The school board for the district of Palm Beach County in Florida recently met to announce their equity statement and mask mandate. In an angry speech, a Florida man raged on about how their policies were "inciting division" in their schools and among the American people.
The video now has over 500,000 views on Twitter where he has been deemed the "Mascot of White Fragility."
The Palm Beach School District defines equity as:
"Equity means each student—regardless of race, ethnicity, poverty, disability, language status, undocumented status, religious affiliation, gender identity, and sexual orientation—will have access to the opportunities, resources, and support they need to imagine, nurture, and achieve their dreams."
The district's statement goes on to affirm their commitment to dismantling oppression and barriers.
"Achieving racial equity requires proactive and continuous investment in historically marginalized groups who have endured centuries of systemic oppression."
"The School District of Palm Beach County is committed to dismantling structures rooted in white advantage and transforming our system by hearing and elevating under-represented voices, sharing power, recognizing and eliminating bias, and redistributing resources to provide equitable outcomes."
"The School District of Palm Beach County acknowledges the existence of—and will eliminate—systems, processes, and mindsets that perpetuate race, ethnicity, poverty, disability, language status, undocumented status, religious affiliation, gender identity, and sexual orientation as predictors of achievement."
Most who read this would think it's a step in the right direction, but not for this Florida man. The man made a fuss during the public comment section of the meeting.
He began his angry rant saying:
""The school board recently adopted an equity statement. Why? Your only job is education, not indoctrination."
That brought on cheers from some like-minded people in attendance.
The man continued, wagging his finger and pulling down his mask so his yelling could be better heard.
"Attention board members: Our nation is a republic, we are the people!"
"We have a voice! Our votes are our weapons and we will use them in 2022 and beyond!"
"We in the military, our blood, our sweat, is the equity."
"It is courage, character, not color, not gender, that makes this nation great. Working Americans are united, we are not divided. Stop trying to incite division among us."
Nowhere in the school's equity statement does it say they are suppressing anyone's voice.
In fact, it says the opposite by "creating environments where students, families, staff, and communities will develop agency and voice."
He ended his impassioned speech saying:
"We are Americans first and we will be free always!"
Sociologist and author of White Fragility Robin DiAngelo say's White fragility is the activation of strong emotions like anger, fear, or guilt in response to acknowledging racism. It keeps White American's from confronting racism and inequity.
That explains this man's rage over the equity statement.
In less than a minute, the man became known across Twitter.
The speech definitely feels a lot like something out of Braveheart as he mentions being free so passionately.
Though, quite a few people compared him to the character Dwight Schrute from the show The Office when Dwight's speech is replaced with Mussolini's Italian declaration of war on the United States.
This angry man and those who cheered him on are likely also the group protesting the continued mask mandate outside the school board's headquarters.