Just yesterday, I received an urgent letter from a reader –- a former teacher –- warning about the danger of leftist activism in schools. Here is what Amy had to say:
Sir, I’m a mom and a former teacher, and the direction we are going is very concerning to me. There used to be the understanding that crazy ideas would not get far. Unfortunately, now there are too many crazy ideas and they are not going away. Now we have reached the point where if you don’t stand up and disagree, then you are actually just acquiescing.
The left has created a CRT activist group for children called Diversify Our Narrative. The left are genius in how they have made activism for youth so simple that it requires absolutely no thought –- it actually works better if they don’t think.
I really feel like we need to use their template and create our own program only focused on teaching youth to be critical thinkers who evaluate the messages around them. I sound old to say this, but, back in my day, when journalism was taught, we were told to always ask who, what, when, where, and why. I think they are only taught to retweet and forward now. We have got to come up with a program that teaches critical thinking and combines that with community service and innovative solutions.
I really believe if we can get kids to start thinking and evaluating the information around them then they are not going to be as easy to turn into mindless liberal activists. I’m hoping that you might know where I can find a program that is out there like this or who I could talk to about creating this program.
Thank you so much for writing, Amy. If every kid could have a teacher like you, we’d have a lot more confidence in the future.
You’re right that it’s getting hard than ever to evaluate and determine what is “crazy.” It seems the indoctrinators of our kids are going by the principle that if everything is crazy, nothing is crazy. And they want parents to just stay out of it, which is, exactly as you say, acquiescing. One silver lining to the stormcloud of COVID is that kids and parents spent more time at home together. Kids started getting their lessons online at home, where parents often got a glimpse of their “classrooms” and were appalled at what they saw being taught. It took a few brave parents to stand against cancel culture and speak out, and now there are nationwide networks of parents working to fight leftist indoctrination in schools.
You are also very perceptive to say the activists’ goal is to separate ideology and activism from thought. In George Orwell’s book “1984,” there’s a Newspeak term called “duckspeak,” which means literally to quack like a duck, without thinking at all. It’s considered to be a good thing –- “doubleplusgood,” in fact. Here’s how Orwell described it:
“The intention was to make speech, and especially speech on any subject not ideologically neutral, as nearly as possible independent of consciousness. For the purposes of everyday life, it was no doubt necessary, or sometimes necessary, to reflect before speaking, but a Party member called upon to make a political or ethical judgment should be able to spray forth the correct opinion as automatically as a machine gun spraying forth bullets...Ultimately, it was hoped to make articulate speech issue from the larynx without involving the higher brain centers at all. This aim was frankly admitted in the Newspeak word “duckspeak,” meaning ‘to quack like a duck.’ [This word was] a warm and valued compliment.”
This is what they’re trying to do to kids. There’s no real thought involved in calling someone a “Nazi” or a “white supremacist” --- kids don’t even know what that really is. They don’t know what “capitalism” and “socialism” are, either. All such words have been conveniently redefined. We looked up “Diversify Our Narrative”; here’s the website:
It says on their home page that they’re involved in 1) grassroots activism/policy change, 2) curriculum creation, 3) leadership development, and 4) educational resources and support. This is a new organization; they say that since June 2020, they’re in 800+ school districts. They're partnered with Generation UP, which fights for the College For All Act (free college); Bay Area Student Activists; the NFL (I am not kidding); and Justice In The Classroom –- check out their website at https://www.justiceintheclassroom.org
One strategy used by the proponents of Critical Race Theory is to name a study based on its principles something else and then deny they’re teaching CRT. Take a look at these sites, and it’s easy to see that this is just the same old leftist indoctrination, with the same cascade of buzzwords, perfect for duckspeak.
For example, the stated mission of Diversify Our Narrative is “to fight to be anti-racist and to encourage a productive dialogue on race and identity among our student bodies through the inclusion of racially diverse, anti-racist texts in USA schools; to work towards racial justice, educational equity and community power.” They address issues such as “systemic racism and microaggressions.” They “create curriculum centered around anti-racist teaching practices in the classroom.”
We also scrolled down their page of lesson plans, and this pretty much says it all…
While high school students in other countries are learning math and science, American kids taught with lesson plans from Diversify Our Narrative are learning “Exploring LGBTQ+/Immigrant Narratives Through Music,” “Analyzing Queer Dance,” “The New Jim Crow,” “Biology, Society and Policy,” “Acting Out: Resisting Policed Performances of Gender,” “The Intersection of Colonialism and Gender & Sexuality” (I am not kidding), and more.
Thanks, Amy, for bringing this to our attention. It’s true that we need to be at least as good as the left is when it comes to organizing. And YES –- you put it so well –- there needs to be a program that stresses critical thinking, community service and innovative solutions! Right now, I’d say critical thinking is the one that most desperately needs help.
For now, we wanted to alert you to this apparently very well organized group, Diversify Our Narrative. But we’ll also be working on a list of resources that offer strong lesson plans, especially for learning at home. (The best thing you can do for kids being force-fed anti-racist garbage is to take them out of their awful school.) Parents, grandparents, teachers and tutors: if you know of good curriculum plans and supplemental material for homeschoolers, please let us know, and we’ll pass that information along.
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