Open Mind or Empty Head?
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" ordinarily translates into minorities condemning white society or shifting blame for various social problems.
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. Twenty-five million dollars 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 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.
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 always make us stronger, and multiculturalism does not always united us, even when social engineers are given the authority to 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.