Patterico's Pontifications

6/30/2021

Make No Mistake: The Wokesters *Want* Young Schoolkids to Feel Bad Because of the Color of Their Skin

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:29 am



I am dubious about the idea of addressing the teaching of “anti-racism” through a state-level law, but I sure am seeing a lot of dumb arguments against it. Some critics of these bills actively want white kids to feel distress because they are white. Take this piece in the San Antonio Current by someone named Kevin Sanchez, which quotes very sensible restrictions from the Texas law and makes the following arguments against them:

Decree #5: “A teacher may not make part of a course the concept that an individual should feel discomfort, guilt, anguish, or any other form of psychological distress on account of the individual’s race.”

How, pray tell, can one study the dispossession and slaughter of Native Americans, the kidnapping and enslavement of Africans, the legacy of lynching and segregation and housing discrimination with which we’re still living, the racial wealth gap, mass incarceration or the murder of an unarmed Black suspect in custody without feeling some measure of distress?

These injustices should break our hearts, and when teachers are allowed to teach, they can walk the line between letting kids know that while racism was not their idea, many of us are its inheritors and beneficiaries and therefore have a moral obligation to face uncomfortable truths. Being “colorblind,” sadly, is not enough.

There is a difference between feeling distress because something awful happened in the past, and feeling distress because of the color of one’s skin. Must we allow the deliberate infliction of distress on young schoolkids because of their skin color? I say no, but Sanchez wants these kids to feel personally guilty for past injustice because they are white:

Decree #4: “A teacher may not make part of a course the concept that an individual bears responsibility for actions committed in the past by other members of the same race.”

Imagine if a right-wing government in South Africa or Germany passed a malleable restriction like this regarding education about racial apartheid or atrocities during Word War II. In 1946, philosopher Karl Jaspers published The Question of German Guilt, evocatively arguing that “an acknowledgment of national guilt was a necessary condition for the moral and political rebirth of Germany.” Can we ever truly heal from our wounds as a country without admitting that racism remains a problem the white majority must honestly confront?

It is hardly a squashing of freedom to mandate that teachers not tell young children to feel bad due to their skin color. Nor should they be taught to expect special or adverse treatment due to skin color, although Sanchez of course disagrees with that too:

Decree #6: “A teacher may not make part of a course the concept that an individual should be discriminated against or receive adverse treatment solely or partly because of the individual’s race.”

“Reverse discrimination” and “special treatment” are how Fox News pundits have recently spun COVID-19 relief aid to Black farmers, despite the fact that over the past century the Agriculture Department stole tens of billions of dollars from them thanks to actual racial discrimination. This edict ostensibly declares off limits any teacher-led discussion of affirmative action to redress past wrongs — and that in itself is a wrong.

Let adults debate the merits of government-sanctioned race discrimination. I oppose it, and unlike this writer I do not want some woke teacher telling young children “that an individual should be discriminated against or receive adverse treatment” because of their skin color.

FIRE put out an excellent piece on these laws recently, which was highlighted by John Sexton at Hot Air. It highlights some of the common things that are prohibited by these laws, and argues (as has David French) that many of these things are already prohibited:

With the exception of the vague kinds of clauses mentioned above, most of what these bills prohibit are speech or patterns of behavior by teachers that even many of the critics of these bills would find problematic, and arguably would already run afoul of laws prohibiting racial discrimination and harassment. For example, North Carolina’s HB 324, mentioned above, prohibits public K-12 schools from “promoting” the following concepts:

(1) One race or sex is inherently superior to another race or sex.

(2) An individual, solely by virtue of his or her race or sex, is inherently racist, sexist, or oppressive, whether consciously or unconsciously.

(3) An individual should be discriminated against or receive adverse treatment solely or partly because of his or her race or sex.

(4) An individual’s moral character is necessarily determined by his or her race or sex.

(5) An individual, solely by virtue of his or her race or sex, bears responsibility for actions committed in the past by other members of the same race or sex.

(6) Any individual, solely by virtue of his or her race or sex, should feel discomfort, guilt, anguish, or any other form of psychological distress. […]

But as the Sanchez piece shows, the left’s attacks on these laws are not limited to the concept that we already have laws in place to address these problems. They also argue that children need to be made uncomfortable because of their skin color. And as the FIRE report makes clear, there are some actual examples out there. This is not just a Fox News made-up bogeyman:

I was disturbed to read some of the examples in my co-author — and FIRE colleague — Bonnie Snyder’s forthcoming book Undoctrinate: How Politicized Classrooms Harm Kids and Ruin Our Schools—And What We Can Do About It, such as:

1. A biracial high school student in Las Vegas was allegedly singled out in class for his appearance and called derogatory names by his teacher. In a lawsuit, the student’s family alleges he was labelled an oppressor, told denying that status was “internalized privilege,” and told he needed to “unlearn” the Judeo-Christian principles imparted by his mother. When he refused to complete certain “identity confession” assignments, the lawsuit claims, the school gave him a failing grade. He has had to attend counseling.

2. Third grade students in California were forced to analyze their racial and other “identities,” rank themselves according to their supposed “power and privilege,” and were informed that those in the “dominant” culture categories created and continue to maintain this culture to uphold power.

3. Parents in North Carolina allege that middle school students were forced to stand up in class and apologize to other students for their “privilege.”

4. Buffalo public schools teach students that all white people perpetuate systemic racism and are guilty of implicit racial bias.

5. Elementary children at the Fieldston School in Manhattan were sorted by race for mandatory classroom exercises.

6. A head teacher in Manhattan was caught on tape acknowledging that the curriculum at his school teaches white students that they’re inherently “evil” and saying, “we’re demonizing white people for being born.”

While there is some debate to be had over how widespread the phenomenon is, some students are being made to feel, in class, that their mere existence is problematic and requires an apology or explanation. These bills, wise or not, are intended to address this problem. If your argument against these bills is that they’re much ado about nothing, or a solution in search of a problem, I think you should look deeper and think more critically about what proponents of these laws are worried about.

I am going to need some time to digest the entire FIRE piece, but I remain appalled at the way so many people act as though it is a civil rights violation to tell teachers they are not allowed to humiliate young children just because of the color of their skin.

116 Responses to “Make No Mistake: The Wokesters *Want* Young Schoolkids to Feel Bad Because of the Color of Their Skin”

  1. Pryor, Rickles and Eddie Murphy made fun of everyone and it was funny. We have turned into humorless robots.

    mg (8cbc69)

  2. The irony is that kids who attend these kinds of schools are anything but privileged or they wouldn’t be there in the first place.

    nk (1d9030)

  3. and yet we’re told critical race theory is not taught in k-12

    we can debate the reality of that or simply acknowledge the clear intent

    whether or not these laws in TX and elsewhere are useful, they at least call the racemongers’ bluff

    https://www.boston.com/news/politics/2021/06/29/n-h-diversity-council-members-quit-over-damaging-state-budget/

    “More than half of Gov. Chris Sununu’s Advisory Council on Diversity and Inclusion resigned Tuesday, saying his decision to sign a state budget that limits the discussion of systemic racism and other topics has derailed the work they were appointed to do.

    Sununu had opposed an earlier version of the legislation that echoed a now-rescinded Trump administration order and sought to ban discussion of “divisive concepts” in schools. But he later backed the approved language, which would prohibit teaching children that they are inferior, racist, sexist or oppressive by virtue of their race, gender or other characteristics.“

    no, you crazy people, crt is not taught!!

    ok, let’s codify that

    umm… no, no, no, no!!

    lol

    JF (e1156d)

  4. All this CRT stuff is just a smoke screen to distract us from creeping sharia law.

    https://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/frank-gaffney-cruz-trump-iran-rally

    Time123 (9f42ee)

  5. When Righties are in the rough, they play the wedge.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  6. Breaking News- Cosby to be released from prison; charged dropped.

    Once again, the ‘rule of law’ is ruled a joke.

    “Hey, hey, hey!” – Fat Albert [racist cartoon, created & voiced by Bill Cosby]

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  7. In 1946, philosopher Karl Jaspers published The Question of German Guilt, evocatively arguing that “an acknowledgment of national guilt was a necessary condition for the moral and political rebirth of Germany.”

    It’s incredible that Mr. Sanchez would equate demanding that Germans of 1946 feel bad about the actions they and their countrymen had taken from 1933-45 with making white kids of today feel bad about the actions from 1619-1865 of people who probably aren’t even related to them in the least! Even if you want to argue that the Jim Crow Era was as bad as Nazi Germany or Slaveholding America, is some ten-year-old white kid today carrying a permanently-stained character because his granddaddy as a teenager tried to prevent some black kids from sitting at a Woolworth’s lunch counter? Is some ten-year-old black kid today forever relegated to anguish and turmoil because some racist sheriff turned a firehose on his grandma sixty years ago?

    The only saving grace about this ugly piece by Mr. Sanchez is that I originally feared that at the bottom of it would be a brief author bio beginning, “Kevin Sanchez is a sixth-grade teacher at [some local public school]” or “Kevin Sanchez is a professor in the Department of Education at the University of Texas at San Antonio” or some such thing. It seems, though, that’s he’s just a left-wing columnist paid to spew his horrible ideas in a local newspaper. Hopefully the good people of Bexar County ignore him.

    JVW (ee64e4)

  8. I have some hope left that I will see actual racial equality before the law before I die. But disparaging people due to their race for crimes committed by their distant ancestors is not the way to get there.

    The way to rapprochement is not through acting out resentments or placing guilt on others, it is through realizing YOUR part in the problem and trying to do better.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  9. “White guilt” was something that was naturally felt by white folk who had sincerely changed their ways after the civil rights era, and it often led to personal attempts to make amends at the retail level.

    It seems like some want to engender that in youngsters who, left alone, would never feel either the guilt nor the inclination towards racism. But we can’t have that, can we?

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  10. The people you call “wokesters” who are white want their children to be made to feel bad about the color of their skin. They also would feel happy to have their children undergo gender reassignment surgery. This is because it elevates their perceived status within their tribe.
    I think a great scam would be to find a way to change skin pigmentation and call it a race reassignment medical process. You could do a little dye job, pop some Lower Saharan female spittle into a test tube with the real person’s, do the test and tell the duped mother her white son is now ready for the surgery to become an African American female.

    steveg (ebe7c1)

  11. Imagine if a right-wing government in South Africa or Germany passed a malleable restriction like this regarding education about racial apartheid or atrocities during Word War II. In 1946, philosopher Karl Jaspers …

    If they did that in 1946, that would be one thing. If they did that 80 years later? And why not the Japanese? Or, dare we say it, the Marxists?

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  12. Original sin is back in vogue.

    Teaching people to hate someone due to their immutable characteristics… where have we seen that before.

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  13. Breaking News- Cosby to be released from prison; charged dropped.

    Once again, the ‘rule of law’ is ruled a joke.

    Gross prosecutorial misconduct. The DA had dropped an investigation, told Cosby he would not be charged and that he should testify freely in an upcoming civil trial. Relying on that Cosby testified in the civil trial, and that testimony was later used as the primary evidence in the conviction.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  14. Original sin is back in vogue.

    “The woman tempted me, Lord!”

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  15. I think the non-Hispanic white percentage in LAUSD is about 10%, much lower than the LA demographic. This is primarily a change wrought by forced busing in the past and the not-unrelated decline in the quality of LAUSD schools.

    This wokeness may drive more white kids out. Maybe not as their parents may be more likely to support this nonsense than others if they made a conscious choice to send their kids there.

    But most parents don’t see their kids crying after school and think “Good.”

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  16. 4. Buffalo public schools teach students that all white people perpetuate systemic racism and are guilty of implicit racial bias.

    But wait. This is explicit racism.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  17. Kevin M (ab1c11) — 6/30/2021 @ 10:49 am

    But most parents don’t see their kids crying after school and think “Good.”

    Most parents have no idea why there is a rise in teen suicide, depression, and anxiety. But I do think a lot of them think the ever-increasing calls for “diversity” and national discussions on race relations and “inclusiveness” and privilege checking and acknowledging the history of oppression are good and not in any way related.

    frosty (f27e97)

  18. “no, you crazy people, crt is not taught!!”

    Nicely spiked football. The reality is a bit more nuanced. I was going to try and summarize the following article which I think does a reasonable job drawing distinctions between what the theory generally says, how it mostly gets applied in the K-12 environment, what are productive discussions, and where the extremes in the argument take it……but I’m not sure it would be worth my half hour. The key is to understand what’s a problem, what’s not, and the scope of the problem. In our current media saturation, it should not be hard to police the extremes.

    https://www.edweek.org/leadership/what-is-critical-race-theory-and-why-is-it-under-attack/2021/05

    AJ_Liberty (ec7f74)

  19. @13. Translation: once again, ‘the rule of law’ is ruled a joke.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  20. “Reverse discrimination” and “special treatment” are how Fox News pundits have recently spun COVID-19 relief aid to Black farmers, despite the fact that over the past century the Agriculture Department stole tens of billions of dollars from them thanks to actual racial discrimination

    And also courts. From different farmers in different Congressional districts many years ago. It was actually a form of patronage.

    Sammy Finkelman (51cd0c)

  21. Poke a polar bear w/a pointed stick enough times and it is going to get mad.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  22. Breaking News- Cosby to be released from prison; charged dropped.

    That is good news.

    nk (1d9030)

  23. Breaking News- Cosby to be released from prison; charged dropped.

    Although the court considered other grounds, like maybe allowing so many previous victims to testify was wrong, it rested its ruling on the claim that the state was bound by an agreement that Cosby reached with a previous prosecutor in 2004, and that he could not be prosecuted for that crime.

    Now there’s an accusation that that was a sweetheart deal, but there it is.

    Sammy Finkelman (51cd0c)

  24. AJ,

    that sounds like a wonderful excuse to permit the camel’s nose in to the tent, but the entire purpose is to indoctrinate kids into a racist, marxist society where victimization is prized and the other is demonized.

    No thanks. Keep your hands off everyone else’s kids.

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  25. @22. That is good news.

    Black lives matter.

    😉

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  26. @24, you’re letting yourself get distracted for the *real* moral panic; Profanity in Rap music.

    Time123 (9f42ee)

  27. Anyone got a link to to a solid example of what they don’t want taught in public schools? Private schools are free to teach kids all sorts of stuff.

    Anyone got a link to a story that explains how prevent this is / isn’t?

    Time123 (9f42ee)

  28. https://hotair.com/john-s-2/2021/06/30/one-trick-pony-does-its-one-trick-crt-critics-are-all-racists-n399791

    Time123,

    I think you’re getting your talking points from the subject of this article.

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  29. @27 maybe read the post

    JF (e1156d)

  30. @18 the extremes are getting policed by laws in texas and elsewhere

    there’s one side that doesn’t want the extremes policed

    guess which one

    JF (e1156d)

  31. NJRob, I noticed that wasn’t an example of a public school teaching something objectionable. If this is more then just the latest silly moral panic it should be easy to find several such examples. Instead you just insult me and miss-represent point.

    JF, the post is all about theory, law, and definitions. I can find you tons of discussion about creeping sharia law, the dangers of violent video games, or heavy metal suicide. But none of those things were real problems. A couple kids did shoot these lives. While listening to Judas Priest, but. Heavy metal wasn’t a major problem.

    But. I mean, i get. It. Kids eating tide pods is bad and we need laws to stop them doing that.

    Time123 (9f42ee)

  32. @31 the post gives a list of specific incidents, which is what you were asking for, and i’m guessing the host put a good bit of effort into it

    JF (e1156d)

  33. Time123 (9f42ee) — 6/30/2021 @ 11:29 am

    Anyone got a link to a story that explains how prevent this is/isn’t?

    Prevent what? The unrestricted teaching in private schools?

    frosty (f27e97)

  34. Sorry, typo, i meant “prevalent”

    Time123 (9f42ee)

  35. Time123 (9f42ee) — 6/30/2021 @ 11:58 am

    Do we need to worry about how prevalent it is? Is it ok if 20% of k-12 students are being taught

    that an individual should feel discomfort, guilt, anguish, or any other form of psychological distress on account of the individual’s race

    but 40% is too much? Where’s the line? Is there some problem just saying greater than zero is too much?

    It seems like we’ve got an inherent contradiction with the idea that everyone should support diversity and inclusion for all people except with regard to these white folks. It’s not a zero sum game.

    frosty (f27e97)

  36. @31 lol why make a stretch with tide pods when a morning prayer is the more obvious danger?

    JF (e1156d)

  37. Donald Rumsfeld: DEAD.

    ‘There are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know.’

    But will it fit on a tombstone?

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  38. R.I.P. Donald Rumsfeld

    Icy (6abb50)

  39. I read the fire article and it has some interesting points, but I think the points picked out are the least interesting ones and the ones that most play into the current moral panic. I have (I’m afraid with increasing impatience) explained how curriculum works and debunked a bunch of the moral panic CRT articles that certain people like to post, so I’m not going to continue that here. (also, CRT and anti-racism or diversity aren’t synonymous)

    The case listed that is closest to validating the moral panic is probably the Nevada charter school one (parents choose to go to a charter school, they can always choose to return to their regular public school and the charter school is legally required to provide the cum file to the new school, even part-way through the senior year though it can cause credit issues, we deal with it all the time). I don’t have access to lexus and I can’t find much about how that turned out. The most I can find is that the plaintiffs (the student and mom) didn’t show up for the court ordered meeting in March and then nothing else. It’s been more than 6 months, is there resolution or testimony or anything on that case other than the initial filing by the plaintiff?

    However, lets look at how these broad laws might effect actual curriculum.

    Do we want our seniors to be able to discuss the pros and cons of affirmative action as part of their 12 grade government class? How about reparations, if that comes up as a current events or political campaign issue?

    Do you want me to be able to explain to a 4th grader why they can’t call their classmate the N word?

    I don’t know how to ensure that an 11th grade student in a US history class doesn’t feel discomfort at the idea that one of their ancestors may have owned slaves or fought for the confederacy for the civil war.

    In a critical media high school elective class, can you discuss a TV show where all the minority characters are criminals might effect general society, especially in communities where people might have little contact with people in the minority. Or one where women are almost always shown as victims (Law and order SVU frex)

    Is young earth creationism appropriate in a 9/10th grade biology classroom?

    Just a few examples of how some of these laws might effect actual teaching.

    We already have laws and regulations that require teachers not to discriminate against their students regardless of the color of their skin, religion, gender, etc and that require teachers not to be deliberately mean to their students. And the school board controls curriculum (sorry, couldn’t resist the reminder).

    Nic (896fdf)

  40. @39 yes, students should be able to discuss the pros and cons of affirmative action

    who takes the con side in these?

    i’m sure that goes over real well

    the laws are there to prevent a one sided discussion which, when it comes to political content in schools, let alone political content of a racial kind, will happen 100% unless one student is dumb enough to speak up

    halloween and christmas have become harvest day and year end break in our schools, so i think the solution is already there

    apply same to political content like the texas law does

    JF (e1156d)

  41. Nic (896fdf) — 6/30/2021 @ 12:31 pm

    It’s not a thing, if it is a thing it’s not a problem, and who are these “legislators” who think that can over ride the local “will of the people” anyway. Wash, rinse, repeat.

    frosty (f27e97)

  42. The power of Teh State compels you… the Power of Teh State compels you…

    or the CTA…

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  43. @JF@40 If some of those laws go into effect they won’t be able to discuss affirmative action in part because the teacher won’t be able to explain the historical context. And yes, people take the con side, often asian-american students discussing UC acceptances.

    The laws may intend to prevent one sided discussions, but that isn’t what they will do.

    Nic (896fdf)

  44. @43 my daughter was in fourth grade a couple of years ago when the teachers decided to walk out on a day chosen in advance to protest school funding

    no school for the kids that day

    running up to it the teacher spent class time informing the students of where they would go, their march route, what signs they would carry, and how the kids could support them (wear red)

    i wasn’t happy and fortunately the principal was receptive to my concern, and I know she brought it up with the teacher cuz that teacher was noticeably cold when I ran into her thereafter

    i wondered if she extended that attitude change to my daughter

    this is just a small example, and it wasn’t just this one teacher, and it doesn’t even have anything to do with highly charged race issues

    it stinks that we need these laws, but neither the schools nor the teachers have earned any trust

    i could maybe see where the law could only apply to grades 10 and below, but i think you would be against that too

    JF (e1156d)

  45. Frosty, if 20% of schools are emotionally abusing elementary school students that would be completely unacceptable. But we’re a huge country. If this problem is on the order of the number of high school boys being seduced by hot teachers or the number of kids that actually ate tide pods (it’s non-zero) I think we can handle it on an exception bases. I haven’t seen evidence that this is a widespread problem and the solutions being offered seem poorly thought out and performative so I worry the cure will be worse then the disease. If emotionally abusing children on the subject of race is a wide spread problem then we need a solution to it. My preference would be one that teaches history and social studies accurately without causing undue harm on children.

    Time123 (9f42ee)

  46. I don’t know how to ensure that an 11th grade student in a US history class doesn’t feel discomfort at the idea that one of their ancestors may have owned slaves or fought for the confederacy for the civil war.

    “Owned slaves” would be an issue, if it was one of their direct ancestors and not just assumed because they are white. Quite a few Europeans came to American after the Civil War, and many who came before were in no position to own slaves (or much of anything else). Further, some had come from conditions of serfdom. Most of the world sucked for most of the people before the 1860s.

    “Fought for the Confederacy”? No one did that. They fought for their states. The idea of national citizenship was not a common one then. These United States, not The United States.

    Is young earth creationism appropriate in a 9/10th grade biology classroom?

    Unrelated. But yes, I think it is. At that age (14-15), children should be exposed to bullsh1t for their own good. I remember my STEM college bringing in a young earth creationist to have a go at convincing the students. Much hilarity ensued. We weren’t all that much older.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  47. I would, in a high school history class that focused on American racial history, show the 1970’s version of Roots. Not to embarrass or demean anyone, but to give all the kids a better understanding of what slavery meant to the enslaved, and to place current tensions in context. Maybe the continuation series, too.

    I would follow with things like the Separate but Equal movie, Eyes on the Prize, and probably the first season of The Wire.

    But on no condition would I allow students to think that they (or any other child) were responsible for the past or needed to atone for it.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  48. @JF@44 Have you ever looked into the current restrictions on what teachers can or cannot say in class?

    The fire article provided this link on the subject, but there is more detailed material out there.

    Nic (896fdf)

  49. I believe if Biden just told us how he felt about this matter – maybe by whispering it into the podium mike – it would all go away.

    Hoi Polloi (15cfac)

  50. @Kevin@46/47 we can rephrase to “fought in the confederate army” if you would prefer.

    Young earth creationism is related because some of the laws being put forth have general requirements that all sides of an issue must be presented with equal time and treatment as to their validity.

    There is no way on God’s green earth that I could get approval to show “The Wire” to my students. Nope. Nope. Nope. Nope. We have to send home notification forms to use a song in a media class that has curse words in it, even if we are using the clean version.

    And how do you stop a student from feeling responsible? Even if you preface the discussion with “This is all stuff that happened in the past, none of you are responsible for things that happened before you were born?” Some kids are sensitive and can certainly make connections between events and maybe some not great things that g’pa or g’ma say and would feel a need to atone regardless.

    Nic (896fdf)

  51. @48 for the 80-90% of teachers that already comply, i’m sure the new laws provoke a shrug

    JF (e1156d)

  52. They tried this with evolution a 100 years ago.

    asset (0ff028)

  53. @JF@51 Not really, due to the curriculum and school function related reasons I gave examples of above.

    Nic (896fdf)

  54. So now they have to teach about world war II from the nazi perspective and lynchings from the klan’s perspective.

    asset (0ff028)

  55. J. Biden and Cosby were both doctors.

    mg (8cbc69)

  56. Wonder if the Cos was the anonymous buyer of art created by Hunter Biden?

    mg (8cbc69)

  57. @53 then they can blame the other teachers

    JF (e1156d)

  58. Nic (896fdf) — 6/30/2021 @ 1:48 pm

    And how do you stop a student from feeling responsible? Even if you preface the discussion with “This is all stuff that happened in the past, none of you are responsible for things that happened before you were born?” Some kids are sensitive and can certainly make connections between events and maybe some not great things that g’pa or g’ma say and would feel a need to atone regardless.

    If that were the situation I’d say you have an argument. We’re not discussing “how do you stop a student from feeling responsible”. We’re discussing

    A teacher may not make part of a course the concept that an individual bears responsibility for actions committed in the past by other members of the same race.

    Do you see the difference? I think you’d still be able to structure the content so that students couldn’t help drawing the “proper” conclusions for themselves.

    frosty (f27e97)

  59. There is no way on God’s green earth that I could get approval to show “The Wire” to my students.

    I can accept that. After all, you’d have problems with Huck Finn. You would probably have problems with Roots, even though that was designed for just this kind of education.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  60. “Being fat isn’t your fault.

    Getting pregnant as a teen isn’t your fault.

    Flunking out of high school isn’t your fault.

    Having S*xually Transmitted D*seases isn’t your fault.

    But having an ancestor half a millennium ago whose feudal lord owned a slave, that’s totally on you.”

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  61. As for “young earth creationism” — it is hardly a scientific theory; it’s entirely religious. There is not one iota of evidence for the world starting in 4004 BC. Besides, something that RELIES upon miracles from God cannot be tested for truth or falsity. If you believe it, fine, but it isn’t biology. (And no need to register to vote.)

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  62. @60: There’s some truth in that.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  63. Kevin@46/47 we can rephrase to “fought in the confederate army” if you would prefer.

    Try the “Army of Northern Virginia” or similar state armies.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  64. @JF@57 How does that make any sense as a discussion of outcomes?

    @frosty@58 We are, in fact, discussing how to stop it from happening because under these type of laws, if the teacher doesn’t stop it, then they will be at fault for it happening. In a lot of the linked articles over the last few months, the “above the fold” accusation is that the teacher made the student feel negatively and then if you read further down it will say that the teacher didn’t teach the thing they were accused of, but that the material implied it.

    @Kevin@59/63 Nah, they can read Huck Finn and if you want to call it the Army of Northern Virginia, go for it, it doesn’t change the meaning of my point.

    @Haiku@60 sometimes it is their fault, sometimes it isn’t. Though I don’t feel particularly guilty for the Vikings who passed their DNA on to me or the feudal lords who came after them and passed that DNA onward as well.

    Nic (896fdf)

  65. if you want to call it the Army of Northern Virginia, go for it, it doesn’t change the meaning of my point.

    Your point appears to be that they “fought for slavery” and that is no more true than saying “the Army of the Potomac fought to free the slaves.” Yes, it is impossible to separate slavery (and in particular the expansion-of-slavery issue) from the war as it was the cause of secession. But almost none of the foot soldiers owned slaves themselves.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  66. I believe if Biden just told us how he felt about this matter – maybe by whispering it into the podium mike – it would all go away.

    A major brain episode is the perfect form of plausible deniability, if his true feelings on these matters is Howard Beale meets Archie Bunker meets Zell Miller.

    urbanleftbehind (0bdd36)

  67. @Kevin@65 My point was that some kids might feel bad about an ancestor fighting for an institution that explicitly supported slavery.

    Nic (896fdf)

  68. To be fair, the administration of Abraham Lincoln explicitly (but regretfully) supported slavery until 1864. As did the Democratic Party.

    I imagine that there are some kids whose great^5-grandparents held slaves. What I worry about though is a classroom exercise aimed at finding this out, or assuming it on the basis of race. I am sure that 99% of teachers wouldn’t think of such a thing, but the other 1%? You call this a moral panic, and maybe it is, but moral panics have a basis in fact like every other rumor.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  69. *1863

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  70. The OP cites David French in passing. Here are his views on the subject.

    lurker (59504c)

  71. @64 we weren’t discussing outcomes

    we were discussing racial woke weaning which is as divorced from outcomes as is imaginable

    JF (e1156d)

  72. What does CRT tell kids whose one side of the family tree sacrificed human hearts to Huitzilopochtli and ate the rest of the person themselves, and the other side of the family tree exterminated two-thirds of the first-mentioned side and enslaved the remaining third?

    nk (1d9030)

  73. @71 this piece is about universities, whereas the post is about k-12

    academic freedom is a ridiculous concept to apply to grade school

    JF (e1156d)

  74. To be fair, the administration of Abraham Lincoln explicitly (but regretfully) supported slavery until 1864. As did the Democratic Party.

    Technically, it was even longer than that, because the slaveholding Union states were still allowed to keep their slaves. The EP was strictly a wartime strategic measure designed to weaken the Confederacy by cracking the main pillar of their economy, taking on freed slaves as “contraband,” and making Great Britain think twice about recognizing the CSA as a separate nation.

    Now, it is true that ending slavery was one of the GOP’s primary planks upon its founding (as was ending polygamy, the “twin relics of barbarism”). However, Lincoln was a lot more pragmatic than most abolitionists and would have been fine with slavery perpetuating if it meant holding the Union together. But he was realistic enough to know that wasn’t possible, especially after Sumter.

    Factory Working Orphan (2775f0)

  75. “Academic freedom” is how we got CRT. Vietnam era draft dodgers who took refuge in the academic racket inventing one more excuse for their inability to teach three-fourth of their students that two plus two equals four which was seized-on by race hustlers and grievance mongers to make a buck while avoiding productive labor.

    nk (1d9030)

  76. @68 You are doing a unit on research in your English class. The current section is on oral history. The assignment is to go home and ask the oldest member of your household to tell you the oldest story they know about their family. Your grandmother tells you the story that her grandmother told her, that she heard from her relatives about the day the slaves walked off from her family farm and the family fell on hard times. You are upset by the information that your ancestors held slaves. You tell your mom about how upset you are. Mom is very extremely publicly upset about how the teacher made her kid feel bad and how CRT is teaching kids to feel bad in school and takes everyone to court.

    This was not an assignment the law intends to address. No one intended for the kid to be upset. The kid is upset, mom is yelling at the superintendent for breaking one of these laws, going to court. Pjmedia runs a story about it. A poster here links it as a story about how your school district is teaching CRT to bolster their support of further restricting content in classes. Moral panic based in fact.

    (As an IRL example of How These Things Get Out of Hand: I once had a Very Angry Parent come in to tell us at extreme volume how the teacher had hit her kid over the head with a baseball bat and that teacher needed to be fired immediately. The kid had been helping put away the wiffle ball bats- extremely light, hollow, airfilled plastic- and one had fallen on him. The kid wasn’t at all upset, he had been trying to tell mom a funny story. Until that teacher retired we got phone-calls every year from concerned parents who were worried because their kid had the teacher who hits kids with bats.)

    @JF@72 Do you usually discuss possible laws without discussing results of those laws?

    Nic (896fdf)

  77. @71 this piece is about universities, whereas the post is about k-12

    academic freedom is a ridiculous concept to apply to grade school

    Just the usual attempt at muddying the waters… Ibram X. Crement would be proud.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  78. @77 so you’re going to hold laws to a standard you won’t apply to the nonsense they’re addressing

    JF (e1156d)

  79. @71 this piece is about universities, whereas the post is about k-12

    academic freedom is a ridiculous concept to apply to grade school

    JF (e1156d) — 6/30/2021 @ 6:14 pm

    Alleging that Whittington applies academic freedom to grade schools is what’s ridiculous. He merely explains that bills purportedly aimed at banning CRT in K-12 are so badly drafted that among their defects is the potential impairment of higher ed academic freedom. Sorry if him pointing that out offends you.

    lurker (59504c)

  80. Do you want me to be able to explain to a 4th grader why they can’t call their classmate the N word?

    Yes. So they can appreciate Telly Savalas’ use of the term in ‘The Dirty Dozen’ all the more.

    I don’t know how to ensure that an 11th grade student in a US history class doesn’t feel discomfort at the idea that one of their ancestors may have owned slaves or fought for the confederacy for the civil war.

    You think they’d be conflicted? Try this on: had relatives from Ohio who fought for the Union and a relative who ran the Confederate military hospital in Richmond. One side hot’em up; the other patched ’em up. That’s discomfort.

    In a critical media high school elective class, can you discuss a TV show where all the minority characters are criminals might effect general society, especially in communities where people might have little contact with people in the minority. Or one where women are almost always shown as victims (Law and order SVU frex)

    TV show discussion in HS? Cagney & Lacey or T&A Charlie’s Angels? Do all PI’s live in Malibu trailers, drive super slick gold Firebirds or live on Hawaiian estates tooling around in red Ferraris? It’s scripted entertainment— hardly case studies in reality. The local and national nightly news– or a daily newspaper would be a better source.

    Is young earth creationism appropriate in a 9/10th grade biology classroom?

    No. This ain’t 1925. Ask the Chinese and the Japanese. Or the Russians. Been to a Russian HS in Moscow; they teach science- not crap– for a reason.

    We already have laws and regulations that require teachers not to discriminate against their students regardless of the color of their skin, religion, gender, etc and that require teachers not to be deliberately mean to their students. And the school board controls curriculum (sorry, couldn’t resist the reminder).

    School boards lack street smarts.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  81. Just the usual attempt at muddying the waters… Ibram X. Crement would be proud.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0) — 6/30/2021 @ 6:27 pm

    Serious question: Did you read Whittington’s post and/or op-ed before you wrote that?

    lurker (59504c)

  82. @JF@79 Yes, I’m going to hold laws to a standard I don’t hold random social science theories to. Why wouldn’t I?

    Nic (896fdf)

  83. Yes. I have no argument with Whittington’s post, only those who conflate K-12 with higher ed.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  84. Read the comments, as well. Democrats want to support teaching this racist crap to ANYBODY, they can own it and reap what they have sown.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  85. Democrats want to support teaching this racist crap to ANYBODY, they can own it and reap what they have sown.

    That’s unprincipled BS. Democrats own the cr@p they’re trying to teach. If Republicans respond with censorious, possibly unconstitutional laws, that’s on them.

    lurker (59504c)

  86. @80 easy now, nowhere did i say i disagreed with the piece

    he objects to the law on academic freedom grounds

    sounds reasonable

    it’s just not relevant to grade school instruction (which is what the post is concerned with) and nowhere does he make that distinction

    JF (e1156d)

  87. @83 because you sounded so very concerned about outcomes, but i guess not

    JF (e1156d)

  88. #73
    It says you walked here, you get no reparations. But you will help pay for them becaus you are not a race, you are an ethnicity. If you are an Asian whose ancestors were Shanghai’d into the coolie gangs you must pay as well because all slavery is not equal

    steveg (ebe7c1)

  89. it’s just not relevant to grade school instruction (which is what the post is concerned with) and nowhere does he make that distinction

    Really?

    “I have previously written about the trouble these bills pose for academic freedom when they are applied to universities.” (emphasis mine)

    lurker (59504c)

  90. @JF@88 As far as I can tell, this post is about a set of proposed laws. Therefore I am talking about some possible types of consequences of those proposed laws, using concrete examples of things likely to be affected by those laws. Otherwise I’m not sure what you are getting at.

    Nic (896fdf)

  91. @90 sigh, ok i guess i’ll anxiously await his follow up on the trouble these bills pose for academic freedom when they are applied to k-12, and post a comment on it here

    JF (e1156d)

  92. More examples of him making the distinction:

    “The prohibited concepts that cannot be expressed on a college campus and to which students cannot be exposed are quite wide-ranging.” […]

    Professors employed at public universities have a constitutional right to teach doctrines with which politicians disagree, and speakers have a right to use generally available public facilities (such as a rented auditorium on a university campus) to promote their views.” […]

    “The simple fact is that bills like the one being advanced by Pennsylvania Republicans would subvert the central mission of American universities. We expect college professors and students to be able to read, discuss, confront and dissect controversial, difficult and even repellent ideas.” (all emphases mine)

    lurker (59504c)

  93. Maybe we should revisit the voucher issue and consider dumping public schools. I’m pretty sure there’s a market for parents who want to send their kids to schools that can adequately address these issues of unconscious bias and privilege. As a private enterprise they wouldn’t have to worry about the state interfering with their 1st amendment right teach diversity and inclusion.

    frosty (f27e97)

  94. @91 that’s not what i got from the post

    the counsequences of race based instruction of the type sanchez advocates would seem to be as relevant as the consequences of a law to address it

    JF (e1156d)

  95. @93 yep, not one mention of k-12

    sounds like you’re the one so deeply offended, lurker

    i’m really sorry

    JF (e1156d)

  96. It’s a criticism of the laws, not a defense of CRT, which he said he’s not a fan of. Is it so difficult to hold those two ideas at the same time?

    lurker (59504c)

  97. @95 Could you summarize what you got out of reading the Sanchez article? I get the feeling it isn’t the same thing I got out of it.

    Nic (896fdf)

  98. @98 you’re referring to the sanchez article while i’m referring to the post, and the point of the post is pretty clear from the title

    JF (e1156d)

  99. @98 based on

    Agree or disagree with Nikole Hannah-Jones, as a journalist she’s a role model for what students of any background should aspire to achieve through hard work, dedication and resolute character.

    my takeaway is Sanchez is someone who has figured out the secret to packing 10lbs of crap in a 5lbs bag. His response to some of the other items are so bad I’d distance myself from this guy even if I agreed that the laws are bad.

    frosty (f27e97)

  100. @JF@99 Most of the references in the post are to people discussing their concerns about the laws.

    race based instruction of the type sanchez advocates

    Yes, I am referring to the Sanchez article, as did you. I generally assume the posters mean for us to interact with the linked material as well as the post itself. If you read the Sanchez article, he isn’t advocating for race based instruction.

    Nic (896fdf)

  101. @frosty@100 I do agree it isn’t a well written article. His line of reasoning is often… er… interesting.

    Nic (896fdf)

  102. @101 you must’ve read a different sanchez article, or you’re playing semantics games

    but cool you disagree with the post

    JF (e1156d)

  103. Nic (896fdf) — 6/30/2021 @ 6:24 pm

    Why are you trying to teach “oral history” at all except to show that it’s highly inaccurate and not a solid way of transmitting information across generations? Are you trying to excuse Senator Lieawatha? There’s a reason we wrote books to teach.

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  104. Lurker,

    when your leftist comrades and radical professors show the same respect to conservatives who speak at the school and the students I’ll take your concerns seriously. Till then, you’ve reaped what you’ve sown.

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  105. @JF@103 What race based instruction is Sanchez advocating?

    Mostly I’ve been addressing the quoted material within the post, since it was mostly legal stuff directly applicable to my field of expertise.

    Nic (896fdf)

  106. @NJRob@104 We are teaching the basics of oral history, how to look at it for accuracy and inaccuracy, as part of a research unit because it has applications to lots of different subject areas. Interviews are oral history and understanding how that works helps with understanding journalism and law or research into historical events in the recent past. Lots of stuff was passed orally until it was written down. Homer was a vector for oral history. The Bible, especially the Pentateuch/Tanakh was passed down orally until writing became available, or it could be used for studying how the culture of WWI soldiers worked during the Great War. They interviewed a lot of WWII soldiers over the last two decades to get their viewpoints and stories of WWII and that is oral history. Slave narratives were often taken from the oral history of slaves. A lot of genealogy starts with oral history. Band of Brothers came, in part, from oral history.

    Nic (896fdf)

  107. when your leftist comrades and radical professors show the same respect to conservatives who speak at the school and the students I’ll take your concerns seriously. Till then, you’ve reaped what you’ve sown.

    NJRob (eb56c3) — 6/30/2021 @ 10:03 pm

    Only in your overwrought imagination are any of my comrades leftist. But you do you, Rob. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

    lurker (59504c)

  108. You do you lurker. Would communist be preferable?

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  109. Do you think John McCain was a communist? Mitt Romney? (Neither would surprise me.) If so, sure, call me a communist. I welcome it.

    lurker (59504c)

  110. commie

    mg (8cbc69)

  111. Nic, your comments on this topic have been really well thought out. It’s nice to hear a perspective of someone that works in education. Thank you.

    Time123 (9f42ee)

  112. Nic (896fdf) — 6/30/2021 @ 10:20 pm

    What race based instruction is Sanchez advocating?

    His response to #8 is focused on white privilege and the concerns that it now can’t be taught. A review of the other responses find him focusing consistently on the past bad actions of white peoples, e.g. #5, #4.

    He’s given multiple examples that are essentially saying “this would prevent teachers from discussing how racist white people are”. I’m not exactly sure how you’re reading it if you think he’s not advocating for race based content.

    frosty (f27e97)

  113. https://www.independent.org/news/article.asp?id=13617&omhide=true

    The estimable National Student Clearinghouse recently released data on spring 2021 enrollments. The press accounts stressed continuing decline; total numbers were down 3.5% from spring 2020 to spring 2021. By exploring the NSC website in greater detail, I learned that since spring 2011, total enrollment has fallen over 14 percent. In 2011, there were about 63 college students for every 1,000 American population; now there are less than 51, a decline of nearly 20 percent. As colleges shrink in immediate importance in people’s lives, support for colleges wanes.

    Yet the aggregate numbers disguise a striking additional trend: the decline in male enrollment is dramatically greater than that for women. In the 2020-21 year, for example, the number of women enrolled declined by nearly 203,000, but the male decline was nearly double that, over 400,000. In the 2011-21 decade, spring enrollment for men fell strikingly more than 18%, nearly double the female decline.

    Shocking. When you make a place inhospitable for men, they decline to attend. No wonder the leftists want to make mandatory free college. Indoctrination ain’t cheap.

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  114. @frosty@113 It appears to me that he’s not advocating it be taught, he’s advocating that it not be forbidden to be taught, which are two different things.

    Nic (896fdf)

  115. Do we want our seniors to be able to discuss the pros and cons of affirmative action as part of their 12 grade government class? How about reparations, if that comes up as a current events or political campaign issue?

    Do you want me to be able to explain to a 4th grader why they can’t call their classmate the N word?

    I don’t know how to ensure that an 11th grade student in a US history class doesn’t feel discomfort at the idea that one of their ancestors may have owned slaves or fought for the confederacy for the civil war.

    In a critical media high school elective class, can you discuss a TV show where all the minority characters are criminals might effect general society, especially in communities where people might have little contact with people in the minority. Or one where women are almost always shown as victims (Law and order SVU frex)

    Is young earth creationism appropriate in a 9/10th grade biology classroom?

    Just a few examples of how some of these laws might effect actual teaching.

    We already have laws and regulations that require teachers not to discriminate against their students regardless of the color of their skin, religion, gender, etc and that require teachers not to be deliberately mean to their students. And the school board controls curriculum (sorry, couldn’t resist the reminder).

    The problem is *how* these matters will be taught, and whether teachers can keep their own biases and preferences out of the equation. I don’t think they can, on the whole. We are far too polarized now for anyone to really hold to an a-political, dispassionate view of such provocative subjects. Unfortunately, the laws on the books do not prohibit teachers from expressing their own preferences, politicking a subject, and attempting to further whatever cause they believe in. For me, the subject matter isn’t the problem – it’s who is going to be teaching it and how they will be “teaching” it.

    Dana (fd537d)


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