A “racial advocacy group” in Dallas issued a press release in which they told whites to pledge that their children would “not apply to or attend any Ivy League School or US News & World Report Top 50 School,” urged the white parents to “encourage friends, neighbors, and family members to do the same” and then threatened, “Please note Dallas Justice Now will be publicly announcing the names of those who have and have not signed the pledge.”
Dallas Justice Now (DJN) wrote to their “White Allies”:
Talk is not enough. Commit yourself towards taking action and making sacrifices to correct centuries of injustice. Open up spaces for Black and LatinX communities by refusing to send your kids to Ivy League and US News & World Report Top 50 schools and encourage friends, neighbors, and family members to do the same. Imagine if those hundreds of thousands of spots at these institutions were occupied only by marginalized communities. Imagine the opportunities. We can achieve true equity within our lifetimes but only if white folks are willing to sacrifice their privileges.
The release continued with the “Dallas Justice Now Pledge”:
As a white person with privilege both from my whiteness and my neighborhood I recognize the need to make sacrifices for the purpose of correcting hundreds of years of murder, slavery, discrimination, and lack of educational and economic opportunities perpetrated upon people of color. I understand that access to top schools is a key component in economic and social advancement. Therefore, I commit that my children will not apply to or attend any Ivy League School or US News & World Report Top 50 School so that position at that school is available for people of color to help correct historical wrongs. If I do not have children under 18 then I will commit to encouraging my white privileged friends, neighbors, and family members with children to sign the pledge and holding them accountable until they do so.
“Have you been asked to take the pledge?” the release asked. “Don’t be a racist hypocrite. Sign the pledge today!” At the bottom of the release it stated, “Please note Dallas Justice Now will be publicly announcing the names of those who have and have not signed the pledge.”
Michele Washington, founder of Dallas Justice Now, told Dallas City Wire, “Our pledge was brought about by the need to give kids in our community educational opportunities that we have been denied for centuries. … Many wealthy white folks including those who live in the 95% white Park Cities think they are allies because they put up a Black Lives Matter sign or parade black people like animals at their charity galas that somehow they aren’t part of the problem. They are the problem. If whites want to be our allies, they MUST make sacrifices.”
Dallas City Wire added, “Pledge letters are currently being sent out in the 95% white Highland Park and University Park neighborhoods of Dallas, according to a DJN press release.”
Washington stated, “Since their creation, top educational institutions have been vehicles for the perpetuation of white supremacy. Most top universities only opened their doors to our community in the 1960s but even then have done everything possible to make us feel like second-class citizens. Ivy League and other Top 50 Schools provide the best vehicles for upward mobility, particularly for marginalized communities. Yet, a vast majority of the spots at these institutions are taken by wealthy white folks.”