Jan. 18, 2016

Mauling MLK's Legacy

Schools are making an utter mockery of his dream.

Today is Martin Luther King Jr. Day, a national holiday celebrating the man who in 1963 dreamed that “my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.” Fifty-three years later, leftists, especially those indoctrinating our children in public schools, are making an utter mockery of that concept.

Illinois’ New Trier High School is but one example. While most Americans are enjoying the federal holiday, New Trier has made today a mandatory school day, during which they will marinate their students in a series of seminars exploring black victimhood, inherent biases against people of color, and white guilt and privilege — “to better understand how we can all work to counter the impact of systemic racism in our lives,” the school’s website states.

More than 60 workshops are a compendium of leftist talking points. Some of the session titles and descriptions are as follows:

  • “One Person, One Vote: Can the Voting Rights Act be Saved?” It posits that “more and more Americans have found their ability to vote restricted by new voter ID laws, limits on early voting, inadequate election day facilities, and voter disenfranchisement.”

  • “The Truth about Ferguson: The Investigation into the Death of Michael Brown” declares that the “death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, sparked protest and outrage regarding the treatment of people of color by law enforcement. Some demanded reform and recognition of ongoing injustices, while others came to the defense of officer Darren Wilson.” It further notes that similar events following Brown’s death “continued to go viral on social media.”

  • “Why Do I Have to Feel Guilty for Being White?” explains that discussions of race don’t “usually feel good for anyone. White people often walk away feeling guilty and thinking, ‘But I didn’t do anything!’ In this workshop, we’ll explore how white guilt can become a roadblock in our journeys toward becoming white allies.”

  • “Unconscious Perceptions of Race” explains how the “media you choose and the community in which you live both reflect and influence the way you look at race. Join us as we look at our automatic thinking processes, how it influences the way we look at race and consider how we might adapt those processes.”

  • “We Can’t Change What We Don’t Know: An Individual Exploration of Racial Bias and Cultural Competence” is an elective “guaranteed to contain spirited, respectful exploration and reflection of the typically unidentified myths held inside and how these perceptions contribute to the current culture of dominance in our lives.”

  • “The Zip Code Effect: How Illinois School Funding Perpetuates Oppression” aims to “explore the savage inequalities in Illinois school funding and how we can fix the system!”

  • “Uncovering Your Thoughts. Why do you think that?” reveals “how racial biases are subconsciously formed throughout our lives.”

  • “Home, Sweet Home: The Roots of Structural Racism in Housing” asks why “many African Americans been have denied the American dream of home ownership and how has the denial of that dream had long term implications for black families hoping to become solidly middle class in America?”

  • “Western Bias in Science” wonders if “Copernicus, Galileo, Newton, Einstein… Were all of the great discoveries in science made by Greeks and Europeans?” before telling students they will explore “the impact of our western bias in the history of science…”

  • “What is Your Privilege?” is a session where participants “will be given an identity of a different race and will be given the hardships that encompass that race.”

  • “Representations of the Middle East: Stereotypes and Islamophobia” discusses “racial stereotypes of Middle Easterners in film, television, news, and current events and how these stereotypes contribute to the Islamophobic climate.” Something called the “Pyramid of Hate model” will be used to “assess the escalation of anti-Muslim rhetoric, profiling, and hate crimes.”

  • “Disney and the Creation of Racial Identity” will focus on Disney films “and discuss how these films influence childhood development of racial identities.”

  • “Yer’ A White Wizard, Harry: Whitewashing in Cinema” is a discussion “about white dominance in the film industry,” that will be “taking a look at different cases where the voices of People of Color were silenced by the industry and how we can change it.”

Aside from these and other equally pernicious sessions, students will be required to attend a “special presentation” by Ilyasah Shabazz, daughter of the late Malcolm X. Shabazz once stated that “anyone who says ‘by any means necessary’ is a violent statement is violent themselves, because it is a comprehensive statement. … It could be political, social, [or] religious.”

Students will also be required to attend a keynote address by Isabel Wilkerson, who supports the Black Lives Matter movement, and has declared that the outcomes in “Staten Island and Ferguson and elsewhere signal, as in the time of Jim Crow, that the loss of Black life at the hands of authorities does not so much as merit further inquiry and that the caste system has only mutated with the times.”

Several parents expressed their concerns. “They are supposed to be a neutral environment. Yet they are pushing all this ‘white guilt,’ using our kids for their own agenda, twisting their minds — whether it be sexual or racial,” one wrote. Another added, “These ‘workshops’ and ‘classes’ seem likely to breed within the kids a sense of guilt and shame — as if they are at fault for the misfortune in the world and it is their responsibility to make amends. Several classes are designed to teach them to be, in essence, ‘community organizers.’”

These seminars seem to violate the policies of the New Trier Township High School District, which charges faculty members “to help our students identify arguments or preachments which are demonstrably unbalanced by bias, hate, calumny, distortion of facts, or ignorance of or indifference to the laws of evidence and the requirements of proof.” District personnel are also warned to “refrain from using school contracts and privileges to promote partisan politics, sectarian religious views, or personal agendas of any kind.”

Regardless, Dr. Linda Yonke, Superintendent of New Trier Township High School District 203, remained fully supportive of this indoctrination session, saying on New Trier’s website, “Current events show us that there is still much work to be done toward creating a world in which people are judged by the content of their character rather than the color of their skin.”

Unfortunately, Yonke and her ilk are breeding another generation focused on just the opposite.

This is what passes for an education at a school ranked number four in the nation last year by Business Insider (BI). New Trier HS is located on Chicago’s North Shore, a very upscale community. The student body is more than 90% Asian and white, an inconvenient reality that earned it a C+ for diversity from BI that stood in stark contrast to the magazine’s A+ rating for the district’s academics and teachers.

It cannot be said often enough: Schools are the primary battleground for the nation’s soul, and for far too long, the Left has controlled them. That is why we get legions of young Americans well-versed in social justice, environmental radicalism, micro-aggressions and trigger warnings, and shamefully lacking in math, writing, history, civics and constitutional knowledge.

One suspects Martin Luther King would be embarrassed by New Trier’s utter bastardization of his legacy, courtesy of the racial arsonists, the grievance mongers and the bean-counters who fancy themselves as keepers of King’s flame. Igniters of the social unrest and racial division thoroughly rejected by King himself is more like it.

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