A biotech entrepreneur assailed a growing “wokeness” that he said is “infecting schools,” after a dad decided not to re-enroll his daughter in an elite Manhattan prep school due to its focus on race.
Vivek Ramaswamy, 35, founder and executive chairman of Roivant Sciences and author of “Woke Inc.,” launched into a tirade on Fox News Sunday following Andrew Gutmann’s scathing letter in which he blasted the posh, all-girls Brearley School.
Gutmann, who accused Brearley of trying to “brainwash” kids with woke philosophies rather than teaching them how to think on their own, attacked the school’s “cowardly and appalling lack of leadership [for] appeasing an anti-intellectual, illiberal mob.”
In his missive to 650 families, the incensed dad compared the growing “woke” culture to the communist Chinese Cultural Revolution.
“Diversity is a good thing when it’s about the diversity of thought,” Ramaswamy said on the show.
“But today what’s happening, especially in our schools, is we have taken this notion in the name of diversity — we have sacrificed true diversity itself,” he continued.
“We have also sacrificed the idea of excellence and when we have gotten rid of excellence, I think our schools are going down the tubes,” Ramaswamy said.
“Woke culture used to be about challenging the system, and that was OK maybe 20 years ago,” the author said. “But today it has become the new system. It is infecting our schools, it is infecting our culture.”
He added: “And in my opinion what we are seeing from a lot of these schools is actually down right illegal!” – and called on more parents to “stand their ground” on growing “woke culture” in schools.
Gutmann’s April 13 letter — published on journalist Bari Weiss’ blog — became public the same day the headmaster of the famed Dalton School resigned over controversial “anti-racism” curriculum and policies that had outraged many parents.
Chelsea Clinton, Tina Fey, Drew Barrymore and Steve Martin are among those with daughters enrolled at Brearley, where tuition is $54,000 per year.
Famous alumnae of the 761-student, K-12 school include Caroline Kennedy, Jill Clayburgh, Téa Leoni and Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney.
Gutmann’s treatise listed 10 “objections” and generally decried the Upper East Side institution’s obsession with race.
He’s now waiting to see if the school will allow his 12-year-old daughter to finish out the sixth grade.
“She hasn’t been brainwashed yet by the school — but she’s had me at home,” Gutmann, a wealthy former investment banker who now heads his family’s chemical business, said Saturday. “I’m not so sure that’s true of the other kids.”
Last year, he refused to sign the school’s anti-racism pledge.
“I thought they were going to kick my daughter out then,” Gutmann said. “They didn’t but next year they have the pledge built into the yearly school contract.”
Jane Fried, Brearley’s head of school, said in a message to the families that Gutmann’s letter was “deeply offensive and harmful.”