Sunday, July 25, 2021

My High School Taught Me Critical Race Theory Six Years Ago and Tried to Reeducate Me When I Fought Back

From Spencer Lindquist, at the Federalist, "Critical race theory has just recently become one of the primary targets for the right, and for good reason. But CRT's presence in K-12 education isn't new":

One step backward. They asked another question. One step forward. The PA system buzzed back to life. Another question, another step forward. Then another, and another. It had been decided.

It was 2015 during my freshman year of high school. I had just been exposed to critical race theory for the first time. We were in the midst of a privilege walk, a racial shaming exercise that uses selective questioning to substantiate claims of privilege and oppression.

Now, six years later, critical race theory has just recently become a target for the right, with various different states outlawing it and parent groups forming to oppose it. This cancerous ideology has had a presence in our K-12 public schools for much longer than many realize, however. I know because my high school attempted to indoctrinate me with it and, when I fought back, to reeducate me.

Taxpayers Paying for Indoctrination

I went to high school at a mid-sized government school in the heart of the Silicon Valley. The student body was highly diverse, with large Asian and Hispanic populations and a white plurality. The Public School Review noted my school was in the top 20 percent of the most multiracial schools in California, a state that’s already far more multi-ethnic than most of the rest of the country.

My first encounter with critical race theory was in my freshman year, when we skipped our P.E. class to engage in a racial struggle session, hosted by a teacher and a special cadre of students who had been handpicked and placed in her equity advisory class.

I began to catch on when the presenters played a video titled “What kind of Asian are you?” The clip features a buffoonish caricature of an insensitive white man, the video’s antagonist, who becomes the subject of scorn after he commits several “microaggressions” as he attempts to relate with the video’s heroine, an Asian woman. She then humiliates him and trots off.

I was beginning to wonder if our conversation was really about advancing “equity,” or if it was about scapegoating those who pose an obstacle to progressivism’s long march. They didn’t leave me wondering for long. Shortly after the video, we were taken into the school courtyard, where chalk lines had been meticulously drawn on the pavement, where we were then told to stand on the center line. We then started our privilege walk.

The presenters asked us a series of questions, telling us to step forward or backward depending on our answers to inquiries like “Have you ever felt like you’ve been racially profiled?” or “Did your parents graduate from college?” By the time it was over, whites were in the front, then Asians, Hispanics, and finally African Americans. The verdict was in.

But while trivial questions like “Can you easily find Band-Aids that match your skin tone?” were used to substantiate sweeping claims of privilege and oppression, more pertinent inquiries that would’ve jammed the narrative were excluded.

We were never asked, for example, to take a step back if we’d be systematically discriminated against when we applied for college. Nor were we asked if we had ever felt that the media had ever weaponized our ancestry against us to brand us as oppressors, or if violence against us had been ignored because of our race, either in America or abroad.

Similar exercises held today likely don’t ask questions that account for recent developments, like multi-million-dollar organizations branding phrases like “It’s Okay To Be White” as hate slogans, critical race theory teaching white children to hate themselves, or the adoption of the language of genocide by academics who dub whiteness a “parasitic condition” without a “permanent cure,” or fantasize about committing acts of racial violence against white people.

The selective questioning was intended to create a certain outcome, a prime example of a conclusion in search of evidence...

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