Friday, May 12, 2017

Teaching Racism in K-12 Classrooms

From Matthew Vadum, at FrontPage Magazine, "Leftist educators are corrupting the young":

Teachers at Highlands Elementary, a school in Edina, Minnesota, are indoctrinating five-year-olds in order to radicalize them and encourage them to become activists obsessed with race.

Public school teachers across America already saturate students with information about racial injustice in America in a nonstop barrage of historic facts and ahistorical nonsense. And in the culture at large, the media, politicians, and the entertainment industry can’t stop talking about race. The last thing any young student in America needs is to be taught about is race. Race matters only to radicals.

Leftists believe you have to get ’em while they’re young and impressionable.

Marxist theorist Paolo Freire advocated in Pedagogy of the Oppressed, that schools be used to inculcate radical values in students so they become agents of social change. Freire held that the so-called dominant pedagogy “silences” poor and minority children and that there is no such thing as a neutral educational system.

Joining Freire in his desire to use the educational system to level institutions is unrepentant communist terrorist and education theorist Bill Ayers, who has long advocated poisoning the minds of the young so they can agitate to fundamentally transform American society.

“If we want change to come, we would do well not to look at the sites of power we have no access to; the White House, the Congress, the Pentagon,” he said in 2012. “We have absolute access to the community, the school, the neighborhood, the street, the classroom, the workplace, the shop, the farm.”

This brings us to Highlands Elementary, which is located in one of the most affluent cities in Minnesota. Its school district is among the best in the state, Daniel Lattier reports at Intellectual Takeout. Highlands students do well in standardized testing: more than 85 percent of its students are proficient in reading and math.

But racial and social justice indoctrination have found their way onto the Highlands curriculum over the past year, according to Lattier. The phenomenon is not limited to Highlands, he adds. “[A] large percentage of students in public schools today are being trained to view the world primarily through the lenses of race, class, and gender.”

Katie Mahoney, who took over as principal of Highlands last fall, is proud of the school’s “Melanin Project.” She tweeted April 26: “Kindergarten tackles the Melanin project! @edinaschools @LeslieStageberg[.]” (Leslie Stageberg is a teacher.)

A poster made of construction paper is shown that reads, "Stop thinking your skin color is better than anyone elses[sic]! Everyone is Special!"

This message in itself isn’t sinister. American children shouldn’t be taught skin color is a mark of superiority, inferiority, or of anything in particular.

But one has to question the appropriateness of getting intellectually, emotionally immature Kindergarteners thinking about skin color at all, before they know how to think critically.

Why the rush?

It is to soften young minds in order to make the indoctrination process easier throughout students’ time in school. If a young child is already self-righteously hyperventilating about race and supposed systemic racism in America, it makes that child more susceptible to other leftist ideas.

The Highlands Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) wasn’t lying when it stated in the banner photo of its Facebook page that “Highlands is Planting Seeds of Change.”

Something else about the Melanin Project is disturbing. Discussions of melanin have an ugly pedigree. Racists are particularly fascinated by melanin.

Radical activists use melanin for political purposes, spewing pseudoscientific nonsense to create the illusion that their warped ideas about race somehow have an empirical basis in science. Melanin itself, a blanket term for a group of pigments, is the primary determinant of human skin color. Ultraviolet radiation from the sun triggers a process by which an amino acid called tyrosine becomes melanin, which protects the skin from sun damage. The thinking is that over time the more a population is exposed to the sun, the more melanin is generated and the darker their skin.

Leonard Jeffries Jr., a black studies professor at the City College of New York, is an influential thinker on the black racist Left. This Afrocentrist academic embraces “melanin theory,” maintaining that melanin possesses supernatural powers and makes those who have large quantities of it smarter and stronger than those who don’t. Blacks are therefore, peaceful and compassionate “sun people,” and are culturally and racially superior to whites, the violent, cruel “ice people.” Melanin empowers black people to “negotiate the vibrations of the universe and to deal with the ultraviolet rays of the sun," Jeffries says.

This fetishizing of human anatomy is surprisingly commonplace on the Left. The low-rent James Baldwin wannabe, Ta-Nehisi Coates, now the toast of bicoastal elites and academics, talks about “black bodies” as objects worthy of veneration without regard to the individuals occupying them. His phraseology is now boilerplate among members of the violent, racist Black Lives Matter movement.

Highlands was recently awarded a grant that will allow fourth- and fifth-graders to take part in the Stages Theatre Company’s “Perspectives on Peace” (PoP) project, Lattier notes. PoP is run by Nikki Swoboda, “whose directorial credits include: “Virgin Territory,” which “tak[es] a hard look at the ‘ideals’ of virginity and how those are perceived in society”; and “Ball: A Musical Tribute to My Lost Testicle.”

PoP promotional material states that the project “illuminates current world events and broadens students’ attitudes toward tolerance, respect, understanding, and peace…” A promotional video for PoP that was linked to in an email sent to Highlands parents associates Black Lives Matter with “peace.”

At South View Middle School in Edina, older students are encouraged to get involved in something called Dare 2 Be Real. A presentation slide that begins with “Be The Change You Wish To See In The World! – Mahatma Gandhi” states [emphases in original]...