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Members of New York City’s Community Education Council District 2 (CEC D2) behaved like the children they are meant to represent in last week’s meeting, when discussions of a joke from a past meeting devolved into screaming, personal attacks, and slanders.

During the council’s June meeting, the group was tackling school integration. Council member Thomas Wrocklage had brought his toddler daughter and a friend’s nephew. The nephew spent much of the meeting climbing on and off Wrocklage’s lap.

This innocent image of a man holding a child was the target of scorn by his fellow council members. Rachel Broshi told Wrocklage, “It hurts people when they see a white man bouncing a brown baby on their lap and they don’t know the context. That is harmful.”

Broshi, and several other council members, argued that the image of a white man holding a black child was inherently racist. When Wrocklage asked Broshi to explain why holding a friend’s nephew was racist merely due to their differing races, Broshi refused, yelling at Wrocklage, “Read a book. Read Ibram Kendi. Read ‘White Fragility.’ Read ‘How to Talk to White People.’”

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