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Does the Left Really Think Parents Shouldn’t Have a Say in Education?

Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP, File

The hard left seems very keen on pushing the idea that only the government should decide what our children are being taught in the classroom. They insist that parents should have little to no say when it comes to determining the ideas, values, and subjects their kids are being presented with. But it would be a mistake to assume they truly believe parents should not be involved in their children’s education – the issue is far more nuanced and insidious than it might seem at first glance.

Author Nikole Hannah-Jones, who created the New York Times’ 1619 Project, recently caused a stir after an appearance on NBC News’ “Meet the Press,” in which she intimated that parents should not have a role in deciding the curriculum being taught to their children. The author stated she did not “understand this idea that parents should decide what’s being taught” in the classroom. She continued:

“I’m not a professional educator. I don’t have a degree in social studies or science. We send our children to school because we want them to be taught by people who have an expertise in the subject area. And that is not my job.”

Hannah-Jones also complained about the “outsized voice” of white parents in the debate over education policy.

The author’s comments are reminiscent of when Democratic Virginia gubernatorial incumbent Terry McAuliffe poured a little salt and ketchup on his foot before dining on it when he said “I don’t think parents should be telling schools what they should teach,” during a debate. Indeed, it was this gaffe, along with his obsession with former President Donald Trump, that contributed to his eventual defeat.

But Hannah-Jones, in all her wisdom, donned the red cape and tried to come to McAuliffe’s rescue, saying that his statement was “just the fact.”

The author also insisted, without any sense of irony, that teachers “should teach us how to think, not what to think. On Sunday’s program, media activist and host Chuck Todd agreed with that sentiment, arguing that “at the end of the day, this politicizing of this, it’s clearly been weaponized.”

Now, we already know why these arguments are about as crazy as a soup sandwich. Everyday Americans, regardless of political affiliation, know that parents should have a say in what their children are being taught – they do not believe the government should have full sway over this issue.

But what if I told you that those proposing the notion that parents should remain silent don’t really believe it? Allow me to explain.

What do you think would happen if conservatives started pushing for the teaching of “Lost Cause History” in the classroom? For those unfamiliar with this, here’s an explanation from Encyclopedia Virginia:

The Lost Cause is an interpretation of the American Civil War (1861–1865) that seeks to present the war, from the perspective of Confederates, in the best possible terms. Developed by white Southerners, many of them former Confederate generals, in a postwar climate of economic, racial, and social uncertainty, the Lost Cause created and romanticized the “Old South” and the Confederate war effort, often distorting history in the process. For this reason, many historians have labeled the Lost Cause a myth or a legend. It is certainly an important example of public memory, one in which nostalgia for the Confederate past is accompanied by a collective forgetting of the horrors of slavery. Providing a sense of relief to white Southerners who feared being dishonored by defeat, the Lost Cause was largely accepted in the years following the war by white Americans who found it to be a useful tool in reconciling North and South.

Some of the tenets of the Lost Cause myth include the idea that secession was the primary cause of the Civil War and not slavery. Its proponents also posited the notion that blacks were “faithful slaves” who were loyal to their masters and the cause of the Confederacy. Slaves were believed to be unprepared to handle the responsibilities that come with freedom. The myth also suggests all, or most, Confederate soldiers were saints fighting for a noble cause.

So, if Hannah-Jones’ kids, and the children of other hard leftists who insist the states should have free reign to choose what American students should be taught decided to go back to teaching Lost Cause history, how would they react? Is there any inkling that they would have anything close to the cavalier attitude they are taking when it comes to teaching elements of Critical Race Theory or progressive ideas about sexuality?

Of course they wouldn’t, and therein lies the hypocrisy.

Parents – both liberal and conservative – would be showing up at school board meetings protesting these teachings. They would take great umbrage at the idea that history should be tweaked to push a false narrative about slavery and the Civil War. They wouldn’t just say “meh, the schools can teach my kid whatever they want.”

This, dear reader, is yet another example of the “good for me, but not for thee” approach that leftists like Hannah-Jones love to employ. See, it’s not about whether parents should take a role in deciding what is taught in schools; it’s about what the left deems to be appropriate. If it involves teaching tenets of wokeism, parents shouldn’t be allowed to push back. But anything else is fair game. This is yet another reason why we should never take them at their word. Whenever the left expresses a principle, we must realize they only believe what they say when it works in their favor — and proceed accordingly.