Michael Swartz / February 19, 2021

Saving Civics From Racism

A reasoned (and reasonable) approach to civics is what our kids desperately need.

For decades the Left has flocked to education as a vocation, taking the open opportunity to pass on a heaping helping of their anti-American and immoral propaganda as part of their lesson plans. As a result, generations of children beginning with the Baby Boomers received a subtle but one-sided message that our nation had flaws and character wasn’t important. (Neither was capitalism, an aspect we covered a year ago.) More recently, the message has gone out via the New York Times’s 1619 Project that our nation wasn’t founded on the concept of Liberty at all but was instead conceived as a means to exploit one race for the benefit of another. Sadly, hundreds of school districts around the country have adopted the 1619 Project as a basis for teaching history despite its numerous and verified flaws.

All that background leads us to the latest development on the educational front — the battle for civics.

The state of Illinois recently proposed new regulations for teaching civics in the state. It amounts to a sweeping change that creates “culturally responsive teachers and leaders” who, in part, “understand that there are systems in our society that create and reinforce inequities, thereby creating oppressive conditions.” Therefore, “Educators work actively against these systems in their everyday roles in educational institutions.” They also should “understand how the system of inequity has impacted them as an educator.” If adopted, the rules will take effect just after the beginning of the 2021-22 school year.

“Illinois is literally about to mandate that every one of its licensed teachers adopt progressive political orthodoxy and impart that ideology to students,” writes an exasperated Stanley Kurtz in National Review. Kurtz, who wrote a longer treatise on the subject for the Claremont Institute, has also proposed model legislation called The Partisanship Out Of Civics Act.

“Instead of inciting students to protest or engage in lobbying based on unexamined prejudices, teachers ought to be cultivating an appreciation for the complexities, unintended consequences, and trade-offs inherent in any policy position, and conveying the importance of tempering advocacy with respect for the rights of others,” explains Kurtz. “Political positions are for students to determine themselves, as free individuals, in the fullness of time. Protest and lobbying are for students to practice outside of formal schooling.”

Kurtz would seem to be a one-man band given his passion on the civics subject, but his battle is being joined by other important allies. Paul Mirengoff at Power Line has also been writing regularly on the subject, but more importantly Bill Jacobson — the mind behind the Legal Insurrection website — has created a clearinghouse website devoted to sharing the truth behind Critical Race Theory (CRT).

In announcing the new website, Jacobson wrote, “The impact [of CRT] on education has been enormous, and destructive. What started on college campuses has moved to primary and secondary education, and into the broader culture. Government agencies and private corporations now are some of the worst offenders of the obsessive focus on race.” He added, “CriticalRace.org is a resource for parents and students concerned about how Critical Race Theory, and implementation of Critical Race Training, impacts education. We have compiled the most comprehensive database to empower parents and students.” One eventual plan for the website is to determine the 10 worst schools for indoctrination into CRT.

Yet while Kurtz, Jacobson, and others are doing yeoman’s work on the subject, they could use all hands on deck. Most of us pay taxes to support our local schools, so it’s worth finding out just how much these anti-American values have permeated your local classrooms. If you have kids (or grandkids), it’s worth remembering the Proverbs admonition to train up your children in the way they should go. That includes critical thinking as part of a well-rounded civics education.

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