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Creators of ‘structural discrimination’ video blast Henrico schools for apology

Posted at 8:56 PM, Feb 16, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-17 06:50:49-05

HENRICO COUNTY, Va. -- The group that made the 'structural discrimination' video shown at Glen Allen High School, which sparked outrage recently, is speaking out against the school district’s decision to apologize.

The African American Policy Forum said the video provides a explanation of racial inequality:

"This censorship of material that highlights historical and present-day policies constitutes an alarming capitulation to those who would prefer our youth to remain blissfully ignorant about the foundations of contemporary racial inequality," said AAPF Executive Director Kimberle Crenshaw.

"Honest engagement with the continuing legacy of our history should not be held hostage to those who can only relate to this information as a personal indictment. Educators who succumb to these sensibilities rather than working through them only contribute to the shameful mis-education of millions of Americans, many whose indignation about the video is only surpassed by their lack of knowledge about the facts it portrays."

The video titled "structural discrimination: the unequal opportunity race" was presented during a Black History Month presentation at Glen Allen High School on Feb. 4.

The video, made in 2010, showed animated runners on a track with white runners at the front sailing along, while black runners lag behind with their paths full of obstacles.

While some reports voiced concern from parents over “white guilt,” others took to social media in support of showing the video, saying “we need to educate our youth, not shelter them to a fault.”

After the school system received complaints, Henrico Superintendent Pat Kinlaw released a statement saying:

“While we as educators do not object to difficult and constructive conversations about American history and racial discourse past and present, we understand why many people feel this video in particular was not the best way to deliver such an important lesson.”

“The school division has heard the feedback from our community loud and clear, and we will take additional measures as needed to review instructional material on an ongoing basis,” Kinlaw added.

School Board Chair Micky Ogburn said school leaders have been instructed not to use the video in schools and said that the uproar “will help inform our future efforts to promote cultural understanding.”

“We do apologize to those who were offended and for the unintended impact on our community,” Ogburn said.

But not all county leaders felt an apology should have been offered.

"I don't really see what is there to apologize for," said Reverend Tyrone Nelson, Chair of Henrico County Board of Supervisors. "I see some generalizations there, but I do see some truths. As an African-American, I know that slavery was real; Jim Crow was real."

CBS 6 reached out to a representative of Henrico Schools Tuesday concerning the AAPF's response . They said they didn’t have any further comment.

An online petition has also been created on asking the school board to rescind its apology. It has 187 supporters as of Tuesday night.