NYC mayor’s son Dante de Blasio reflects on racism at elite private school

Dante de Blasio, the Black son of NYC son of Mayor de Blasio wrote an op/ed piece about the toxic and racist environment of the elite Brooklyn Technical High School he graduated from.

While being the Mayor’s son afforded him many benefits, it didn’t shield him from discrimination, he told the New York Daily News.

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And much of that bias included the school’s admission test which De Blasio argued saying it fostered a racist culture since so few students of color—only 15% this year—made up the school’s population.

“It seems obvious that a major contributor to the toxic nature of race relations at the school is the simple fact that so few people of color are offered admission,” said De Blasio who graduated in 2015.

“A year after I graduated from Brooklyn Technical High School in 2015, the hashtag #BlackinBrooklynTech started appearing on my social media. Black students and recent alumni were using it to share stories of overt acts of racism at the school,” he continued.

De Blasio those included a teacher laughing at a Black student when she shared her dream of becoming a doctor. He said white and Asian students used racial slurs to bully Black students, and he recalled when faculty members ignored a Black student’s complaints after he was called the N-word and “monkey” by his peers.

“Older Black alumni soon got involved, and they shared many of their own stories at a public meeting with the principal. The current and former students who drove the campaign were sick of having to defend their right to earn an elite education in the face of adversity from the students and faculty meant to support their success,” the now rising senior at Yale University said.

“I understood exactly where my fellow Black alumni were coming from. I’d had many of my own experiences. Some of them might seem innocuous. For example, I remember being the only Black kid in many of my classes (something that seemed normal to many of my classmates). However, many experiences displayed the racism which was all too common in the school.

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“Once, I was sitting near a loud group of white students during lunch when a Black cafeteria worker walked over and asked the group to be quieter. As the cafeteria worker started to walk away, one of the white students asked her friends why the cafeteria worker didn’t “back off and go back to Africa.”

De Blasio said the elite school should offer a more diverse representation of students in the city and thanks to his dad, it will.

According to the New York Times, Mayor Bill de Blasio of New York has introduced a plan to restructure how students are chosen for admission to eight of the city’s elite specialized high schools.