝒓, 𝒑𝒆𝒂𝒄𝒆𝒇𝒖𝒍𝒍𝒚 𝒎𝒂𝒓𝒄𝒉𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒘𝒊𝒕𝒉 𝒎𝒆, 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝒎𝒂𝒌𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒂 𝒄𝒐𝒎𝒎𝒊𝒕𝒎𝒆𝒏𝒕 𝒕𝒐 𝒍𝒆𝒂𝒓𝒏 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝒕𝒂𝒌𝒆 𝒎𝒆𝒂𝒏𝒊𝒏𝒈𝒇𝒖𝒍 𝒂𝒄𝒕𝒊𝒐𝒏.
𝑰 𝒆𝒏𝒄𝒐𝒖𝒓𝒂𝒈𝒆 𝒖𝒔 𝒂𝒍𝒍 𝒏𝒐𝒕 𝒕𝒐 𝒈𝒓𝒐𝒘 𝒘𝒆𝒂𝒓𝒚 𝒊𝒏 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒃𝒂𝒕𝒕𝒍𝒆 𝒂𝒈𝒂𝒊𝒏𝒔𝒕 𝒔𝒚𝒔𝒕𝒆𝒎𝒊𝒄 𝒓𝒂𝒄𝒊𝒔𝒎 – 𝒄𝒐𝒎𝒎𝒊𝒕 𝒕𝒐 𝒃𝒆𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒂𝒏 𝒂𝒏𝒕𝒊-𝒓𝒂𝒄𝒊𝒔𝒕. 𝑾𝒉𝒊𝒍𝒆 𝒕𝒉𝒆𝒓𝒆 𝒂𝒓𝒆 𝒈𝒓𝒆𝒂𝒕 𝒐𝒃𝒔𝒕𝒂𝒄𝒍𝒆𝒔 𝒕𝒐 𝒇𝒂𝒄𝒆, 𝒑𝒍𝒆𝒂𝒔𝒆 𝒌𝒏𝒐𝒘 𝒕𝒉𝒂𝒕 𝑰 𝒂𝒎 𝒘𝒊𝒕𝒉 𝒚𝒐𝒖 𝒐𝒏 𝒕𝒉𝒊𝒔 𝒋𝒐𝒖𝒓𝒏𝒆𝒚 𝒕𝒐𝒘𝒂𝒓𝒅𝒔 𝒄𝒐𝒏𝒄𝒊𝒍𝒊𝒂𝒕𝒊𝒐𝒏 𝒇𝒐𝒓 𝒐𝒖𝒓 𝒏𝒂𝒕𝒊𝒐𝒏. 𝑰 𝒘𝒐𝒖𝒍𝒅 𝒍𝒐𝒗𝒆 𝒕𝒐 𝒔𝒂𝒚 𝒓𝒆𝒄𝒐𝒏𝒄𝒊𝒍𝒊𝒂𝒕𝒊𝒐𝒏, 𝒃𝒖𝒕 𝒕𝒉𝒂𝒕 𝒘𝒐𝒖𝒍𝒅 𝒊𝒎𝒑𝒍𝒚 𝒕𝒉𝒂𝒕 𝒘𝒆’𝒗𝒆 𝒃𝒆𝒆𝒏 𝒔𝒐𝒎𝒆𝒘𝒉𝒆𝒓𝒆 𝒘𝒆 𝒉𝒂𝒗𝒆 𝒏𝒐𝒕 𝒃𝒆𝒆𝒏 𝒂𝒍𝒐𝒏𝒈 𝒐𝒖𝒓 𝒄𝒐𝒖𝒏𝒕𝒓𝒚’𝒔 𝒋𝒐𝒖𝒓𝒏𝒆𝒚 𝒂𝒔 𝒊𝒕 𝒓𝒆𝒍𝒂𝒕𝒆𝒔 𝒕𝒐 𝒓𝒂𝒄𝒊𝒂𝒍 𝒆𝒒𝒖𝒂𝒍𝒊𝒕𝒚. 𝑾𝒆 𝒘𝒊𝒍𝒍 𝒍𝒆𝒂𝒓𝒏 𝒕𝒐𝒈𝒆𝒕𝒉𝒆𝒓, 𝒍𝒂𝒖𝒈𝒉 𝒕𝒐𝒈𝒆𝒕𝒉𝒆𝒓, 𝒄𝒓𝒚 𝒕𝒐𝒈𝒆𝒕𝒉𝒆𝒓, 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝒎𝒂𝒌𝒆 𝒑𝒓𝒐𝒈𝒓𝒆𝒔𝒔 𝒕𝒐𝒈𝒆𝒕𝒉𝒆𝒓. 𝑶𝒖𝒓 𝒘𝒐𝒓𝒌 𝒂𝒔 𝒆𝒅𝒖𝒄𝒂𝒕𝒐𝒓𝒔 𝒊𝒔 𝒕𝒓𝒖𝒍𝒚 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒎𝒐𝒔𝒕 𝒊𝒎𝒑𝒐𝒓𝒕𝒂𝒏𝒕 𝒘𝒐𝒓𝒌. 𝑶𝒖𝒓 𝒔𝒄𝒉𝒐𝒐𝒍𝒔 𝒔𝒆𝒕 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒇𝒐𝒖𝒏𝒅𝒂𝒕𝒊𝒐𝒏 𝒇𝒐𝒓 𝒐𝒖𝒓 𝒇𝒖𝒕𝒖𝒓𝒆. 𝑬𝒅𝒖𝒄𝒂𝒕𝒊𝒐𝒏 𝒊𝒔 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒌𝒆𝒚 𝒕𝒐 𝒔𝒕𝒐𝒎𝒑𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒐𝒖𝒕 𝒊𝒈𝒏𝒐𝒓𝒂𝒏𝒄𝒆, 𝒉𝒂𝒕𝒆, 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝒔𝒚𝒔𝒕𝒆𝒎𝒊𝒄 𝒓𝒂𝒄𝒊𝒔𝒎. 𝑰𝒕’𝒔 𝒂 𝒏𝒆𝒄𝒆𝒔𝒔𝒂𝒓𝒚 𝒄𝒐𝒏𝒅𝒖𝒊𝒕 𝒕𝒐 𝒈𝒆𝒕 𝒕𝒐 “𝒍𝒊𝒃𝒆𝒓𝒕𝒚 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝒋𝒖𝒔𝒕𝒊𝒄𝒆 𝒇𝒐𝒓 𝒂𝒍𝒍.” 𝑰𝒕’𝒔 𝒂 𝒈𝒓𝒆𝒂𝒕 𝒓𝒆𝒔𝒑𝒐𝒏𝒔𝒊𝒃𝒊𝒍𝒊𝒕𝒚, 𝒃𝒖𝒕 𝒐𝒏𝒆 𝒕𝒉𝒂𝒕 𝑰 𝒂𝒎 𝒔𝒐 𝒉𝒂𝒑𝒑𝒚 𝒕𝒐 𝒆𝒎𝒃𝒓𝒂𝒄𝒆 𝒘𝒊𝒕𝒉 𝒚𝒐𝒖.
𝑳𝒆𝒕’𝒔 𝒏𝒐𝒕 𝒂𝒍𝒍𝒐𝒘 𝒕𝒉𝒊𝒔 𝒎𝒐𝒎𝒆𝒏𝒕 𝒕𝒐 𝒃𝒆 𝒂 𝒇𝒍𝒂𝒔𝒉-𝒊𝒏-𝒕𝒉𝒆-𝒑𝒂𝒏. 𝑳𝒆𝒕’𝒔 𝒄𝒐𝒎𝒎𝒊𝒕 𝒕𝒐 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒘𝒐𝒓𝒌 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒉𝒂𝒓𝒅, 𝒗𝒖𝒍𝒏𝒆𝒓𝒂𝒃𝒍𝒆, 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝒖𝒏𝒄𝒐𝒎𝒇𝒐𝒓𝒕𝒂𝒃𝒍𝒆 𝒄𝒐𝒏𝒗𝒆𝒓𝒔𝒂𝒕𝒊𝒐𝒏𝒔 𝒕𝒉𝒂𝒕 𝒘𝒆 𝒎𝒖𝒔𝒕 𝒉𝒂𝒗𝒆 𝒕𝒐 𝒆𝒏𝒔𝒖𝒓𝒆 𝒘𝒆 𝒈𝒓𝒐𝒘 𝒑𝒆𝒓𝒔𝒐𝒏𝒂𝒍𝒍𝒚 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝒑𝒓𝒐𝒇𝒆𝒔𝒔𝒊𝒐𝒏𝒂𝒍𝒍𝒚. 𝑶𝒖𝒓 𝒚𝒐𝒖𝒕𝒉 𝒂𝒓𝒆 𝒂𝒍𝒘𝒂𝒚𝒔 𝒘𝒂𝒕𝒄𝒉𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒖𝒔 𝒃𝒖𝒕 𝒏𝒐𝒘, 𝒎𝒐𝒓𝒆 𝒕𝒉𝒂𝒏 𝒆𝒗𝒆𝒓, 𝒐𝒖𝒓 𝒚𝒐𝒖𝒏𝒈 𝒑𝒆𝒐𝒑𝒍𝒆 𝒐𝒇 𝒄𝒐𝒍𝒐𝒓, 𝒔𝒑𝒆𝒄𝒊𝒇𝒊𝒄𝒂𝒍𝒍𝒚, 𝒂𝒓𝒆 𝒘𝒂𝒕𝒄𝒉𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒕𝒐 𝒔𝒆𝒆 𝒉𝒐𝒘 𝒘𝒆 𝒘𝒊𝒍𝒍 𝒓𝒆𝒔𝒑𝒐𝒏𝒅. 𝑾𝒊𝒍𝒍 𝒘𝒆 𝒓𝒆𝒕𝒓𝒆𝒂𝒕 𝒃𝒂𝒄𝒌 𝒊𝒏𝒕𝒐 𝒄𝒐𝒎𝒇𝒐𝒓𝒕 𝒐𝒓 𝒘𝒊𝒍𝒍 𝒘𝒆 𝒂𝒅𝒗𝒂𝒏𝒄𝒆 𝒘𝒊𝒕𝒉 𝒈𝒓𝒆𝒂𝒕 𝒗𝒊𝒈𝒐𝒓 𝒊𝒏𝒕𝒐 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒐𝒇𝒕𝒆𝒏 𝒕𝒖𝒓𝒃𝒖𝒍𝒆𝒏𝒕 𝒘𝒂𝒕𝒆𝒓𝒔 𝒕𝒉𝒂𝒕 𝒄𝒐𝒎𝒆 𝒘𝒊𝒕𝒉 𝒕𝒆𝒂𝒓𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒅𝒐𝒘𝒏 𝒔𝒚𝒔𝒕𝒆𝒎𝒔 𝒐𝒇 𝒐𝒑𝒑𝒓𝒆𝒔𝒔𝒊𝒐𝒏? 𝑰’𝒎 𝒈𝒆𝒂𝒓𝒆𝒅 𝒖𝒑 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝒓𝒆𝒂𝒅𝒚 𝒇𝒐𝒓 𝒅𝒆𝒎𝒐𝒍𝒊𝒕𝒊𝒐𝒏 𝒇𝒐𝒓 𝒐𝒖𝒓 𝒌𝒊𝒅𝒔 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝒐𝒖𝒓 𝒏𝒂𝒕𝒊𝒐𝒏. 𝑷𝒍𝒆𝒂𝒔𝒆 𝒋𝒐𝒊𝒏 𝒎𝒆 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝒍𝒆𝒕’𝒔 𝒅𝒐 𝒕𝒉𝒊𝒔!
𝑰 𝒍𝒐𝒗𝒆 𝒚𝒐𝒖 𝒂𝒍𝒍 𝒅𝒆𝒂𝒓𝒍𝒚 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝒗𝒆𝒓𝒚 𝒎𝒖𝒄𝒉 𝒍𝒐𝒐𝒌 𝒇𝒐𝒓𝒘𝒂𝒓𝒅 𝒕𝒐 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒋𝒐𝒖𝒓𝒏𝒆𝒚 𝒂𝒉𝒆𝒂𝒅! 𝑰 𝒎𝒂𝒚 𝒃𝒆 𝒐𝒖𝒕 𝒐𝒇 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒃𝒖𝒊𝒍𝒅𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒃𝒖𝒕 𝑰 𝒘𝒊𝒍𝒍 𝒄𝒐𝒏𝒕𝒊𝒏𝒖𝒆 𝒕𝒐 𝒘𝒐𝒓𝒌 𝒘𝒊𝒕𝒉 𝒚𝒐𝒖 𝒕𝒐 𝒎𝒐𝒗𝒆 𝒉𝒆𝒂𝒗𝒆𝒏 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝒆𝒂𝒓𝒕𝒉 𝒇𝒐𝒓 𝒂𝒍𝒍 𝒐𝒇 𝒐𝒖𝒓 𝒌𝒊𝒅𝒔!
”That’s it – that’s the email,” he later wrote in revealing the email. “I will defend my words and my right to speak up against hate, intolerance, and bigotry. Do you want to guess how many replies I got in opposition to this email sent in early June 2020? Zero. Zilch. Nada.”
And even before the email incident, Whitfield’s critics targeted him for photos he took with his wife on a beach in Mexico, where they were celebrating their five-year anniversary. He had just been named principal of Heritage Middle School on June 27, 2019 when he got a call from a central administrator not to congratulate him about the new position, but warn him of an email that had just been sent to him.
The email contained a photo of Whitfield kissing his wife and was followed by a call from an unnamed individual asking Whitfield to take down the photos down. “Well, we just don’t want people to stir up stuff,” the person reportedly told Whitfield. He wrote after the encounter:
“As I got off the phone my wife sat there in tears. I tried to do my best to console her as we both tried to grapple with what just took place. We hid the photo, no one from ‘above’ ever mentioned anything else about it, but the damage was inflicted on us in profound ways.”
His superior’s alleged response then was as disgusting as it is now regarding allegations against Whitfield. This is not how you support Black educators.