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Parents have been pushing back against attempts to indoctrinate kids in school using critical race theory, a framework that suggests America and white people are irredeemably racist.
But while CRT is woke nonsense, not all woke nonsense is CRT. Combatting CRT is a good start, but parents should be targeting the whole woke constellation.
Consider the Anderson School in New York City, one of only five gifted & talented citywide schools and highly sought after by parents. You’d think, given its commitment to rigor, the school would be less susceptible to this woke fever. You’d think wrong.
Alas, the school has already spent money on “workshops about equity and justice in preparation for the incorporation of these topics in next year’s curriculum” and brought in Christopher Dadefumi, “a notable coach who conducted several parent workshops this year,” according to a statement. Every dollar spent on race-grifter coaches is a dollar not spent on actual instruction.
“The teachers will be reading the book ‘Stamped’ by Ibram X. Kendi and Jason Reynolds. As part of the Teacher’s College curriculum in the fall, students in grades seven and eight will read the young-adult edition of ‘Stamped.’ Students in grades three to six will be reading the junior edition of this title by Sonja Cherry-Paul.”
The children’s version of “Stamped” calls math “a racist weapon” and portrays Abraham Lincoln as a villain. The prose is comically bad. A typical line: “This is a present book. Not like a birthday present book, but like an everyday present book. Or maybe just an everyday book.” It only gets worse from there.
Is “Stamped” CRT, technically speaking? Maybe not. But why is this book being forced on kids at a school where academic achievement is allegedly taken seriously?
It isn’t just happening in lefty New York City, and it isn’t just white parents complaining. A Mexican-American father in Gilbert, Ariz., spoke up when his teen daughter learned about skin color granting “privileges you didn’t earn.”
Eleventh-graders in Mancelona, Mich., were asked “to reflect on how white privilege operates in their personal lives.” High schoolers at Loyola Academy in Wilmette, Ill., were made to answer: “How do you benefit from white privilege, and how have you held onto that benefit (despite knowing the harm it does)?” Middle schoolers in Cape Coral, Fla., were schooled on their white privilege.
Elementary schools get in on it, too. CRT slayer Christopher Rufo reported a third-grade teacher in Cupertino, Calif., asked students to “create an identity map,” listing their race, class, gender, religion, family structure and other characteristics. They were told to “circle the identities that hold power and privilege.” This was during a math class. A teacher in Oakland, Calif., is teaching first graders about “microaggressions, gender inequality, gender identity and structural racism.”
This neo-racism (with gender ideology thrown in) is not OK. The idea of dividing children into victims and oppressors should disgust all Americans.
The wokesters will argue that fighting race-based education in schools is akin to not wanting to teach about slavery. This is exactly backward. Every minute spent engaging with this New-Age garbage is a minute not spent on actual academic subjects, including learning about slavery, reconstruction and much more. When kids are forced to endlessly investigate their white privilege and sexuality, they won’t have much time for learning America’s complicated history.
Maybe that’s the point. Wokeness is performative, and it’s also incredibly shallow. Wokesters read a few (bad) books and decided to rewrite our education system based on this gimcrack research. That’s much easier than actually teaching math, English and, yes, history. They pay the huckster consultant and feel like they’ve done their jobs as educators.
Wokeness doesn’t have to be CRT to be stupid. There’s a reason little of this ever appears on actual curricula. The idea is to leave parents out of discussions about how controversial subjects should be taught, and parents are, en masse, not having it.
Good. Our kids deserve better than to be educated under this dogmatic leftist cult. Parents have to expand their fights beyond CRT.
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