this month, the Huffington Post
ran an exclusive, detailed expose on Dayanna Volitich, the 25 year old
middle school social studies teacher and White Supremacist advocate
who up until recently (she has been removed from her position pending
a full investigation) taught at Crystal River Middle School caused
more than a few tongues to start wagging. To those of us who read the
story, we became aware of the fact that the previously largely
unknown Volitich harbored vehemently racist, sexist, anti-Semitic and
xenophobic viewpoints on social media and her White Nationalist
podcast “Unapologetic” under the pseudonym “Tiana
many bigots, her targets were the usual targets of White racist
racial hatred – Blacks and Jews. Other non-Whites and non
Christians did not escape her paranoid, deluded wrath. In fact,
Volitich saw Muslims so deplorable and such a supposed menace to
society that she advocated for their total eradication of their
existence from society. Hmmm? For those of us who are students an
scholars of history, such perverse rhetoric sounds eerily similar to
that of more than a few mentally unstable and sadistic dictators who
were responsible for centuries of incomprehensible atrocities.
add insult to injury, when her activities were exposed, rather than
come clean about the fact that she had been busted, she reverted to
the outlandishly, intellectually dishonest claim that her were merely
nothing more than a form of “political
and did not represent her professional career. Oh, by the way, did
I mention that she has lavished immense praise on former KKK Grand
Wizard David Duke?! Sounds like a bonified White Supremacist to me!
We have head this line before. When racists anti-Semites, homophobes
xenophobes and other assorted social misfits get caught poring
gasoline on racially inflammatory fire, more often than not, their
first response is to deny their culpability. Once they realize that
such a disingenuous response is insufficient, they resort to the
standard line “if anyone was offended, I deeply apologize. Such
actions are no a reflection of who I am” or some other pitiful,
pathetic non apology, apology. Anyone with any semblance of moral
decency knows better than to believe such insincere dishonesty.
is even more disturbing is the fact that Volitich is just the latest
of growing number of educators teaching young children who has ties
to right wing ideology and groups. Since 2016, more than a dozen
educators have been exposed for their White nationalist viewpoints.
From elementary school teachers to high school principals, to private
school teachers to guidance counselors, these racist men and women
have attempted to infiltrate their ideology into action. Such a fact
in and of itself is alarming, though admittedly not surprising.
fact that Volitich is only 25 years old, an adult to be sure, but a
very young millennial (those born between 1980-1998) largely dispels
the myth that younger people are more racially and socially
progressive and inclusive than previous generations. Indeed, when
millions of Americans watched in varied sates of emotion as hundreds
of White men dressed in khaki pants, polo shirts, clean cut
hairstyles and other forms of conservative attire marched across the
University of Virginia campus shouting “blood and soil”
“you will not replace us.” Jews will not replace us.”
The vast majority of these men were in their 20 and early 30s. In
fact, recent studies have indicated that while millennials harbor
more progressive stances on issues like drug use and gay marriage,
they are likely to hold views on race that are just as conservative as
their older Generation X'ers and Baby Boomer counterparts.
incidents roiled college campuses over the past few years ranging
from ivy league institutions, to prestigious small liberal arts
colleges. To land grant institutions and regional state universities.
To community colleges and junior colleges. Some campuses became so
volatile that several administrators, including a few presidents,
either decided or were forced to step down from their positions.
Given the fact that many young people are influenced by their
parents, neighbors, relatives, many who likely harbor disdain for
others who are different from themselves, such retrograde attitudes
from these young adults should not come as a surprise.
is important is for the mainstream media to come to develop an
understanding of what racial and religious prejudice actually is and
come to the realization that they have to aggressively call out
racism, anti-Semitism, xenophobia and other forms of attitudes and
dispositions for what they are - pure and unadulterated hatred!
many journalists (especially those who hail from more upscale
backgrounds) and others who see themselves as socially progressive
are too often unable or unwilling to acknowledge the fact that people
who physically look like them or share similar social, educational
and economic identities do not differ in their value systems. Thus,
they are more inclined to see racial prejudice as a product of poor
White people or older White people, primarily over 65.
Volitich, many of the young guys who marched in Charlottesville last
summer, the majority of spokespersons for the alt-right and others of
their persuasion are, in many cases, the product of economic
security, solid educations, in some cases prep schools. They live in
Manhattan, Southampton, Scarsdale, Beverly Hills, Scottsdale and
similar locations. They are not poor, but rather comfortably middle,
upper middle class and in some cases, affluent White people.
Moreover. the widely held mainstream media assumption that only poor
and lower income White people can harbor racist attitudes is one that
has to rapidly be dispelled.
directing hatred to others who are different from them is noting new.
It is a phenomenon as old as the earth itself. Nonetheless, those of
us who are committed to the cause of racial, religious social and
other forms of justice must work tirelessly to defeat such hatred as
well as ensure that all human beings are afforded the dignity and
respect they deserve.