What Are the Children Learning?
Because of the manipulative leftist ideology rampant in schools, black children are not permitted any pride in their own achievements. Instead they are pumped full of an inordinate opinion of themselves merely because of the color of their skin. It is an abuse of the potential that they actually possess, and it is leading to frustration, failure, and anger at many levels.
Examples abound. In Saratoga Springs, New York students are asked to tabulate their "privilege" and as a result their race, gender, religion, appearance, and disability status are used as a means "to enlighten students on their relative status in society." Achievement is cast aside. Instead, a false self-aggrandizement for certain groups is established.
Jason D. Hill, a black immigrant who has chosen to embrace the American dream takes issue with author Ta-Nehisi Coates. Hill writes that Coates' beliefs "[t]hreaten to alienate [his] son from his country and afflict him with a sense of moral inefficacy and impotence."
Hill maintains that by "imparting this credo, [Coates has] potentially paralyzed [his son and other black children because he has] "alienated them from their own agency and emancipatory capabilities." Hill asserts that Coates presumes that "black people are mostly treated as mindless automatons who can't seem to help themselves."
Such "abnegation of personal responsibility" sadly results in many of the woes of the black community where no one is shouting from the rooftops that finishing school, obtaining a job, getting married, and then having children should occur and in that order. Why is there not an ongoing outcry from black leaders when 70% of black children are growing up without their fathers? Instead they will be exposed to "A Queer Approach to Addressing Gender and Sexuality through Literature Discussions with Second Graders." As if they are not already confused about a structured family lifestyle.
Journalist and author Jason Riley describes how black activists and white progressives stress racism so that far too many "young black Americans today maintain that they are victims, first and foremost." Riley reminds us that it was Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. who said to his community that "we've got to do something about our moral standards." Hence, "[w]e can't keep on blaming the white man. There are things we must do for ourselves."
Yet black activists and leftists continue the drumbeat of disaster when they promulgate such programs as Black Lives Matters at School which is a "national committee of educators organizing for racial justice in education." Begun in 2016 in Seattle (the land of exploding homelessness), this program promotes ending "out-of-control suspensions and expulsions," hiring more black teachers in the school, and including Black History and Ethnic studies. What is never addressed is the reason behind the high rate of violence and disruption among black students or why the race of the teacher and not his/her educational credentials are what should be evaluated? And, in fact, about the only history that any American student is taught nowadays is the Civil Rights movement. But BLM's true intent is stoking hatred of America and fomenting racial unrest. They are using black children in a most despicable manner. It is compassionate suicide.
The BLM movement is merely an outgrowth of the Afrocentric curriculum which in the early 1990s was seen as the panacea to the difficulties that afflicted many urban African-American student populations. The idea "behind Afrocentrism is that black schoolchildren can learn effectively only in an environment that recognizes and amplifies their African heritage." In a monograph titled Alternatives to Afrocentrism put out by the Manhattan Institute and the Department of African and Afro-American Studies at Washington University in St. Louis, such writers as Linda Chavez, Michael Meyers, Shelby Steele and others debunk this idea. Chavez demonstrates that "Afrocentrists can summon scant empirical evidence to show that students actually improve performance when they feel good about themselves and their heritage, despite the conventional wisdom in educational circles on this point."
Erich Martel's essay in the monograph "criticizes not only the numerous factual errors" in many Afrocentric study guides but the racialism that is inherent in them." Michael Meyers "urges that students of all colors get beyond the glorification of race." Stanley Crouch "asserts the need for the black community to reaffirm its commitment to excellence."
In a 2011 article titled "High School Flight from Reading and Writing" author Will Fitzhugh points out "if public high schools were preparing their graduates adequately, they should be able to read and write in college." Contemplate that last sentence!
Remedial writing and math courses are now integral in two and four-year schools of higher education. Fitzhugh points out that "…the Harvard Graduate School of Education, for example, doesn't seem to be paying attention to student reading and writing." In fact… no one seems to be interested in the academic work of students, whether in history, physics, literature, foreign languages, chemistry or the reading of nonfiction books and the writing of real term papers. Instead, they are interested in issues of race, gender, community, leadership, ethnicity, poverty, disability, management, psychosocial difficulties, social justice, and the like."
The diversity route versus the merit route is a huge part of the woes of all students but particularly black students. Because they are held to lower expectations, they underestimate the workload, have poor time-management skills, procrastinate and have a lack of motivation and an inability to complete tasks. They have not been taught to balance critical, analytical, and creative thinking since they have been indoctrinated into believing that their feelings are what really count. Forget the details, the facts, the logic that go into true analysis.
One college is proud to advertise that they have done away with "unrelated curriculum." So nursing students are not required to study U.S. history and a student majoring in Information Technology does not need to take Philosophy 101. This is countered by Jack Kerwick, who describes a liberal arts education as supplying students "with 'the habit of attention;' 'the art of expression;' 'the art of assuming at a moment’s notice, a new intellectual position;' 'the art of entering quickly into another person’s thoughts;' 'the habit of submitting to censure and refutation;' 'the art of indicating assent or dissent in graduated terms;' 'the habit of regarding minute points of accuracy;' and 'the art of working out what is possible in a given time [.]'"
It seems as though that nursing student should certainly attain these attributes, as it might be a matter of life or death.
Yet students in a college setting are heard saying "I don't see nothing wrong with [.]" Many believe that extra credit is the pathway to success even though they failed to do the assigned work in the first place. Far too many students simply cannot concentrate on the written words on paper and have no sense of the nuance and tone of words. I have lost count as to the many times students have told me that they just did not submit their proofreading checklist. But they ardently believe that they have absolved themselves by "being honest" with me about their oversight. Then there is the 19-year old university senior who does not know what the word "shawl" means or the 18-year old who could not explain the word "tousled."
As Thomas Sowell has written "if there is ever a contest for words that substitute for thought, 'diversity' should be recognized as the undisputed world champion." The supposed benefits of diversity are all that matters according to the progressive leftist perspective.
But excellence, merit, hard work, drive, perseverance, a respect for the true art of argument, and a solid foundation of the important principles that comprise our country's values, -- these enduring ideas are cast aside -- much to the detriment of all students and ultimately that of the country.
In 1972 "to encourage Americans to support the United Negro College Fund, the slogan "A Mind is a Terrible Thing to Waste" was established. It is galling that the left and particularly its black adherents have instituted programs that do the very opposite. What potential are we losing? What frustrations are being created? It is a terrible abuse of children.
Eileen can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org