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January 22, 2013
Diversity and Racism
On January 18, 2013, Rush Limbaugh had a caller who explained that she was "going to school to become a teacher ... and from the first class that [she] took in education[, she and the other prospective teachers] were being taught as teachers that [they] are racists." She explained:
Her call was in response to the story at the Delavan-Darien High School in Wisconsin, where parents discovered that "teachers are teaching basically that the white population in this country has been racist and bigoted." One parent explained that the school was "dividing the students. They're saying to non-whites, 'You have been oppressed and you're still being oppressed.'" Basically, "this is a radical left agenda and ideology that is now embedded in our school." It is an anti-Western civilization agenda that teaches that "[w]hite Europeans brought with them racism, sexism, environmental destruction, homophobia, all of that."
This is reminiscent of the case in November 2007 where the University of Delaware made a decision to "subject its students to mandatory 'treatment' where they learn[ed] that 'all whites are racist,' racism by 'people of color' is impossible, and George Washington is merely a 'famous Indian fighter, large landholder and slave holder.'"
After the case was brought to the attention of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), the school finally dropped the program, but clearly the insidious indoctrination continues. In the University of Delaware case, students were required to learn the following:
This one-sided, decidedly self-serving cant has permeated every aspect of our lives. A poster from the Educational Testing Service (ETS) Visiting Scholars Program asserts "its commitment to creating a corporate environment that reflects the diversity of its test takers ... from underrepresented groups to examine fairness and other issues of test design and development while learning to write and review test questions and related materials [.]"
What exactly is a "fairness issue" in test creation? And why bother with the euphemistic "underrepresented group" lingo? At a Fisk University Academic Affairs Newsletter, "women and minority scholars and students" are sought.
Or one can turn to the January 18, 2013 piece entitled "Noncognitive Measures Are 'Not a Magic Wand'" by Eric Hoover in The Chronicle of Higher Education to learn that at a "conference ... hosted by the University of Southern California's Center for Enrollment Research, Policy, and Practice, many attendees have predicted that the future of college admissions will include more assessments of attributes not captured by standardized-test scores and grade-point averages. As science reveals more and more about what matters in learning, it follows that our measures of merit will evolve." Thus:
Like the "fairness issue," it is quite unclear what non-cognitive assessments are.
But should we really be surprised by this obfuscation and history turned upside-down? In the Winter 2012-2013 issue of American Educator, Professor Sam Wineburg writes about how Howard Zinn's well-known history text A People's History falls short, since it is as "radical in its rhetoric as in its politics." Replete with examples, Wineburg's exposé shows how "Zinn plays fast and loose with historical context" and basically ignores "a quarter century of new historical scholarship [that has] shed light on his original formulations."
Nonetheless, Zinn's text "remains a perennial favorite in courses for future teachers, and in some, it is the only history book on the syllabus." Wineberg explains that Zinn's text "relies almost entirely on secondary sources, with no archival research to thicken its narrative." Additionally, "the book is naked of footnotes, thwarting inquisitive readers who seek to retrace the author's interpretative steps." Wineburg maintains that:
Actually, any history that is monolithic and avoids "new facts or interpretations" is "dangerous because it invites a slide into intellectual fascism."
Yet, a study of two Texas universities in January 2013 by the National Association of Scholars (NAS) entitled "Recasting History: Are Race, Class, and Gender Dominating American History?" affirms that:
In fact, in comparing history courses at the University of Texas and Texas A&M University, the following was noted:
There appears to be "no common core of readings" within the history departments. Many
The findings in this study "shed light on a source of Americans' increasing ignorance about their own history." Many "U.S. history courses fail to provide a comprehensive rendering of U.S. history as a whole." Thus, "thematically skewed teaching leads to an incompleteness of knowledge" by American students. Based on a 2010 exam in U.S. History, "55 percent of 12th graders scored 'below basic[,]'" with "only nine percent of fourth graders correctly identifying a photograph of Abraham Lincoln and stating two reasons for his importance." There was still no improvement in 2012.
Coupled with the politics of race, it is no surprise that too many Americans now react reflexively to the "wearisome bromides" of racism. The anti-white racism of the left no longer remains underground, as has been aptly described in David Horowitz's 1999 book Hating Whitey and Other Progressive Causes.
Historical illiteracy abounds while indoctrination prevails.
Eileen can be reached at email@example.com.
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