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Douglas Andrews / May 12, 2021

A Welcome CRT Backlash

In towns and cities across the country, Americans are finally waking up to the Left’s efforts to racially indoctrinate our children.

“First and foremost, neither I nor my child have ‘white privilege,’ nor do we need to apologize for it. Suggesting I do is insulting. Suggesting to my 9-year-old child she does is child abuse, not education.”

That was Harvey Goldman, whose daughter attends the $43,000-per-year Heschel School in Manhattan. He’s clearly a fed-up parent, but now he’s fighting back. And he’s not alone.

As the New York Post reports, “Now he’s part of an underground network of parents in NYC and around the country, many of whom are left-leaning, fighting what they believe is the undue focus on race by schools as part of the new ‘woke’ culture. … Goldman, a businessman, was shocked by the amount of negative and inappropriate ‘anti-racist’ dogma he said was being aimed at his fourth-grader and her classmates. But when he reached out to the school with his concerns, administrators were ‘arrogant and dismissive.’”

“Arrogant and dismissive” is one thing if you’re eating at Ed’s. Heck, it’s what you’re paying for. But it’s another thing entirely if the folks you pay good money to teach your daughter are telling you to pound sand.

And we thought our government-run public schools were the pits.

The worm may well have turned, though. As the editors of National Review write, “Recent weeks have brought welcome pushback against the spread of critical race theory (CRT) and related dogmas of division in our nation’s schools. Contrary to what many of CRT’s advocates often claim, the theory is about more than just teaching kids to ‘think critically’ about the role that race has played in American history. It’s the conceptual apparatus of a self-avowedly activist political movement seeking to renovate the American social order from root to branch using state power.”

But we needn’t take NR’s word for it. Instead, we can consider the words of CRT’s highest-profile proponent, Ibram X. Kendi: “The only remedy to racist discrimination is anti-racist discrimination. The only remedy to past discrimination is present discrimination. The only remedy to present discrimination is future discrimination.”

So, he says, two wrongs make a right. We must discriminate by race in order to end discrimination by race. Perhaps Chief Justice John Roberts should straighten this guy out.

Our Mark Alexander has written extensively on the indoctrination of our children and the Left’s “insidious curriculum,” and he rejects CRT and its institutional premise. As he notes, our nation’s most consequential “systemic racism” is the Democrats’ social policies, “which have enslaved poor black citizens on Demo-controlled urban poverty plantations for generations.” In fact, “The Democrat Party platform has, by design, kept poor people in bondage to the welfare state and, consequently, is the blueprint for the most enduring racial exploitation architecture in America.”

The backlash is building, and it includes local- and state-level action across the nation, from New York City to Chicago to Tallahassee to Boise to Southlake, Texas, and elsewhere. It’s even happening at Fox News, where news anchor Martha MacCallum earlier this week dressed down American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten on CRT and her support of the atrociously ahistorical “1619 Project.”

MacCallum called out Weingarten’s “very simplistic take” on the wretched project, arguing that it indoctrinates our children to believe that their country was founded first and foremost on a desire to preserve slavery. “But that is not factual,” said MacCallum. “That is not true. In fact, scholars say there’s no evidence that colonists were motivated by that in coming to the United States. So it would be wrong as a historian to want to teach them something that is not true … that we live in a systemically racist country.”

Weingarten and her teachers union brethren would do well to read this letter, which comes from another New York City parent, Andrew Gutmann, and is a thoughtful and hard-hitting take-down of the Left’s “anti-racism” scheme. “I cannot tolerate a school that not only judges my daughter by the color of her skin,” he writes, “but encourages and instructs her to prejudge others by theirs. By viewing every element of education, every aspect of history, and every facet of society through the lens of skin color and race, we are desecrating the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and utterly violating the movement for which such civil rights leaders believed, fought, and died.”

We’re a long way from consigning Critical Race Theory and the 1619 Project to the dustbin of fake history, but the pendulum has clearly begun to swing back. As NR’s editors conclude, “There’s obviously a place in American education for sober reflection and instruction about the legacy of racism in the United States, but CRT is not that.”

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