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The Left’s Response to Failure Is to Redefine It as Success


BY: ELLE REYNOLDS | JULY 26, 2022

Read more at https://thefederalist.com/2022/07/26/the-lefts-response-to-failure-is-to-redefine-it-as-success/

dictionary in Boston reading room

‘Recession’ is far from the first concept the left has simply redefined to deflect the consequences of their failed policies and ideas.

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In preparation for the close of the year’s second economic quarter, the White House Council of Economic Advisers has already started the spin: We’re not in a recession if we just redefine what a recession is.

“While some maintain that two consecutive quarters of falling real GDP constitute a recession, that is neither the official definition nor the way economists evaluate the state of the business cycle,” the supposedly nonpartisan group said in a blog post on Thursday.

It’s doubtful the verbal smoke and mirrors will persuade the average Americans whose grocery bills keep growing as fast as their gas tanks empty. A recession is a sustained downturn in economic activity, and many Americans can feel it without knowing what the Q2 numbers are. But it’s far from the first concept the left has simply redefined to deflect the consequences of their failed policies and ideas.

One of their favorite words to redefine, apparently as “full and unchallenged political control,” is democracy. When actual democratic processes are at work — such as when an elected majority votes not to pass a pet piece of legislation, or when issues such as abortion law are left to elected representatives of the people at the state level — leftists scream their favorite catchphrase and call it a “threat to democracy.” They’ve levied that smear at everything from our bicameral legislature to the Supreme Court to the other party in our two-party system. It’s obvious they’re not really talking about democracy in any honest sense of the word. When democracy is a threat to their power, it simply gets redefined.

Another word that’s undergone a 180-degree redefinition is racism. No longer is it considered racist to treat someone differently based on his or her skin color, and not racist to value all human beings equally. Instead, if you’re not promoting theories that “remedy … past discrimination [with] present discrimination,” as critical race theorist Ibram X. Kendi suggests, you are clearly a racist according to the left’s new dictionary. Do you believe in meritocracy? Racist. Think people are responsible for their own choices, and it’s neither possible nor beneficial for the government to dole out equivalent outcomes to everyone by force? Doubly racist. The new liturgy says that true equality lies in teaching some children that they’re part of a hopelessly oppressive system and other children that they’re hopelessly oppressed.

On the subject of pitting people against each other, the term “vaccine” has been ridiculously redefined to cover for the incompetence of the people who profit from them. After the shot that was promised to protect people from Covid transmission and infection failed to ward off either, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention simply changed the definition of “vaccine” to fit the narrative. “A product that stimulates a person’s immune system to produce immunity to a specific disease” was quietly altered to “a preparation that is used to stimulate the body’s immune response against diseases.” Barely a week later, Merriam-Webster followed suit by changing the definition of “anti-vaxxer” from someone who opposes vaccines to someone who doesn’t believe the government should mandate Covid shots.

Just last week, as part of the trans-crazed campaign to redefine what a woman is, Merriam-Webster added “having a gender identity that is the opposite of male” to its definition of “female.” Categories such as “men” and “women” that are based in biological reality don’t suit the agenda that seeks to abolish those realities from minds and bodies. So rather than advocate their agenda within the bounds of reality, the left simply attempts to redefine reality itself. It’s apparent in the push to call women by the objectifying terms “pregnant persons,” “menstruating people,” etc. We saw it when then-Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson told Congress she couldn’t define what a woman is, and it’s obvious in the attempts to put confused men in women’s prisons, shelters, and bathrooms. The reality of womanhood is in the way, so it’s being redefined out of existence.

And while abortion advocates lately have been willing to defend the act of killing a baby in the womb even with the understanding that it takes a human life, for years they’ve pushed their agenda by redefining an unborn baby as a “clump of cells” or some other dehumanizing description.

On any of those topics and more, leftists and their allies in Big Tech also persistently redefine any dissenting opinions or perspectives as disinformation, using that disingenuous label to erase opposition from channels of discourse.

Of course, many people who hear them prattle about “disinformation,” “birthing persons,” “anti-racism,” “threats to democracy,” and their host of other buzzwords know those words are nonsense. We can tell, as George Orwell wrote in 1946, that “political language is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable.”

But, as he noted, “the worst thing one can do with words is to surrender them.” The danger is in allowing these redefinitions of reality to be said, unchallenged, until enough people forget they could ever be challenged at all.


Elle Reynolds is an assistant editor at The Federalist, and received her B.A. in government from Patrick Henry College with a minor in journalism. You can follow her work on Twitter at @_etreynolds.

California School District Promotes White Privilege Conference and Being ‘Race Conscious’


REPORTED BY: SPENCER LINDQUIST | JANUARY 19, 2022

Read more at https://thefederalist.com/2022/01/19/california-school-district-promotes-white-privilege-conference-and-being-race-conscious/

classroom

Davis Joint Unified School District in Davis, California, pushed leftwing distortions of gender and critical race theory through its Office of School Climate, which taught staff that “gender is a scam” and advertises the White Privilege Conference on March 9-12, 2022. The office is “responsible for supporting district staff and recommending and piloting ways to address structural oppression and to enhance school climate, equity, diversity, and inclusion,” according to their website.

The district, which includes approximately 8,500 TK-12 students throughout 16 different schools, also recently voted to adopt an Ethnic Studies requirement, which a press release notes will “explore issues of identity, analyze systems of power” and “examine social movements.”

Distortions Of Gender

The district’s site features a number of different resources that pushed radical leftwing distortions of gender. One presentation called “Supporting LGBTQ+ Students and Staff” was given to staff members at Harper Junior High School in May 2021 by two of the school’s teachers, both of whom use “they/them” pronouns. One also uses the abbreviation “Mx.” in lieu of Mr., Ms., or Mrs. 

One slide bore a pride flag with transgender colors and black and brown stripes, both of which “sought to further represent the queer and trans identities of black and brown people.” Another one linked to a video titled “Gender is a Scam,” which compels audiences to “decolonize their language,” while a linked article called “15 Things LGBTQ people of colour want you to know” tells you “Why you might be guilty of white fragility.”

The slideshow instructed staff to use the pronouns they/them until someone says his pronouns and told them that “Posters/flags that support LGBTQ+ people are just the beginning” before going on to ask, “does your curriculum center primarily white/cis/straight voices?” The same slide warns against using medical and scientifically accurate terminology in regard to gender. 

Meanwhile on the office’s LGBTQIA+ Supports page, a link to the activist group Human Rights Campaign promoted LGBTQ+ Inclusive Picture and Middle School Books,” some of which are even aimed at children in pre-k. A link to the USC Rossier School of Education’s site “Students and Gender Identity Guide for Schools” also features a Gender Identity Glossary for Schools with woke vocabulary terms like “deadnaming,” “gender expansive,” “polygender,” “third-gender,” and “two spirit.”

Critical Race Theory and the White Privilege Conference

The office also promotes a trove of critical race theory resources intended for students, families, staff, teachers, and administrators under the subheading “Anti-Bias and Racial Justice.” The site opens by promoting free webinars from Embrace Race, a left-wing organization aimed at young children. Their webinars bear titles like “Addressing Racial Injustice with Young Children” and “RaceTalk among White Families Post-Floyd. Now What?”

The White Privilege Conference, a project of The Privilege Institute, is also promoted to staff members. The annual conference, not to be confused with the institute’s similarly named White Privilege Symposium, intends to provide “an opportunity for participants to discuss how white privilege, white supremacy, and oppression affects daily life while giving strategies for addressing issues of privilege and oppression and advancing social and economic justice.” 

Last year’s conference hosted Robin DiAngelo, who discussed the subject of her latest book nice racism,” which condemned all white people, including the far-left white people who comprise her audience, as definitionally racist.

The conference featured myriad workshops each day, which boasted titles like “Critical Race Theory/Critical Race Feminism: Creating a Plan of Action during the Biden-Harris era,” “A Good Womyn is Hard to Find,” and “The Making & Remaking of Whiteness.” The institute also hosts the Youth Action Project, with one-day institutes geared towards middle schoolers and high school students.

The district’s office also advertises the 1619 Project curriculum alongside a site called Learning for Justice, which they note “offers excellent, teacher-developed classroom curriculum.”

‘Dismantle White Supremacy’

Included under the heading “For Teachers, Staff, and Administrators” are K-12 frameworks for anti-bias and social justice education from Learning for Justice, a project of the extremist Southern Poverty Law Center whose mission is to “dismantle white supremacy” and “strengthen intersectional movements” by pushing critical race theory into schools. 

One such video from The New York Times titled “A Conversation with White People on Race” features white people expressing guilt over their alleged privilege, with one person remarking “We’re all implicated in a racist system, and I play my part in it as a white person.”

The office adds that they have a library of books and videos for staff, including one titled “Cracking the Codes and Mirrors of Privilege: Making Whiteness Visible.”

Meanwhile, students and families are also directed to a number of critical race theory-inspired resources, including one link to a site titled 100 Race-Conscious Things You Can Say To Your Child To Advance Racial Justice,” which includes quotes of things parents have told their children when discussing race. Particularly striking is number 53, which makes the claim that “if you are White and you commit a crime … police might say ‘that was wrong, don’t do that again,’ and that’s all…but if you are Black and commit the same crime, they might arrest you and you might go to prison.” One quote under the subtitle “police violence” discusses black victims of police brutality, writing “The man who killed them didn’t like brown skin. He had white skin like us.”

The list isn’t exclusively focused on race, however, also promoting left-wing distortions of sex with quotes like “You know, some people are born with penises but feel like girls on the inside and some people are born with vaginas but feel like boys on the inside. We can’t always tell if someone is a boy or a girl just by looking at them and that’s okay.”

Guidelines for Strong White Allies” is also included on the district’s list. Among the guidelines were requests for “resources,” “money,” and even “your body on the line.” Author Paul Kivel also told “white allies” to “understand and learn from the history of whiteness and racism” and to “assume racism is everywhere, every day.”

An anti-racist book list for children promoted by the district explains how parents can ease children into CRT by first starting “very gently” with entirely unobjectionable books that “just show kids that racial diversity exists.” The goal, however, is to eventually employ books that discuss “racial privilege, colorism, and the subtle tools that uphold white supremacy, such as white fragility and respectability politics.”

The district’s previous superintendent John Bowes signaled his belief in the leftist claim that America is fundamentally racist when, after the conviction of Derek Chauvin, he sent out a message explaining that he was reminded of the need to “rid our country of the systemic bias and institutional racism that exists in all parts of our society.” He went on to explain that “public education, including DJUSD schools, are part of the solution.”

Davis Joint Unified School District’s promotion of both critical race theory and leftist distortions of sex are part of a broader leftwing push in K-12 institutions throughout the country. In California alone, other districts have lied about teaching CRT, hosted LGBT clubs for four-year-olds, paid extremist organizations to “disrupt whiteness,” and promoted material that tells students to use witchcraft against those who say “all lives matter.”

The politicized nature of California’s government schools, along with general concerns regarding quality of education, may lead some to support a recently launched bipartisan campaign to pass a school choice initiative in the golden state.

Neither Superintendent Matt Best nor Climate Coordinator Kate Snow responded to The Federalist’s request for comment.


Spencer Lindquist is an intern at the Federalist and a senior at Pepperdine University where he studies Political Science and Rhetoric and Leadership and serves as Pepperdine’s College Republicans President. You can follow him on Twitter @SpencerLndqst and reach him at LSpencerLindquist@gmail.com.

500 School Districts Publicly Declare Only Woke Teachers Need Apply


Reported BY: JANE ROBBINS | JANUARY 10, 2022

Read more at https://thefederalist.com/2022/01/10/500-school-districts-publicly-declare-only-woke-teachers-need-apply/

Teacher eyeballing a student

The woke-o-meter in public schools is about to ramp up. Parents who think they don’t have time to homeschool may soon realize that, compared to the effort involved in monitoring and countering the nonsense from leftist classrooms, homeschooling is the relaxing alternative. Not all teachers buy into the leftist narrative of race-obsessed anti-Americanism. But leftist K-12 administrators want to ensure that, eventually, all teachers will present only approved ideas and counter any wrongthink children are taught at home. Many of these educrats are now embracing a technological fix.

Trade publication Education Week recently reported that about 500 school districts around the country are rating teacher applicants according to their “cultural competency,” another code for “wokeness.” Many of these districts are contracting with a teacher-hiring company called Nimble, which uses artificial intelligence to examine applications and interview answers to determine which candidates harbor the correct political and cultural attitudes.

A central concern of Nimble and its leftist clients is mindsets about race. The goal is to hire only teachers who are “anti-racist” activists, who will reject equal treatment of all students in favor of discrimination against some (whites) for the supposed benefit of others (racial minorities). Note that under this rubric, Asian students, who as a group work hard and consequently excel, don’t qualify as an oppressed racial minority.

“Now that we’ve become a little more aware of the concept of anti-racism and maybe a little more woke as a culture, I do think that districts have started to emphasize these questions a little bit more,” Nimble CEO Lauren Dachille told EdWeek. “They might be more common, they might be more explicit.”

Anti-racism as a motivating societal force was popularized by Ibram X. Kendi, who along with other savvy race grifters is profiting handsomely from the concept. Getting points for honesty if not integrity, Kendi teaches that discrimination against white people is a positive good, and indeed necessary to establish the “equity” of equal outcomes for all regardless of intelligence or effort. This is what is meant by anti-racism: “If discrimination is creating equity, then it is antiracist.”

What types of discrimination do Kendi and his disciples approve? Examples abound. White students may be shamed in classroom “privilege walks” or “privilege deconstruction” sessions. Black or Hispanic students may be held to lower standards of behavior. Programs for gifted students may be abolished.

Note the racism inherent in anti-racism. “Anti-racists” assume that black and brown children are “less than” white or Asian kids—they can’t excel in academics, they can’t follow basic rules of personal conduct. It’s necessary to change all standards to accommodate these presumed “inferior” beings. Such a theory ensures minority kids will never overcome personal obstacles because they’re told they don’t have to. This is the system that, with Nimble’s help, many schools are trying to establish and perpetuate.

EdWeek identified a Boston elementary school principal who “will tell candidates the school’s priorities around anti-racism and ask them to respond.” To make crystal clear the political attitudes expected from successful candidates, “she will ask them what they’ve done personally or professionally to be more anti-racist.” Presumably, getting arrested at a Black Lives Matter riot would be, as Rush Limbaugh used to say, a resume enhancement.

Applicants in Indianapolis may be asked “how [they would] ensure that student outcomes are not predictable by race, ethnicity, culture, gender, or sexual orientation.” Of course, there’s only one way to ensure such an outcome: manipulate it to guarantee that all students end up at the same low level. Any students who threaten the leveling by working too hard or achieving too much will have to be brought to heel—at least, if they’re the “wrong” race.

Indianapolis teaching applicants may also be asked, “Why do you think that low-income students predictably perform lower on standardized tests than their more-affluent peers?” One would be pretty safe to assume a preferred answer would be “because of systemic racism,” not “because those students, largely due to decades of misguided government policies, are more likely to come from fatherless families and grow up in a dysfunctional environment.”

Throughout the article, district officials emphasize the importance of hiring teachers who are amenable to the schools’ “priorities” and “values.” But how is it appropriate for a public institution, funded by taxpayers who hold a wide range of political opinions, to institutionalize one set of those opinions? Even worse, how is it appropriate for the institution to guarantee the propagation of those opinions by limiting hires to candidates who agree with them?

These questions illustrate the bubble mentality of the left. Leftists are so certain of the objective correctness of all their views that they cannot conceive of any person of goodwill taking a different position. In the leftist mind, anyone not willing to engage in discrimination against whites or Asians in the name of “equity” is the moral equivalent of a Klansman. And who would object to screening out Klansmen from the teacher corps?

Parents who hope the public schools are still salvageable might want to reconsider. The skyrocketing wokeness of administrators who control teacher hiring will ensure that all classrooms are increasingly devoted to indoctrination rather than education.

How exhausting it is for parents to constantly monitor what their children are being fed in every class and then try to repair the intellectual and moral damage at home. Viewed in this light, does choosing another schooling arrangement really seem so hard?


Jane Robbins is an attorney and a retired senior fellow with the American Principles Project in Washington DC. In that position she crafted federal and state legislation designed to restore the constitutional autonomy of states and parents in education policy, and to protect the rights of religious freedom and conscience. She is a graduate of Clemson University and the Harvard Law School.

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