No Easy Way Out

AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster

I had the distinct honor recently of joining a virtual panel discussion on Critical Race Theory (CRT).

The Canada Strong and Free Network hosted the online forum, and panelists answered questions related to CRT and race relations. It was a robust discussion, and as an American (and former Canadian) I found it fascinating to hear how the issue was manifesting itself for our neighbors to the north. Canadian conservatives have many of the same concerns as American conservatives, except they are much further down the rabbit hole up there than we are, for now.

At one point I was asked to give advice to parents on what they could do if they found themselves facing CRT in their own government schools. I get asked that question a lot, and it’s my least favorite one. Not because I wish people wouldn’t ask, but because the answer I have to give always sounds so discouraging.

We’re all in the market for a quick, easy fix. Be it losing weight, getting rich, or anything else we seek, Americans want what they want and they want it now. Conservative Americans are no different. We’ve been asleep at the cultural wheel for a while. It brings me much joy to see so many people finally waking up to the mess that has infected American culture, and to see so many people finally wanting to do something about it. Conservatives are beginning to understand that our “fixes” will not just happen at the ballot box. We must use a multi-pronged approach to winning back cultural influence.

But we’ve been slumbering a little too long, and now we find ourselves awakening to a living nightmare. The inmates are running the asylum and every major institution seems to be in utter chaos at the moment.

I hate telling this to concerned, anxious parents and citizens, but there is no easy way out of this mess. I don’t have a quick 5-step program to offer. There is no miraculous life hack to employ here. There isn’t one battle that you can hope to win that will solve everything. This is a mess, and we’re going to have to get dirty to clean it up.

It’s going to mean getting uncomfortable. Parents have been labeled as “trouble” by their own local and federal governing bodies, just for being concerned. If they really want to see results, that is exactly what they must become – trouble. They will need to attend those long, boring school board meetings so they know what’s happening in their own district. They will need to be demanding to see curriculum. They will need to file complaints with their teachers, school boards, superintendents and political representatives. They will need to find other like-minded parents and form watchdog groups. They will need to be present and involved.

They will need to run for their school boards, or take on volunteer positions within their schools. They will need to do more than vote – they’ll need to actively and passionately support good, parent-focused candidates (or run themselves). They will need to volunteer, knock on doors, donate to campaigns, help distribute materials and signs. They will need to be as aggressive as the unions are for their candidates. Exhausted parents will need to exhaust themselves further if we have any hope of pushing back the tide of insanity. It will be time-consuming and annoying.

All of this will lead to things none of us want. The state hates parents, because we are the wall between them and our children. Taking a stand, becoming nuisances, refusing to be sidelined when it comes to the education of our children – that will make us unpopular. It will cause tension with our neighbors, and even within our own families. It will invite horrible, unfair labels. We will be targeted for harassment and ridicule in our own communities. We will be disinvited to events and our names will be dragged through the mud.

I hate telling people this. It sounds so discouraging, but it is only the truth. I wish I could tell you that just one thing or one person or one election will help mark the end of all this, but it simply isn’t so. It will not be that easy. It will not be easy at all, and you cannot leave the hard things to other people. Now is the time for all hands on deck. It’s time for every one of us to pick a battlefield and stand there…and yes, that means we’ll be targets.

I’m afraid you’ll have to deal with it.

There was a time when all of this might have been easier, but we hoped the ugliness would just go away with a kindhearted, “live and let live” philosophy. Too many people have learned too late that the far left has no intention of honoring the second half of that cliched equation.

I believe it is not too late to hit the rewind button on the culture, in the ways that matter, anyway. We have time to turn things around…but just barely. The bad news is, it won’t be done by anyone else. It will take all of us. All of us are going to have to give up some time and some rest. It will be worth it, but it will not be fun.

The only way over is through. I wish I had better, more fun news. I just don’t. Get to work.

There is no easy way out.




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