An historically valuable archive is lost by a university 6

A University Has Lost an Archive

The University of Leicester has lost the archive of the Institute for the Study of Terrorism (IST).

I founded the Institute for the Study of Terrorism in London in 1984 under the aegis of Alun Gwynne Jones, Lord Chalfont, an erstwhile Minister of Defence. Its archive was built on the foundation of the research I had done for my books on terrorism in Germany and the Middle East: Hitler’s Children: the Story of the Baader-Meinhof Gang and The PLO: the Rise and Fall of the Palestine Liberation Organization. The information I had gathered was augmented and updated continually through the six years of the Institute’s existence. With a team of five, sometimes six or seven, we worked at it in subterranean offices in central London. Our register of terrorists, names of groups and individuals with details of their affiliations, their objectives, and their actions, steadily grew.

We were a registered charity, but also funded ourselves by compiling reports for businesses needing to know what terrorist threats they could be faced with in foreign countries. Foreign contributors kept us posted on terrorist activity in their countries and regions, so quite often we received life-saving information ahead of the news agencies or even the intelligence agencies, Interpol, airport and port authorities, or the military. On one occasion, for instance, we were able to stop the import into Britain of lethal material disguised as wine in bottles with a very plausible label, because we had been tipped off by our contacts in Germany. Among our foreign advising experts was the head of the Small Arms Section of the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C.

The Nature of the Archive

We built, often at grave personal risk to ourselves, a unique and irreplaceable collection of documents and recordings; lists of names of terrorist groups and individuals; photographs of perpetrators, victims, crime scenes, battlefields; descriptions and assessments of weapons and explosives.

The recordings included interviews I held with former terrorists who had served time in prison and wanted not just to return to normal life, but having come genuinely to regret their crimes, wanted to help oppose terrorism as a form of reparation. They would tell me about their organization’s membership, methods, aims, actions and plans. It was easy for them to get in touch with us. Although our address was secret, our telephone number was in the directory. They would call and I’d make an appointment to meet them in a public place, usually a busy hotel.

Our chief archivist, Ian Geldard, was a brilliant researcher with an extraordinary talent for discovery and detection. Once, at the height of the scare of bombs in planes, he packed a suitcase with the apparatus of a time-bomb, including fake explosive, then passed with it through X-ray machines between London’s Heathrow airport and Berlin’s Tempelhof and back again without being stopped, proving how dangerously untrustworthy the “safety measures” were. We informed the media and the airport authority of the experiment and its results. The report was filed in our archive along with many others.

My co-director Bernhard Adamczewski and I traveled across Europe, together and separately, to gather information firsthand. He found a “wanted” German terrorist in Vienna and informed the local police of the man’s whereabouts. We visited battlefields in the Middle East and pulled bloodstained documents from the rubble of bombed terrorist offices and encased them in transparent plastic covers to be photocopied. The copies were translated and filed. I came upon the deserted camp of one west African terrorist organization where, in the rows of desks in the classrooms, there were exercise books in which students had taken down lessons extolling Soviet Communism as the ideal system. The course had been run by graduates of Moscow’s Patrice Lumumba University. Those proofs that the organization was serving the interests of the USSR went back to London with me and entered our archive. 

The Uses of the Archive  

Once we had come into existence, legislators, the press, law enforcement, the transport and travel industries no longer had to rely on the announcements put out by terrorist groups themselves to know what they were doing, what they intended to do, and why. We supplied dependable information to members of Parliament, scholars, news channels, individual reporters and investigative journalists, airport and seaport authorities. We co-operated with the police in Britain, including the terrorist section of Scotland Yard’s Special Branch, and were several times able to give helpful information to law enforcement in other Western and allied countries.

I commissioned experts to write about particular terrorist organizations. We published their work as booklets in distinctive uniform yellow covers.  We co-convened two international conferences, one with the Institute for European Defence and Strategic Studies, one with London University’s Faculty of Laws which was opened by the Home Secretary. All this was done with the aim of promoting a shared understanding among Western policy-makers that terrorism was an inexcusable evil, regardless of the cause, however high, in the name of which it was carried out.

The archive established that almost all the terrorist groups in the First World and its allies between 1969 and 1990 were supported with training, and/or funding, arms, asylum, by Soviet Russia. (A few were affiliated with China.) I called their actions the hot spots of the Cold War.

With the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 and the defeat of the USSR in 1991, most of the terrorist wars in the West came to end. And since we had found and reported that most of them were Soviet sponsored, donors to our institute concluded that our usefulness was also at an end. In 1990, donations stopped. Businesses no longer asked for assessments of danger. I warned that the era of terrorism was not over, but few believed me. Hamas, a terrorist branch of the Muslim Brotherhood, was in power in Gaza and using terrorist methods against Israel. The ayatollahs governing Iran were supporting Hezbollah in Lebanon. Though I did not know that Osama bin Laden was just getting started with his organization al-Qaeda (so the colossal atrocity of 9/11 was already in the womb of time), I saw that the mass immigration of Muslims into the West meant that Europe and America could become targets of terrorism in furtherance of Islamic jihad.

Reluctantly, I closed the Institute and sought a permanent home for the archive. Its obvious guardian would be a university. I anticipated that our records, solidly proving the guilt of two Communist regimes for promoting decades of mass murder in the West, would be a permanent resource for historians of the Cold War.

The Archive Bought by a University  

The University of Leicester bought the archive in 1993. There, I thought, it will be safe. In due course the University archivist who had inspected the archive and negotiated the deal to acquire it, invited me and Ian Geldard to see how they were organizing it. They named it, with my approval, “The Becker-Adamczewski Archive of the Institute for the Study of Terrorism”. We were shown that published books were separately accommodated on the shelves of the main library, and that the bulk of the collection was to be kept in a special building, bought and adapted for the purpose of housing special collections. It was called the Scarman Centre for the Study of Public Order and was under the department of Criminology. Our archive was one of the first two to be put in it – the other (we were told or I assumed) was that of Lord Scarman himself, the High Court judge.

I was not entirely happy with the decision of the university to categorize our archive under Crime. I was doubtful  that scholars would look for research material on terrorism under that heading. I would have classed it under Politics, International Affairs, War, or History, but the decision was not mine to make. I trusted that wherever it was kept, our unique and irreplaceable collection of documents, photographs, and recordings would be properly preserved and accessible to scholars.

It was a treasure for a university to possess. 

What Happened to the Archive

In 2007 I came to live in America, where I launched this website, The Atheist Conservative. In 2020, the president of Republican Atheists, Lauren Ell, posted a profile of me on their website. I had mentioned to her that the IST archive had been bought by the University of Leicester. Wanting information about it, she contacted the university – and was told that it could not be found.

As soon as Lauren Ell informed me that the archive was apparently lost, I made my own inquiry and the loss was confirmed. The building in which the greater part of it had been housed was no longer in use by the university and there was no record of where the IST research material had been moved to. However, the Head of Archives and Special Collections, Dr. Simon Dixon, let me know that he was undertaking an investigation of the loss.

Dr. Dixon did all he could to find the archive. He courteously kept me informed of the efforts he made, which were hampered by the lockdowns imposed on the university during the Covid-19 epidemic. In the late summer of 2021 he brought his search to an end. He had failed to find any remnant of the archive except the books which had been placed immediately in the university’s general library – and apparently added to with more printed material some twelve years later.

Dr. Dixon wrote to me in his final letter:

I am very sorry to report that it has not been possible to locate the full archive … My enquiries have included correspondence with current and former members of staff and a physical visit to the former School of Criminology building … [T]he printed material acquired by the University in 1993 was integrated into the Library’s main run of holdings in 2005/6 and has subsequently been managed in accordance with our collections management policies.

The rest of the archive had not been so managed. Only a trace of it – some “correspondence” – had been found:

While the unpublished archival material cannot be located, I have taken steps to ensure that a small amount of correspondence that has been recovered is preserved as part of the Archives and Special Collections for which my team are responsible. I have not given up hope that further records will come to light in future, and any additional material that I am made aware of will be permanently retained in the same way.

I am extremely sorry not to be able to provide you with more conclusive information regarding the archive at this time. …

I believe Dr. Dixon’s apology is sincerely meant, but I have received no apology or expression of regret from the University of Leicester.

If our archive was not relevant to learning, teaching and research at the University of Leicester, it could have been sold or given to some other institution. There are still some academies in America, or faculties within academies that would probably value it and make use of it. It could have been a national treasure. But it was treated as a thing of little or no value.  Why?

If one of the primary purposes of a university is to protect and hand on intellectual heritage, commitment to archive preservation is fundamental to that purpose. Perhaps the reason why the University of Leicester did not protect the IST archive was because it is now committed to erasing the past. An indication of this is in reports that the administration wants to “decolonize” the teaching of English literature by eliminating medieval studies (so Chaucer, inter alia, is to be removed from the curriculum), and “focus on ethnicity, sexuality and diversity”. 

Ceasing to teach something does not necessarily entail the destruction of materials used for teaching it. Is it likely that a university entrusted with documents of national and international importance would deliberately discard them because they are no longer useful to its teaching?  Would it choose to waste the fruits of long, hard, even dangerous effort exerted against a malign force threatening the Western world? Sadly, I suspect it would if it came to believe that the Western world was systemically at fault and needed to be transformed. But if therefore it would no longer protect documents of public importance, should it still be funded with public money?

The loss of an archive, whether by negligence or decision, is a calamity. To lose it by negligence is barbarously callous. To discard it deliberately is an act of intellectual vandalism, the equivalent of book-burning. If, in either case, a university is responsible, the disgrace must leave a permanent stain on its reputation.

Jillian Becker   January, 2022

Posted under education, History, Terrorism by Jillian Becker on Saturday, January 15, 2022

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Weeping women sweep reason out of the academy 1

The splendidly clear-sighted researcher and writer and defender of reason Heather Mac Donald wrote this in a City Journal article, Spring 2020. Its truth abides.

The feminization of the university and the prominence of therapeutic culture [both of which she amply demonstrates to be facts] have created a perfect storm directed at free speech and reason. In a recent survey of college students, females were twice as likely as males to say that a controversial speaker should be canceled if the majority of students “feel emotionally unsafe or uncomfortable with the speaker’s content.” Males, by contrast, were more likely to support a controversial invitation in the name of academic freedom and the advancement of knowledge. …

The real crisis in academia is not mental health; it is the breakdown of universities’ understanding of their core mission. All other alleged crises follow from this one. Education exists for one main purpose: to pass on an inheritance of human achievement …  Yet faculty have lost the language for celebrating that inheritance; they have gone mute, or worse, when it comes to articulating the splendors of Western civilization.

College is not even about the promotion of happiness. That is too utilitarian a goal; knowledge is an end in itself. But even were student happiness a legitimate matter for colleges to concern themselves with, a therapeutic approach is the wrong way to cultivate it. The surest route to happiness is a passion for something outside the self. The only thing that kept Bertrand Russell from committing suicide during his adolescence was his desire to learn more math, he recounts in his 1930 book, The Pursuit of Happiness. As an adult, his “diminishing preoccupation” with himself led to growing contentment: “Every external interest inspires some activity which, so long as the interest remains alive, is a complete preventive of ennui,” he wrote. J. S. Mill, who also grappled with depression, agreed. “The only chance [for happiness] is to treat, not happiness, but some end external to it, as the purpose of life,” Mill wrote in his autobiography. …

Away with Women’s Studies (and Black Studies, Chicano Studies …)!

Our civilization is engaged in an unprecedented experiment: turning on its own accomplishments with shame and contempt. American students growing up today are given reason to be proud of their heritage only if they have had that rare nonconforming teacher who still honors the past. Otherwise, students are taught to see in the monuments of Western thought and imagination a thinly veiled power grab. They themselves are either oppressors or the oppressed, either category spirit-killing. …

The university’s comparative advantage over all other institutions should be the promise of real knowledge. But as the therapeutic culture has spread throughout the university, the language of reason and evidence has been replaced by claims of emotional hurt. In any controversy, the person who can express the deepest outrage or injury wins the day …  “I feel like” substitutes for rational argument.

Of course women are the emotional sex. Their feelings rule them because their physiology torments them. Their temperatures go up and down as the moon waxes and wanes.

Dear Patriarchs,

Thank you for still being there.

Please don’t put women at the helm of the ship of state. Do not put their fingers on “the nuclear button”. Do not seat them in a passenger-jet cockpit. Do not send them to the battle front. Do not give them the job of defending the innocent or prosecuting the guilty in a court of law, or judging guilt and innocence.

Do not give them power.

There are exceptions among them who are capable of reason. Those few will make themselves known. As a general rule –  be nice to women but remind them that there are only two sexes, and they’re the sex that’s destined by biological evolution to feel the tragedy of life, while you can laugh at its comedy.

Let them weep and wail. Out of earshot.

You? Discover and invent.

Posted under education, Feminism, Science, Sex by Jillian Becker on Saturday, December 4, 2021

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The sudden decline and fall of America 1

… from triumph to abasement.

So, the Left won its Pyrrhic victory,” Victor Davis Hanson writes at American Greatness.

Having control of the White House and both Houses  of Congress, what have the Democrats accomplished with all that power?

Their priority was to undo what President Trump had done.

What followed was a concerted effort to destroy the Trump record.

What had Trump achieved? Most importantly –

The greatest level of combined annual natural gas and oil production in any nation’s history, record low minority unemployment and near record peacetime, general unemployment, a border secure and illegal immigration finally under control, and a New Middle East in which Israel and its Arab enemies concluded neutrality pacts. China was put on notice for its past mockery of global norms. Inflation was low, growth was good. “Stagflation” was still a rarely remembered word from the past. …

Then came the rule of the Left and –

Within eight months the following was finalized [by the Democrats]:

Joe Biden utterly destroyed the idea of a border. Some 2 million were scheduled to cross illegally in the current fiscal year. The sheer inhumanity of deplorable conditions at the border surpassed any notion of the “cages” Donald Trump, in fact, had inherited from the humanitarian Barack Obama.

A war almost immediately broke out in the Middle East, once Biden distanced the United States from Israel and rebooted the radical Palestinian cause.

The Taliban defeated the 20-year effort of the United States in Afghanistan, in the most humiliating withdrawal of the American military in over 45 years. Tens of billions of dollars of abandoned military equipment now arm the Taliban and have turned Afghanistan into a world arms mart for terrorists.

Whereupon –

Iran is emboldened and speeds up its nuclear proliferation efforts.

China brags that the United States has been Afghanistanized and will not defend its allies, Taiwan in particular.

At home, gas prices have soared.

Prior trillion-dollar deficits now seem financially prudent in comparison to multitrillion-dollar red ink.

The nation is more racially polarized than at any time in the last half-century.

A bleak and venomous woke creed has outdone the hate and fear of the McCarthyism of the 1950s, as it wages war on half the nation for various thought crimes

With Biden came not just woke polarization, stagflation, a subsidized ennui that erodes the work ethic, and selective non-enforcement of existing laws: wors, still, we got a bankrupt ideological defense of these insanities. Critical legal theory, critical race theory, and a new monetary theory were all dreamed up by parlor academics to justify the nihilism.

And among the shocks administered to Americans as their country fails and falls, acts of treachery and deeds of corruption:

Did America ever believe that the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff would trash his commander in chief as Hitlerian to journalist hitmen, or allegedly denounce news organizations as “terrorists”, or interrupt the chain of command on a prompt by the Speaker of the House, or warn the Chinese military that he believed there was enough instability in the White House to justify a promise to warn of any impending U.S. military action against Beijing deemed offensive?

With Biden, China is now omnipresent in the halls of power. A task of our chief COVID advisor, Anthony Fauci, seems to be to deny repeatedly that his stealthy funding of gain-of-function research at the Wuhan virology lab in China had anything to do with the likely accidental release of a likely human engineered and energized coronavirus. Americans still cannot even imagine that their government might have helped subsidize the plague germ that has wrought such havoc upon them.

Meanwhile the president’s son still owns a 10 percent cut in a communist Chinese government-affiliated financial venture, apparently due to his prior drug-addled record of financial mismanagement. The media still insists Hunter Biden’s laptop was “Russian disinformation”, while his paint-by-numbers art is auctioned off to foreign lobbyists expecting a return of the old days when Hunter and Joe grandly arrived on Air Force Two to do their bidding.

All who voted for Trump are declared to be “white-supremacists’ and “terrorists”. Peaceful protestors are labeled “insurrectionists” and locked up without charge as political prisoners, while  violent protestors are called “peaceful”. The “peaceful” rioters, arsonists, and killers are alone exempted from having to wear masks in obedience to the absurd restrictions imposed on the rest of the nation in the time of pestilence, on the grounds that their ideological correctness sanitizes and immunizes them.

Our esteemed retired military and civil libertarians who had damned the mere thought of using federal troops to quell the prior four summer months of continuous rioting were suddenly happy to see 25,000 federal soldiers patrol Washington to hound out fantasy second-wave insurrectionists. …. There were now to be good federal troops deterring mythical violent domestic extremists, but bad federal troops who should never stop real, ongoing mayhem in the streets.

When there were –

120 days of continuous rioting, looting, and arson. In the election-year summer 2020, federal courthouses and iconic buildings were torched. Nearly $2 billion worth of property was destroyed and 28 were killed. Yet Vice President Kamala Harris rallied the public to help bail out the arrested. … The weeks of “spontaneous” mayhem magically vanished after November 3, 2020 [when Biden “won” the election]. Note that esteemed medical professionals argued that BLM protestors who flooded the streets were exempt from quarantine, social distancing, and mask requirements, given their higher morality.

Convicted criminals have been let out of prison by the thousands. The innocent are punished. The guilty go free – and are rewarded.

America’s undoing has taken less than a year.

A reign of stupidity 10

Nothing new, stupidity in power. More the general rule than the rare exception.

Think of the First World War. A greater blood-letting than the human race had ever achieved before in all our blood-stained history. Death the only victor. Virtually a whole generation of young men wiped out. Why? For what? To gratify the vanity of a bunch of stupid monarchs. Stupid, vain monarchs and the leaders of a couple of stupidly governed republics.

But their stupidity was not deliberate. Not chosen as a preference over wisdom. Never until now have governments decided that stupidity is a chief qualification for high office. 

But now it is, in America.

Now, in America, under a leftist Democrat federal government – the stupidest government the republic has ever had with a doofus gone senile for a president, a cackling fool for a vice president, a childishly vindictive harpy for speaker of the House, all supported by mass media staffed with parrots and toadies – generations are being raised to be ignorant and dumb. Illiteracy and innumeracy will be conditions of honor; ability, talent, mastery, mere proofs of “white privilege” and “white supremacist” ambition.

Joel Kotkin writes at the American Mind on the intentional stupidifying of Americans:

Our educational deficit with other countries, notably China, particularly in the acquisition of practical skills in mathematics, engineering medical technology, and management, has grown, threatening our economic and political pre-eminence. Our competitors … are focused on economic competition and technological supremacy. In math, the OECD’s 2018 Program for International Student Assessment found the United States was outperformed by 36 countries, [including] not only China, but also Russia, Italy, France, Finland, Poland, and Canada.

Only 5 percent of American college students major in engineering, compared with 33 percent in China; as of 2016, China graduated 4.7 million STEM students versus 568,000 in the United States, as well as six times as many students with engineering and computer science bachelor’s degrees.

“In the U.S., you could have a meeting of tooling engineers and I’m not sure we could fill the room. In China, you could fill multiple football fields,” Apple CEO Tim Cook has observed …

The skills shortage may be even more profound on the factory floor. Due to an aging workforce, as many as 600,000 new manufacturing jobs expected to be generated this decade cannot be filled. The percentage of the skilled manufacturing work force over the age of 55 has doubled in the last 10 years to 20 percent of active workers. And there is no deep bench of talent waiting to replace retirees—50 percent of the active workers are above the age of 45. The current shortage of welders, now 240,000, could grow to 340,000 by 2024. Manufacturing employment is expanding more rapidly than in almost four decades but there are an estimated 500,000 manufacturing jobs unfilled right now.

To maintain our factories, offices, and laboratories, America needs more rigorous training, not less, and greater emphasis on skills and the ethic of work.

But more rigorous training, an emphasis on skills, an ethic of work are not on the schedule of those who make the big decisions. The Democrats in power believe – have always believed since their slave-owning days, their Ku Klux Klan days, their days of Jim Crow laws – that Blacks are intellectually inferior to Whites. In recent decades, still looking down on Blacks but opting to be charitable to them rather than cruel as of old, they have insisted that Blacks must be given special concessions, special advantages, to help them compete with Whites. And now they are going much further in their folly. Blacks can’t compete in exams, they say, so abolish exams. Further still: Whites and Asians must be handicapped so that Blacks can surpass them in academic achievement and governmental power. For Blacks to be elevated, Whites must be brought down. Blacks must be honored as eternal victims; Whites execrated as eternal oppressors.

That lie, that racist lie, is what Democrats insist they must be taught. That false and perilous belief – not literacy, not numeracy, not the acquisition of skills – is, they say, the business of education, from first grade to college.

They call it Critical Race Theory.

Kotkin deplores the effects of it:

Critical Race Theory is re-enforcing, and enhancing, a long-developing pattern of educational failure ever more evident.

The current educational philosophy has purposely downplayed the acquisition of skills by scrapping such things as exit exams, or clearly comparable measures of achievement. …

Critical Race Theory and its growing chorus of implementers—from the highest reaches  of academia down to the grade school level—have little use for practical skills acquisition and brook little dissent from teachers and researchers who raise objections to the new curriculum of racial grievance. ‘Woke” educators, like San Francisco’s School board member Alison Collins, claim that meritocracy [is an] essentially racist system. Some denounce habits of punctuality, rationality, and hard work as reflective of racism and white privilege.

In a world where brainpower pushes the economy, the denigration of [such] habits of mind can only further weaken our economic future and undermine republican institutions. Even though the vast majority of corporate executives perceive a growing skills gap, they have failed to stop educators from abandoning skills in favor of ever greater emphasis on race and gender. …

The new educational mandarins, increasingly strident and increasingly influential, have little use for our [cultural] inheritance, which they consider little more than a screen for racists and misogynists. The Western classics, no longer celebrated, are at best fodder for deconstruction. Yale English majors no longer have to study Shakespeare or Chaucer, while you can get a classics degree at Princeton without learning Greek or Latin.

For years, humanities have been molded by post-modernist ideology, but now even the sciences are becoming, as in Stalin’s Russia or Mao’s China, politicized. One would think the tech oligarchs at least would advocate for a well-educated domestic technical workforce. But secure in their wealth and power, the new hegemons feel little fealty to traditional ideas about competition and merit; some, including Bill Gates, openly support groups that promote the idea that science and math are themselves racist for focusing on grades and performance. A new Canadian math curriculum stresses the way in which [math] works “to normalize racism and marginalization of non-Eurocentric mathematical knowledges”

So now there is not knowledge, a pool of learning common to all humankind, but race-differentiated “knowledges”, all equal in value.

The goal is to “decolonialize” math, which is ironic, to say the least, given the huge role of Indian and Arabs in generating the symbols and concepts critical to the understanding of numbers.

Rather than science based on evidence and argument, we now get something closer to Science as Revealed Religion [most notably] on issues like the pandemic and climate change.

Government and their allies in the oligarchy, the media, and academia … have transformed science into fallacies that turn unsupported assertions into “accepted truths”.

As the concepts of objectivity, debate, and merit decline, even talent is now seen as yet another “social construct” of our “corrupt society”. Asian parents have to fight off attempts to eliminate merit for admission to elite high schools

The pushback against the war on merit won’t come from the craven masters of Wall Street or Silicon Valley but from the grassroots, operators of small businesses, new and old, and most importantly, from parents. Most American voters—by wide margins—reject the notion of teaching Critical Race Theory in schools, even though the effort is supported by most Democrats, the powerful teachers’ unions … and the White House. 

Without knowledgeable, motivated, and skilled workers, America’s future will be dismal. … Merit has to be restored …

Has to be, yes. But will be? When? How?

Evil intentions and verbal atrocities 5

… of the teachers’ unions.

This is from a longer post at PowerLine:

America’s teachers’ unions are the country’s single most malign influence. They do more to promote leftist extremism, and do it more effectively, than anyone else. The teachers’ unions dominate the schools of education, from which most teachers come, and they control school board elections in most districts. In effect, they run the public schools, which is the main reason why the public schools are so bad.

How radical are they? The National Education Association boasts that it is not just the largest teachers’ union, but the biggest labor union in the U.S. One of the NEA’s top priorities is promoting the teaching of Critical Race Theory in the public schools.

The NEA is currently holding its annual meeting. [These clauses are from] Item 39 of New Business:

The NEA will, with guidance on implementation from the NEA president and chairs of the Ethnic Minority Affairs Caucuses:

A. Share and publicize, through existing channels, information already available on critical race theory (CRT) — what it is and what it is not; have a team of staffers for members who want to learn more and fight back against anti-CRT rhetoric; and share information with other NEA members as well as their community members.

B. Provide an already-created, in-depth, study that critiques empire, white supremacy, anti-Blackness, anti-Indigeneity, racism, patriarchy, cisheteropatriarchy, capitalism, ableism, anthropocentrism, and other forms of power and oppression at the intersections of our society, and that we oppose attempts to ban critical race theory and/or The 1619 Project.

In addition to their evil intentions, these NEA authors commit verbal atrocities: “critiques” “anti-Indigeneity” “ableism” “cisheteropatriarchy? No person who does that to the English language should be allowed to teach.

For as long as the teachers’ unions continue to exist, all public schools need to be kept closed.

Posted under education, Leftism, Race, Sex, trade unions, United States by Jillian Becker on Friday, July 9, 2021

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All ye need to know 8

The National Review reports that “Classics majors at Princeton University will no longer be required to learn Greek or Latin in a push to create a more inclusive and equitable program” because –

The history of our own department bears witness to the place of Classics in the long arc of systemic racism.

Oh? How?

Here are the appalling facts:

Our department is housed in a building named after Moses Taylor Pyne, the University benefactor whose family wealth was directly tied to the misery of enslaved laborers on Cuban sugar plantations. This same wealth underwrote the acquisition of the Roman inscriptions that the department owns and that are currently installed on the third floor of Firestone Library. Standing only a few meters from our offices and facing towards Firestone is a statue of John Witherspoon, the University’s slave-owning sixth president and a stalwart anti-abolitionist, leaning on a stack of books, one of which sports the name Cicero.

Well, good grief, that’s really too much. It’s a totally convincing case for boycotting Greek and Latin. We ask you, how can the Classics Department – the one that exists to teach Greek and Roman culture – have anything to do with the languages of the Greeks and Romans if there’s a statue in full view from its offices of an anti-abolitionist leaning on a stack of books including one that has the name of Cicero on it?

We await announcements from other departments of Princeton University that the offensive statue compels them to give up teaching everything except “Race and Identity” – the core course that must be taught:

The department of politics added a track in race and identity, which the associate chair of the department said was part of the larger initiative on campus launched by [President Christopher Ludwig] Eisgruber to address systemic racism.

“The politics of race underlies so much of U.S. political history,” said Professor Frances Lee, associate chair of the politics department.

The track will include three main requirements: an introductory core course “Race and Politics in the United States”; three other courses from the 14 focused on race and identity [??]; and a senior thesis that includes the theme.

Black students must learn that they are oppressed, and white students that they are oppressors.

“That is all ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.”

Stopping science being a form of white-supremacist racist oppression 6

The “Biden” administration is compelled by the Holy Writ of Wokeism to appoint black women to top government posts.

It’s not easy to find black women to head some of the posts, such as the Office of Science.

But they have found one. She has the skill to adapt Science to fit the dogma of Wokeism.

She will stop Science being a form of white-supremacist racist oppression which is all it has been hitherto.

Heather Mac Donald writes at City Journal:

President Joe Biden has now taken the push for “diversity” in STEM to a new level. His candidate to head the Department of Energy’s Office of Science, the largest funder of the physical sciences in the U.S., is a soil geologist at the University of California, Merced. She has no background in physics, the science of energy, or the energy sector. She has never held a position as a scientific administrator. The typical head of DOE’s Office of Science in the past has had managerial authority in the nation’s major physics labs and has been a physicist himself, Science reports.The new nominee’s only managerial experience consists of serving since 2020 as an interim associate dean of UC Merced’s graduate division.

Asmeret Asefaw Berhe is, however, a black female who has won “accolades for her work to promote diversity in science”, as Science puts it. Berhe would be the first black woman to head the $7 billion office, and that is reason enough, according to the diversity mantra, why she should oversee X-ray synchrotrons, the development of nuclear weapons, and ongoing research on nuclear fusion.

As head of the Office of Science, Berhe would be asked to choose strategic directions for DOE-funded science. Should the agency try to expand understanding of fundamental particle physics or of the physics of the universe? How much attention should be given to solid-state lighting, semiconductors, or artificial intelligence? With regard to energy conservation and clean energy, should DOE pursue geothermal or biomass, tackle storage issues, or seek greater energy efficiency through insulation and refrigeration? Each day, the Office of Science turns out dozens of “one-pager” descriptions of projects and proposals. It is unlikely that a soil geologist (with an M.S. in political ecology) will have the knowledge to evaluate proposals for, say, advanced scientific computing research or nuclear physics, or make the policy judgments that those “one-pagers” require.

But she is not expected or asked by the “Biden” administration to do anything of the sort. She is asked to be black, which she is; to be female by nature or choice, and she qualifies in that by nature; and to get non-white people recognized as scientists. Getting non-white people recognized as scientists is the future of Science. It is called “Diversity” and is far more important than nuclear physics.

It is fitting that Berhe teaches at the University of California, Merced. UC Merced was created as a diversity campus, in the hope of minting more Hispanic graduates with a UC degree. No one advocating for this new institution, located in the agricultural San Joaquin Valley, made the case that California needed more university research capacity. Berhe herself benefited from UC’s obsessive diversity push, having received a President’s Postdoctoral Fellowship, a program for promoting “underrepresented minority” graduate students.

A physicist wonders if Berhe “can know merit when she sees it”. Preference beneficiaries “think that merit is a myth and hierarchies of achievement are arbitrary and based on power and oppression“, this professor observes, based on years of watching academic admissions and hiring. Berhe argues that the lack of race and sex diversity in STEM is due to exclusion, rather than to the absence of a proportional number of competitively qualified “diverse” candidates in the hiring pipeline. Her co-authored articles include: Leaky Pipeline vs. Vicious Obstacle Course: metaphors for the persistent exclusion of minoritized scholars from STEM; A critical feminist approach to transforming workplace climate in the geosciences through community engagement and partnerships with societies; Hostile climates are barriers to diversifying the geosciences. She will undoubtedly further elevate the importance of race and sex as criteria for federal research awards.

Berhe’s Soil Biogeochemistry Lab at UC Merced strives, according to its website, to “create a dynamic, diverse, and equitable STEM community that represents the public”.  Scientists do not mirror the public’s demographics, however, thanks to yawning academic skills gaps. Nor is it the mission of science to be representative of population groups; its sole mission is to advance knowledge. Berhe’s lab, however, is developing and testing “sexual harassment bystander intervention training programs that incorporate experiences of diverse women” as part of a National Science Foundation consortium. Her lab recommends readings on racism and offers tips on writing the “diversity, equity, and inclusion” statements that are increasingly required of academic science hires. Expect such statements, thinly disguised euphemisms for announcing oneself as “diverse”, to become mandatory for a DOE science job or grant.

The Biden administration’s war on merit is being waged at an unprecedented rate.

The subjection of scientific research to the requirement of race and sex parity threatens future human progress. Such parity can be achieved only by sacrificing intellectual standards. An electrical engineer at a prestigious California university compares Berhe’s nomination to “putting a newspaper delivery boy in charge of Google”. Theoretical physicist Alessandro Strumia warns that by choosing scientific leadership according to a political agenda, “science itself risks becoming another form of covert political activism”.

It is that. Has been for decades. What is global warming science but a form of political activism – and not covertly but openly?

The national science agencies have already wasted millions of taxpayer dollars on identity politics. The Biden administration will multiply that waste at a time when China is relentlessly racing to surpass the United States at the frontiers of science.

China is winning. Asmeret Asefaw Berhe will help it win.

And the new great goals of Woke America – the abasement of the white race, the humbling of men, the bringing down of the barriers those villains put up by making Science, Engineering and Mathematics difficult – will be achieved.

Posted under education, Leftism, Race, Science, United States by Jillian Becker on Tuesday, May 11, 2021

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America’s state religion 1

Wokeism is fast becoming the American state religion.

Ben Weingarten identifies it as such, writing – surprisingly – at (woke) Newsweek:

Should it overtake our government, in making identity politics paramount it will unmake any semblance of a unifying American identity.

In so doing, it will serve as the ultimate tool of cynical, radically leftist power-grabbers, who will be dividing and conquering under the guise of a fraudulent virtue, justice and morality.

It is the religion of the party that is now in power. The government is woke. It is making identity politics paramount.

The Woke’s core views have been bubbling up from elite classrooms to the commanding heights of society for decades.

What is different is that now such views have been legitimated by the authorities and mainstreamed in our culture. If you dare to challenge them, you are liable to end up excommunicated from American life—canceled. After all, dissenting from the Woke orthodoxy makes you a racist.

Consider some of the signs that indicate the fast-accelerating ascent of Wokeism.

In New York City, at the same time Mayor Bill de Blasio was preventing Jews and Christians from freely exercising their religions—including peaceably assembling—he permitted adherents of Wokeism to assemble en masse in protesting, rioting and looting with impunity. The Woke enjoyed First Amendment rights foreclosed to the [other] faithful.

Mayor de Blasio, Governor Andrew Cuomo and the relevant health authorities had argued the coronavirus-driven draconian shutdown of New York City, and the rest of the state, was necessary to save lives. If so, by permitting the Woke to flood the streets, were not New York officials conceding that public health was not really the number one priority? Were they not suggesting that they were willing to let people get sick and die because the right to practice Wokeism was absolute, sacrosanct and preeminent—this, incidentally, after instructing citizens to take to the streets in celebration of the Chinese Lunar New Year in February, coronavirus be damned, in context of a broader campaign against purported coronavirus-related anti-Chinese discrimination? Were they not affirming that Wokeism mattered more than the lives of the Woke—and everyone else?

Certainly, this view would seem to have been reinforced, as, in the face of the Woke, New York reduced police funding, and policing itself, which coincided with a dramatic rise in violent crime.

In St. Louis, menacing protesters by the dozens were able to threaten a couple, the McCloskeys, at their home, without consequence. The police did not rush to the McCloskeys’ aid. In fact, after the husband and wife were recorded brandishing firearms to deter those descending on their home, authorities left them not only defenseless, but threatened to disarm them and throw them in jail.

Did it not appear again as if privileging the Woke was now the highest responsibility of government, over and above protecting our natural rights, including those to life, liberty and property—all of which the Woke threatened?

The religion of Wokeism is the most extreme racist ideology since segregation.

While the “summer of love” may be over in Seattle, with CHOP/CHAZ—the ultimate symbol of government acquiescence to Wokeism—no more, its ideals persist. Seattle recently held a training session for white municipal employees—to be clear, a government training session for those of a specific race—called “Interrupted Internalized Racial Superiority and Whiteness.” Meanwhile, Washington’s state phase-in plan for public schools calls for giving priority to “students furthest from educational justice first,” specifically including “students of color”—that is, on the basis of race.

Tal Bachmann deplores it at Steynonline:

Wokism is now the official state religion of the United States of America.

By constitutional standards, this means something has gone wrong. The United States isn’t supposed to have a state religion. The First Amendment specifically prohibits the establishment of a state religion. Yet it now has one, and its name is Wokism.

Wokism is now celebrated or taught as Absolute Truth in every elementary school class, every middle and high school class, every university class, every corporate training session, every Capitol Hill political chamber, every Hollywood movie or cable show, every civic ceremony, every law, every political speech, every novel, every awards show, every sports league, every everything.

Government, its corporate allies, and cultural institutions all fund Wokism. They, along with their street troops, all demand Wokist belief and perfect compliance with Wokist commandments and rituals. They all punish those who question Wokist orthodoxy, often by completely ruining their lives. They fire dissenters, ban them from social media forever, initiate global social media pile-ons, and even threaten to kill them. Sometimes our officially Wokist government sends in goon squads to scare, or even arrest, those who dare criticize Wokism.

Wokism, the writer rightly says, is a “bellicose, uncompromising, ruthless, unself-critical, totalitarian movement“.

Does that remind you of anything else? If you say Islam, you win. The fact is that Wokism is now well on its way to becoming to American government and society what Islam is to Iranian government and society.

That this has happened means—can only mean—that something has gone terribly wrong in America (and the rest of the West). America’s original plan was to avoid funding and pushing any particular religious ideology or practice. It was to have full religious freedom. It was to keep government limited to solely protecting a few basic liberties. It was for Americans and their government to live and let live.

But things have changed. Why?

Maybe luxury spoiled us and made us fat and lazy and stupid. Maybe the Frankfurt School communists really did inject a lethal dose of philosophical poison into American thought. Maybe misguided government policies, and socially corrosive movements like sexual libertinism or feminism, really did start the implosion of the family unit.

Somehow or other, we’ve wound up in a total mess. And somehow or other, we need to find a way out of it. This is no way to live. I know I’m not the only one who doesn’t want to live in a society run by frothing ideologues who have declared war on human biology, logic, and mathematics; on unborn children, confused adolescents, and the traditional familial arrangements which raise them; on Shakespeare and Homer; on fairness and decency; on reality itself—on survival itself. These people are all manic, obsessive-compulsive nation-destroyers, community-destroyers, culture-destroyers, family-destroyers, individual-destroyers, love-destroyers, beauty-destroyers, everything-destroyers.

Victor Davis Hanson writes at American Greatness:

If wokeness should continue and “win”, by now we all know where it will end up.

The woke Left seeks a top-down erasure of America.

The public is now increasingly bombarded by 360-degree, 24/7 wokeness in the fashion of the Maoist Red Guard gangs. There appears little refuge from it. Not in television commercials. Not from CEOs. Not from professional sports. Not from movies or television shows. Not from Wall Street, the internet, and social media. Not from the administrative state, and not from the military. Not from the K-12 teachers, much less the professors.

It is largely the well-off professionals, the “privileged” and the rich—CEOs, news anchors, actors, star athletes, college presidents, foundation heads, corporate board retired military brass, Wall Street grandees—who usually do the woke remonstrating (or fund it) to the supposedly non-privileged but guilty un-woke.

The most law-abiding of Americans now seem terrified of the law—the FBI of James Comey vintage, John Brennan’s legacy at the CIA, the same old IRS of Lois Lerner, the Justice Department once branded by Eric Holder, and the predictable court order of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Enlisted men fear their inquisitional officers.

Conservatives especially fear that the once-revered FBI can become analogous to the Stasi, the once indomitable CIA after 2015 began emulating the KGB, and the federal prosecutor has become a vindictive Inspector Javert. And just when you think they are crazier for such fears, another couple is rousted out of bed by agents for supposedly being at a riot they were not at.

The current madness is the stuff of history as we watch it predictably unfold. 

Roger L. Simon writes at the Epoch Times:

An iron-fisted, ideologically extreme minority has our country under its thumb—play along or face excommunication. This is stronger than anything in our history and almost identical to what we see and have seen in totalitarian countries.

All key aspects, most parts of them anyway, of our society “get it” … the media, the corporations, the government bureaucracy, the Democratic Party, the Department of Justice, the FBI, the military (yikes!), entertainment, the university system, the K-through-12 system, the medical community, the scientific community (incredibly), the religious, and on and on.

All, to one extent or another, believe in “woke” except—the people.

What the extremist ideology of “woke” actually provokes is talk of—and not just talk—secession and even civil war.

Few of us have heard anything like that in our lifetimes. But now it’s real. We have been driven apart as never before. We have been awakened indeed.

Anything can happen and some of us, who would never have considered anything like secession and civil war, suddenly do—highly disturbing to us as those thoughts may be.

How long will it be before “considering” comes to decision and “some of us”  – ideally most of us – act?

What is worth conserving now? 8

The Left, a passionately destructive movement, has won. The Right has let it win.

Where now can those who want to live what had become the normal life of the West – being safely free under the law, having children, enjoying family life, gaining knowledge and prosperity, contributing talent and labor, pursuing happiness  – look for the preservation and protection of that normality?

Not to any institutions we can think of – government, police, army, intelligence agencies, courts of law …

Not to the Republican Party. Not to any conservative organization or grass roots movement.

Does that mean that the greatest civilization in human history, begun in the Renaissance and launched by the Enlightenment, is now over and done with? Is this the suicide of the West?

Having taken away the security of equality under the law; having put an end to real education; having wrecked the arts; having, in short, destroyed in a few decades the greatness that had taken centuries to build, the destructive Left now concentrates on putting an end to the human race itself – by sterilizing it.

Pedro Gonzalez writes at American Greatness:

The first thing we have to accept about the culture war is that the Republican Party and the conservative movement have lost.

Nowhere is this more evident than in the battle of the biological sexes, lost without a shot fired.

In the United States, Congress generously provided $5.7 million in taxpayer dollars to the National Institutes of Health for a study wherein children as young as age 8 received puberty-suppressing, cross-sex hormones that will render them permanently infertile.

Nationally, Republicans like Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson and South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem have capitulated to the queer zeitgeist. Hutchinson vetoed a measure to ban castration for minors suffering from gender dysphoria, also known as “gender-affirming therapy”.  Noem effectively killed a bill intended to restrict transgender participation in women’s sports. Even when they had the upper hand over Democrats in Florida and Texas, limp-wristed Republicans performed silent retreats from transgender sports bills, allowing Democrats to run the table.

Conservatives accept the Left’s premise that transgenderism is normative and, therefore, something to be glorified and even celebrated when they speak of the “rights” of the transgendered. The alternative, in this view, is rank bigotry and perhaps even violence. But this is a false choice.

No one should suffer abuse, but rather than exalting the virtues of our transgender culture, the Right should reject the normalization of what is essentially a pathology connected to staggering suicide rates.

An order wherein underage boys can receive hormone blockers to hinder the growth of their penises, and have male genitalia “reconstructed” into female genitalia, is not worth preserving.

Yet –

This is the order the conservative movement and Republican Party seek to preserve. They do not reject it but only protest that treatment should not be taxpayer-funded and that sports remain free of biologically unfair competition, blind or indifferent to the dishonor of it all.

A civilization that legalizes the sterilization and mutilation of its children has put itself on a path toward suicide by robbing its sons and daughters of the ability to procreate even as birth rates plummet.

It has chosen to die a humiliating death. 

But transgenderism is only the latest failure of conservatism and the GOP, which has surrendered on everything including immigration, criminal justice, and reparations.

There is, therefore, no reason to be “conservative” because to be conservative in America today is to preserve an order that has lost its legitimacy, and the right thing is not to conserve but destroy it and institute something else. The Republican Party, as it stands, is and will continue to be an obstacle to this cause.

What “something else” can be “instituted”? How? When? By whom?

Close the public schools 1

and avert race war.

Dan Gelernter writes at American Greatness:

The New York City public school system spends $28,800 per student per year—more than anywhere else in the world. A brand-new public school teacher with a master’s degree and zero prior experience starts at $65,000 a year, plus benefits. And the children can’t read. …

A seven-year-old girl’s school teacher asked everyone in class to say what they wanted to be when they grew up. The girl said she wanted to be a mother. Her (female) teacher said her choice was wrong, apparently making her feel that it was not just incorrect, but morally unacceptable. The teacher actually made the child stand in front of the class as an example of a bad girl. …

This incident is not simply a questionable decision on the teacher’s part, nor is it a bad yet defensible judgment. It is child abuse. It is criminal behavior. The teacher should be in prison. She definitely shouldn’t be a teacher. And yet, given the lifelong protection she enjoys as a union member in the public school system, she will most likely go on doing her share to ruin the lives of dozens or hundreds or thousands more children—children from poor neighborhoods with no one to protect them. Children who are being sentenced to permanent lower-class status and a life of menial work, to depression and frustration and worse, by the sick, demented, and obscenely expensive criminal enterprise that is the New York City public school system.

Public expenditure on education has nothing to do with education …

Public education is a failure in every city across the entire country. ...

Every child should have an education. It does not follow that we need public schools. And in practice, public schools do not educate. It’s easy enough to see this from the national literacy and numeracy rates. The more schools spend, the less they succeed in teaching. This is without even touching on the dastardly political indoctrination that exposes our children to the socialist biases of their hardly-less-ignorant teachers.

If you were to abolish the Department of Education and also abolish every single public school in the nation, education would not cease. On the contrary, it might actually start happening. You would see, in short order, hundreds of new schools funded by donations both of money and of time—charity schools in the most basic and most important form of charity. These would be schools certified not by the government but by a demonstrable ability to teach children. Demonstrable, that is, to the parents themselves, not to a corrupt licensing board. …

If we took the future of the nation seriously, we would end public schools tomorrow. We would then take our young children, sit them down with the first and simplest of McGuffey’s English textbooks from the 1880s, and teach them to read.

Instead, right now, they are being taught that all races must hate the white race and avenge themselves upon it.

Public “education” is becoming intensive incitement to race war.

Example: California.

John Murawski writes, also at American Greatness:

California has struggled for five years to create a politically palatable “ethnic studies” curriculum that would teach high schoolers how systemic racism, predatory capitalism, heteropatriarchy, and other “structures of oppression” are foundational to American society.

Now, after more than 82,000 public comments, and four major rewrites, the state board of education is expected to approve the latest version this week, clearing the way for lawmakers to make a semester-long course in the material a graduation requirement for all of California’s 1.7 million high school students. …

The material emphasizing whites’ subjugation of nonwhites is not a conventional textbook subject, but an ideology with an activist political agenda. Revisions may never satisfy parents and teachers who believe public schools shouldn’t be in the business of teaching kids how to develop a “social consciousness” or using class time to pinpoint a student’s intersectional identity to determine where they fit on a hierarchy of power.

At the same time, ethnic studies activists are furious that their efforts at promoting social justice, and centering “voices of color” are being diluted by, as they put it, power structures such as “whiteness”, Zionism, and assimilationism.

The state’s guidelines grant teachers wide flexibility in how they teach the subject. Ethnic studies activists—including those who wrote the first, rejected draft of the curriculum—say high school teachers will have an escape clause to teach a watered-down version that the activists deride as a “Foods, Heroes & Holidays” and “all lives matter” pabulum. These advocates insist on hewing to a heroic narrative about how people of color have suffered from and fought against European capitalism, colonialism, and imperialism. …

Practitioners have formed their own organization—the Liberated Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum Institute—to promote an “authentic” ethnic studies, a discipline born in the late 1960s out of student campus protests led by the Third World Liberation Front to end Eurocentrism in education.

We recommend our readers see for themselves what the Liberated Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum Institute is all about.

For the past year, these activists have been meeting in online sessions to hash-out strategy, expound upon their “liberatory” and “transformational” ideology, and encourage educators to teach the full-strength curriculum that the state has flunked. Their unguarded comments in numerous videos convey the combative tone and spirit of ethnic studies already evident in some California classrooms, and likely to be adopted by many more teachers regardless of the model curriculum approved by the state.

“Inside of the United States, native people have been actively fighting a long war to dismantle the United States,” said Stevie Ruiz, who teaches in the Department of Chicana and Chicano Studies at the California State University, Northridge, during a May 2020 online strategy session. “So then we can actually think about what happens if we honor native people’s acknowledgments and begin to tear apart the United States internally … What if we decide to call this place the United States no longer?” …

Ethnic studies is not a traditional school subject, but a movement and a philosophy best described as “narrative medicine,” “radical healing” and even a “way of life”. It’s distinguished from traditional classroom instruction by its emotional, immersive pedagogy designed to deprogram kids from European cultural assumptions, to make teenagers conscious of systemic inequities, and to reconnect them with forgotten ancestral knowledge.

Or what we would call atavistic superstition.

According to one of the Liberated Institute leaders, Theresa Montaño, a professor of Chicana and Chicano studies at Cal State Northridge, the group’s K-12 lesson plans should be available online for free this spring. … [Its]  material will be based on five themes: racialized intersectional identity, collective narratives, systems of power and oppression, resilience and resistance, and solidarity among people of color. …

In repeated expressions of frustration, [these] advocates attribute the state’s political compromises to a common enemy: “whiteness”—what they call the oppressive force that their movement and its precursors have been seeking to disempower for 500 years. “All of the attacks against the ESMC [Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum] came from the realms of whiteness and authoritarian whitesplaining,” read a statement Los Angeles public school intervention counselor Guadalupe Carrasco Cardona posted during her May presentation on ethnic studies and teacher preparation.

“Well-funded attempts at whitewashing the ESMC ranged from right-wing white nationalists at Breitbart, to Wall Street Journal white capitalists who deny the climate crisis, to white moderates who superficially may say they support ethnic studies, but only if it’s done in the way they ‘as gate-keeping white moderates’ say it needs to be done.” …

[They refer] Palestinian resistance to the state of Israel as an example of ethnic studies in action. The removal of those references from the state’s revised curriculum, and the addition of lessons about anti-Semitism, is seen by the advocates as emblematic of the way white power structures erase the histories of those they oppress. … [They expect] an anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions lesson to be included in the Liberated materials that the group is developing.

[Guadalupe Carrasco] Cardona is a longtime public school teacher and a veteran of California’s ethnic studies skirmishes, having been fired from a teaching position three years ago after some parents found out she was a member of a Marxist organization [Union del Barrio] that advocates political revolution, emulates Cuba’s Fidel Castro and Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez, and vows “to crush all forms of oppression and reactionary tendencies”.

She was fired for that – then! But would she be now, in the Biden era? Almost certainly not.

Rejecting the state’s assimilationist bent, Cardona suggested that ethnic studies has a totally different focus than the current equity push to get people of color into middle management positions.

“They just want little youth to want this little piece of this American pie because that’s what they think social justice is: put black, brown, indigenous bodies in college, put them into these corporate positions and have them do the same old thing that this country does,” she said in a May podcast. “And we’re saying, No, there’s something wrong with this system. We want black, brown, and indigenous bodies in universities to learn about it and to transform and to end all of this oppression, not to continue the roles of the oppressor.”

Another flashpoint in the 2019 model curriculum was the exclusive focus on people of color, with no mention of European ethnicities that were subject to discrimination and genocide. The experiences of European groups, including Jews and Armenians, deserve to be studied, the advocates say, but they have no connection to the ethnic studies movement, whose true focus is the worldview and struggle of people of color against white supremacy. …

According to one of several definitions of “race” provided, American society comprises two opposing racial factions: “In the United States today, races very broadly break down as people of color (POC) and white people.” …

It is assumed by many in the field that California’s standards could serve as a national model for years to come.

California’s push to make a semester-long ethnic studies class a graduation requirement for all of its 1.74 million high school students in 1,322 high schools would be an exponential expansion for a course taught to 20,500 students in 314 high schools during the 2018-19 academic year.

Ethnic studies advocates … see encouraging signs in President Biden’s choice of education secretary, Miguel Cardona, considered a champion of the cause who will be well-positioned to put federal muscle behind it. As Connecticut’s commissioner of education last year, Cardona oversaw that state’s adoption of a requirement that all high schools offer courses in African American, Black, Puerto Rican, and Latino studies. …

Some warn that the ethnic studies curriculum amounts to political indoctrination, violates state anti-discrimination policy, and at times borders on child abuse.

These critics are concerned that kids won’t be required to just study the material, take a multiple-choice test, write a paper and move on; they may be required to espouse progressive politics as a condition of passing the class and graduating from high school.

It’s a totalitarian worldview that is every bit as much a faith community as any religion,” said Tammi Rossman-Benjamin, director of AMCHA Initiative, an anti-Semitism watchdog group in Santa Cruz, California. “In a public school, it really is the imposition of a state religion,” she said. “This kind of proselytizing has no place in public schools.” …

Students are taught to see themselves not as individuals but through their identity. And after they start seeing themselves through the prism of race, gender, and other intersectional modes of power and oppression, they are taught that their identity is exposed and vulnerable to malevolent external forces.

And what follows from that? Tolerance? Peace and loving kindness?

Or an attempt at the genocide of Whites on the continent of America?

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