How goes the revolution? 1

The radical Ethnic Studies addition to Minnesota’s proposed social studies standards encourages students to disrupt and dismantle America’s fundamental institutions.

Katherine Kersten writes at American Experiment about public education in Minnesota becoming nothing more than Marxist indoctrination, and how it is a model for the whole of America. (We quote a large part of her article, but recommend that it be read in full.)

Minnesota’s proposed new social studies standards have sparked controversy since the first draft was released in December 2020. What’s grabbed public attention in the final draft, now in the rule-making process, is Ethnic Studies. The Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) has added this highly politicized “fifth strand” — unauthorized by statute — to the four content areas named in law: history, government and citizenship, geography and economics.

The inclusion of Ethnic Studies marks a victory for forces seeking to radically remake Minnesota’s public schools. Ethnic Studies goes beyond the standard “anti-racist” Critical Race Theory (CRT) focus, especially in its stress on student political activism: “disrupting”, “dismantling” and “transforming” our nation’s fundamental institutions. It imports the whole ideological thought world from which CRT sprang, and serves as a vector for the activist network that is driving it nationally.

In short, Ethnic Studies is the spider at the center of the web that MDE is spinning.

How did this extremist ideology — born of the “Third World Liberation Front” that grew out of the 1968 student strikes and riots in California — make its way from San Francisco and Berkeley to elementary classrooms in Litchfield and Faribault, Minnesota?

It’s a scandalous story. When MDE appointed the standards drafting committee, it took the unprecedented step of excluding academic subject matter experts in history, civics, geography and economics. Instead, it stacked the committee with political activists, community organizers and their allies, who dominated the process.

These activists’ goal was not to revise and improve “rigorous standards” in “core academic subjects” in our state’s K-12 public schools, as law requires. On the contrary, they view Minnesota’s public education system … as a “white supremacist puzzle that must be taken apart and exposed for the lie it is”. 

Activists’ weapon of choice in taking our schools apart is Ethnic Studies. Forget about teaching students about the historical leaders and events that shaped our democracy, like George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, and America-led victories in World War II. MDE’s new “fifth strand” trains K-12 students to view our nation’s social and political institutions with suspicion and hostility and seeks to enlist them in … a “political struggle” to change the social, economic, and cultural system that underlies our polity.

When the Minnesota Legislature adopted our state’s social studies standards in 2004, it authorized MDE to revise them every 10 years to “raise academic expectations for students, teachers and schools”. By law, state standards must be both “objective” and “measurable”, and “consistent with” the U.S. and Minnesota Constitutions.

But MDE’s proposed standards fail on all these fronts. Under the new Ethnic Studies standards, one of which is entitled “Resistance”, for example, students are instructed to “organize” to resist America’s “systemic and coordinated exercises of power against marginalized”oppressed groups”.

How will this play out in Minnesota’s classrooms? Here’s an example: Students will study our police departments and justice system in connection with an Ethnic Studies standard that requires them to “understand the roots of contemporary systems of oppression” and “eliminate injustices”.

To this end, fifth graders will first “examine contemporary policing” and its alleged “historical roots in early America”.  The claim is that our police departments sprang directly from slave patrols of the Old South.

Sixth graders will describe the “impact of Minnesota’s juvenile justice system” on “historically disenfranchised groups”. High school standards suggest the notion of criminality itself is racist: “explore how criminality is constructed and what makes a person a criminal.”

Biased, misleading instruction of this kind will likely convince many young people that policing and the very idea of criminality are oppressive, racially “constructed” and among the many things schools are instructing them to “resist”.

The campaign to highjack the revision of Minnesota’s social studies standards may look homegrown, but it is nothing of the kind. EdLib MN [Education for Liberation Minnesota] is a state chapter — indeed the only state chapter — of a national extremist organization called the Education for Liberation Network.

The EdLib Network makes no secret of its revolutionary agenda: to dismantle and replace America’s fundamental institutions. Or in its own words, it “promotes the transformation of existing institutions and the creation of new ones that reflect the values of Education for Liberation”.  The network’s strategy to achieve this objective is “wholesale K-16 implementation” of Ethnic Studies in schools across the nation.

Two 20th-century Marxist thinkers, Paulo Freire and Antonio Gramsci, are central to the Ed Lib Network’s worldview. …

The name and concept of “Education for Liberation” are drawn from the ideology of Brazilian Paulo Freire, author of Pedagogy of the Oppressed, published in 1968. Freire maintained that education’s purpose is not to pass on knowledge, but to build revolutionary consciousness among the “oppressed” to achieve “liberation” by overthrowing the system. For decades, his book has been one of the most widely assigned texts in many colleges of education.

Antonio Gramsci, an Italian Communist [a founder of the Italian Communist Party – ed) has been called the godfather of cultural Marxism. … He proposed that activists infiltrate and gain control of key institutions of civil society, like schools and political parties, to shape a new ideological consensus and organize opposition to the existing social order. This strategy has become known as “the long march through the institutions“.

According to its website, the EdLib Network has worked since 2012 to promote Ethnic Studies in California, the epicenter of the movement. In March 2021, California’s board of education approved the state’s new Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum.

The model curriculum’s “guiding principles” call for “transformative resistance” and repudiate “forms of power and oppression” that include “cisheteropatriarchy” and “anthropocentrism” (the belief that human beings are superior to animals). The curriculum originally incorporated student chants to bloodthirsty Aztec gods, but recently dropped these following a legal settlement.

Now the EdLib Network is going state-by-state, “building power from the ground up” and creating “regional assemblies” to help “educators and grassroots organizers to implement Ethnic Studies in their own communities”.  …

The curriculum begins by declaring its support for political revolution: “System changes occur when people unite, mobilize and organize in coordinated resistance to disrupt and dismantle inequitable systems.”  

Lessons are saturated with the concepts and lingo of Antonio Gramsci’s Marxist ideology. Starting in pre-K, for example, students are taught to reject “normalization”. Older students are repeatedly instructed to question “common sense” and refuse to “consent” to “hegemony”— i.e. the power “white men use to dominate others”. In grades 7-12 lessons, Gramsci is invoked by name. “We need to understand common sense the way that Antonio Gramsci, an Italian philosopher, understood it,” students are told. They are asked, “What hegemonic beliefs do you plan to disrupt?” and assigned to “create counter-hegemonic stories.”

Throughout, instruction is cult-like and highly manipulative, and the pressure to conform is overwhelming. Elementary pupils are assigned to rewrite popular songs to reflect Ethnic Studies ideology, and to recite Gramsci’s ideological tenets in “choral readings”.  Overall, these mind-numbing lessons conjure images of youthful Red Guards being groomed for China’s Cultural Revolution. …

The new field of “Ethnomathematics” teaches that math began in ancient “empires of color”, was appropriated by the West to oppress BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People of Color), and should be taught, in part, through racial and ethnic storytelling. In science class … students may study Ojibwe architecture.

[In Minnesota] legislative proposals [include] one bill that would require MDE to establish an Ethnic Studies Task Force, with “input” from the Minnesota Ethnic Studies Coalition. This task force would be charged with developing K-12 Ethnic Studies standards in a range of subject areas, which MDE (the Minnesota Department of Education] would be required by law to adopt and to do so using an expedited process allowing minimal public input. …

Meanwhile, many young people — especially minority children — lack the basics in history, reading, science and math, as class time spent on fundamental knowledge shifts to indoctrination in extremist ideology.

Brave parents are stepping up to demand that our schools be returned to the people of Minnesota. But so far others — including the business community, civic organizations, and school boards and administrators — have been silent. Unless we all raise our voices, our state’s and our children’s futures will soon be in the hands of forces determined to transform our nation beyond recognition.

Will America allow Communism to win the Cold War after all?

Has it already won?

Posted under communism, education, Marxism, revolution, United States by Jillian Becker on Saturday, April 23, 2022

Tagged with

This post has 1 comment.

Permalink