There was a time when Americans of all political persuasions were collectively shocked and repulsed by images of rifle-toting children in terrorist training camps being instructed/indoctrinated in the ways of jihad.
You might be surprised to learn that unfortunately, a not-so-different form of radicalization occurs in U.S. public schools.
In a column this week, Seattle-based radio host and journalist Jason Rantz told an unsettling story about what took place in one of the city’s public middle schools in June.
According to Rantz, Rachel Shine, a teacher at Catharine Blaine K-8 School, “forwarded pro-riot propaganda to 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students.”
According to the journalist, Shine was unhappy with the media’s use of “images showing violence and destruction.” In one slide, she said this “reinforces the ‘thug’ stereotype that supports white supremacy.”
She included a list of proper vocabulary that students should use to discuss the riots. The list had been prepared by Shift, which Rantz described as a “racial equity and gender equity consulting group.”
Rather than referring to the violence as “riots,” students should call them “uprisings,” according to the list. And the rioters should not be called “thugs”; the term “freedom fighter” is apparently preferable, the list said.
Regarding so-called “systemic racism,” the presentation claimed that “things in America have always been set up this way.”
Rantz wrote that the presentation also “asks students to listen to Black activists. But don’t ‘labor’ them with questions or pushback. And, of course, you should follow #BlackLivesMatter on Twitter.”
In another presentation compiled by Shine and other teachers at her school, titled “Actions to Take,” students were given a list of ways they could supposedly bring about change. Suggestions included donations to Black Lives Matter, the American Civil Liberties Union and one of the bail funds which have been set up to “help protesters get out of jail quickly.”
In other words, not only does Shine want students to call rioters “freedom fighters,” she wants them to donate their money so that criminals arrested for causing chaos can be bailed out of jail.
The second presentation also provides students with a list of social media accounts to follow:
“The list includes police abolitionist and fringe socialist politician Nikkita Oliver, Ibram X. Kendi, author of ‘How to be an Anti-Racist,’ and the Black Lives Matter account,” Rantz wrote.
Meanwhile, the sources provided at the end of the first presentation included Al Jazeera, The Associated Press, Vox and B—- Media.
“Shine did not confirm whether or not the presentations, found on the school district’s SharePoint account … were updated when she presented to her students,” according to Rantz.
But it’s hard to imagine any substantive changes were made from the presentations above to the ones that, according to Blaine’s website, were made public to the students.
(The first one was “was used in staff-led online conversations open to all 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students on June 4, 2020,” the school said, while the second one “gives students and families a list of resources and suggestions for internal and external actions that can be taken by anyone to increase their own understanding of institutional racism, ways to support the African American community, and direct actions to take to promote racial equality.”)
How can we tell?
Well, in an interview with Rantz, Shine indicated that far from backing down, the school intends to push the issue even further. The school plans on “continuing the work this year,” she said, adding that it will be distributing a book to seventh graders called “This Book is Antiracist,” by Tiffany Jewel.
This book offers advice to students who might witness a police officer interacting with black people.
The author writes: “You don’t want these two young Black men to become new hashtags and statistic. … Stay in the car and shout out to the two being held by police, ‘I see this.’ Stop other people walking by and ask them to stand witness too. (There is strength and power in numbers).”
Jewel also reminds readers, particularly if they are white and cisgender, that they will be called upon to take risks:
“Some of your choices will require you to take risks. Some may not. Understanding your privilege and the power you have — or do not have — is important. It will determine how you approach everything. This situation with the police is one where, especially if you are white and cisgender, you can use your privilege to speak up.”
And, in case any of us thought it was possible for a non-white person to be racist against white people, Jewel wants readers to know that “is not a thing.”
“Being racist against white people is not a thing … REVERSE RACISM IS NOT REAL,” she writes.
“People will bring it up from time to time and you can remind them that personal prejudice is indeed real. However, institutions continue to misuse power to maintain a racist foundation against Black, Brown, and Indigenous folx. Therefore, the only people who benefit from that are white people. Contrary to the dictionary definition, racism is more than just the ‘personal prejudice’ part of the equation.”
Although the example of Shine’s PowerPoint presentations may sound extreme, we have heard similar stories in the news before.
In the 2017 video below, a Charlotte, North Carolina mom speaks to Fox News about an assignment that she said her seventh-grade daughter was given.
It began like this: “Kevin is an optimist, a liberal and believes the government can help people help themselves … while Amos is pessimistic, a conservative and believes government support makes people lazy.”
An argument about which opinion is correct is well beyond the scope of this post, but the language clearly depicts the conservative in a negative light.
We’ve always known that the vast majority of public school teachers and professors were left-leaning, but some of us never quite realized the extent to which the liberal agenda had worked its way into the classroom.
Prior to the lockdowns, many parents weren’t fully aware of what their children were being exposed to in schools.
Children are extremely impressionable, and a teacher, with whom they spend hours every day, often has enormous influence in shaping their world views. It’s dangerous for a teacher to instill their political beliefs into the minds of their students.
Unfortunately, this is happening with greater frequency and intensity in American classrooms, and the result is that many young adults hate America.
I’m not saying that all teachers are as radical as Shine. But, unfortunately, many are.
Now that we’ve identified the problem, we need to act. Hopefully, it’s not too late.
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