Letter: PEAK Academy’s leadership misplaces its wisdom button

Graphic by Lori Deaton

Those concerned by our community’s failure to douse the eternal flame of dramatic racial performance gaps in city schools should take note of the Asheville PEAK Academy.

The leadership and supporters of this public charter school are making a worthy attempt to find a better way.

Unfortunately, somewhere on that good path, someone got the “ends justify the means” idea that because their agenda is OK, ignoring the law of the land is also OK.

There are some — including 60 or so unfunded fans of the 1964 Civil Rights Act — who regret our need to differ.

Applying racism to defeat racism is not a gifted and talented form of leadership.

PEAK’s leadership has repeatedly and publicly stated that they are (1) actively pursuing racial quotas with students and faculty members and (2) following their state charter in doing so.

The first — as it applies to a school using public funds — is against the law. The second is untrue. In fact, PEAK’s state charter disavows racism.

WNC Citizens for Equality is a volunteer group attempting to do just what our name suggests. We think the idea of equity is a dangerous and unconstitutional special-interest diversion from what should be a “keep clawing until we get it right” search for the “we’re-all-in-this-together” mission of equality.

That’s why we undertook a federal lawsuit against the city last year (they surrendered); have filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education against PEAK’s stated dedication to quotas based on color; and are preparing to similarly knock on several more community doors in coming months.

In the meantime, you can count on area media outlets and liberal leaders to call us “racists” for challenging racism; mock us for being “unfair” in confronting their unfairness; and being “irresponsible” for daring to pick up the responsibilities that local and state oversight bodies are ignoring.

We can take it.

What we can’t take is being passive while people knowingly or otherwise undo the hard-won progress of the 1964 Civil Rights Act and pretend they are virtuous for doing so.

If you’re a PEAK fan — and we suggest you should be — check out this video link [avl.mx/d9o] for a one-minute reveal on why we are daring to suggest, as regards racism, PEAK’s leadership has misplaced their wisdom button.

As a final aside, settling our complaint and realigning PEAK’s good mission is an easy fix.

When our predictable media outlets and PEAK’s leadership stop stomping their feet and lazily applying the word “racist” to everybody with a different view than theirs, perhaps we can have a chat, make it happen and get on with the most worthy mission of taking color out of our American equation.

— Carl Mumpower

Editor’s note: Xpress reached out to PEAK Academy’s leaders with the writer’s points, but they declined to offer a response.


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23 thoughts on “Letter: PEAK Academy’s leadership misplaces its wisdom button

  1. Bob

    Asheville is its own worst enemy. My prediction PEAK and all ASC will close in the next few years and merge with Buncombe County Schools. And, we all know Buncombe County Schools doesn’t want these students.

  2. Voirdire

    well well.. let’s see, we’ve got: “In the meantime, you can count on area media outlets and liberal leaders to call us ‘racists’ ..We can take it.” And then there is this: “When our predictable media outlets and PEAK’s leadership stop stomping their feet and lazily applying the word “racist” to everybody with a different view than theirs”. All this in response to the article run by the Asheville Watchdog on January 8th -and subsequently run by MtnX- that included Mumpower’s objections to the PEAK Academy. Now make sure to checkout the kindly Mr. Mumpower’s Facebook post of December 29th that’s included with the Asheville Watchdog’s article in the comments they received in regard to their initial article on January 8th concerning the PEAK Academy- https://avlwatchdog.org/legal-case-could-be-costly-for-peak-academy-which-was-established-to-close-student-achievement-gap/ Mr. Mumpower’s Facebook post is telling to put it mildly. Shocking too. Mumpower’s Facebook post has the “mugshot” of a nice young blond white male under the banner: KNOW THE WARNING SIGNS OF WHITE SUPREMACY. Let me list them here for you.

    I kid you not. Enough said?

    • WNC

      Some things liberal’s and universities say are racist
      Being on time
      Doing math
      Financial literacy

      So going to McDonald’s (or the store of your choice) and expecting reasonably timely service and the correct change would be racist. I bet most or all the people attacking Mumpower are therefore racist.
      Healthcare companies sending reminders to exercise would also be racist.
      Unfortunately this is not a joke and has been going for several years.
      Just this week we found out the government had banks check people’s statements for expenditures (illegal). They were looking for expenditures in
      Sporting good stores
      Stores that sell bibles
      All this could mean they’re home grown terrorist.

      Common sense > DEI

    • Enlightened Enigma

      Name calling is all you liberals have to offer…Why are democrackkks so effing RACIST ?

  3. Lyn

    It’s interesting how people launch as hominem attacks when they have no facts or credible arguments to support or defend their position.

  4. Klchome33

    I kinda think mountains shouldn’t give this guy a platform. He’s really just sowing division and hate.. he’s been around for years and anyone in Asheville with half a heart knows he’s a schmuck.. don’t feed into it.. Peak is working really hard to give kids a chance they might not get otherwise.. what this guys problem with innocent children is we’ll never know.. hopefully he gets himself help one day

  5. Carl Mumpowet

    Grateful for the informed comments, but would it help to read the letter – ignore the ‘die and burn in hell forever’ rascally writer – and listen to the message? (;

    • Richard

      Carl has occasionally found issues he feels compelled to champion.
      My request is that he take on our local hospital (HCA) and potentially sow enough discord there to impact the entire region positively.
      Unfortunately Carl’s MO has historically been to champion discord. Carl, we have a dragon to slay, get with this cause.

  6. Carl Mumpower

    I certainly wouldn’t wish to break anyone’s rice bowl, but isn’t it usually more productive to read the message first and then throttle the messenger?

    • Peter Robbins

      Has PEAK Academy ever denied any qualified white person’s application for admission or employment?

      • Woobee

        I suppose only Peak can answer that question or an applicant who has been denied employment. However, it is interesting to note that seven out of their 13 teachers are Jamaican. So, it does seem that they’re recruiting efforts specifically target Black people.

  7. Hendo Hendo

    If there’s an example of a teacher being denied a job because of race or a student being denied an enrollment spot because of race then, yes, file a lawsuit. Otherwise, you’re just looking for attention and harming kids that need great places like PEAK to close the achievement gap. I’m hopeful the spirit will move Carl et al to spend some time in honest personal reflection about why they’re filing a lawsuit based on imagined problems.

  8. Jt

    I agree with Mr. Mumpower. It takes courage these days to call out reverse racism, which is rampant. Two wrongs still don’t make a right. Raise standards for minorities instead of removing their agency by calling them perpetual victims in need of constant propping up. This sickness serves no one in the end, least of all society.

  9. Peter Robbins

    Imaginary victims of theoretical discrimination don’t need Carl Mumpower to speak for them. Let them speak for themselves. That’s what personal responsibility is all about.

  10. Carl Mumpower

    Fair question about, “Are their students or teaches who have been directly discriminated against by PEAK?” It’s a question that can be answered when we’ve determined that a legal suit is necessary to nudge PEAK leadership to rethink their ironic stance that countering racism with more racism is good or legal public policy. In the interim, we took the path of least invasion with a formal complaint to the U.S. Department of Education. Contrary to suggestions, this is not a “pile on the attorney fees” step. It’s a “hey, how about rethinking your course” step.

    • Peter Robbins

      Maybe you should do some rethinking, Doc. If PEAK Academy has thus far met its minority-participation goals without even once denying a white person’s application (let alone denying one for a racially discriminatory reason), what makes you think it will ever use racial quotas in the future? That is not an assumption supported by fact or reason. It may simply turn out that relatively few white parents in Asheville are all that intrigued by the idea of sending their kids to charter school designed to improve the performance of someone else’s children. It’s possible they’re just not as progressive as you are. Why not wait and see before putting the school to the expense of defending itself against charges that it is “discriminating” against imaginary people?

      Not only are the victims imaginary, Doc, but so is the “policy” of which you profess to complain. It appears you have merely misconstrued a few off-the-cuff comments of Professor Dwight Mullen — a pretty lame basis for a civil-rights complaint. When he said that PEAK Academy will “require” 50-percent Black participation, I took him to mean that the school will require that participation level to test its teaching methods in a useful way. If there are only a handful of Black students, the school won’t be able to tell whether or not its regime is helping to close the existing achievement gap. That’s common sense. I did not take Professor Mullen to be threatening to resort to discriminatory quotas if the school could not meet its participation requirements in a lawful way (e.g, by aggressive recruitment in Black neighborhoods and colleges). And I certainly did not understand the school itself to be taking that position officially. If in the future PEAK Academy cannot attract enough Black students and teachers to afford a meaningful test of its theories, I expect that the school would simply lower its experimental ambitions. Or perhaps abandon the enterprise entirely.

      Did you even talk these possibilities over with PEAK Academy officials before filing your complaint? Your letter does not say, and I would hate to clutter the rice bowl with any more unfair assumptions.

  11. Voirdire

    and of course, they’re have been no teachers or students that have been discriminated against by the PEAK Academy. But that’s not the point of this grandstanding “formal complaint” against PEAK ..nor will your hear the real point from disingenuous as the day is long, and talking out of both sides of his mouth per usual, Mr. Mumpower. It’s all about making his/their point… and that is that the poor hard working white people of this fine country/county have had enough and they’re not going to take it any more! oui? …lol. sigh.

    • Voirdire

      correction, that should have read at the end: -his/their point… and that is that the long suffering poor hard working white people of this once fine country/county have had enough and they’re not going to take it anymore! ( ..you know, got to get it/ their grievance exactly right here. okay, grievances ..plural! ;)

  12. Carl Mumpower

    Fascinating how folks find so much enthusiasm for drawing a legal sword to chop PEAK to pieces and indifference to the proper application of regulatory oversight agencies to nudge them into compliance without harm. The passion and precision of our community’s social media warriors is so truly constructive and inspirational.

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