Reported by Mike Landry | August 5, 2021
Prepare to be patted on the head.
And listen for the “Tsk, tsk, you don’t really understand what we’re about, dear.” That’s how it will be in Minnesota and probably elsewhere if a leftist teachers union can spread its ideas on how to respond to its promotion of critical race theory.
Before reading the following, you might want to take a deep breath and exhale or whatever it is you do to reduce stress. You might have to do that after reading it, too.
Education Minnesota is trying to counter growing community pushback against CRT around the state, so it has published a guide on how teachers should respond, a copy of which was obtained by Powerline and publicized by Minnesota’s Alpha News. First of all, the union tells teachers not to call what they’re teaching critical race theory. They know parents are catching on. And the guide presents buckets of mush designed to obscure the issue and talk down to critics.
It’s a classic snow job using the special language of “educanto,” a term coined by the late Paul Greenberg, public school critic and Pulitzer Prize-winning Arkansas newspaper editor. Education Minnesota tells teachers that when asked why they teach kids that all white people are racist, they should give the following response:
“First off, I’m thrilled you’re taking such a deep interest in how and what our kids are taught, a conversation that I feel is long overdue.
“What I know most Americans believe is that we expect our students — whatever their color or background — to be able to learn hard truths and handle honest history and civics.”
May I pat your head?
“I believe in children’s potential to meet new challenges and have an honest reckoning, and when we try to edit and distort our history, we are doing them, and our future, a disservice. My loyalty is to children and who and what they can become.”
That’s how teachers should respond to your question about their “evil white people” push. And, of course, as the left always says: It’s for the children.
Education Minnesota does more than purr in its teacher voice. In its guide for its union members, it provides does some hard-knuckle political messaging against CRT critics by presenting “Key Concepts for Responding.”
Here are excerpts:
- “Seize the moral high ground and engage on our terms. With attention on education, let’s talk about the teaching and curricula we support and communicate how it benefits all students.”
- “Ascribe motivations to the opposition. Instead of reflexively repeating the opposition’s claims to dispel them (e.g. ‘we are not teaching grade schoolers about XYZ’) talk about why they’re attacking standards, equity and classroom educators.”
- “Bring the conversation back to what we want. Don’t stay on defense.”
- “Avoid the academic term ‘critical race theory. This phrase, unfamiliar to most audiences, has been redefined by the political right as an all-purpose racial dog whistle. Talk instead about the more honest and more complete education our students deserve.”
- “[I]t is so disappointing to see that a few billionaires, and the promoters and talking heads they pay for, have launched a national campaign to mislead Americans about the lessons educators teach about history, culture, gender and politics.”
- “Once again, they’re trying to distract and divide us so we don’t demand the richest 1 percent and the largest corporations pay what they owe for what our communities need, like affordable health care for all.”
Leftist educators try to hide what they’re teaching, but word is getting out. The Center for the American Experiment has been monitoring CRT in Minnesota and produced a video noting instances of it. It found that in Burnsville, fourth-graders were reading a book that said police officers were “mean to black people but nice to white people” and deliberately shot black men.
- The video cited officials in the Minneapolis suburb of Hopkins as saying school operations were built on “white supremacy” values of logic, linear thinking, perfectionism, objectivity and “requiring black students to turn in assignments on time.” Letter grades are gone since they are part of “a dominant white culture.”
- White Bear Lake sixth-graders were divided into groups based on race, sex, religion and place of birth and told to address issues of oppression and privilege.
- Edina kindergarteners through second-graders did an exercise on how to identify themselves by their skin color. Kindergarten through second grade!
- St. Louis Park scrapped the gifted and talented program, opening it to everyone and focusing on “anti-racist talent development.”
- Minnesota teachers are taking anti-racism training, which, in effect, advocates new forms of racial discrimination, according to the video.
It’s not known if Minnesota schoolchildren are learning, like first- and second-graders in the Chicago suburb of Evanston, that “whiteness is a bad deal” and that if you are white, you essentially are a devil oppressing people of color, as reported Wednesday in a RealClear Policy piece that included shocking curriculum photos.
Education Minnesota defines CRT as “an academic framework that is more than 40 years old and is centered on the idea that racism is systemic, not just a product of individual bias or prejudice, and embedded in our policies legal structure.”
Indeed, CRT came from legal theorists during the 1970s and ’80s. The problem is it left the campus, and no matter how groups like Education Minnesota try to hide it, it is gumming up primary and secondary education.
Victor Davis Hanson, a classicist scholar and social commentator whose gravitas stems from also having been a farmer, points out a problem with woke nonsense being dreamed up on the college campus. College professors, Hansen has said, were once like court jesters of old. They could say all kinds of crazy things and no one was offended, not even the king, because everyone knew professors, like jesters, had no real power. Now, according to Hansen, crazy ideas have escaped the campus and are setting public policy.
It’s part of corporate wokeness, too.
Classic Marxism may have hit some resistance since its call for dividing people by income and class could be hindered by the relative affluence of most of the U.S. population, at least by world standards. But for sure, today’s Marxists are focused on dividing by race and gender to class. And critical race theory fits right in.
Mike Landry, Contributor,
Mike Landry, PhD, is a retired business professor. He has been a journalist, broadcaster and church pastor. He writes from Northwest Arkansas on current events and business history.