Critical Race Theory

We really shouldn’t go around criticizing and demanding that things should not be taught to our kids or forced on us without understanding what they are. That’s pretty much common sense. So what is Critical Race Theory that has led the President to uncompromisingly condemn it? The best explanation I have seen comes from Sargon, and it’s easily worth 20 minutes of your time.

 

I think he is spot on correct. The whole thing is not so much anti-white as it is anti English and American. Why? Because for the last 500 years the English and the Americans have led the world in freedom, in prosperity, in almost any measure that indicates a better life than any other, at any time in history.

The only place where I mildly disagree with him, and its a matter of degree, nothing more, is that all these characteristics are more emphasized in Americans than they are in the English.

There are several causes of this, one is that when our first founders came over they were the generation of English who most adored freedom, to the point that it wouldn’t be long before they fought a war against the King, and executed him. Many of those first and second generation proto-Americans returned to England to take their place in the Parliamentary ranks. The situation of the frontier from then until at least 1900 also shaped us to understand that these characteristics were the way, and the only way, we were going to survive, let alone thrive.

And his example towards the end is very illustrative. Do you know anybody who would want to associate let alone consider her (I guess) a friend? Sorry, I’m not even close to being egalitarian enough to have any interest in being equal to that individual in anything at all. I choose not to run around demeaning myself or any other person, as long as they are doing their best. The only equality I care to share with this person is equality under the law.

Another place where Sargon is correct is when he reminds us not to let the enemy define the terms we use.

A New Era in Education?

Hmmm, again I got my mind changed about what I was going to write about. Why? Because this while is no light topic it is a happier one for a Friday as we head into a holiday weekend.

So, I’ve been reading post after post from the UK about how screwed up their education system and especially the testing they do is. I don’t completely understand their system, I suspect sometimes, that’s planned so that their people don’t either. But it sounds like a right mess.

We’ve seen some of that, as we’ve seen just how powerful teachers unions are and how little regard they have for the children in their care. But as Jayme Metzgar tells us in The Federalist, there is a bright side as well.

Gallup released the results of a new poll on K-12 education last week, reflecting the post-COVID-19 landscape. Entitled “K-12 Parents’ Satisfaction with Child’s Education Slips,” the summary buried the lede in the bullet points: “[P]ercentage of K-12 parents homeschooling this year has doubled, to 10%.” You read that right. Gallup’s data suggests that, since last year, the home-school community in America has doubled in size. One in every 10 families with school-age children is now home-schooling.

The poll was careful not to conflate remote public-school instruction with true home-schooling. “Will your oldest child attend public, private, parochial, charter school — either in person or remotely — or will they home-school this year?” Gallup asked. “By ‘home-school,’ we mean not enrolled in a formal school, but taught at home.” […]

Given the fact that this poll measured families, not children, the percentage of home-schoolers among the overall student population could be even higher. Samantha Spitzer, a certified teacher and home-schooling parent, believes this to be the case.

That’s pretty spectacular, really, something up to a quarter of our kids being taught by their parents, instead of professional teachers, and mind no matter how good they are, and there are many in my family and even more amongst my friends, both US and UK, they will never care as much about your kids as you do.

One of the people she talked to said this,

“I’m seeing the one-room schoolhouse come back. I’m seeing parents who have the confidence to take the reins now, and who are making connections with their kids.”

Makes all the sense in the world to me, and there is something else ringing a bell in my head. School, especially public school, wasn’t that great when I was in it back in the 60s, and I strongly doubt it has improved, so our schools have been declining for at least 60 years, two full generations. If those parents choose a good curriculum and stick with it, I suspect they too are going to learn a fair amount, at least I’m sure I would. And I’ve learned something from every apprentice I’ve taught over the years, no reason this would be different.

Who knows, maybe they’ll even learn some real civics instead of the propaganda that Zinn and company have been spreading. One can hope, anyway.

The UK Report

In the Salisbury Review, Peter Mullen has some comments about the UK education establishment, they’re worth our time on either side of the pond.

For far too long our wonderful young people have been the victims of scandalous prejudice on the part of the educational establishment which inexplicably favours students who are intelligent, knowledgeable and industrious. This reactionary policy constantly discriminates against those of our wonderful young people who are ignorant, idle and thick. I have been gathering first-hand testimonies from some of these casualties: those vulnerable oiks and morons who, through no fault of their own, are being denied the opportunity to spend three years hanging around getting innocently pissed and stoned as a prelude to their achieving a pretty piece of parchment and years of debt. […]

But the rot starts even before our wonderful young people even leave school where they are obliged to do maths. Orion was hopping mad because he had been awarded a D. “So I mean like absolutely I said 7+ 5 = 41. An’ d’you know what they sed? They sed it’s 12. Well, it’s like it might be 12 for some people but uvvers cum from a community wot ‘as a different culture like and they ‘as their own like ideas dunt they?”

Orion’s teacher shared his disappointment: “The rigid system is class-based, sexist and racist. Underprivileged and vulnerable wonderful young people are being denied self-expression and their human right to say that 7 + 5 = whatever they say it is in their community and ethnic group. Cultural relativism. Know what I mean?” […]

Clotho was sitting next to her friend Vyella straight out of the RE [Religous Education, admin] exam: “It was horrible and my sister Ammonia was like well I’m gone, Clotho. I mean Ammonia’s a neo-vegan Zoroastrian with only slight cannibalistic tendencies. Then we got all this about God saying there’s stuff we shouldn’t do, commandments and that. Why is God so judgemental? And so up Himself with this like no other gods but me. Has He never like heard of diversity? He’s probably a She anyway. So Sexist. Incredible

STOP PRESS The Education Secretary has been put in detention.

Do read it all. If he hasn’t he certainly should have been. I was chatting recently with a friend who is the CEO of an English Educational Trust. She tells me that Boris’s girlfriend needs to get a grip on him. She says the phrase she and her colleagues are using “Omnishambles”. Not a very good look for a first world country. Meanwhile, the Universities are trying to make some sense of it all, and not have to lay people off. Omnishambles, indeed!

But then thanks to our teacher’s unions, we are not doing all that much better.

This is more of a coming attraction than an actual report, but Spiked Online UK has done an interview with Joseph Bottum the author of An Anxious Age: The Post-Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of America. It too speaks of both our countries and is fascinating. But it will take an article of its own, perhaps more than one to clarify what he seems to be saying to me. A hint is in his use of the word ‘Elect’ instead of ‘Elite’. I think he makes a fair amount of sense.

There’s little wrong with President Trump that more Trump couldn’t solve.

I suspect many of you remember Michael Anton (the author of The Flight 93 Election in 2016. He has a new article out in The Claremont Review of Books, Scott Johnson of PowerLine selected for us to be able to read without a subscription. If you are familiar with CRB these articles tend to be fairly long, and this is no exception. They also tend to be amazingly good, and the is one of the best I’ve read. It’s titled The Case for Trump, and if you think the course we’re on is as wrong as can be, like me, you need to read and understand this. Here is a little bit of it.

Whenever I’m asked—mostly by leftist concern trolls who want to write “Former Trump Official Bashes President”—if I have any criticisms of President Trump, my answer is always the same: there’s little wrong with President Trump that more Trump couldn’t solve. More populism. More nationalism. More patriotism. More law and order. More full-throated advocacy for the neglected American people, for the working class, for the Rust Belt and rural America, for religious believers and law-abiding gun owners. More defense of free speech against tech and corporate censorship and suppression, more support for his voters when they or their interests are viciously attacked. In short, more adherence to the 2016 agenda.

The only way to get more Trump is, literally, to get more Trump. Which means the president being reelected and implementing his core agenda in a second term. But that alone will not be enough. Saving America as a unified, self-governing republic is a long-term—possibly generational—project.

There is simply no other choice if we are to preserve the American republic in anything even resembling what the Founders created, we simply must reelect Trump. And then support him with all of our voices and actions.

The seemingly paradoxical answer is that one side needs to gain and keep—electorally!—the upper hand for a while: specifically, the side that has been getting the short end of the stick for the last generation at least. Its leaders will of course, and of necessity, use their power to benefit their side—their base—but they must also use it to right the ship, to rebalance and benefit the whole.

Reform or Replace

We see immediately, however, that no party representing the interests of the rural, small-town and small-city manufacturing-agricultural population currently exists. The Democrats long ago abandoned “the common man” in favor of their high-low coalition. The Republicans would seem to be the country party—certainly, they get a lot of their votes from such people—but in practice GOP office-holders and donors are just as, if not more, likely to side with the interests of the ruling class and “global capital” over those of their own ostensible base.

What’s needed, then, is a Trumpist political party focused squarely on “old economy”—rural, manufacturing, and blue-collar interests. Which means, in most if not all cases, a party actively opposed to the program of the ruling class. If the Republican Party can become that, all to the good. If it can’t, it should go out of business.

How many times we all, thought and often said this in the last three years. Yeah, my throat is just about worn out from yelling this. What should this party of the people stand for? Heare’s what Mr. Anton thinks.

  • We’re the party of good jobs and higher wages—for you. Yes, we’re for economic freedom and (mostly) free markets, but not as ends in themselves, rather because theory and practice alike show that these are the best ways to produce prosperity for all. We’re well aware that the pseudo-prosperity of the last few decades has not been shared but has been gobbled up by those at the top, that you and your families have been left behind and even left out.
  • The animating spirit of our party is to change that, to pursue policies that encourage domestic manufacturing, create jobs, and raise wages. And not just any jobs—not just paper-pushing and burger-flipping jobs—but jobs making real, tangible things that real people want and need. Jobs that—to be blunt—Americans, and especially American men, want to do. That means a shift from a purely information-service-consumer economy to a more balanced economy that respects and honors manufacturing. It means moving away from relying almost completely on imports in favor of making things at home—and a return to selling some of what we make overseas. It means no more dumb trade giveaways or tax and regulatory policies that favor bankers and techies while shafting everyone else. It means protecting American industries and jobs when and where beneficial to American workers.
  • We’re also the party committed to ensuring that your hard-earned wage gains won’t be wiped out by rising health care costs. We’re not going to do that by forcing a government takeover of the system, which would make everything worse for everyone but the superrich, who could always afford to buy the best care (assuming high-quality care could survive a complete government takeover). We’re instead going to use government power to make the private market more affordable for routine doctor visits and ordinary care, and create a public backstop to ensure that, in cases of injury or disease, no person or family need worry about how to pay their medical bills.
  • We’re the party of real “meritocracy,” not the phony kind the ruling class dangles to trick you into thinking our system is fair to you and yours. We’re the party that will neither create nor tolerate any impediments whatsoever in the way of your or your children’s rise. Help will be provided where it’s needed, but fairly, impartially. We will never pit race against race, group against group, citizen against citizen.
  • We’re the party of military strength and foreign policy restraint—the party that will protect our country’s interests while minding our own business. America’s days as the world’s arbiter-intervener of first resort must and will end. As a commercial republic whose prosperity depends in part on buying and selling overseas, America must be able to project strength abroad. But we will do so only where and when we must, to protect our interests, which we will define strictly and narrowly.
  • We’re the party of the common man and woman, the ordinary Joe and Jane, the average American—the party of family, faith, and our shared, cherished American way of life. We’re the party that will defend our common ideas of decency, morality, and citizenship. We’re the party that stands in favor of you living and worshiping the way you always have, the way your sacred scripture says and your ancestors taught you. We stand against silly, destructive fads cooked up on university campuses and in big cities to alter and degrade your way of life—and to insult and belittle you in the process.
  • We’re for “progress,” but the real kind: progress in shared wealth and new technologies that benefit all, not just a small elite; progress in building up the dignity and honor of you and your families; progress in the strength and greatness of our shared country; progress toward a future in which America’s central institutions and power centers care about you and fight for you.

Now that’s a party I would enthusiastically vote for and support, and watch as America makes our miraculous Industrial Revolution in the 19th Century lool like small potatoes. This platform would transform first America and then the world. It’s time. And do read the entire article, it’s about the most uplifting political document you’ll see this year.

An Education in Fraud

Daniel Greenfield at Frontpage Mag.

The Los Angeles Unified School District spends $18,788 per student. Its goal is to up that spending to $20,000. The mammoth LA school district is 7th in urban spending and has around half a million students. And the costs only went up after a United Teachers strike extracted a 6 percent raise.

Last year, LAUSD approved a $7.8 billion budget.

Governor Newsom demanded federal aid during the coronavirus and proposed moving over $4 billion in federal pandemic relief to the non-functioning schools.

“Cuts to funding at schools will forever impact the lives of children,” Superintendent Austin Beutner warned. “The harm children are facing is just as real a threat to them as is the coronavirus.”

Apparently cutting the budgets of closed schools is just as lethal as a pandemic.

“The notion that schools can continue to operate safely in the fall with a decreased state budget is not realistic,” deputy superintendent Megan Reilly complained after a proposed 7% budget cut.

This is what passes for sense in school administration.

It’s bad enough when taxpayers and parents were stuck with billion-dollar bills when there were at least functioning schools. Now struggling families are paying a fortune to subsidize Democrat activists who make their own schedules and might condescend to spend a few hours handing out class projects.

Don’t ask them to turn on their video or actually monitor the students they’re “teaching”.

“If schools aren’t going to reopen, we’re not suggesting pulling funding from education, but instead allowing families … take that money and figure out where their kids can get educated if their schools are going to refuse to open,” Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos suggested.

That suggestion has been met with howls of outrage from the teachers’ unions. How dare the country’s top education official suggest that education funding should be used to teach children.

They apparently missed that class at Screw U that taught the rest of us that there is no free lunch, somebody pays for it all. In this case, the taxpayer, and taxpayers, black, white, and Hispanic, are voting with their feet to get out of these places just as quick as they can. Why? Gee, I don’t know, maybe they’d like to get something for all that tax money, like an education for their kids.

Parents have the right to pull that money from school districts and use it to educate their children.

That can mean finding private schools that are willing to open up for in-person learning, it can mean competitive distance learning at private and public schools around the country, or it can mean homeschooling through pods. Or any learning that meets curriculum requirements.

The public education system was broken badly before. Now it effectively doesn’t exist.

The system, at every level from elementary through college, has shed what few standards it had, while maintaining ridiculously inflated expenses of tens of thousands per student for teaching zoom classes.

Competitive alternatives could easily offer individual students more instruction time, more access to teachers, and more personalized instruction for a fraction of the money that is being spent today.

School districts react hysterically to both budget cuts and proposals to reopen. But they can’t have it both ways. They protest that the infrastructure must be maintained, even as they insist that they have no idea when they’re going to be able to use it again. They argue that, unlike every other profession, it’s vital to keep teachers employed, even when they’re really not doing anything useful.

My opinion? the average big-city school and teacher is worth just as little as his blood-sucking cousin the malaria-carrying mosquito, and should be treated the exact same way.

What they are doing as teachers and school districts has a name. That name is fraud. Since a lot of it is Federal taxpayer’s money, maybe the US attorney’s could take a few minutes and indict the obvious guilty ones, maybe some of the rest might straighten up and fly a bit less crooked, straight is probably out of the question.

Generational Destruction and Teacher’s Unions

Bookworm has some thoughts on keeping schools closed due to union pressures. I think she’s spot on. Let’s have a look.

1. President Trump wants to open the schools, so leftists reflexively oppose opening them.

2. Leftists think they can leverage school re-openings for political extortion. The Los Angeles teachers’ union is demanding, among many other things, that the city de-fund charter schools (their competition), raise taxes on the wealthy, and shrink class sizes by 50%. Meanwhile, in North Carolina, a teachers’ union is insisting that they won’t return to the classroom unless the state implemented universal healthcare for citizens and illegal aliens alike.

3. Having children at home puts enormous pressure on families. Single mothers can’t work at all. Two-parent families may be seeing their income shrink by 50%. This creates two possible responses:

The people who are mad with fear about the virus are also the people who think that Biden can actually make it all better.

Possible in 2020 America, but it’s also an indictment of the education these so-called adults received. No president can really do very much short term about the schools. Of course, calling off the Democratic dogs might be another matter. Or there is this:

Then there are the people who know this is all a con, intended to pressure people into voting for Biden. The way the con works is that, once Biden wins, the whole virus madness will end as swiftly as it did during the Black Lives Matter protests. These people want to vote for Trump, but they believe a vote for Biden is the only way to end this Democrat extortion.

Which ties back to my comment on the first option. It also brings to mind a bit of Kipling:

IT IS always a temptation to an armed and agile nation
To call upon a neighbour and to say: –
“We invaded you last night – we are quite prepared to fight,
 Unless you pay us cash to go away.”And that is called asking for Dane-geld,
And the people who ask it explain
That you’ve only to pay ’em the Dane-geld
And then you’ll get rid of the Dane!

It is always a temptation for a rich and lazy nation,
To puff and look important and to say: –
“Though we know we should defeat you,
we have not the time to meet you.
We will therefore pay you cash to go away.”

And that is called paying the Dane-geld;
 But we’ve proved it again and again,
That if once you have paid him the Dane-geld
 You never get rid of the Dane.

It is wrong to put temptation in the path of any nation,
 For fear they should succumb and go astray;
So when you are requested to pay up or be molested,
You will find it better policy to say: —

“We never pay any-one Dane-geld,
 No matter how trifling the cost;
For the end of that game is oppression and shame,
 And the nation that plays it is lost!”

Anybody think teacher’s unions are any different?

Then there is the other side:

1. There’s nothing conservatives want more than to see the end of public schools. Students stuck in bad districts don’t get educated at all and students in all districts are subject to non-stop leftist indoctrination. Additionally, the teachers’ unions are consistently the largest Democrat donors in most elections. […]

2. Keeping kids out of school is really bad for them. We know that, unless they’re terribly immune-compromised or weak in other ways, the virus is a mere nothing to them. Keeping them out of school won’t save their lives.

However, long-distance education is nothing fish nor fowl. It’s not homeschooling, which has a separate dynamic that’s very focused on the individual. Instead, it’s drone schooling, […]

Another problem is that children need to socialize. Not only are they being kept from school, but they’re also not even supposed to see other children under this paranoid regime. […]

Lastly, children need to develop their immune systems. By protecting them from the one virus, we’re preventing them from exposure to all the other things that their body needs if it’s to educate the immune system to protect them throughout their lives. […]

A hearty YUP to all five, and probably another dozen neither Book nor I thought of. It’s the worst of all possible non-answers to a non-existent problem. Why exactly should we allow teachers (and their unions) who have time and again proved that they care less than nothing about anybody but themselves and their political power to completely ruin another generation of our children?

I can’t stop thinking about that woman in Arizona who threw her toddler out the window to save it. She was already on fire and might have saved herself by jumping after the baby. She didn’t, though. Instead, she stayed in the apartment, burning to death, to make sure that her 8-year-old daughter survived (which the girl did). Would that mother be so afraid of a virus that she would willingly destroy her children’s education and socialization? (And again, that’s assuming there are such benefits from modern public school education.)

It’s an excellent point and those responsible should be thinking long and hard about it.

Read her full post (linked above). It’s the most common sense I’ve seen on the topic.

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