Open Mind or Empty Head?

There is a difference between an open mind and an empty head. But not everyone agrees. At Harambee Elementary in Maplewood Minnesota, kindergarteners are starting their indoctrination early. The Star Tribune reports that at this school, "A ‘community cultures specialist' tours classes to make sure students are working across racial lines and learning about multiple world view perspectives."

This absurd social engineering could be an object of humor and ridicule, if we weren't all paying for it.  That's right: The Star Tribune reports that "federal grants" help fund this aggressive indoctrination of small children.

Harambee Principal Kristine Black says, "We don't shy away from having conversations about race and the way we treat each other." Of course, kindergarteners are usually not full participants in any conversation, especially a conversation about race.  But that's the entire idea.  A "conversation about race" has never meant a real conversation.  So when the principal says the students have conversations about race, what she means is that the staff imparts fairy tales to the students.  "Conversation about race" has always meant minorities griping about their own failures and perceived injustices.

Linguist Dr. John McWhorter, who has taught at Cornell and Berkeley, notes that "conversation about race" actually means a one-sided lecture.  McWhorter, who is black, says that the phrase "conversation about race... means that black people have something to teach white people if white people would just sit and listen."  That is exactly the sense in which kindergarteners at this Minnesota school have a conversation about race.

And what kind of educational results are parents getting from this bizarre indoctrination?  These children are getting the best multicultural education that taxpayer money can buy, but their reading and math scores compare poorly with the "regular" school districts nearby. $25 million was spent on 13,000 students in one year. We are dousing children with every frenzied PC dogma and educational fad imaginable, and nothing works. Minnesota's experiment with social engineering has turned out so poorly that the legislature cut funding for the "integration districts."

The worldview behind these indoctrination programs is well-known by now. Thomas Sowell, among others, has explored the worldview at length in his classic The Vision of the Anointed. The educators at this and many schools believe that they have special knowledge about human nature and society, and they are going to reshape society to meet their vision of fanatical equality of results and multiculturalism. Some parents, who obviously share this worldview, see value in the education their children are receiving.  Demond Bryant, an African-American, has two children at the Harambee school. "My children have gained a certain level of confidence and they're comfortable around all types of people," he said.  Who needs a quality education when you can have cheap ethnic chauvinism and racial conditioning?  For such parents, results don't matter.  But other parents and taxpayers might ask whether schools like that are worthwhile investments.

School officials reportedly said that "[s]tudent achievement wasn't an explicit goal of the integration schools in the beginning."  Many people with common sense would hear that and think that the school was designed to fail.  If "student achievement," of all things, "wasn't an explicit goal," then where does student achievement fit in to this school's mission?  As an implicit goal?  As an incidental goal of proper indoctrination?  The liberals don't intend schools to fail; they just have a set of priorities that predictably result in failure or mediocrity.  Their obvious priority is to indoctrinate students and produce rigid multiculturalists.  Reading and mathematics might be taught in the process.

Some might find it shocking that a school was built around goals other than student achievement.  What other goal is lofty enough to be the guiding principle of the educational institutions shaping our children's future?  Diversity, of course!  Yes, diversity, that word which means everything and nothing all at the same time.  Diversity, the idea that white people are not good enough unless they have non-whites around them, and that non-whites will never amount to anything unless they are mixed in with whites.  We are all forced to pledge allegiance to diversity and claim that it strengthens us, when in fact diversity is a failure.

Those nations who have endured multiculturalism the longest have come to reject it.  Consider the accumulated wisdom of the educated and experienced people of Western Europe; Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel declared last year that multiculturalism in Germany had "utterly failed," French President Nicolas Sarkozy also recently claimed that multiculturalism is "clearly" a "failure." British Prime Minister David Cameron referred to "state multiculturalism" as a "failed" policy. You can be sure that these leaders are voicing popular ideas that have long been silenced or ridiculed by elites in those nations. Diversity does not make us stronger, and it does not succeed, even when social engineers can impose it on kindergarteners.

John Bennett is a law student at Emory University in Atlanta, and a U.S. Army veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan.
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