It was purely by coincidence that his tweet ran across our Twitter feed Wednesday night, and we set it aside because it was a few weeks old but still sort of fascinating — what the heck was this guy talking about? White children are everywhere, but their whiteness is too often unspoken?

And then we thought, hey, that name rings a bell. Isn’t that the same NBC News contributor who just wrote the piece about how going out wearing a red MAGA cap was like going out wearing a swastika? The same guy who wanted people to be aware that “wearing a MAGA hat is aligning yourself with literal Nazis” and “a deliberate provocation”?

And just weeks ago he was fretting about well-meaning, white, affluent parents like himself perhaps propping up a racist and unjust system.

Berlatsky writes:

This past October, my son and his classmates lobbied their small private school to change the official holiday of Columbus Day to Native People’s Day. My son wrote a short letter to the faculty explaining why they shouldn’t celebrate white imperialism, and that native peoples were too often ignored or erased or pushed to the side in discussions of American history. Some parents didn’t like the change, but the teachers and administration were supportive, and they changed the name.

As you’d imagine, my wife and I were very proud. We’d hoped to teach our son anti-racism, and here he was doing anti-racist activism in his own small way. We were glad we’d sent him to a school that encouraged kids to speak up, and was open to change.

At the same time, though, the school is a private school. Sending kids to private school is an option you only have if you have a certain amount of money. In paying for him to go to that school, we were at least partially abetting a system that benefits more affluent people. And affluent people in the U.S. are often (though not always) white. We sent our son to a school that taught and encouraged anti-racism. But teaching people to be anti-racist doesn’t necessarily address the structure of racism itself.

That is a pickle, and we applaud him for being brave enough to share his burden. Sure, you can send your child to a private, anti-racist school, but because it’s a private school it’s going to be mostly white kids. What to do? Quick, send up the virtue signal!

Editor’s Note: Noah Berlatsky is the author most recently of “Chattering Class War: Punching Pundits from Brooks to Breitbart and Chait to Chapo.”

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