Category Archives: Critical Theory

Yes, Terry McAuliffe, Critical Race Theory Is In Virginia Schools

Critical race theory is rampant in Virginia schools, and McAuliffe is either lying out his rear or is completely ignorant of one of his state’s hottest topics.
Elle Reynolds

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Virginia Democrat gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe’s disastrous interview with a local station on Friday didn’t just show his unpreparedness and inability to budge from one-line talking points, it also outed him as a bald-faced liar.

“How do you define critical race theory?” asked WAVY News 10’s Anita Blanton.

“I answer this question very clearly,” McAuliffe responded, before not answering the question. “It’s not taught in Virginia, it’s never been taught in Virginia. And as I’ve said this a lot: It’s a dog-whistle. It’s racial, it’s division, and it’s used by Glenn Youngkin and others — this is the same thing with Trump and the border wall — to divide people.”

“So how do you define it?” Blanton pressed.

“Anita! It is not taught here in Virginia,” McAuliffe snapped.

“But how do you define it?”

“Doesn’t matter, it’s not taught here in Virginia,” McAuliffe said. “I’m not even spending my time because the school board and everyone else has come out and said it’s not taught. It’s racist. It’s a dog-whistle.”

“But if we don’t have a definition how can we say it’s racist? I just want a definition from you,” Blanton continued, prompting McAuliffe to blame her for “wasting precious viewers’ time” by asking.

Even worse than McAuliffe’s condescending tone or hostility to answering a basic question was the obvious untruth of the talking point he fell back on. Yes, critical race theory is indeed in Virginia classrooms. There may be no other state in the union where examples of radical and pervasive critical race theory in the public school system abound more.

CRT Pervades Virginia Schools

In Alexandria, a page on the Alexandria City Public Schools website promotes resources including “How To Be An Antiracist” by Ibram X. Kendi, “White Fragility” by Robin DiAngelo, “White Rage” by Carol Anderson, and “White Teachers Need Anti-Racist Therapy” and “Why Teaching Grit Is Inherently Anti-Black” by Bettina Love.

Another ACPS webpage encourages parents to “let go of colorblindness” and “ensure your kids are aware of race,” while also linking to a Forbes article that suggests understanding “our country’s deeply rooted racism” with resources such as:

  • Medium article encouraging readers to donate to their local Black Lives Matter chapter, ask their representatives to decriminalize marijuana, ask their representatives to ban voter ID laws, join their local “white space,” and ask their high school to teach a mandatory class on white privilege,
  • an article titled “White People Have No Culture,” and
  • “Black Marxism: The Making of Black Radical Tradition” by Cedric Robinson.

In Loudoun County, Loudoun County Public Schools first hired consulting firm The Equity Collaborative in April 2019 and has since poured money into critical race theory consultants. The Equity Collaborative, which LCPS paid more than $400,000 for an “equity audit,” operates on the assumption that “racism controls the political, social, and economic realms of U.S. society.”

Monica Gill, a 25-year veteran government and history teacher in Loudoun County, observed in June: “Much of what is being touted in Loudoun County teacher trainings and trickling down into classrooms are poisonous fruit straight off the critical race theory tree.”

The Loudoun County School Board also infuriated teachers and parents in fall 2020 when it tried to introduce a code of conduct for employees that would prohibit even private speech that was “not in alignment with the school division’s commitment to action-oriented equity practices.” Those “equity practices” include the school district’s “Action Plans to Combat Systemic Racism” and its “Comprehensive Equity Plan.”

Andrea Weiskopf, an English and Latin teacher at River Bend Middle School in Loudoun County, tweeted in June, “The best thing about the summer is that I can spend all my time planning how to incorporate Critical Race Theory into my lessons.”

In Fairfax County, Superintendent Scott Brabrand announced in a survey to parents over the summer that Fairfax County Public Schools would be “developing a new Anti-Racism, Anti-Bias Education Curriculum Policy.” The survey came from a New York consulting firm, which FCPS has contracted with for a four-year CRT program and which has been paid nearly $50,000 from FCPS’s chief equity officer.

Fairfax schools also sent a PowerPoint to teachers in July explaining that CRT is an “interpretive framework” that “examines the appearance of race and racism across dominant cultural modes of expression.”

“CRT scholars attempt to understand how victims of systemic racism are affected by cultural perceptions of race and how they are able to represent themselves to counter prejudice,” the PowerPoint claimed, adding that critical race theory is a useful approach to issues such as “school funding, segregation, language policies, discipline policies, curriculum, pedagogy, assessment, and accountability policies.”

In Arlington County, the director of diversity and inclusion at Arlington Public Schools asked Amazon to send the school district copies of “Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You” by critical race grifter Kendi, after which Amazon sent hundreds of copies of the book to the school system to the tune of $5,000.

In conservative Powhatan County, as Ashley Bateman reported for The Federalist in July, “County Supervisor David Williams shared slides from the Virginia Inquiry Collaborative (VIC), a consortium encouraging race-based teaching to include the oppressiveness of ‘white culture’ and learning through the lens of ‘systemic racism.’”

And at the Virginia Department of Education’s 2020 equity summit, critical race theorist Bettina Love gave a keynote address about “systemic racism” and “dismantling capitalism.”

McAuliffe Is Flat Wrong

McAuliffe’s cringe-worthy conversation with Blanton about CRT comes on the heels of his comment in a debate against Republican opponent Glenn Youngkin that “I don’t think parents should be telling schools what they should teach.”

A majority of Virginians disagree with McAuliffe’s sentiment, however, with a new poll showing that 52 percent of respondents believe parents should have more control of school curricula than school boards, and only 33 percent saying school boards should have more power than parents.

Critical race theory is rampant in Virginia public schools, and McAuliffe is either lying out of his rear or ignorant to a disqualifying degree about one of the hottest topics in his state.

Elle Reynolds is an assistant editor at The Federalist, and received her B.A. in government from Patrick Henry College with a minor in journalism. You can follow her work on Twitter at @_etreynolds.

https://thefederalist.com/2021/10/11/yes-terry-mcauliffe-critical-race-theory-is-in-virginia-schools/

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Critical Race Theory’s new disguise – UnHerd

UnHerd  10/7/2021 by Ayaan Hirsi Ali

Does “critical race theory” (CRT) really exist? Not according to Ralph Northam, the Governor of Virginia. CRT, he recently told The New York Times, “is a dog whistle that the Republicans are using to frighten people. What I’m interested in is equity.”

But rather than convince anyone about the non-existence of CRT, his comments merely confirmed something else: namely, CRT’s remarkable ability to shape-shift into whatever form its advocates choose. For Northam, CRT might not exist — but that’s only because it has undergone a rebranding.

Indeed, while many on the Right have obsessed over the rise of CRT in the past year, a different abbreviation has quickly become entrenched in America’s schools and colleges: “diversity, equity and inclusion” (DEI).

Part of its purpose appears to be to sow confusion among opponents of CRT. It has certainly riled the conservative Heritage Foundation. In its recent guide on “How to identify Critical Race Theory”, it warns of a “new tactic” deployed by the movement’s defenders: they “now deny that the curricula and training programs in question form part of CRT, insisting that the ‘diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI)’ programs of trainers such as Ibram X. Kendi and Robin DiAngelo are distinct from the academic work of professors such as Derrick Bell, Kimberle Crenshaw, and other CRT architects”.

Certainly, regardless of which trendy three-letter term you prefer to describe the latest iteration of America’s obsession with race, the goal in each case is the same: to shift away from meritocracy in favour of an equality of outcome system.

Suggested reading

The Godfather of Critical Race Theory

By Tomiwa Owolade

But implementing a grievance model into our youth education curriculum will not fix the problems it purports to solve. There is, after all, a dearth of evidence suggesting that DEI programmes advance diversity, equity or inclusion. In fact, if DEI programmes in schools have similar results as DEI corporate training, they might be not only ineffective, but potentially harmful.

This shift is due to the clear failure of affirmative action policies. First introduced more than 50 years ago, they were intended to create equal opportunities for a black community said to be held back by the legacies of slavery and Jim Crow laws. Suffice it to say that they failed. Today, only 26% of black American’s have a Bachelor’s degree, 10% lower than the national average. More than half of black households earn less than $50,000 annually, and the labour force participation rate for black men is 3.3% lower than for white men; it has actually shrunk by 11.6% since the early 1970’s. Only four CEOs from Fortune 500 companies are black.

Instead of providing opportunities for black students, affirmative action threw many students into the deep-end of schools where they lacked the educational foundation to succeed. Frequently, as Richard Sander and Stuart Taylor Jr have observed, they were mismatched: “Large racial preferences backfire[d] against many, and perhaps, most recipients, to the point that they learn less… usually get much lower grades, rank toward the bottom of the class, and far more often drop out.”

But rather than recognise the failure of this approach, its proponents have chosen to double down. Without analysing why affirmative action failed to produce equal opportunity for black students, and without trying to identify solutions that would be more impactful, those interested in CRT and DEI only wish to manipulate the system further.

Instead of focusing on ways to lift black students up as individuals with agency, ability and choice, they believe the system must reorient itself to produce the desired outcome, starting with kindergarten. It is dependent on the magnification of barriers and tension between racial groups — something which I suspect is psychologically damaging to both white and black students.

For white students, the blame of slavery and Jim Crow laws are laid at their feet. Bari Weiss recently revealed a number of shocking cases of how this manifests itself in schools, but one in particular caught my eye: “A Fieldston student says that students are often told ‘if you are white and male, you are second in line to speak.’ This is considered a normal and necessary redistribution of power.” But it is far from “normal” or “necessary”. Putting the atrocious sins of America’s past on the shoulders of children and teenagers is a form of child abuse.

Suggested reading

The fightback against Critical Race Theory

By Douglas Murray

For black children, the situation is no better. Students are being taught that it is the system, not their own effort and abilities, that will determine their future in life. This discourages hard work, motivation, ambition and aspiration. It also breeds distrust and hostility towards white teachers, further truncating their abilities to learn and progress in school. As Ian Rowe points out, “the narrative that white people ‘hold the power’ conveys a wrongheaded notion of white superiority and creates an illusion of black dependency on white largesse”.

And in the schools themselves, this often leads to physical segregation. Paul Rossi, a former teacher at Grace Church High School in New York, recently described how “racially segregated sessions” were “commonplace” at his school. Down in Atlanta, meanwhile, last month a concerned mother filed a lawsuit alleging that black students at Mary Lin Elementary School were being assigned to only two of the six second-grade classes.

But “you can’t treat one group of students based on race differently than other groups”, as her attorney eloquently put it. After all, any ideology that separates people due to their immutable characteristics will not lift up minority students, but drag society down into neo-segregation. Indeed, it’s hardly surprising that students today seem more anxious, scared and lacking in confidence than any previous generation for which we have data.

Nevertheless, the grievance model methods are spreading through American schools like wildfire. Take Ralph Northam’s state of Virginia, which is implementing the “Road Map to Equity”, which suggests that making equity is more important to education than academics. Perhaps that’s why Virginia legislators passed a bill this year that requires all educators to “complete instruction or training in cultural competency and with an endorsement in history and social sciences to complete instruction in African American history”.

Rather than push race to the foreground of education, anti-racists would do better to cultivate a learning environment for students where the focus is on being kind and respectful. Real diversity and inclusion are more likely to flourish when students are taught to help their fellow classmates — rather than view them through a crudely racialised prism.

Last week, I spoke to Katharine Birbalsingh, the Headmistress of the remarkable Michaela Community School, which serves families from disadvantaged backgrounds and achieves incredible results. When I asked Katharine what their secret was, she told me: “We’re very traditional. We believe in things like belonging. We believe in personal responsibility in a sense of duty to your family, to your community.”

Suggested reading

What liberals get wrong about race

By Eric Kauffman

And that is what it comes down to. All children and students want to belong. But demonising white students and re-segregating black students does the very opposite: it divides far more than it unites.

A focus on personal responsibility also goes a long way, both for students and for those looking to help. When watching some of the Virginia Department of Education webinars on equity earlier this week, I heard no mention of empowering or helping individual black children. The conversations revolved around “personal reflection” and “doing the work”, with little explanation of what this means in real life. There was no mention of tutoring, mentoring or guiding struggling students.

If we are going to have an honest conversation about elevating black students, we must throw out buzzwords such as “equity” and start talking about practical solutions. There is, after all, a genuine appetite for this: a recent Pew report found that 76% of Americans said that “racial and ethnic diversity is good for the country”.

And that will only be achieved by encouraging community service and involvement, and requiring teachers to focus on respect and academic rigour within their classrooms. What we must not do, however, is outsource education to a three-letter abbreviation, be it CRT or DEI. They are shallow, short-sighted and performative — and, most importantly, will do nothing to improve the futures of our children

https://unherd.com/2021/10/critical-race-theorys-new-disguise/?tl_inbound=1&tl_groups[0]=18743&tl_period_type=3&mc_cid=ccc8566467&mc_eid=0ff3e7ea29

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School Boards Ask Biden Admin to Treat Parents’ Protests as ‘Domestic Terrorism’

Why would the school boards not stop and consider WHY the parents are ‘protesting’ and trying to influence what is happening in the schools? mrossol

The Epoch Times  10/1/2021   By GQ Pan

The national organization of public school boards is calling on the Biden administration to protect its members from “angry mobs” of parents who protest against COVID-19 restrictions placed on students and the teaching of critical race theory, characterizing the protests as “domestic terrorism.”

The National School Boards Association (NSBA), which represents more than 90,000 school board members in the United States, wrote in a Sept. 29 letter (pdf) to President Joe Biden that the federal government must “deal with the growing number of threats of violence and acts of intimidation occurring across the nation.”

The letter moves on to cite incidents of “threats or actual acts of violence” against school leaders, alleging that parents who sought to express their opposition to mask and COVID-19 vaccination policies have been “inciting chaos” during school board meetings. It also denies critical race theory is being taught in classrooms, and describes parents’ attempts to hold school board members accountable by posting watchlists online as “spreading misinformation.”

“As these threats and acts of violence have become more prevalent,” the letter claims, “NSBA respectfully asks that a joint collaboration among federal law enforcement agencies, state and local law enforcement, and with public school officials be undertaken to focus on these threats.”

Specifically, the NSBA asked that federal agencies such as FBI, the Secret Services, and the Departments of Justice and Homeland Security “investigate, intercept, and prevent the current threats and acts of violence” by whatever “extraordinary measures” necessary.

 

“As these acts of malice, violence, and threats against public school officials have increased, the classification of these heinous actions could be the equivalent to a form of domestic terrorism and hate crime,” the NSBA argued in the letter, encouraging the federal agencies to use laws designed to target domestic terrorism, such as the PATRIOT Act, to address the issue.

The group also asked Biden to direct the U.S. Postal Service to filter “threatening letters” and intervene in “cyberbullying attacks” that target students, teachers, and school leaders.

The call for support comes days after the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) made a similar request, arguing that the federal government needs give school leaders the authority to expel “threatening individuals” from their schools.

“At the very least, we need the U.S. Department of Education to issue specific guidance on the authority school leaders have to protect themselves and our ability to remove or ban hostile parents and individuals from school grounds who threaten our safety,” said NASSP CEO Ronn Nozoe in a Sept. 16 statement.

https://www.theepochtimes.com/

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Orwell and the Woke

BY Victor David Hanson  9/31/2021

Commentary

“Twelve voices were shouting in anger, and they were all alike. No question, now, what had happened to the faces of the pigs. The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which.” — George Orwell, “Animal Farm”

What were we to make of multimillionaire Barack Obama’s 60th birthday bash at his Martha’s Vineyard estate, and the throng of the woke wealthy and their masked helot attendants?

Was socialist Representative Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) suffering for the people when she wore a designer dress to the more than $30,000-a-ticket Met gala? Her entourage needs were certainly well-attended to by masked Morlock servants.

Did the leftist celebrities at the recent Emmy awards gather to discuss opening Malibu beaches to the homeless when the (unmasked) stars virtue-signaled their wokeness?

For answers about these hypocritical wokists, always turn first to George Orwell. In his brief allegorical novella, “Animal Farm,” an array of animal characters—led by the thinking pigs of the farm—staged a revolution, driving out their human overseers.

The anti-human animal comrades started out sounding like zealous Russian Bolsheviks (“four legs good, two legs bad”). But soon they ended up conned by a murderous cult of pigs under a Joseph Stalin-like leader. And so, the revolution became what it once had opposed (“four legs good, two legs better”).

Our own woke, year-zero revolution is now in its second year. Yet last year’s four-legged revolutionaries are already strutting on two legs. They are not just hobnobbing with the “white supremacists” and “capitalists,” but outdoing them in their revolutionary zeal for the rarified privileges of the material good life.

The Marxist co-founder of BLM, Patrisse Cullors, is now on her fourth woke home. She has moved on from the barricades to the security fences of her Topanga Canyon digs in a mostly all-white, all-rich rural paradise—the rewards for revolutionary service.

Professor Ibram X. Kendi has evolved from the edgy revolutionary work of flying all over the country, hawking his Orwellian message of “All racism bad! But some racism good!” Now he has mastered the art of zooming the wannabe woke for his $20,000 an hour avant-garde hectoring.

What of Colin Kaepernick, the mediocre second-string quarterback turned sudden firebrand? He refused to stand for the national anthem and spread his “take a knee” kitsch throughout professional sports.

Kaepernick became a boutique revolutionary multimillionaire. For $12 million a year, he pitches Nike sneakers, often made in Chinese forced-labor camps.

Woke NBA star LeBron James, from his $23 million Brentwood mansion, blasts America for its endless unfairness—in service to his totalitarian Chinese paymasters who will ensure his good life with an eventual lifetime $1 billion payout for hawking their goods.

Our other elite wokists navigating around the revolution are even more cynical. The corporate and Wall Street capitalists feel that a little virtue signaling, showy diversity coordinators, and woke advertising will more or less buy off the latest version of Al-Sharpton-like shake-down artists.

Then there are the trimmers and enablers. These are the wealthy, rich, and the professional classes. They feel—in abstract—absolutely terrible about inequality, but hardly enough in the concrete to mix with the unwashed.

For them, wokism is like party membership in the late ethically bankrupt Soviet Union. It is necessary for peace of mind and good income, but otherwise not an obstacle for the continuance of the privileged, comfortable life.

The more TV news hosts rant about “systemic” this and “supremacy” that, and the more college presidents write stern penance memos to their faculty about “that’s not who we are,” the more they feel not just good about themselves, but relieved of any real obligation to live and socialize with the Other.

As for the self-declared non-white Other, wokism is also a top-down revolution of celebrities, intellectuals, actors, activists, academics, grifters, lawyers, and the upper-middle class and rich. And they are not calling for a Marshall Plan to bring classical education to the inner city. They themselves have little desire to move in or spread their wealth. They rarely mentor others on their shrewd capitalist expertise that made themselves rich.

They are far more cynical than that. The regrettable violence of the street, the 120 days of 2020 looting, death and arson, are the levers of the woke professionals. They fight with the various tribes of the same class and mindset over the slices of the same coveted elite pies. But they bring to the scrap the unspoken cudgel that without greater non-white de facto quotas in comic books, TV commercials, Ivy League faculties and students, symphonies, and sit-coms, then “systemic racism” could once again ignite downtown Portland or Seattle or Baltimore.

Orwell would say of the woke Obamas, Nancy Pelosi, AOC, Bernie Sanders, LeBron James, or Ibram Kendi—and their supposedly unwoke, but similarly rich and privileged enemies—“It was impossible to say which was which.”

https://www.theepochtimes.com/mkt_morningbrief/orwell-and-the-woke_4024997.html?utm_source=Morningbrief&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=mb-2021-10-01&mktids=e6b092ac984bb68800444fc52ddf3a39&est=JJVH/i32OyR0EidRr2JCw5aM9O6cl0DmrHOEgRLYK5y8XotS6LqjRg8k6r9q7w==

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