Race a ‘social construct’? Superintendent says it is



In a letter to parents of the Anchorage School District last week, Superintedent Dr. Deena Bishop adopted language normally reserved for the gender-fluidity warriors of the world: “Social construct.” It means that race is a society idea and is not really real.

In her letter that focused on race and education, Bishop wrote:

“Race is a social construct we are taught from birth. It matters to all of us. Race influences how we live, who our friends are, the quality of our health, the schools we attend, the careers we have, and all too often, how much money we make. The white experience I was given at my birth is not a universal experience. Therefore, I must see race as I lead in ASD,” she continued.

The concept of a “social construct” has been applied to the science of gender by liberals, who contend that gender is not a matter of chromosomes, but is a made-up human idea.

Race, the social justice movement now argues, falls into the same flawed thinking. Race is not a matter of heritage or what you get back from your Ancestry.com swab test. There are no races in the human species, just variations.

[Read this essay on race as a social construct to understand more about the topic.]

“How one perceives her racial identity can shift with experience and time, and not simply for those who are multiracial. These shifts in racial identity can end in categories that our society, which insists on the rigidity of race, has not even yet defined,” wrote Angela Onwuachi-Willig, a professor of law at the University of Iowa College of Law, and is the author of “According to Our Hearts: Rhinelander v. Rhinelander and the Law of the Multiracial Family.”

It becomes more complicated in an era when the social justice war cry is “black lives matter,” at the same time it’s considered racist to say “all lives matter.”

Most parents in the Anchorage School District are probably not familiar with the “race as a social construct” ideology, but many do realize that Anchorage schools are among the most diverse in the nation, and that students are tracked by “race.” The community often brags about having the most diverse student body in the country, information that could only be reported if it was gathered.

But for education leaders in the current politically and racially charged environment, every statement is a trap.

Bishop’s letter then waded into an area that eventually was going to get her in trouble with the social justice warrior class. She wrote that black and brown students do not achieve what white students achieve.

“We must do better for all kids. The School Board, in setting its new goals, has also taken a deliberate stance to address the inequities within our schools, ranging from learning to discipline,” wrote Bishop.

It was a statement of fact and many would agree the schools throughout Alaska are not adequately educating students.

But by Tuesday night, Bishop, who is highly respected in education across the state, was walking back her letter after African-American members of the public complained, both in writing to her and during public testimony at the meeting.

“The language places the blame on students of color,” said Celeste Growden, during the public comment period, when she also criticized the superintendent for her support of school resource officers.

Growden said the school resource officer program need to be defunded because police in the schools are not providing a good climate for students of color.

“To suggest SROs should continue in our schools after a conversation with the police chief, [and] not families of color within our community or our students, is a top-down approach that continues the disenfranchisement of our students,” Growden said. “We must demand more and expect more from our school district.”

Two other commenters criticized Bishop harshly for racial insensitivity.

Bishop was contrite in her explanation for her letter, saying that it is important that the district understand where it stands, that it must “look in the mirror.” She said she didn’t mean to blame the students of color but simply look at where the differences in achievement are with fresh eyes.

“Perhaps my letter didn’t communicate my intent as well as I would have liked,” she said.

But evidently there are races, after all. Bishop, in her report, said that the racial group least reflected in educators who are in the front of the classroom is not black, but Pacific Islander, and the district is actively trying to grow its own educator workforce by paying for the college education of minorities who want to go into teaching, with a special focus on this group.

Overall, she acknowledged the difficulty of having a discussion about race when emotions are running high in the minority communities.

“There aren’t any excuses if I didn’t communicate well, and it didn’t sit well with folks, but it just demonstrates that probably because of the emotions that it’s something that we should be addressing in ASD, and I’m willing to do so,” Bishop responded.

A school-community discussion about the school resource officer program is scheduled for 4 pm July 21. The board, the administration, school resource officers, and members of the community will be welcomed.


  1. The superintendent and Board need to reflect on the consequences of removing resource officers. Will the school environment be more or less safe? If the end result is less safety and more political correctness no one should be surprised to see an exodus from the ASD. To the chagrin of some, there are alternatives.

    • Yes! That is exactly what the school system has become at KPBSD and in every public classroom in every state of our Nation!

      Why is there a law that will put parents in jail for not sending their kids to school where to be forcefully and constantly brainwashed and indoctrinated to accept unholy and morally degrading attitudes and behaviors and not much of anything of value to our kids when they graduate?!

      Doesn’t that violate my and my child’s constitutional rights? Forcing me to give my child to the government to systematically be turned against me, the parent, and this land that my family has fought and some died to protect and serve? And all against our will and against my child’s best interests, and to the demise of our country? I’m supposed to be okay with that?

      Why would the government lock anyone up for protecting their child from being brainwashed and indoctrinated to hate godliness and to see color in their fellow human beings?

      I’m old enough to know the real truth and it is not being taught in schools these days.

    • Agree. The public school system has been the primary vehicle for social indoctrination and we are seeing the fruits. Since the 1800’s ‘decisions makers’ for our nation saw the potential to mold and shape a culture using a public educational system. The idea was inspired by the Prussian education model. Parents are in part to blame also for passing off to the government too much of the child rearing responsibilities that should have been theirs. It seems since the 60’s there has been almost an intentional ramped up structured push for Godless socialism. What do we expect? Now generations later here we are.

  2. Sometimes the truth hurts. Sometimes it really hurts. Truth is not racism. Truth is truth. No matter what argument or presentation of perceived facts in opposition, the truth remains the truth. One can’t deny the truth based on supposition, untrue facts or “social justice”. “Social Construct” defining racism is a bunch of baloney/bologna. Racism is more a construct of one’s own imagination and desire to be “more equal” than others, not color against color. To pollute American idealism with perceived “racism” accusations for any and all shortcomings is to deny America and the individual rights bestowed on each of us in favor of some leftist utopia, where inferred or accused ‘racism’ is at fault for all ills. Get over it, racism accusers. Lift yourself up by your own endeavors and accomplishments. Quit accusing others of racism to cover your own shortcomings in any particular walk of life. In short, try being an American, not a displaced foreign entity that happens to be “trapped” in America. If one doesn’t like America, the road leads both ways. I challenge each and every one of the unhappy ‘victims of racism’ to bring yourselves to your perceived ‘equality’ by your own skill, ambition and desire to be the best. That is how America works. Not on skin color.
    Remember in November, perceived racism is a tool used by leftists to usurp American values and freedoms.

    • This is a scripted ideology, Soros and the NEA have sent it out nationwide. Many will flee the public indoctrination centers. Here in the Seattle Sewer, every single PTA is sending this same flawed dogma out to the Supers, Boards of Education and Parents. Hello Charter and Christian Schools, Goodbye Lazy NEA who provided very little enthusiasm for “pandemic on- line classes”, however they all kept getting paid and each gained the COVID 19 Pounds!

      • That’s the truth, right there! Not one of my son’s teachers concerned themselves for us during the homeschool event. And the “weeks’ worth” of lessons he had left to finish for the year were so few it was done in days!

        In fact, I’d like to know exactly what teachers were doing all day long instead of teaching my 8th grader how to write legible for the 9 years worth of education he has received on this Peninsula.

        His sister is going on 31. She was taught to write in cursive in kindergarten. That’s right, at 5 years old in the lower 48 my daughter was writing in cursive in school in 1994. That was 26 years ago and her brother, my son who is 13 and who went to school here, has the penmanship of a second grader in an inner city school slum.

        Needless to say, there’s a disparaging difference in the education system of yesteryear and today, and we still pay many of our teachers in Alaska more than $95,000 per school year. Principals get as much ad $126,000, depending on the school.

        Let that amount sink in…they’re getting paid millions of dollars in annual salaries to brainwash and indoctrinate our youth with lies, half truths and twisted tales. Check out tax-funded salaries yourselves at Open The Books.


        [Live link removed by moderator. Links not allowed in comments.]

  3. Present day witch trials…If you admit you are unworthy, then you are unworthy. If you don’t admit you are unworthy, you are burned.

  4. Why don’t you just admit you are a victim of white privilege and beg for forgiveness on your knees. Maybe you should resign and give your job to a minority to show your solidarity and sincerity.

    • Jerry,
      I sure hope your comments are satirical. If not, I think you have a serious mental problem.. They call it leftism.

    • Haha. Dr. Bishop should do exactly that! If she is going to go “full lib” then take it all the way. But wait! She won’t do that…this is just more pandering.

  5. “The white experience I was given at my birth is not a universal experience.”

    What a load of garbage. How on earth are the people of color, who have achieved greatness through their hard work not coming out of the woodwork to rebuke this pile of stinking human waste?!?!

    If I were a person of color who’ve made it or in the process of doing so because we reside in the best country on earth I’d be pissed off!!

  6. Hilarious… education and race rackets battling to the death over who knows what.
    Both win, both get money and fame, so who cares what they say?
    Only losers are productive Anchorage residents who deserve better
    and generations of students who won’t know better.

  7. The science texts of my generation stated that there are three racial categories of homo sapiens. Negroid. Caucasoid. Mongoloid. I’m pretty sure nothing has changed in 50 years. What has changed is this PC BS that has everyone so mixed-up and confused that science has been replaced by social jibberish.

    • If the photograph included with this column is any indication, the superintendent would slither around in a clown suit and red nose doing cartwheels and screaming “oink-oink” if that is what she thought the fashionable wanted. We now have living proof that surgeons have perfected the technique of removal of the entire human backbone. This brings the concept of excellence in education to a new low.

  8. “Race is a social construct we are taught from birth.”
    So many Leftists simply never grow up and mature, but are caught in a web of arrested development, and live out their lives in an imaginary world, just like toddlers who have imaginary friends.

  9. Dilbert cartoonist Scott Adams had an interesting take on racism a couple weeks ago. In his view it comes out of the ability of human brains to use pattern recognition. It happens because pattern recognition is one of the first things we do in any situation, and if it works once, we tend to do the very same thing again in the next similar situation. Problem is that we humans aren’t all that good at pattern recognition.

    Therefore, the discussion ought not to be about racism, but rather what to do about it. An analogy is being opposed to rain (and for the record, Adams hates analogies, but finds them useful from time to time). You can be opposed to rain all you want, but it will never stop rain. So, what do we do? We do things to mitigate rain: put roofs on houses, buy umbrellas, close windows, wear rain gear, etc.

    We can and should do similar things with racism. If Adams is right and it is entirely tied to human pattern recognition, it will never, ever go away. But like keeping dry in the rain, there is an awful lot we can do about its effects if we want to do so. Problem is today people would rather curse the rain than keep dry. Reason? If the we figure out how to mitigate it (and for my dime, we mostly have), the issue goes away. And the issue is so very important to the left every 2 years. Cheers –

  10. I think Dr Deena is substituting Culture with Race. From birth I was brought up in my mother’s culture.

  11. I read the article and listened to the podcasts and many commenters have truthful pointed out the failings of the educational system that is being used not to enrich the knowledge and abilities of our students but to teach them everything they should think in the socialist paradise. We have lost our education both in the public and University education system to the corrupt ,immoral, revolutionaries over the last 60 years. We are now experiencing what we all allowed to happen including in our justice system.

    The one small item amongst many I alerted on was the statement and I paraphrase “ we know we need the less privileged teaching in our system and that is why we (Anchorage taxpayers) pay for the college education of the oppressed so they can teach in ASD.”

    Did anyone know that the taxpayers are paying directly for the education of minority students to become teachers in ASD? How much of the ASD budget is dedicated to this program and is it widely advertised in the community? I try to follow government programs and actions more then the average resident but that program missed me entirely.

  12. Blast her with e-mails. I did and she actually replied. When I rebutted her points she stopped responding. If you want change, we all need to e-mail and call her.

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