Via Kathy Shaidle, I see that a Toronto school board is making the familiar claim that only whites can be racists. This is because of whites being the all-powerful majority in North America, and because racism, as conceived by multicultural educators, is caused by nineteenth and twentieth century theorists like Madison Grant and Lothrop Stoddard.
This is, believe it or not, caused by their own ignorance of other cultures—a total failure of multiculturalism.
Stoddard's ideas about the "rising tide of color" didn't lead to the preemptive bombing of Tokyo Harbor—it was Japanese ideas along the same lines that led to the bombing of Pearl Harbor.
The Toronto School Board [Contact information available here] writes
"While people in different contexts can experience prejudice or discrimination, racism, in a North American context, is based on an ideology of the superiority of the white race over other racial groups. Racism is evident in individual acts, such as racial slurs, jokes, etc., and institutionally, in terms of policies and practices at institutional levels of society. The result of institutional racism is that it maintains white privilege and power (such as racial profiling, hiring practices, history, and literature that centre on Western, European civilizations to the exclusion of other civilizations and communities). "Teaching about Human Rights 9/11 and Beyond A Package for Educators Grades 7-12 [PDF]
When I heard that only white people can be racist, I wondered why it was that when Barack Obama was a child living in Indonesia, the Indonesian children would throw rocks at him and hurl racial epithets.
"Over lunch, Barry, who was 9 at the time, sat at the dining table and listened intently but did not speak. When he asked to be excused, Ann directed him to ask the hostess for permission. Permission granted, he got down on the floor and played with Bryant's son, who was 13 months old. After lunch, the group took a walk, with Barry running ahead. A flock of Indonesian children began lobbing rocks in his direction. They ducked behind a wall and shouted racial epithets. He seemed unfazed, dancing around as though playing dodge ball "with unseen players," Bryant said. Ann did not react. Assuming she must not have understood the words, Bryant offered to intervene. "No, he's O.K.," Ann said. "He's used to it."
"We were floored that she'd bring a half-black child to Indonesia, knowing the disrespect they have for blacks," Bryant said. At the same time, she admired Ann for teaching her boy to be fearless. A child in Indonesia needed to be raised that way - for self-preservation, Bryant decided. Ann also seemed to be teaching Barry respect. He had all the politeness that Indonesian children displayed toward their parents. He seemed to be learning Indonesian ways."[Obama's Young Mother Abroad, By Janny Scott, April 20, 2011]
You would think that the experience would make him xenophobic, and cause him to prefer American ways, but unfortunately not.