Teaching Racism in K-12 Classrooms
Leftist educators are corrupting the young.
Teachers at Highlands Elementary, a school in Edina, Minnesota, are indoctrinating five-year-olds in order to radicalize them and encourage them to become activists obsessed with race.
Public school teachers across America already saturate students with information about racial injustice in America in a nonstop barrage of historic facts and ahistorical nonsense. And in the culture at large, the media, politicians, and the entertainment industry can’t stop talking about race. The last thing any young student in America needs is to be taught about is race. Race matters only to radicals.
Leftists believe you have to get ’em while they’re young and impressionable.
Marxist theorist Paolo Freire advocated in Pedagogy of the Oppressed, that schools be used to inculcate radical values in students so they become agents of social change. Freire held that the so-called dominant pedagogy “silences” poor and minority children and that there is no such thing as a neutral educational system.
Joining Freire in his desire to use the educational system to level institutions is unrepentant communist terrorist and education theorist Bill Ayers, who has long advocated poisoning the minds of the young so they can agitate to fundamentally transform American society.
“If we want change to come, we would do well not to look at the sites of power we have no access to; the White House, the Congress, the Pentagon,” he said in 2012. “We have absolute access to the community, the school, the neighborhood, the street, the classroom, the workplace, the shop, the farm.”
This brings us to Highlands Elementary, which is located in one of the most affluent cities in Minnesota. Its school district is among the best in the state, Daniel Lattier reports at Intellectual Takeout. Highlands students do well in standardized testing: more than 85 percent of its students are proficient in reading and math.
But racial and social justice indoctrination have found their way onto the Highlands curriculum over the past year, according to Lattier. The phenomenon is not limited to Highlands, he adds. “[A] large percentage of students in public schools today are being trained to view the world primarily through the lenses of race, class, and gender.”
Katie Mahoney, who took over as principal of Highlands last fall, is proud of the school’s “Melanin Project.” She tweeted April 26: “Kindergarten tackles the Melanin project! @edinaschools @LeslieStageberg[.]” (Leslie Stageberg is a teacher.)
A poster made of construction paper is shown that reads, “Stop thinking your skin color is better than anyone elses[sic]! Everyone is Special!”
This message in itself isn’t sinister. American children shouldn’t be taught skin color is a mark of superiority, inferiority, or of anything in particular.
But one has to question the appropriateness of getting intellectually, emotionally immature Kindergarteners thinking about skin color at all, before they know how to think critically.
Why the rush?
It is to soften young minds in order to make the indoctrination process easier throughout students’ time in school. If a young child is already self-righteously hyperventilating about race and supposed systemic racism in America, it makes that child more susceptible to other leftist ideas.
The Highlands Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) wasn’t lying when it stated in the banner photo of its Facebook page that “Highlands is Planting Seeds of Change.”
Something else about the Melanin Project is disturbing. Discussions of melanin have an ugly pedigree. Racists are particularly fascinated by melanin.
Radical activists use melanin for political purposes, spewing pseudoscientific nonsense to create the illusion that their warped ideas about race somehow have an empirical basis in science. Melanin itself, a blanket term for a group of pigments, is the primary determinant of human skin color. Ultraviolet radiation from the sun triggers a process by which an amino acid called tyrosine becomes melanin, which protects the skin from sun damage. The thinking is that over time the more a population is exposed to the sun, the more melanin is generated and the darker their skin.
Leonard Jeffries Jr., a black studies professor at the City College of New York, is an influential thinker on the black racist Left. This Afrocentrist academic embraces “melanin theory,” maintaining that melanin possesses supernatural powers and makes those who have large quantities of it smarter and stronger than those who don’t. Blacks are therefore, peaceful and compassionate “sun people,” and are culturally and racially superior to whites, the violent, cruel “ice people.” Melanin empowers black people to “negotiate the vibrations of the universe and to deal with the ultraviolet rays of the sun,” Jeffries says.
This fetishizing of human anatomy is surprisingly commonplace on the Left. The low-rent James Baldwin wannabe, Ta-Nehisi Coates, now the toast of bicoastal elites and academics, talks about “black bodies” as objects worthy of veneration without regard to the individuals occupying them. His phraseology is now boilerplate among members of the violent, racist Black Lives Matter movement.
Highlands was recently awarded a grant that will allow fourth- and fifth-graders to take part in the Stages Theatre Company’s “Perspectives on Peace” (PoP) project, Lattier notes. PoP is run by Nikki Swoboda, “whose directorial credits include: “Virgin Territory,” which “tak[es] a hard look at the ‘ideals’ of virginity and how those are perceived in society”; and “Ball: A Musical Tribute to My Lost Testicle.”
PoP promotional material states that the project “illuminates current world events and broadens students’ attitudes toward tolerance, respect, understanding, and peace…” A promotional video for PoP that was linked to in an email sent to Highlands parents associates Black Lives Matter with “peace.”
At South View Middle School in Edina, older students are encouraged to get involved in something called Dare 2 Be Real. A presentation slide that begins with “Be The Change You Wish To See In The World! – Mahatma Gandhi” states [emphases in original]:
Members of Dare 2 Be Real are students who are passionate about the topic of race. They seek to become anti-racists [sic] leaders in their lives at South View and beyond. In Dare 2 Be Real, we get real about this important, yet uncomfortable, topic and learn how to speak our truths.
Students can join the South View Environmental Group whose motto is given as, “Helping our school community make choices that are environmentally conscious and personally healthy.”
It is described as “a warm and welcoming group of young people who feel an urgent need to help improve the health of our planet and protect our natural world. We take on [a] mix of large group, small group, and individual projects to explore our personal passions, collaborate, and get as much done as possible!”
Among “[p]ast and present projects” are “[f]undraisers for endangered species” and “[p]resenting individual and group projects at an annual Earth Day Summit[.]”
Meanwhile, Principal Mahoney doesn’t exactly hide her ideology or intentions. She celebrates leftist indoctrination on Twitter and in blog posts.
Whether “this unusually large focus on social justice issues is a perennial theme at Highlands Elementary” or if it is the direct result of the hiring of Mahoney in 2016, is unclear, Lattier writes.
But one thing is clear: Mahoney is certainly a zealot for social justice issues. Almost every post she uploads to the school’s blog, “Wonder,” includes an “Equity Corner,” where she provides recommendations to teachers and parents for their further education. (Note: Mahoney is also prolific on the school’s Facebook page.)
Some of the many recommendations include…
- an article from The Root titled “Yes, You Can Measure White Privilege.”
- book resources for parents to use to talk with their children about race.
- the student projects on activist groups at the Ashoka Changemaker Summit. (Highlands is listed as one of Ashoka’s “Changemaker Schools,” which share a commitment to helping children “master empathy.”)
On Twitter, Principal Mahoney highlights a recent Technology and Information Services (TIES) conference for Minnesota educators, offering what Lattier calls “one more illustration that Highlands’ social justice curriculum is not specific to this school, but is becoming systemic in America’s education system.”
She posted a photo of a slide from a presentation by sociologist Eduardo Bonilla-Silva, author of Racism without Racists, which urges the creation of “a large cohort of antiracist whites.”
The slide reads:
PUBLIC POLICY & COLOR-BLIND RACISM
Create a large cohort of antiracist whites
Develop counter arguments for all frames
Show the WHITE color of colorblindness
Personal commitment to fight CBR
Work to develop new social movement for racial justice. (In Trumpamerica, we need this movement more than ever!)
Another slide Mahoney posted embraced the leftist idea that America is hopelessly racist.
SO THEN, WHAT IS RACISM?
Racism refers to societies partially organized around the logic and practice of race (the problem of race in America has always been less about the apples, and more about the apple tree). In this sense, racism is always a structural or systemic problem reproduced through mechanisms and practices at all levels, including the ideological one.
Why does it exist? Originally to justify colonialism, genocide, land dispossession, resource extraction, slavery, and labor extraction. Today it justifies those race-based inequalities that emerged in early modernity and remain part of our global landscape.
Not surprisingly, Mahoney recommends victimology porn such as Between the World and Me, by Ta-Nehisi Coates, Pushout: The Criminalization of Black Girls in School, by Monique W. Morris, and Drinking Coffee Elsewhere, by Z.Z. Packer.
In a blog post about “changemaking communities,” Mahoney draws attention to The Mask You Live In, a documentary film by Jennifer Siebel Newsom, current wife of California’s lieutenant governor and former San Francisco mayor Gavin Newsom (D). This piece of feminist agitprop features a parade of eunuchs apologizing for masculinity and demanding that something be done about their sex.
A trailer shows a defeated-looking retired NFL player Joe Ehrmann moaning, “The three most destructive words that every man receives when he’s a boy is when he’s told to be a man.” Now a social justice warrior, Ehrmann rails against sports, saying, “The great myth in America today is that sports builds character.”
Asked what it means to be a man, Ehrmann sounds beaten-down and brainwashed.
I think it can only be defined by two things: One, it’s your capacity to love and to be loved. Masculinity ought to be defined in terms of relationships. Second thing, it ought to be defined by commitment to a cause. All of us have a responsibility to give back, to make the world more fair, more just, more hospitable for every human being. So I think it’s about relationships and commitments to a cause. That’s the underline of all humanity — men and women.
Later in the post Principal Mahoney oozes about her school, calling it “an amazing community doing wonderful things every day for students, staff and families.”
We need to keep pushing what we know is right for children and we need to reach out and partner with other fabulous changemaking schools to keep learning, growing and building inspiration. We don’t have to go it alone we have the community and they ALL want to grow with us and continue changemaking for all the right reasons- KIDS!
Why do we need all this “changemaking” and why do our children have to be the vehicles for it?
Short answer: we don’t and they shouldn’t be.