The SPLC and “Mix it up Day”

It’s that time of year again when the Southern Poverty Law Center promotes its annual “Mix It Up At Lunch Day” extravaganza.

This event, promoted under the aegis of the SPLC’s laughably named “Teaching Tolerance” arm, is designed to promote diversity by pressuring school kids to sit at different tables in the cafeteria at lunch and to “mix it up” with kids they don’t usually hang out with.

The irony, (read: “hypocrisy”), of this program coming from the SPLC is stunning. As longtime readers of this blog are well aware, NOT ONE of the SPLC’s top executives is a minority.

In fact, despite being located LITERALLY in the back yard of Dr. Martin Luther King’s home church in Montgomery, the SPLC has NEVER hired a person of color to a highly paid position of authority in its entire 41-year history.

Even the  “Teaching Tolerance” program has been led by “whites only” for 20 of its 21 years.

Who exactly do the white millionaires who run the SPLC “mix it up” with at lunch? The landscaping crew? The cleaning staff?

Fortunately, not everyone is taken in by this crude fundraising ploy. Recently, an education blog, the Missouri Education Watchdog, (no relation to Watching the Watchdogs), posted a superb piece that examines the spurious claims behind “Mix it up Day,” even without getting into the decidedly “un-diverse” leadership of the SPLC.

Interestingly, SPLC’s page on Mix It Up At Lunch Day confirms their own bias. On it they state “Cafeterias are the focus of Mix It Up because that’s where a school’s social boundaries are most obvious. Breaking down these barriers can be an important step for students who don’t have many opportunities in school to interact with someone unlike them.”

Have these people ever stepped into a classroom? American education’s literal love affair with the collaborative process puts these kids in situations where they are forced to work with someone they are not like All The Time. The lunch room is one of the last bastions where they can hang out with their friends.

As with all SPLC promotions, the point of the exercise has little to do with social engineering and everything to do with fundraising.

This Kumbaya Initiative costs the white millionaires at the top very little, garners untold dollars in free publicity and allows the SPLC to make the claim to the donors that they are somehow “fighting hate.”

The last “Whites Only” sign in Montgomery hangs in the Executive Boardroom of the Southern Poverty Law Center. Maybe it’s time for them to end the hypocrisy and to actually practice what they preach.

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