Here’s a stunning piece in The Weekly Standard by Katharine Kersten, explaining how Social Justice Warriors took over the public school system in Edina, Minn., and are destroying it. Excerpts:
For decades, the public schools of Edina, Minnesota, were the gold standard among the state’s school districts. Edina is an upscale suburb of Minneapolis, but virtually overnight, its reputation has changed. Academic rigor is unraveling, high school reading and math test scores are sliding, and students increasingly fear bullying and persecution.
The shift began in 2013, when Edina school leaders adopted the “All for All” strategic plan—a sweeping initiative that reordered the district’s mission from academic excellence for all students to “racial equity.”
“Equity” in this context does not mean “equality” or “fairness.” It means racial identity politics—an ideology that blames minority students’ academic challenges on institutional racial bias, repudiates Martin Luther King, Jr.’s color-blind ideal, and focuses on uprooting “white privilege.”
The Edina school district’s All for All plan mandated that henceforth “all teaching and learning experiences” would be viewed through the “lens of racial equity,” and that only “racially conscious” teachers and administrators should be hired. District leaders assured parents this would reduce Edina’s racial achievement gap, which they attributed to “barriers rooted in racial constructs and cultural misunderstandings.”
As a result, the school system’s obsession with “white privilege” now begins in kindergarten. At Edina’s Highlands Elementary School, for example, K-2 students participate in the Melanin Project. The children trace their hands, color them to reflect their skin tone, and place the cut-outs on a poster reading, “Stop thinking your skin color is better than anyone elses!-[sic] Everyone is special!”
Highlands Elementary’s new “racially conscious” elementary school principal runs a blog for the school’s community. On it, she approvingly posted pictures of Black Lives Matter propaganda and rainbow gay-pride flags—along with a picture of protesters holding a banner proclaiming “Gay Marriage Is Our Right.” On a more age-appropriate post, she recommended an A-B-C book for small children entitled A is for Activist. (Peruse the book and you find all sorts of solid-gold: “F is for Feminist,” “C is for…Creative Counter to Corporate Vultures,” and “T is for Trans.”)
At Edina High School, the equity agenda is the leading edge of a full-scale ideological reeducation campaign. A course description of an 11th-grade U.S. Literature and Composition course puts it this way: “By the end of the year, you will have . . . learned how to apply marxist [sic], feminist, post-colonial [and] psychoanalytical . . .lenses to literature.”
Public school. More:
Increasingly, families who are serious about education are leaving the Edina schools. For example, Orlando Flores and his wife pulled their son—an academic superstar—out of Edina High School in his senior year to escape its hyper-political environment.
Flores, who fled a Marxist regime in Nicaragua as a child, had this to say: “Years ago, we fled Communism to escape indoctrination, absolutist thinking and restrictions on our freedom of speech. If we see these traits in our schools in America, we must speak out and oppose it.”
Flores says that when his son was at Edina High, teachers routinely pushed politicians and political positions they favored, shamed and browbeat students with dissenting views, and forced them to defend themselves against baseless allegations of racism. According to his son, he says, classroom discussions were often “one-sided indoctrination sessions,” and students feared their grades would be penalized if they spoke out.
They’re even racializing school bus drivers:
One such mandatory session for school bus drivers is illustrative. The widow of a bus driver who had been required to attend the training sent the entire 25-page instructional curriculum to Center of the American Experiment, where I am a senior policy fellow.
The training session was entitled “Edina School DIstrict Equity and Racial Justice Training: Moving from a Diversity to a Social Justice Lens.” In it, trainers instructed bus drivers that “dismantling white privilege” is “the core of our work as white folks,” and that working for the Edina schools requires “a major paradigm shift in the thinking of white people.” Drivers were exhorted to confess their racial guilt, and embrace the district’s “equity” ideology.
Here is the transcript of a video posted in November to YouTube (but later taken down) by Edina High School’s antifa group. It was aimed at a young conservative group on campus:
You will not be surprised to discover that for all the wokeness forced upon the public schools in Edina, academic scores for black students there have not improved, but in fact gone down. But those responsible for educating the young people of Edina have gone far to destroy the authority and capability of the public schools.
You cannot give these people an inch, not an inch. They will destroy everything they touch with their insanity and ideological fervor. Look what they’re doing to the once-proud Episcopal Church:
The Episcopal church in the Diocese of Washington, D.C., passed a resolution last week to stop using masculine pronouns for God in future updates to its Book of Common Prayer.
The resolution to stop using “gendered language for God” was passed quickly by delegates to the Diocese’s 123rd Convention.
“If revision of the Book of Common Prayer is authorized, to utilize expansive language for God from the rich sources of feminine, masculine, and non-binary imagery for God found in Scripture and tradition and, when possible, to avoid the use of gendered pronouns for God,” the resolution stated.
“Over the centuries our language and our understanding of God has continued to change and adapt,” the drafters of the resolution stated. The drafters said that referring to God using masculine pronouns is to “limit our understanding of God.”
“By expanding our language for God, we will expand our image of God and the nature of God,” they stated.
But Clergy delegate The Rev. Linda R. Calkins from St. Bartholomew’s Episcopal Church in Laytonsville, Maryland, challenged the delegates to go further.
Calkins read from Genesis Chapter 17, in which God tells Abraham “I am El Shaddai.” She said that if Episcopalians “are going to be true to what El Shaddai means, it means God with breasts.”
“Having studied much feminist theology in my masters’ degrees, I wrote a thesis on liberation and freedom and non-equality in feminist theology and existential counseling,” Calkins told the delegates, as reported by The Institute On Religion & Democracy.
“And I am still waiting for the Episcopal Church to come to the place where all people feel that they can speak God’s name. Many, many women that I have spoken with over my past almost 20 years in ordained ministry have felt that they could not be a part of any church because of the male image of God that is systemic and that is sustained throughout our liturgies. Many of us are waiting and need to hear God in our language, in our words and in our pronouns,” she added.
Look, I know some of you think this is nothing but Dreherbait, something to snicker at, but ultimately of little consequence. You’re wrong. This is what happens when radicals gain power in institutions. A public school system in suburban Minnesota. The Episcopal Church. Can you get more staid than that? And yet, look. They corrupt and destroy them.
Look at this: an article from Them, an online publication by Conde Nast. The author is a 19-year-old student in New York City who has had her breasts severed, and who jacks herself up on testosterone for the sake of gaining masculine physical characteristics. There are naked photos (not erotic) in this piece, so do not open it up at work. But if you can, I hope you’ll find a way to see it. This is what major American media institutions are trying to mainstream and normalize. Here’s the headline:
The author writes:
In my opinion, normalcy should be discarded. It creates this mythical standard that forces individuals to compare themselves to others. The world should move towards the acceptance of bodies and identities as a spectrum without shame.
Normalcy should be discarded. This is the Big Lie. This is what they want you to believe. Of course these radicals do not believe in absolute relativism, no matter what they say. Their “normal” anathematizes anything that says “no” to them. They do not care what they destroy to have their way. I found that particular story because it was tweeted by someone on staff at Teen Vogue, the Conde Nast magazine that published a how-to guide to anal sex for teen girls.
Here’s a deeply disturbing account written by Sarah R., a teenage lesbian who is de-transitioning from male, talking about the lies that her online culture told her about her body and herself. Look:
My own personal attraction to the booming trans trend is obvious in retrospect. Teen girls are taught to hate everything about themselves. None of us can win. Even the thinnest, most clear-skinned, prettiest of girls find an enemy in the mirror. Imagine my horror to look at my reflection and see a fat, short-haired, lesbian staring back. In a world where my style, my interests, and my attractions weren’t fit for a girl, transgenderism offered the perfect solution: Be a boy.
It wouldn’t work, of course. How could it, when all of my problems–the struggle to meet the expectations that society had for me, my depression, my anxiety, my dysphoria, and my dysmorphia, all of my unhappiness–had nothing to do with how I identified and everything to do with what I was: female. Of course, as a 14-year-old, this didn’t occur to me quickly. My transition to ‘boy’ was my ticket out of Self-hatred-Ville, and you’d better believe I was going to take it.
To exactly nobody’s surprise, Tumblr was ecstatic at my ‘realization’. A plethora of congratulations, encouragement, and support was sent my way–something that girl-me never got for being exactly the same as boy-me, save having a different name and pronouns. So of course my new identity felt right. How couldn’t it, when my mannerisms and appearance, which had previously othered me, were now suddenly in congruence with my gender, and my ‘bravery’ was being applauded by all the people I looked up to– both bloggers online and friends in real life.
Something that I feel like a lot of adults get wrong about this phenomenon is that people like me were bullied into identifying as trans, but I don’t think this is the most accurate way to put it. There’s a very specific kind of mental mind-fuck that went on on Tumblr during this time that cultivated the perfect atmosphere for confused, self-hating teens (which is like, all of them) to somehow come to the realization that they’re transgender. First came a kind of twisted rewriting of history, women like Joan of Arc or Christina, Queen of Sweden (who once wrote she was “neither Male nor Hermaphrodite, as some People in the World have pass’d me for.” Interesting… maybe society has always been telling GNC (gender nonconforming) women that they aren’t true women…) now became ‘trans men who didn’t know at the time, because it wasn’t accepted’. By telling GNC women, who weren’t around to ‘defend’ their womanhood, that they were men, is it any wonder those of us who were around started to think we must be men, too? Another thing was the constant validation of trans people. In order for me to become instantly ‘valid,’ all I had to do was be a man. How could I do that? By feeling like one.
It at the time all seemed very progressive: by ignoring history and biology, we could rewrite reality, and anyone could be anything they wanted (might I remind you of this list once more). What was really going on though was the complete opposite.
“This list” is the “Gender Master List” from the “Genderfluid Support” Tumblr. Here are a couple of glimpses from it:
Vibragender. Yes. This is a real thing. Sarah R. talks about how within the trans and trans activist community, to question any of this is to open yourself to denunciation as a bigot. Of course this is how the racialist extremists work too. If you cannot resist them directly, then you have to do whatever you can to withdraw from the communities they control, or seek to control.
The best part of liberalism is its respect for individual dignity, for fair play, and for free speech. How is it that liberalism is becoming the movement of race-baiters, God-castrators, and self-mutilators? If this is where the loony Left proposes to lead America, is there any wonder why a lot of people think Donald Trump and what he represents is not the worst alternative?
I might be wrong, but I don’t believe that most liberals agree with this identity politics extremism in its various intersectional manifestations. Why don’t they stand up to it? Some do; the people who contribute to the 4thWaveNow site, where Sarah R.’s story appeared, aren’t all conservatives by any means. Where are the old-fashioned liberals? Do they really want to see their institutions radicalized? Do they honestly think this is going to work out for the common good? Where do they think this is going to end, anyway? I’m asking in all seriousness. `