Are We Asking the Right Questions?

I recently received an email from a friend of mine who is involved in politics. The email was encouragement to write to the Department of Education regarding a new policy to implement Critical Race Theory in our schools. The policy is currently in the “proposal” stage which basically means the DOE is fulfilling its legal requirement for public input before they ramrod the policy through with minor tweaks.

I really appreciate what this friend and other involved people in my area are doing to get others to act. One of my concerns is that so many of us want to write, want to act, but we honestly don’t have a successful strategy for doing so.

For example, if I read the policy and then comment, it might sound something like this,” I am opposed to the adoption of what I think is a program that will harm so many of our students by encouraging racial division instead of real understanding.”

Great comment, right? Except it won’t do anything to impact what they do. Why? For one thing, I am not the constituency that the DOE cares about. This policy, like so many others, is being proposed and structured to satisfy the donors of the Democrat party, and the variety of organizations that have loud voices in Congress and the Administration, i.e. BLM, NAACP, SLPC, etc. It’s a big Hollywood Ad saying that the Biden regime cares about racism so much that they are willing to teach about it full time. So, if a white woman from Oxford writes, who cares? So what if I don’t like the policy?

You might say, well, if we have enough numbers they will care. Wrong again. Unless every commenter is a billionaire donating to their cause or a minority that has the ear of the media, it won’t matter. Remember, they are willing to discount the opinons of over 70 million people on everything else.

Now, please, don’t get discouraged. Don’t disengage. You still need to comment. You just need to change your focus and the mission of your comments.

You need to ask more questions, questions that show you and others actually see what is part of the policy and who is supporting it. Questions that challenge them to defend their choices or be called out as the very thing they say they are not. We need to show we are paying attention.

So, let’s talk about this new proposed policy.

Executive Order 13985 states: “Our country faces converging economic, health, and climate crises that have exposed and exacerbated inequities, while a historic movement for justice has highlighted the unbearable human costs of systemic racism. Our Nation deserves an ambitious whole-of-government equity agenda that matches the scale of the opportunities and challenges that we face.” [1] ( My bold emphasis)

We keep hearing about “systemic racism.” There isn’t a single politician on the left side who hasn’t made that phrase their “go to” on race issues. The phrased was coined by sociologist Joe Feagin in his book “Racist America.” Hmmm…what were Joe’s beliefs? Well, he tells us in the very first section of the book: “The Marxist tradition provides a powerful theory of oppression centered on such key concepts as class struggle, worker exploitation and alienation . . .” Do you see that? He credits the “Marxist tradition” with the basis of what he call systemic racism. And what did Maxists do to gain power? The used racial and economic division to turn populations against each other. So, there it is. A phrase used to build policy that was created to destroy countries. In the first paragraph they have already shown what this is about.

The next word you see is one I have seen since the 80’s in EVERY educational theory book I have read. Equity. Where we used to want everyone treated equally, we were taught in the 80’s that this wasn’t good enough. Neither was fairness. Giving everyone an equal chance wouldn’t guarantee the same outcome. Plus, it meant that the person would have an equal chance to achieve only if they worked hard. You can’t get divide people if they are all treated equally. So, equity was adopted to show that some people needed more than others in order to catch up, not because they had fallen behind, but because we should ASSUME that they were less capable than others.

American History and Civics Education programs can play an important role in this critical effort by supporting teaching and learning that reflects the breadth and depth of our Nation’s diverse history and the vital role of diversity in our Nation’s democracy. For example, there is growing acknowledgement of the importance of including, in the teaching and learning of our country’s history, both the consequences of slavery, and the significant contributions of Black Americans to our society. This acknowledgement is reflected, for example, in the New York Times’ landmark “1619 Project” and in the resources of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History.[2]

Accordingly, schools across the country are working to incorporate anti-racist practices into teaching and learning. As the scholar Ibram X. Kendi has expressed, “[a]n antiracist idea is any idea that suggests the racial groups are equals in all their apparent differences—that there is nothing right or wrong with any racial group. Antiracist ideas argue that racist policies are the cause of racial inequities.” [3] It is critical that the teaching of American history and civics creates learning experiences that validate and reflect the diversity, identities, histories, contributions, and experiences of all students.”

So, in that second paragraph they talk in glowing terms about how they want the diversity of Americans’ experiences and how we need to teach them. Then they bring in the 1619 project and validate how wonderful and inclusive it is with the reference to the Smithsonian.

They write about a program so egalitarian and fair, what could be bad about having diverse viewpoints taught? Well, except that is NOT what the 1619 project does. It basically teaches that the ONLY people critical in building this country were Black slaves and that the White Founding Fathers and anyone else were just hanging on the coat tails of those slaves. It characterizes the Founding Fathers as blatant white racists who never did anything just.

Don’t believe me? Take a good look at the 1619 Project, start with the people who run it, the Board of Directors. The Chairman is a man by the name of Calvin Pearson. Here is something Mr. Pearson wrote about the founding of our country:

Read for yourself to get an idea of how he views the founding of this country. Not even Abraham Lincoln gets credit for freeing slaves, he is portrayed as a racist. I guess presenting “all viewpoints” means the ones that portray our country as created by white racists.

Even more important, look at a lesson plan from the 1619 Project and envision your middle or high school student as he/she participates:

Again, do you see diverse viewpoints? Do you see any mention of white people who fought for the abolition of slavery and for racial equality? If you do, please let me know because I couldn’t find it. All I saw was the rewriting of history using skewed facts.

And all of this is validated by the Pulitzer Center for Crisis Reporting. If you go to their website, you will see they are a group that supports publications that focus on “under-reported social issues.” The name itself implies that they only care about reporting on “crises” a term that can be used to describe anything from natural disasters to millenialls not having 5 G internet. Their Board is a plethora of white liberal leftists, with one black member. Connections are found between board members and the liberal New York Times, the Center for Reproductive Rights ( abortion), Human Rights Watch, Reuters, etc. To be fair, there are a couple of members who may be at least moderate.

One of the most telling items in the three paragraphs is the reference to scholar Ibram X. Kendi. Mr. Kendi is an interesting person, to say the least. He heads the Boston University Center for Anti-racist Research. Try to figure out what that involves. He currently proposes and supports a Constitutional Amendment to create a “Department of Anti-racism” in the U.S. Government. They would oversee all police departments, government agencies and judges and would dictate policy as well as adjudicate actions by police, ANY GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS and JUDGES. This agency could then punish any violators in the way they see fit. Wow. An agency that could be judge, jury and executioner all in one. SS and Stassi anyone?

Not surprising since Mr. Kendi says that racial tensions can only be solved by violence between the races. He’s not exactly a reasonable, fair minded person searching for racial harmony and respect.

Are you getting the picture yet of what this Executive Order is? What it creates? Who it gets its impetus from? Who will implement it?

What is ironic is that this President, one who has been more overtly racist than any other of history, would propose this. He has been supportive of a former KKK member, has called Blacks stupid, unimaginative, animals, and out of control. He has told Blacks that they shouldn’t have a choice in who to vote for if they wish to remain Black. Does anyone remember that?

Back to our mission. Our mission is not only to write and comment but to ask questions that need answers from the people supporting this. I have done some basic research to help with this, but I know you can do more.

So, based on what I found, I would ask the following questions:

  1. How is diversity addressed in this order? Will the scope of what is implemented in schools go beyond the one sided viewpoint of CRT and the 1619 Project? How?
  2. Does the mission of the Executive Order match with the stated beliefs of Ibram X. Kendi regarding race relations? Is violence between the races promoted in the adaptations of this policy?
  3. Are all white historical figures portrayed as racist in the lesson materials promoted in this order?
  4. How much flexibility will school systems have in implementing the EO? Will they be limited to lessons endorsed by the 1619 Project? Will there be lessons that show other races other than Blacks and their struggles and triumphs?
  5. How will the program address the psychological damage done to White students who have had their race identified as the cause of all the problems in the history of this country? How will it address the anger, hopelessness and helplessness the curriculum encourages in Black students as they view their country as an obstacle that can not be overcome?
  6. How will the EO encourage acceptance, respect, and love between different racial groups?
  7. Will the EO compare the United States and it’s fundamental belief in freedom to totalitarian countries such as China, Russia, Venezuala, and North Korea? Will the horrific treatment of minorities and the general populations in these countries due to their Marxist philosophy be discussed?
  8. Who is funding this policy? Will materials have to be purchased from organizations mandated by the Education Department? How will you assure there is no conflict of interest between government employees and those organizations? Who will make money off this EO?
  9. How will the many racist comments by the current President be addressed in the lessons of this program? Will he be shown as an example of a man who has been in office for over 45 years but has done nothing to help Black people? Will he be listed as an example of “systemic racism?”

It seems like a lot of questions. I’m sure they will not be answered, at least not in writing. But, asking them shows that I am paying attention. I think they also show that I know what they are up to, and if I do, others do too. I suggest you send your questions to your representatives and Senators as well. Maybe your questions will help them investigate this mess.

This model for input can be used for any government program being proposed or implemented. It requires time and determination. But, I watched a video yesterday from a group in Shasta County ,California as they work to make real change in their government. You can see this video at One of the speakers talks about doing more than just complaining, but learning and getting information and USING IT to make change. She also says that we need to make our country back into a country truly run by the people.

We do this by being informed, educated, and involved in any way we can.

Questions. Sometimes they are the best way to express your opinions.

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I am a 67 year old runner and conservative. I taught for 31 years and retired a few years back. In my life, I have coached and judged gymnastics, coached softball, and raised two amazing kids.

Thanks for commenting!!