A state-funded Irish school programme has circulated a document which encouraged teachers to oppose the entire concept of criminal justice and policing, and asked them to study militant “black power” organisations like the Black Panther Party.
Dozens of Irish schools were also encouraged to teach children about “white privilege” – the idea that all white people have an unfair head-start in life because of their race, regardless of class, upbringing or income level.
THE YELLOW FLAG PROGRAMME
The material in question was circulated by the Yellow Flag Programme (YFP), which receives funding from both the Irish Department of Justice and the European Union.
I was delighted to support this wonderful iniative that promotes inclusively, diversity and togetherness in education. Well done to everyone who took part in this year’s Yellow Flag Programme. https://t.co/frAdpC6Qj5
— Norma Foley T.D (@NormaFoleyTD1) March 4, 2022
The YFP works with schools around Ireland, and claims to instruct them on how to “challenge racism and discrimination” by having teachers engage with “diversity and inclusion” training, providing classroom materials, and more.
Applications are open for September 2022! 📢
Think you're ready to become a Yellow Flag school?
We'd love to hear from you!
— Yellow Flag Programme (@YFProgramme) April 7, 2022
According to its website, the Yellow Flag Programme is currently working with 64 primary schools and 22 secondary schools across the counties of Dublin, Cork, Galway, Limerick, Cavan, Clare, Kerry, Kildare, Louth, Meath, Wicklow, Monaghan, Waterford and elsewhere. A full list of locations can be found here.
YFP DENIES THEY CIRCULATED RADICAL MATERIAL
In October 2021 and July 2022, a Gript investigative journalist posing as a teacher asked the Yellow Flag for “reading lists or resources for educators.”
In reply, programme spokesperson Molly Brady-Martin sent us a document entitled “Ongoing resource for understanding/unlearning White Supremacy & Disinvesting from anti-blackness,” which contained further links to radical documents such as an “Anti-Oppression resource list.”
She described it as “our extensive reading list on white supremacy and the practice of solidarity in anti-racism work,” and sent it on two separate occasions, as pictured above.
However, when Gript then asked the programme if they thought this was appropriate material to distribute, the same spokesperson denied that she had ever circulated the material.
“There appears to have been a misunderstanding,” said Brady-Martin.
“We have never distributed the reading list that you linked entitled “Anti-Oppression Resources” to any teacher, student, member of the public, or otherwise. That is not our content, we have never reviewed it, and we have certainly never distributed that list in correspondence with a member of the public.”
When Gript proved that the group had, in fact, distributed the material as part of a reading list, Brady-Martin ultimately admitted that they circulated it “on 7 occasions only.”
“OPPOSE POLICE, PRISONS AND CRIMINAL JUSTICE”
A teacher’s reading list distributed by the Yellow Flag Programme and acquired by Gript claims that in order to oppose racism, teachers must oppose “the police, prisons, the idea of “crime”…and the criminal justice system entirely.”
A list of reading materials for teachers to read is provided in the documents, including “The End of Policing” by Alex Vitale, which argues that the entire concept of law enforcement should be completely abolished.
“ALL COPS ARE BASTARDS”
Other reading materials the documents encourage teachers to read include:
- “Yes, We Mean Literally Abolish The Police”
- “Good cops do not exist”
- “Yes, All Cops ARE Bastards; How and Why Modern Policing Discourages Moral Responsibility”
- “Maybe There Are No Good Cops?”
- “Confessions of a Former Bastard Cop”
…and many more.
Teachers are also encouraged to watch a documentary entitled “The Black Power Mixtape” all about the Black Power movement in America.
In addition, they were urged to read the book “Revolutionary Suicide,” which is the autobiography of Black Panther founder and militant “black power” advocate Huey Newton.
Newton, who was an avowed Marxist revolutionary, was a convicted criminal found guilty of illegal firearms possession, assault with a deadly weapon after he stabbed a man with a steak knife at a party, and voluntary manslaughter after shooting and killing a police officer. He was also tried for allegedly murdering two women.
He was not found guilty of the murder charges, but only after three Black Panthers attempted to assassinate a woman who was a key witness for the prosecution. After they attempted to shoot her at her home, she declined to testify, and Newton was acquitted.
His book now features on a reading list for Irish teachers distributed by a state-funded school programme.
The document also encouraged teachers to listen to speeches and read books by black power revolutionary Malcolm X.
Notably, X was a radical self-described “black nationalist” who criticised Martin Luther King Jr.’s policy of pacifism, saying that non-violence is the “philosophy of the fool.”
Other links encourage “waking up to whiteness,” with one being a list of “24 Books for Anti-Racist Teachers–White Fragiles Beware!”
DONATE TO BLM AND BAIL FUNDS FOR RIOTERS
The reading list urges teachers to “redistribute” and “put your money where your mouth is” by donating to black causes, adding that “this includes BLM funds.”
The list also features a link to a GoFundMe where one can donate to Black Lives Matter UK.
“This is vital,” it says. “No point reading without redistributing (if you are able).”
It also includes a link to “contribute to US bail bonds” for people who were arrested for allegedly participating in the 2020 George Floyd riots in America.
They even have a segment on “tearing down statues,” which was common during the riots.
Overnight, antifa toppled the statues of Roosevelt & Lincoln in Portland. Police didn’t stop them. Back in June, they toppled the statue of George Washington. No one was ever arrested for that. #PortlandRiots https://t.co/1RaA38rutY
— Andy Ngô 🏳️🌈 (@MrAndyNgo) October 12, 2020
The documents contain a plethora of radical materials, including ideas of racial “privilege.”
“White privilege is a set of benefits granted to those of us who, by ethnicity, resemble the people who dominate the powerful positions in our institutions,” the YFP handbook reads, claiming that white people have inherent advantages because of their skin colour.
The programme encourages teachers to “Think about how you can link classroom work to stories of racism and privilege in the real world.”
“In your action plan include work that celebrates diversity, helps people learn about discrimination / privilege and challenges racism,” it adds.
DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION RESPONDS
A Department of Education spokesperson informed Gript that “the Yellow Flag Programme is not a programme of or funded by the Department of Education,” adding: “The Department is not aware of the material referenced in the google document.”
The Department of Justice, who funds the Yellow Flag Programme, did not respond to Gript’s request for comment.
Additionally, YFP spokesperson Molly Brady-Martin disavowed the material that she had distributed.
“The Yellow Flag Programme does not endorse the articles listed in your previous mail,” she said.
“Official Yellow Flag Programme materials and resources for students and teachers are appropriate to age, and the school learning environment, and are available on our website.”
IRELAND “VERY WHITE,” “AND THAT NEEDS TO CHANGE”
“White privilege” has been discussed by many mainstream Irish politicians in the past, with Fine Gael equality spokesperson Jennifer Carroll MacNeill TD saying that “whiteness is in itself an advantage” and that Ireland has to come to grips with its “white privilege.”
In addition, Social Democrats TD Catherine Murphy said that even when Ireland was oppressed historically, the country had white privilege.
Tánaiste Leo Varadkar previously expressed disappointment that the civil service is still “very white,” saying “that needs to change.”
Taoiseach @LeoVaradkar says he strongly agress with @EamonRyan that there should be targets for recruiting people from ethnic minorities for public service roles. He says young people need to see "black and brown school principals, judges, cinn comhairle perhaps in the future". pic.twitter.com/VwdMxAOjqu
— RTÉ News (@rtenews) June 11, 2020