by Barry A. Liebling
The leftist elite has dominated education – from K-12 through graduate school – for more than half a century. Consequently, advocates for liberty who are inspired by the best elements of enlightenment philosophy have faced implacable opposition. Students have been fed a steady diet of the left-progressive world view, and it is increasingly rare to find educated people who appreciate individualism and freedom.
And in the last few years the situation has become worse. Many schools – especially the most influential and prestigious – are pushing policies that are derivative of Critical Race Theory (CRT) – a dogma that is explicitly malicious, collectivist, and utterly inimical to individual justice.
Of course, there are many students, parents, and alarmed observers who are repelled by CRT-inspired actions. At the local level concerned parents are challenging school administrators and demanding that the curricula exclude content that classifies students as oppressors or oppressed according to their skin color. Various legislators have called for laws that will ban public schools from teaching the false notion that race is the determiner of who deserves to be punished (white people) and who should enjoy prizes (the non-white oppressed).
Many critics who have no sympathy for CRT have commented that the movement is essentially Neo Marxist – replacing the classic struggle of workers against the bourgeois with an “inevitable war for power” between whites and people of color. But, as Ilana Mercer has explained (ilanamercer.com), that line of thinking does not capture the essential root of CRT – implacable hostility against whites and all things that symbolize whiteness. The Marxism is real, but it is layered on afterwards like icing on a cake.
The “intellectual” mob that supports CRT-related actions in schools has an interesting and fallacious rejoinder to those who dare to defend themselves. They argue that you have no right to criticize CRT unless you have a detailed and thorough understanding of the academic CRT literature. Until you have read and digested a large body of CRT writing, they say, you are in no position to pass judgement. But the CRT boosters are wrong. What you need to grasp is its essential message – white people are bad and should be permanently punished and ashamed of themselves.
Note well that putting legal sanctions and social pressure on schools is doomed to fail. In the short run there is no way to displace the educational establishment that is enthusiastically fighting to bring about the woke revolution. The smart strategy is to go around the schools and reject their legitimacy.
Suppose a school that is pushing the CRT-woke-leftist agenda is ordered to stop. What is most likely to occur? The teachers and administrators that are true believes (and there are a lot of them) will continue to inculcate CRT dogma, but it will not be an “official” part of the curriculum.
I am a baby boomer, and when I was in K-12 in California many of my teachers frequently asserted that the Soviet Union was basically a good place but the United States was seriously flawed. At that time leftist political messaging was not required in the public schools, but teachers will always express their genuine sentiments when they can.
Let’s talk about what to do. Parents should begin by telling their children that teachers are not always right. Instead parents should explain that schools are complicated institutions where some of the content is legitimate and some has no value. Children should be encouraged by parents to differentiate the good stuff (learning to read and write, learning mathematics, learning to think independently) from the garbage (woke harangues about social justice).
What is a clear sign that something is being shoved onto students that is patently false? Collectivist dogma should always be rejected. Any content that assigns either blame or praise to group actions rather than individual actions is on the wrong track. Children should understand that it is appropriate to be rewarded or punished according to how they act. They should always try to do the right thing. However, it is never permissible to condemn or congratulate someone according to what might have occurred before the person was born or what the person’s distant relatives might have done.
How will students become educated about the right way to evaluate world events? It will have to be outside of the traditional classroom. The good news is that the internet provides an excellent opportunity to provide useful content that counteracts CRT-related propaganda. There is already good literature and videos available, and concerned citizens should support the production of much more.
You might ask how it is possible to defy and contradict what is being pushed in schools – and prevail. Recall that there are many examples of outside-of-school cultural shifts that were able to overpower the educational establishment. In the 1950s rock and roll swept the country despite what teachers said about its value. In the 1960s the hippie culture flooded the nation – against the wishes of school administrators. In today’s world it is possible to promote something that is truly revolutionary – young people learning to appreciate individualism and freedom.
Want to defeat CRT and the woke cabal? Ditch the schools.
*** See other entries at AlertMindPublishing.com in “Monthly Columns.” ***