There’s a backlash developing against the current American tendency to frame everything in terms of race, specifically the notion that white people inhabit a place of “supremacy” and all other races are mostly relegated to a life of battling that supremacy to achieve success. In short, that, unless one is born white, any achievement must be because that battle against white supremacy has been overcome rather than a viewpoint that sees accomplishments as achievements due mostly to the individual talents the person has to offer.
And that backlash is emanating from experiences people are having with the very places the curriculum of white supremacy is most dangerous: schools.
In two separate news stories, one from a moderately progressive outlet and one from a staunch conservative site, parents and teachers are pushing back against the orthodoxy that teaches “black and brown children that they’re weak, they’re victims, it isn’t up to them if they get ahead. And…teaches the white children that the black and brown children are weak!”
In a piece at The Atlantic, Conor Friedersdorf interviews a woman of African descent who grew up attending public schools in Evanston, Ill., about what her own children are now experiencing at those same schools. His tweet thread, and the piece, is a must-read.
I interviewed Ndona Muboyayi. She worries that the public school system is teaching her Black children in ways that disempower them while prejudicially stereotyping whites.
Here is the piece:https://t.co/qwRDx9OHSP
I can share a few more things she told me, too.
— Conor Friedersdorf (@conor64) April 3, 2021
For example, Muboyayi says her young son had always had dreams of being an attorney — until he came home one day with an idea that perhaps his dream wasn’t quite as achievable as he had been led to believe.
My children have always been so proud of who they are. Then all of a sudden they started to question themselves because of what they were taught after arriving here. My son has wanted to be a lawyer since he was 11. Then one day he came home and told me, “But Mommy, there are these systems put in place that prevent Black people from accomplishing anything.” That’s what they’re teaching Black kids: that all of this time for the past 400 years, this is what [white people have] done to you and your people. The narrative is, “You can’t get ahead.”
Of course I want my children to know about slavery and Jim Crow. But I want it to be balanced out with the rest of the truth. They’re not taught about Black people who accomplished things in spite of white supremacy; or about the Black people today who got ahead, built things, achieved things; and those who had opportunities that their ancestors fought for.
In another article at The Daily Signal, a teacher — who preferred to remain anonymous — discussed at length why she had decided to leave the teaching profession because schools, in her words, had become “indoctrination centers.”
“I would even say that [my colleagues] would try to school me in my own oppression,” Foster said. “They would probably see me as though I was ignorant, like ‘Why are you, a black person, not part of our team?’”
Assuming her to be in agreement with progressive views, leadership at Foster’s school asked her if she would consider leading a class to teach high school students about white privilege. She declined the offer.
“From my perspective, it’s a lot of self-hatred on their own part, like they feel guilty for being white,” Foster said of her colleagues.
Foster said she watched as fellow educators have adapted curriculum in courses from English to health to further a far-left ideology.
Administrators are removing classic works of literature by William Shakespeare, Ernest Hemingway, and Charles Dickens from English classes because they regard such works as furthering white privilege and supporting patriarchy, Foster said.
Adopted in their place are “Latinx books, black books, [and] LGBTQ+ books,” Foster said.
“The Hate U Give,” by Angie Thomas, a book for young adults inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, is one book replacing classic literature at Foster’s school.
Foster’s school also asks teachers to include elements of The New York Times’ disputed 1619 Project in the English curriculum.
It’s encouraging more parents and teachers have begun speaking out about the politics of lowered expectations infecting public schools. It indicates a saturation point that may mean the tide will begin shifting away from critical race theory, or at the least, an embrace of school choice.
Less encouraging is the realization that a large number of children every year have been taught that they can only measure their success by where they fall on the skin color spectrum, rather than on the spectrum that measures their intellect and natural talents and drive. It remains to be seen exactly how this kind of training will affect these kids — and our culture of freedom and self-reliance — once they become adults.