Seems a bit of an overreaction.
First they came for…………
So both sides are demonizing the other and exaggerating their opponents positions. As we keep seeing, that’s just normal in today’s America.
Maybe that’s true in general. Yet in this case I think parents have every right to protest their local school districts regarding things like CRT (or whatever term seems more accurate at the moment). If someone goes overboard and makes a threat then it should be dealt with by the appropriate authority, which one might presume would be the local police department. Turning this over to the FBI on the grounds of domestic terrorism, seems a bit political.
Merrick Garland demonstrates that he is the perfect toady Nancy Pelosi always hoped he’d be.
“respectfully asks for federal law enforcement and other assistance to deal with the growing number of threats and violence and acts of intimidation occurring across the nation.”
Apparently this conflict at school board meetings is occurring across the nation, whether or not someone thinks a look at the issue from a federal perspective is warranted is no doubt down to perspective.
I’m not sure how the role of the FBI is defined, I suspect you’re right, if there’s no coordination of such threats, violence and intimidation. So, yes likely better dealt with incident by incident.
Did the FBI investigate Antifa? Not a great thing to compare but also supposedly not a centrally organized movement.
To a point I believe you are correct. It really does appear that in many cases these “protesters” are clearly engaging in illegal acts. However its also clear that in most (perhaps all) of these cases local law enforcement handled the situation accordingly. The fact that the NSBA is asking for Federal help to deal with these protestors (as well as the fact that this is being treated seriously by many news organizations), shows how shockingly out of touch these organizations are with the common American.
Personally I am usually quick to play the “A pox on both your houses” card. Both sides generally deserve it. However I don’t believe its accurate here. Consider the events of the past two years.
If you are protesting in favor of Leftwing causes:
- You receive mostly positive coverage from major media sources.
- Can ignore emergency pandemic restrictions that are otherwise considered critical to the public health.
- Rioting occurring while you protest can cause 1+ Billion dollars in damages, yet the rioters will always be treated as separate from the mostly peaceful protesting.
Meanwhile at the moment parents are assembling across The United States to protest teaching racism to their children. And you are seeing the exact opposite of what happened last summer play out. In this case just a few bad apples (who are dealt with by local law enforcement) are being treated as emblematic of everyone.
I understand its banal at this point to mock coverage of “mostly peaceful leftwing protests”, however I am particularly irked at this juxtaposition. Our local schoolboard cleared a meeting not because protesters were getting out of line, but because they board felt that the “tone” of the comments was not respectful. Try that trick on BLM and see what happens.
The right to protest (or even address your schoolboard) cannot be contingent on whether you are speaking from a Leftwing position or a Rightwing one. In this case this is not an equal tit-for-tat. Its the continuing anathemization of any ideas which do not fit into the Leftwing elite groupthink.
The good news here is that a majority of these protests are being made by moderate democrat voters. So they can see firsthand how quickly they too can be tarred as white supremacists. The woke ideology dominating our institutions wont be beaten by Conservatives crying about the unfairness of it all. It will be brought down as it starts devouring its own.
Who exactly is using that description? I’m not seeing it as a direct quote of the NSBA.
It’s a fragile coalition at best. And autophagy has already begun. Weaponizing the FBI against political opponents isn’t rare. But calling mostly peaceful PTA meetings domestic terrorism is just sooo brazen……
Have you been suckered by the author of the article? Or did I miss something?
The National School Board Association
Fair, I’ll edit the comment since that does not a actually appear in the NSBA statement. The rest of my point holds without it.
“As these acts of malice, violence and threats against public school officials increase, the classification of these heinous acts may equate to a form of domestic terrorism and hate crime,”
So yes, the NSBA does use those terms, and should be taken to task for doing so, they’ll probably argue that they were just saying that they’re worried that in the future the problem could escalate to that point, but that would just be weaseling.
I sincerely hope this is the outcome. However the Iron Curtain history suggests that societies are quite resilient to ideological fundamentalism. It’s miserable for most people, but stable.
And perhaps this really is the Age of Aquarius - the women’s natural culture.
There’s undoubtedly a double standard in how protests are covered by legacy media outlets, but it’s equally true that right-wing media (like Fox News) pretended that the mostly peaceful BLM protests were nothing but looting and rioting. In addition, they massively inflated the threat posed by Antifa, a disorganized “movement” that mostly consists of hipster malcontents. There were numerous calls for federal law enforcement to investigate Antifa (for example) and designate it a terrorist group.
It depends on the outlet. That’s not the case with USA Today, which presented both sides of the debate:
Battles over what critical race theory is and isn’t, whether it’s being taught in K-12 schools and why it even matters have made headlines for months.
CRT is a framework developed decades ago by legal scholars who wondered why more progress hadn’t been made on civil rights in America. The theory is commonly discussed in law schools, but rarely mentioned by name in K-12 schools, teachers and scholars say.
But conservative critics believe elements of the theory’s premise – that racial inequality continues because racism is baked into societal structures and even embedded in humans’ own subconscious – is being taught as a form of progressive indoctrination in public schools.
Christopher Rufo, a vocal critic at the conservative Manhattan Institute, a nonprofit in New York City, has written extensively about CRT, calling it “a new political education spreading everywhere.” He’s been featured on Fox News, which has run numerous stories on the theory and its connection to schooling.
Justine Larison, a 51-year-old mother of two children in the Wilmington, Delaware, area opposes public schools teaching critical race theory. Such critiques have reinforced her decision to send her teenage son to a private Catholic school, said Larison, who’s white.
Larison and her family discuss critical race theory – which she defines as the ways race and law intersect – at home, though not in depth because she didn’t learn about it in school herself, she said.
Teaching kids about the history of slavery and racism is important, Larison said, but she’s wary of public schools overemphasizing conflict between Black people and white people.
“People are people,” said Larison, a Republican, noting that she believed white people face just as many struggles as their Black peers.
Many parents and teachers are concerned the outcry over critical race theory in schools has spiraled out of control. They’re worried the new laws not only limit freedom of speech, but also the teaching of accurate history. A newly formed group called the Learn from History Coalition, aims to rally teachers and parents behind teaching the full history of America, including the uncomfortable parts.
“Our kids need the truth, so they can learn from the past,” said Suzanne Schreiber, a school board member in Tulsa Public Schools, in Oklahoma, and a member of the new coalition. “It’s our responsibility to teach kids that racism is wrong.”
Likewise a report from NBC news:
Fishbein, a former social worker, sent a letter to the superintendent calling the lessons a “plan to indoctrinate the children into the 'woke’ culture.” She said the superintendent never responded, though the district later said that the lesson plans were age-appropriate and did not shame students and that parents were allowed to opt out. Fishbein said other white parents in the district attacked her on Facebook when she shared her letter.
So Fishbein moved her children to private school and started a group to advocate against anti-racist teaching. She called it No Left Turn in Education.
“The schools have been hijacked,” she said in an interview. “Our kids are captive audiences. And they think they can do whatever they want with our kids.”
Fishbein’s endeavor received a significant boost in September, when she appeared on Tucker Carlson’s prime-time Fox News show. By the next day, No Left Turn’s Facebook page had shot up from fewer than 200 followers to over 30,000. The group now has 30 chapters in 23 states, a rapid expansion Fishbein credits to Carlson’s show.
“He launched our movements — he doesn’t know it, but he did,” Fishbein said.
She said her nonprofit group, which is volunteer-driven and relies on small donations to cover promotional materials and legal fees, now fields requests from groups of parents, ranging from 50 people to more than 1,000, asking to get involved under No Left Turn’s umbrella. These local chapters are the “boots on the ground,” she said, confronting school administrators at board meetings and through records requests.
“We want to know, what are you teaching? What are you doing?” Fishbein said. “And it’s exactly what I got: a lack of transparency. They don’t want to answer.”
As the NBC report explains, the protests may have started with concerned parents addressing their local school boards but they’ve greatly expanded from those humble beginnings:
Conflicts like this are playing out in cities and towns across the country, amid the rise of at least 165 local and national groups that aim to disrupt lessons on race and gender, according to an NBC News analysis of media reports and organizations’ promotional materials. Reinforced by conservative think tanks, law firms and activist parents, these groups have found allies in families frustrated over Covid-19 restrictions in schools and have weaponized the right’s opposition to critical race theory, turning it into a political rallying point.
While the efforts vary, they share strategies of disruption, publicity and mobilization. The groups swarm school board meetings, inundate districts with time-consuming public records requests and file lawsuits and federal complaints alleging discrimination against white students. They have become media darlings in conservative circles and made the debate over critical race theory a national issue.
The clashes at school board meetings and online are partly anchored in “real differences” in parents’ opinions on Covid-19, race and America’s future, said Jeffrey Henig, director of the politics and education program at Columbia University’s Teachers College.
“But it’s being exploited by actors at the national level,” he said, “who see it as an opportunity to reshuffle the politics of the standard educational reform debate.”
The growth of school board-focused groups has coincided with a broader conservative effort to make critical race theory a national referendum on the discussion of race in America.
Throughout the winter, organizations like the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank, and the American Legislative Exchange Council, which produces model bills on Republican causes, held webinars that warned about the threat of teaching critical race theory.
Fishbein said she took part in a private briefing hosted by the Heritage Foundation in May that featured lawmakers from Idaho, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, Texas and other states to discuss model legislation to block critical race theory. Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Montana, Oklahoma and Tennessee have already advanced some form of a restriction, and 15 states have legislation pending. The Heritage Foundation declined to comment.
“Maybe they don’t know how to get it in the right hands, but we do.”
As lawmakers proposed legislation targeting critical race theory this spring, more activist organizations similar to No Left Turn sprouted up, their memberships ballooning with exposure on conservative TV and streaming programs. Each group followed a similar pattern of providing toolkits for activism, teaching people how to file open-records requests and offering to help parents publicize what’s happening in their school districts.
A great deal of the fulmination about CRT in schools is driven by a misrepresentation of what’s actually being taught. This includes strategic nut-picking, which highlights the most egregious examples of Woke curriculum in select school districts and pretends that this kind of instruction is typical and widespread. Yes, parents have every right to protest what’s being taught to their children and should not be blamed for the actions of deranged extremists who are guilty of harassment and death threats. But I think we should acknowledge that the anti-CRT movement has become deeply politicized and sometimes engages in dishonest tactics to advance its agenda.
Of course, that’s not at all what they’re saying. But you know that.
I almost included a “other than Fox News” disclaimer in my post. I’ll do so in the future should I find myself indulging in a complaint about media bias. Although I really don’t think it changes much since it will nearly always be true regardless of whatever issue we are discussing.
Though in fairness the leftward tilt of most media companies is equally obvious and yet I felt like pointing it out so…
Its true I was painting in a broad brush. I could add disclaimers here as well in the future explaining that I don’t mean that “literally every single media outfit is always partisan all of the time”.
In truth though I do believe that we should be able to talk about media bias without always adding a “yabut Fox News” style disclaimer.
Possibly. Unless we hunt down and find the exact videos under discussion we could end up talking past each other again. I’d like to avoid that
However in the broad strokes I am not convinced that these examples are so unrepresentative of what is often being taught. A great deal of what I have heard is extremely similar to things I hear professed by personal acquittances and family members (one of whom is a teacher). As well as being very close to the things I am personally forced to sit through and “learn” in my annual DEI training. The idea that left leaning schools are often teaching this same crap to kids just doesn’t seem so far fetched to me.
Course I am relying on some of my personal experiences when I make that declaration, so I could be just speaking from bias. Your mileage may vary.
In any event if its true then there should be much less drama. When a school board is confronted by an angry parent demanding they not be taught this stuff, the reply “You are correct, that is not something that should be taught in elementary school and will not be taught here” would often be the end of it.
Its true of course. But again it will always be true of any issue. Virtually everything in our society is politized and there will always be bad actors on both sides. I feel that adding this disclaimer every time I take a position on an issue doesn’t really do anything other than make an already lengthy post even longer.
I personally believe that the anti-CRT movement is really gaining traction because regular moderate Democrat voters finally have a name to call the racism from the Left. Ever since words like “racism” got redefined in ways more tortured than a gerrymandered GOP congressional district its been difficult to discuss the racial bigotry on the Left.
“CRT” is a label under which it can be finally discussed and condemned.
Bullseye. We stand up to the evil establishment a few evenings a month and exorcise our demons, then serve coffee and food the next day while selectively spitting on it.
True animal juvenile behaviour.
The real question is why this behaviour is even tolerated, let alone encouraged by American society.
It is juvenile from both sides - the media fawning, and the societal tolerance.
This happened in Germany in the 1930’s - also an unsettled society but for different reasons.
I also see it in my country. The zeitgeist is terribly personally disempowered so fuck the system. It is childish because in a democracy you (yes you) are the system. Protest action is just an expression of your own personal sense of uselessness. It’s very sad, particularly in the USA - very easy existence for everyone compared to where I live.
Exactly - as @Geary_Johansen2020 said, it’s not surprising that fundamentalism has infected the American zeitgeist. The DIE/DEI training is compulsory for us who work for American companies.
I was offered an online survey today at work. It was optional, but I decided to try it, just to disconfirm my beliefs.
The first question was literally: “Is your workspace Inclusive?”
Like inclusive of what? Me? My religion? My bad jokes? My skin colour? My African heritage? I am a programmer. The computers include me only as far as I accurately program them.
But I did know that this meant the ideology of Inclusion, which is part of the DEI mantra and which I have never got anyone to define usefully.
What does ‘equity’ mean exactly in the corporate environment? What does diversity mean? I’m a mixed race African working for an American company. De fuck?
Here’s the thing, I be willing to bet good money on the fact that you benefitted hugely along the way from some form of incredibly powerful mentoring- I know full well I certainly did.
This title says it all. They could solve half their problems with a few road trips to high schools (to avoid academic mismatch) with high performing kids, and put all the rest into voluntary mentoring schemes. I do find it somewhat disappointing that people still feel uncomfortable or worried about mentoring across lines of division, without a formal process in place- to me their is nothing more rewarding than nurturing raw talent.
You know a lot of companies are desperate for systems which actually work and aren’t so divisive? I was recently watching a podcast with Jonathan Haidt on procedural fairness, someone mentioned that corporate America now spends 3% of its budgets on diversity initiatives.
I used to work as a manufacturing superuser back in the days of AS400’s. I worked on a couple of automation projects and was generally tasked with translating the ethereal into the real, or structuralising problems the other way around. At one point they banned me from raising new priority calls because I was eating up too much resource, and then had to eat humble pie as the guys in IT continued to call me on a daily basis. It turns out they needed somebody technical to translate management speak and bullet points into something a little more specific- the guys had been burned too many times by additional requirements added six months into a project.
I know it’s a bit of stereotype- not all coders are sci-fi geeks like me- but did you hear they are apparently rebooting the Babylon 5 franchise?
Anyway here is Trevor Philips from the UK in a programme which probably wouldn’t be made today. You know he was suspended by the Labour Party for having the gall to suggest that having Muslim kids and other Brits school and play together might actually have the benefit of creating less insular communities, or help the Muslim kids integrate more fully? He has since been reinstated. At the time, this documentary deeply influenced me.
You might want to give the HBR article to a senior manager you trust, but I would avoid the dreaded Hormone Replacement like the plague.
Fair enough, but it’s not just Fox News. The media landscape is no longer dominated by a handful of mainstream outlets.
In addition, there are nine conservative talk radio shows that have over 5 million weekly listeners; the top-rated show (Sean Hannity) boasts almost 15 million. Moreover, conservatives have a massive presence on Facebook and youtube.
Yes, I have different priors on this issue. It is, of course, an empirical question, but accurate information is hard to come by. Here’s one data point:
Teachers nationwide said K-12 schools are not requiring or pushing them to teach critical race theory, and most said they were opposed to adding the academic approach to their course instruction, according to a survey obtained by NBC News.
Despite a roiling culture war that has blown up at school board meetings and led to new legislation in statehouses across the country, the responses from more than 1,100 teachers across the country to a survey conducted by the Association of American Educators, a nonpartisan professional group for educators, appeared to suggest that the panicked dialogue on critical race theory made by lawmakers and the media does not reflect the reality of American classrooms.
The association surveyed its professional membership between June 24 and June 29 and received 1,134 completed responses, nearly 900 of them from traditional public schools. More than 96 percent said their schools did not require them to teach critical race theory, and only 45 percent said that teachers should have the option to add it to their lesson plans.
Critical race theory is an academic study at the undergraduate and graduate level that aims to examine the role of racism in the modern era and the ways it has become woven into the social fabric. Academics in the field argue the U.S. has institutionalized a racial caste system.
Increasingly it has also become an amorphous, catch-all term used by the conservative movement as fodder for political debate.
Jenni Meadows, a teacher at a public high school near Dallas who specializes in teaching reading to at-risk youth, participated in the survey. She said the critical race theory discussion is not one that she’s having with her students because the focus in K-12 is on developing critical thinking skills.
Instead, she assigns her students to read the Black author Richard Wright and the poet Maya Angelou, as well as the nation’s founders and the English novelist George Orwell, allowing them to come to their own conclusions.
Most teachers who responded to the survey said they had not changed their curriculum in response to the past year’s reflection on race. More than half said that they are apprehensive about saying anything about race and getting into trouble.
Nearly 78 percent of teachers said they felt as though the current rhetoric around the issue was “interfering with a productive and necessary discussion regarding race in America.”
Is the typical teacher in American public schools more like Ms. Meadows or Robin DiAngelo? I strongly suspect it’s the former, but – as you said – YMMV.
You’re assuming that critics of the curriculum are engaging in a reasonable dialogue in good faith. That’s undoubtedly true of many (most?) concerned parents, but I think the loudest and most disruptive voices in the room are less likely to have an accurate view of what’s being taught. (The same is true of the most prominent anti-vax and anti-mask protesters.)
Maybe. But Republicans are far more likely than Democrats to oppose the teaching of CRT.
According to the same survey, a slim majority of Republicans oppose teaching about the “ongoing effects of slavery racism”:
(I wish the survey question has omitted “slavery” from the question since that’s a much more tendentious claim.)
Perhaps. But conservative activists have intentionally distorted the meaning of “CRT” and relied on false or exaggerated claims to incite parental rage. In my view, this polemical approach generates more heat than light and will further contribute to polarization and entrenchment. I would welcome an honest and constructive conversation about how race is addressed in the classroom but I don’t see much evidence that this is happening.