Benjamin Welton has recently been revealed to be the author behind a slew of white nationalist and racist propaganda that has been published on social media and on known alt-right websites, according to reports. The reason why this news is so alarming is because up until this week, Welton’s day job was teaching elementary school.
According to an article that appeared Wednesday on HuffPost, a 2017 essay titled “From Wide-Eyed Liberal to Race Realist,” which ran on the white supremacist website American Renaissance, was not actually penned by “Sinclair Jenkins,” as his byline claimed, but instead was written by the 33-year-old teacher, PhD student, and freelance writer. Welton had been living a double life teaching English, social studies, and computer science at the Massachusetts elementary school Star Academy by day, and pumping out racist and anti-Semitic bile by night. That is, up until this week, when he was terminated from his position after the school got wind of the story.
According to his own words, Welton was angry about the way “Blacks” were mean to the white sailors during his time in the Navy, the “ingrained culture of anti-white hatred” in academia he experienced in grad school, and understanding of “why so many people in my hometown took a dim view of Blacks.”
Additionally, the teacher who was charged with shaping the minds of children as young as 7 years old, five days a week, 36-weeks a year, also believed in using violence to establish a whites-only ethnostate.
“No mercy for our enemies. Do not weep, for they are not human,” the former teacher posted under a pseudonym on social media. “Treat those who want to abolish ‘whiteness’ with the same venom if not more. They deserve medieval punishments.” A
At the heart of some of his hateful rhetoric was anger over the rise in “critical race theory” education in American classrooms. Some of his since-deleted tweets mentioned this curriculum specifically, and called for the defunding of any education that in any way criticizes the role white people have played in history. Which, real talk, could significantly shorten the American school day.
Welton is hardly the only white nationalist school teacher, he’s not even the only one mentioned in the HuffPost article, which begs the question: Just how big of a problem is white nationalism in American schools? This answer is really freaking big.
When we talk about white nationalist teachers, we’re not talking about someone who doesn’t like cheese teaching a home-ec class how to make a pizza. We’re talking about people who don’t view a portion of the student body seated before them as worthy of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. How can you expect someone with such ideals to impart knowledge equally, to grade fairly, and to nourish and encourage the curiosity that is instrumental to development in those early years? Even more than that, how can you expect them not to abuse their power? According to a 2012 student review of him when he was teaching at the University of Vermont, you just can’t.
“One of the weirdest teachers I ever had,” the female student wrote. “I am convinced that the only positive comment found on this site was written by Ben Welton himself. Benjamin Welton is arrogant and his egocentrism makes him treat his students merely as objects (especially us girls) to enhance his pride.”
We hope that none of the kids under Welton’s care suffered because of his twisted views.