Friday, July 16, 2021

Of School Board Meetings, CRT, Liars, Fools & Ideologues - AKA: 'Education'

I went to our Francis Howell School Board meeting last night, and like many others who didn't show up an hour and a half before opening, I did not get the opportunity to speak (what I intended to say is posted below). But of those who got there early enough to get their name in, was a lady who claimed that she was 'raised a good conservative', and was shocked, shocked I tell you, when she left the backwoods of Missouri and went away to college and discovered that Thomas Jefferson owned slaves. We were also treated to a speech by a student currently in the 12th grade, who also claimed that she never knew that Thomas Jefferson had owned slaves until someone outside of school enlightened her. An even younger child made the same claim. A teacher also rose to inform the hall crowded with parents opposing CRT (Critical Race Theory) in FHSD's curriculum, that 'historical facts' such as these are not taught in school, and that, my dear Crackers, is why we need Critical Race Theory in our curriculum.

These people were either lying, or unintentionally condemning every teacher that they ever had, as well as their entire school system, for deliberately moving students through the grades when they should've been failed. Probably repeatedly. Find me the 'Social Studies' book that doesn't point out, and re-point out, that the author of the Declaration of Independence owned slaves. Or that many founders who fought for liberty, owned slaves? That 'Social Studies' book does not exist.

It is just unbelievable the moronic lengths that supporters of CRT will go to, to divert from the actual issue - the teaching of radical left wing ideology in our schools, as if its political and anti-American ideals are 'facts' that We The People just need to 'shut up and accept it'.

What I don't believe that I've seen in any 'Social Studies' book, is one that points out how Democrat President Woodrow Wilson was a seething racist, who deliberately imposed segregation on all federal civil services and the military, or that he told an assembly of high school teachers that:
"...We want one class of persons to have a liberal education, and we want another class of persons, a very much larger class, of necessity, in every society, to forego the privileges of a liberal education and fit themselves to perform specific difficult manual tasks..."
History should be uncomfortable, and yet consistently rather than engage in what the actual issues being raised are - from individual rights, to liberty and justice - The Left instead pretends that "race and/or gender" are the *real* issues. No, they're not. The real issues are that programs such as these are fundamentally unprincipled, they deliberately sow division by treating some unjustly (which deprives all of justice), and ultimately are used to advance the worst of the Left's political agenda, and there is a growing swath of non-conservative America that is now waking up to that fact.

Real History IS and should be uncomfortable, and it is impossible to engage in without seeing the ideals and assumptions and errors made by those we otherwise admire, and yet who we share much with. The history of racism gains nothing by casting the founding of America in the cartoonish light of the '1619 Project' - such cardboard cutout 'bad guys' teach nothing useful to anyone at all, and nothing but misplaced resentment can or will be learned from it. Real value and understanding - and an awakened concern towards our own personal thoughts and assumptions - requires realizing what was involved at the time of our founding in opposing matters such as the institution of slavery, and realizing how difficult (or easy) it was to live amongst. Real History requires realizing that they attempted to end 'the peculiar institution' on many occasions, that one of the litanies of complaints in the draft of the Declaration of Independence had to do with the King George's persisting it upon the colonies despite repeated objections... and honestly dealing with the fact that there was also opposition to pointing that out, and that after debate others demanded it be removed... and shamefully it was. Real History requires inquiring into the fact that although some colonies ended slavery (before Britain, BTW) with their independence, others did not. Real History requires examining and addressing the real difficulties of history, so that our shared past is able to become a History that we can all learn from. But white-washing History in juvenile black & white of efforts such as the 1619 Project, is cowardly, and not a little bit repulsive.

What has people (Conservatives, Libertarians and many on the Left as well) in knots, is what the fundamental nature of CRT is, and is derived from, that being but the most recent and most explicit development of a line of thinking that is fundamentally incompatible with, and in opposition to, the philosophical ideals that America is derived from and founded upon (see anything by Ibram X. Kendi, but especially his proposed "anti-racist" amendment to the U.S. Constitution, for reference).

As such, CRT is but the latest means for facilitating the spread of an anti-American ideology, and The Left is seeking after truly systemic power through it by means dividing people through an obsessive focus upon a racially centric consciousness. Having redefined the meaning of 'racism' into an amorphous term, its adherents brandish their public 'J'accuse!', as an ever-present threat to the civic, business and social relationships of anyone they deem to have failed to demonstrate a sufficient regard for, compliance with, and fealty to, the various tropes of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion.

It is disingenuous to attempt to affix (and evade) what CRT is and conveys, by saying that '*Aackshually* CRT is only what any one particular person had once proposed.

It is especially heinous that promoters of CRT use people's general desire to be decent and fair to each other, as a conduit to destroy them.

These people don't want history taught, they are liars and fools who want history replaced with ideology. At any rate, here's the speech I would have given, which, if I managed to speak really fast, should have fit into the three minutes allotted (links of course, added):
I'm here to request FHSD drop its BH curriculum, remove it's Resolution of August of last year, and for all board members resign.
  1. The recently revealed zoom call between FHSD curriculum writers and the 'education' consultant LeGarret King, and their discussion of how to deceptively inject CRT (Critical Race Theory) ideology into lessons without parents knowledge;
  2. The several thousand dollars spent on hiring that consultant, could not have been approved by any competent person, without their knowing of his openly expressed Marxist ideals, which no responsible person would help inject into students minds;
  3. FHSD's Resolution of last August, is evidence - either of extreme negligence, or conscious awareness - that FHSD has committed to supporting the essentials of CRT indoctrination, no matter what technicalities might be cited in denial of that.
The first two points speak for themselves, the third may need some explanation. Had the Resolution stopped with the first line, that the Board
"... pledges to our learning community that we will speak firmly against any racism, discrimination, and senseless violence against people regardless of race...."
, the rest might have been overlooked. But these additional points move it beyond the pale:
  • "We will promote racial healing, especially for our Black and brown students and families" - Invokes racial division and preferential or exclusionary treatment based upon race - that is not the role of 'educators'
  • " creating an equitable and anti-racist system" - Is not a statement of educational ideals, but of ideologically extremist political positions, which at the very least are no more appropriate for FHSD to promote, than any Democrat, Republican or Libertarian party platforms.
  • " that honors and elevates all" - There is no honoring or 'elevating all', through concepts which, without cause or evidence, condemn some based upon their racial background, and teach all others that that is acceptable thought & behavior
  • "systemic racism
    • "Actual Racism not only deserves to be condemned, but has already been removed from the laws and policies of even the deepest blue Democrat states, and is already illegal in any form.
    • systemic racism, does not refer to objective evidence of racist actions, policies or laws, it is the stuff of subjective ideological assertions, accusations, and presumptions of guilt, based upon a person's race (or other indicators of 'whiteness'), which is both un-American and anti-American. You should all be removed for just that. But wait, there's more.
"the principles of diversity, equity, and inclusion" - is pure SEL & CRT
  • Diversity - beyond the likes of a 'Greek Food Festival', celebration, *diversity* is a non-value, the American ideal towards diversity is expressed in our motto: e Pluribus Unum, Out of Many, One - to value *Diversity* in and of itself, is irrational, ideological, and contrary to the spirit of America.
  • Equity - is a Marxist value which demands that individual responsibility and merit be ignored and forcibly acted against, so as to take what belongs to one, while 'distributing' it to others in order to bring about 'equitable' outcomes (as judged by the few in power over the many).
  • Inclusion - Is a collectivist term which is not urging the use of good manners in welcoming and including everyone, it explicitly means recognizing only those traits that are approved of as being representative of a group (which is itself bigotted at best), and entails actively condemning any individual choices that vary from those 'inclusive' identities, and condemns other views and disagreement, as enabling 'whiteness', or worse.
, and finally,
  • "commitment to establishing, supporting, and sustaining a culture of anti- racism districtwide" - 'anti-racism' is an explicitly racist term, and racism, is something that an education should lead a student to understand to be a failure of thought and character, it is Not something that our schools should be indoctrinating them into believing and practicing.
If in their positions as members of the Francis Howell School District School Board, the members did not know this about the nature of the Resolution they posted on behalf of all those living in their district, they show an inexcusable negligence in their duties of overseeing the education of the students in their district. If they did know that, and signed off on it - presumably agreeing with its message - they are unworthy of the positions they hold.

But to borrow the phrase, we too see you, we also hear you, and we are most definitely listening to you and are learning exactly how deplorable your judgement and actions are, and it is my fervent hope that every parent in the FHSD will immediately withdraw their children from your schools, and that every taxpayer will move to see that FHSD is defunded in every manner possible, and will also do their damndest to end your tenure on this or any board.

Thank you.


Van Harvey said...

Dear ShallowShadoughZ,

I'm happy to take disagreement, and disagreeable disagreement from people with differing viewpoints, and I love few things more than engaging in yards worth of comments even when it's clear that neither of us is going to convince the other, but which nevertheless does shed more light on what each of us is thinking, and why.

You, however, after an extended period of exchanges here and on Facebook pages, have shown yourself to be a disingenuous, duplicitous, plagiarizing, frantic little troll, and so you'll be held to requirements of concise (!) geniality that I'd subject no one else to, before a comment of yours makes it onto this page again. You've stepped over the line and will not be trusted to cross back over except under close supervision, frantic child that you are. Again, I pity your students.

That said, your comment about the line I quoted in this post from Woodrow Wilson, is one I'll respond to.

First, Wilson's speech is linked to in this post, and those interested in reading it in full, which I've often encouraged elsewhere, should do so, and they should especially take note of what words he uses and how he uses them in both sentence level appearances, and his wider meaning, but that particular line's purpose here is not as an analysis of his entire speech, but an example of its meaning, which it is.

You, OTOH, would like to suggest that Wilson was merely noting that 'some people' are suited to college, and 'some people' are not, and what's the problem with that?

There's nothing wrong with that, except that that was not his overall meaning. To miss that, you are either ignorant of the entire speech, or of Wilson's wider thinking (how much have you read of his thoughts on individual rights, the role of government, our Declaration of Independence & Constitution, and how the Administrative State could best be used to work around both?), or you're lying, or more likely, each.

One endlessly repeated trope of his, in this speech and elsewhere, is that:

"...the extraordinary complexity of modern life as compared with the life in the midst of which our grandfathers found themselves..."

, which is pure b.s., but which the Pro-Regressives' every proposal depended upon hammering home in their listeners minds. The fact is that it is our time, even his time (and his own span of years and differences in technology were much nearer to our Founders era, than to ours), is far simpler for us, than it was for them. In their time there were no simple solutions to issues such as obtaining, preserving, and cooking food, or even replacing your socks, every step required detailed knowledge of every aspect of it - even getting a glass of water was a complex & potentially dangerous operation, rather than flipping a tap and chugging it down. But Wilson brushes all that away and pushed the con on people that because they had numerous simple choices to choose from making, they were burdened, and oh-so much cleverer than their predecessors.

[annoying blogger max-character break]

Van Harvey said...


The only relative complexity our times have over theirs, is that they were still wise enough to put stock in knowledge and principled thought, which made otherwise complex decisions, easy to make (‘should I steel from the public through improper taxes in order to further my political machinations? How much popular opinion can it get me, and will it seriously affect my power…’ that could require long hours of complex deliberation, whereas James Madison could easily consult his principled understanding of property and constitutional law, and rule it out as ‘I cannot undertake to lay my finger on that article of the Constitution which granted a right to Congress of expending, on objects of benevolence, the money of their constituents’, but that is a sign of our modern pro-regressive and pragmatic approach to thinking, not to differences in the complexity of living), whereas Pro-Regressive such as Wilson dismissed that reality and insisted that each instance be dealt with as a new, disintegrated, particular occurrence to be puzzled and noodled over. Sad.

Despite a couple passages in his speech that would come across today as an being from a heartless conservative, the answer to his predicament that "...I believe that many of the alumni of Princeton would now describe me as a radical, yet I deem myself a conservative..." , is that he was a small minded, nasty, virulently racist, pro-regressive 'progressive' radical who despised the idea of individual rights, and liberty, and was second only to Teddy Roosevelt as the most disastrous president in American history (FDR comes in third to these two, as he mostly just implemented what they first began or proposed & legitimated).

Despite the lip-service Wilson plays to the meaning of a liberal education in lines like "...Intellectual life is the flower of a thing much wider and richer than itself..." , and a couple passages where he almost seems to grasp the difference between an educated, and a trained, mind, and despite a bit of dissembling on that difference, his conviction is clearly that "...we make neither liberally-educated men nor serviceable experts..." , which shows his own progressive ignorance of what an educated mind is – it is true that by that time, an educated person was a rare find, but that was because of how much he and his brethren had already degraded our approach to education, and not our ability to be educated, or any problem with an educated person being mechanically able and inclined.

What Wilson communicates in his speech, is his view that school systems were to be the mechanical means of manufacturing both such ill-defined minds, and his belief that schools should be the means of determining for the student, which form of training they would be subjected to, for the greater good.

Your mileage may vary.

Van Harvey said...

Ugh...'pays'... 'steal'... etc. Phones. Sheesh.

Van Harvey said...

shallowShadoughZ simpered "Do you have any that DO reference Jefferson as a slave-owner? I certainly wasn't taught that in high school during the early 2000s."

Yeah, and it took all of 3 min to find this (scroll to page 110) and several others. Any teacher who could cover even just the writing, editing, and signing of the Declaration of Independence, and not go into the reasons why the South wanted Jefferson's reference to King George's actions persisting the slave trade removed, and why Jefferson wanted that despite his being a slaveholder, is at best incompetent and should be expelled from the profession of teaching.

Ditto for the debate over the Constitution's three-fifths clause. Any school board who approves curriculum that doesn't contain that info, should be publicly condemned and pressured to resign in disgrace, as should the teacher who doesn't insert it themselves anyway. Of course, that may be another reason why they don't want parents to be able to see their curriculum. We put three kids through school in FHSD between the mid 90s and 2017, and never did that conversation not come up when covering the revolutionary period.

But at least that explains your comfortable ignorance on the subject.

BTW, the textbook you ref'd is for an ancient history textbook that doesn't even have Jefferson (or America) mentioned in it.

I repeat: "These people were either lying, or unintentionally condemning every teacher that they ever had, as well as their entire school system, for deliberately moving students through the grades when they should've been failed."

American History Textbook, 2022, Southern Wayne High School, NC, Holt McDougal 'The Americans'

Astro said...

Unfortunately, most school districts don't have access to textbooks from 2022. Do you happen to know what textbook your children used?

My main point here, though, is the blanketed nature of your statement: "no such book exists." There are MANY social studies (especially historically) which do not explicitly list Jefferson as a slaveholder. And, to my knowledge, incorporating this factoid in the classroom isn't a part of MO's state social studies standards; so it's perfectly possible for these students to have never been taught it. The anecdotal evidence of "Well, my kids did!" does nothing to change that.

Also, note that the Wilson question has disappeared.

Van Harvey said...

shadoughastro said "Do you happen to know what textbook your children used?"

No, they weren't even allowed to bring them home unless we raised a fuss about it, no doubt there's records of what was used though... at some point I might see if I can find one of them, and any online access.

I was pleasantly surprised to see in that same textbook mentioned above, Americans - McDougall Littel, which a teacher has posted in full online here, contains a chapter on Wilson’s New Freedom, which mentions some of the less savory aspects of Wilson's policies:

"...In particular, on racial matters Wilson appeased conservative Southern Democratic voters but disappointed his Northern white and black supporters. He placed segregationists in charge of federal agencies, thereby expanding racial segregation in the federal government, the military, and Washington, D.C.
Like Roosevelt and Taft, Wilson retreated on civil rights once in office. During the presidential campaign of 1912, he won the support of the NAACP’s black intellectuals and white liberals by promising to treat blacks equally and to speak out against lynching.
As president, however, Wilson opposed federal antilynching legislation, arguing that these crimes fell under state jurisdiction. In addition, the Capitol and the federal offices in Washington, D.C., which had been desegregated during Reconstruction, resumed the practice of segregation shortly after Wilson's election...."

, and also makes some mention of the race riots of the period in The War at home, though not that I saw on the level of Tulsa's Black Wall Street', and nothing is gone into in any depth or is written in anything but in the blandest, unenlightening manner. Textbooks are - no matter whether they lean Left, Right, or even manage a balance - trash, for use as anything other than an annotated timeline. Teachers need to know the history that they're teaching and should be taking students through literature on the period that's actually worth reading, in order to help the students to learn from, not react to, history.

"...incorporating this factoid in the classroom isn't a part of MO's state social studies standards..." That is not a 'factoid', it is however something that is critical to understanding the nature of the positions and predicaments of our Founders era. When I was helping to write Missouri’s Curriculum Framework for History grades 6-12, it was emphasized to us that they were to serve as broad guidelines only, with little or no references to particular people at all, though our two social studies teachers assured us that no teacher would possibly miss an opportunity to point that out about Jefferson, because that issue, and Jefferson's attempts to eliminate slavery, and the South's overall refusal to even mention it, was key to understanding what was understood about individual rights, and how much more remained to be understood by the nation as a whole.

We did, however, supply a fairly thorough listing of primary sources that should be engaged with both in and outside the classroom, and I believe some of those did survive DESE's 'editing' to remain in the standards.

Van Harvey said...

shadoughastro said "'s perfectly possible for these students to have never been taught it..."
It is possible, but it is not forgivable. To repeat, the fact that these students - including the one in her late twenties - are able to say that they never heard that Jefferson owned slaves, is a serious condemnation of all of their teachers, their administrators, their curriculum, the FHSD Board of Education, and the school system as a whole. It doesn't say much about the students themselves either, or their interest in something so vital to their own lives, community and nation.

Ladies & Gents, if you want your kids to get an education, get them the hell out of the establishment schools (and beware that many of the charter, private, and church schools, are every bit as bad and in many cases worse, than what is taught in our public schools).

BTW shadough, the fact that you want to criticize me for some hyperbolic statements (not to mention your inability to comprehend the Wilson quote or its purpose above), and not the points made on DEI, is telling.

"Also, note that the Wilson question has disappeared" You twit, it never appeared at all, nor has your other 7 or 8 frantic little trollings. This last comment was fairly reasonable, and so I allowed it through. The rest of your ventings... not so much.

Van Harvey said...

Dear shadoughastro, regarding your latest spate of 'comments', I have complete faith in your ability to declare any truth to be a falsehood, and to believe it, simply because you said so.

It's a troll thing. A bit of a Marxist thing to. But I repeat myself.

Astro said...

You REALLY don't seem to want to acknowledge that question...

Van Harvey said...

Trolls are nothing if not persistent. Emphasis on the 'nothing'. My shallow shadoughAstro troll seems to be unaware that in light of material already presented and questions already answered, here and elsewhere, there are in fact questions that are stupid to ask, and that resubmitting them over and over again, does not improve their quality.

I'll let through the least voluble of his recent submittals:

Van Harvey said...

My dear shallow shadoughAstro, clearly you really don't want to acknowledge the reply that I've already given, but the fact that you disliked my reply doesn't mean that it contains an error that I need to revise.

BTW, if understanding was something you were interested in [laughter suppressed], you'd pay attention to the word 'or' within the sentence in question, but as is, clearly, my faith in your ability to declare any truth to be a falsehood, and to believe it, simply because you said so, is vindicated.