I have written more than once here about Glenn Singleton, a self-described diversity expert who typically gets six figures from school districts and colleges for “training” educators in his “Courageous Conversations on Race.” The reality of what goes on in these thought reform sessions appears to have little, if anything, to do with either courage or genuine conversation.
The standard operating procedure is to have hapless educators and staff line up with individual signs, each showing numerical scores of their alleged unconscious racism.
I shudder to think that they might also have to listen to Singleton’s theories on American literature. Haven’t they suffered enough? He has the following to sa}’, for example, about Mark Twain: III remember sitting back in middle school and saying to myself, ‘I don’t think Twain is a satirist, I think he’s a racist. I don’t think Huck and Jim are having this great relationship. I can’t really understand why Jim keeps talking to Huck. I would think if I just got out of this period of slavery – with no freedom – I wouldn’t want to spend all my time on a raft with a white boy answering questions.'”
I know that, given a choice, I’d rather have Huck than Singleton as my raft mate. Wouldn’t nearly everyone? Luckily for Jim, he was able to choose his own company. Unfortunately, this is not always the case for participants in Singleton’s “Courageous Conversations.”