Tuesday, July 13, 2021

Not About History

Merriam-Webster: The Jig is Up (idiom)- (US, informal + old-fashioned)—used to say that a dishonest plan or activity has been discovered and will not be allowed to continue

The jig is up: where did you hide the stolen goods?


The jig is up. 

The National Education Association, energized by critical race theory and the 1619 Project- and by efforts in several states to restrict or prohibit teaching them- on July 3 at its national convention, adopted "New Business Item 39."  Randy Weingarten, president of the other major teachers' union, the American Federation of Teachers, vowed three days later  "Mark my words: Our union will defend any member who gets in trouble for teaching honest history. Teaching the truth is not radical or wrong. Distorting history and threatening educators for telling the truth is what is truly radical and wrong.”

Responding to controversy, the NEA scrubbed the provision from its website on July 6, though the union has helpfully, and courageously, chosen not to delete it from its Twitter feed.

Item C includes "it is reasonable and appropriate for curriculum to be informed by academic frameworks for understanding and interpreting the impact of the past on current society, including critical race theory." Presumably, the NEA means ".... by academic frameworks, including critical race theory, for understanding and interpreting the impact of the past on current society." An English teacher on the organization's board would be a welcome addition.

A history curriculum- one hopes that it is limited to that- should consider academic frameworks for interpreting the impact of the past on current society. Alas, that is not the intent of the NEA, which in item B vows 

to provide an already-created, in-depth study that critiques empire, white supremacy, anti-Blackness, anti-indigeneity, racism, patriarchy, cisheteropatriarchy, capitalism, ableism, anthropocentrism, and other forms of power and oppression at the intersections of society....

As I type this, blogger spellcheck informs me that "cisheteropatriarchy" is not a word, evidently because it is made up by the union's Ethnic Affairs Caucuses. (Yes, that's plural, as in caucuses, one being insufficient.)  Unfortunately, it cannot explain the connection of patriarchy, ableism, and anthropocentrism to ethnicity.

These are words created to support an ideological agenda so extreme and brazenly elitist that it includes several words- indigeneity, ableism, anthropocentrism, and the aforementioned cisheteropatriarchy- which most people have never heard of.  (For the record, I myself am in favor of being able to throw a football as Patrick Mahomes does. I cannot, thus am the victim of ableism, evidently.)

The key, however, is that the NEA speaks not of the history of the nation, of its founding and development, including slavery, lynching, discrimination, and the like. It refers- in the present tense- to the "forms of power and oppression at the intersection of society."  This educational demand is an integral part of the movement Wesley Yang labels "the successor ideology," which

is about: the end of due process, the rejection of even an attempt at objectivity, a belief in active race and sex discrimination (“equity”) to counter the legacy of the past, the purging of ideological diversity, and the replacement of liberal education with left-indoctrination.

It is not even intended to be an honest evaluation of our nation's history, to teach the past in all (or any of) its complexity. It is about  indigeneity, ableism, anthropocentrism, and the aforementioned cisheteropatriarchy, sins which the educational anti-isms believe define- not affect, but define- American society today. (The video below was posted on June 20, well before the NEA inadvertently exposed the myth of CRT as pertaining predominantly to history.)

Enter stage left the critical race theorists of the NEA, AFT, and their ideological allies begging a backlash. If their approach is adopted, there would  be a significant exodus of the middle class from public schools. Ironically, this has been a primary aim of the education "reform" movement, which has promoted vouchers, charter schools, and other privatizing schemes the past quarter century. 

Racial and economic segregation will be enhanced. (It's not coincidental that the father of critical race theory criticized the decision in Brown v. Board of Education.) The public school system will be plunged into crisis, an unintended, but very likely, consequence of a successful crusade by the teaches' unions. 


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