Fighting to Stop Teaching Hate
Testimony to the Board of Education September 9, 2021
Today, Maryland parents are concerned about the insertion of racism into school curricula under the guise of anti-racism in Crude Racist Thinking (Critical Race Theory or CRT) and the indoctrination of children into thinking and behaving along the precepts of Marxism. We ask you to demonstrate bold and courageous leadership that brought you to this position, to protect Maryland’s children from divisive and misshapen ideologies, and weld our children—“whites, Korean Americans, Latinos, Blacks, and Bengalis—into a united, tolerant, patriotic America. You must make clear to the teachers and administrators in the State that embracing a traditional American education focused on reading, writing, math, history, and civics is the only acceptable preparation for American children to graduate to a life of innovation, contribution and self-realization in our society.
However, with certain materials now showing up in classrooms and in the US Department of Education order to provide CRT grants directly to School Districts, the purveyors of Newthink and racism will persist and their defeat requires eternal vigilance on the part of every citizen and of our State government. Their twisted and subversive thinking has been injected into government agencies, public school systems, teacher training programs, and corporate human resources departments in the form of diversity training programs, human resources modules, public policy frameworks, and school curricula. . Many thinking parents in Montgomery County have protested that the School Administration and the Board of Education have displayed a cowardly and appalling lack of leadership by allowing our schools to be captured by appeasing an anti-intellectual, illiberal, racist mob.
This obsession has motivated the MCPS, an education system facing declining national rankings, to spend half the county annual budget in a worthless so-called anti-racist system audit. An investigative report by Judicial Watch (JW) concluded that “the racist, revolutionary claptrap in these documents should be nowhere near a school classroom.” Example: a social justice class where students were taught that the phrase Make America Great Again was an example of covert white supremacy ranked just below lynching, hate crimes, the N-word and racial slurs
Probably the sickest aspect of CRT and its likes is that it deceitfully claims to combat racism but is in fact deeply racist. Its only coin of identity is race: certain races are typed by association into inherent nasty behavior or weak performance; attempts to break out of one’s racial category are fruitless; efforts by Blacks for example to excel in school and move ahead are “whitey; exams and grading are to be abolished because they put down weaker students; e g in California, English and math are no longer taught, to be replaced, e g in Washington, by diversity, equity and inclusion on the basis of racist categories, not performance, qualifications, or even potential. This is rank divisionism, inequity, victimism and exclusionism, (DIVE) the divide-and-conquer that malevolent rulers have used to weaken their societies. They are using the schools to turn the American motto—e pluribus unum—upside down: not one but many, and infusing personal relations with suspicion, blame, and hostility.
We cannot tolerate a school that not only judges our children by the color of their skin but encourages and instructs them to prejudge others by theirs. By viewing every element of education, every aspect of history, and every facet of society through the lens of skin color and race, we are desecrating the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and utterly violating the movement for which such civil rights leaders believed, fought, and died. By adopting CRT our schools are advocating the abhorrent viewpoint that Blacks should forever be regarded as helpless victims, and are incapable of success regardless of their skills, talents, or hard work, traits which brought the members of the Board of Education to their positions of leadership today..
We object to the charge of systemic racism in this country, and in our schools. Systemic racism is the government and society of apartheid and the exterminating of Jews. It is segregated schools and separate lunch counters, which we have not had since the civil rights reforms of the 1960s, half a century ago. To state otherwise is a flat-out misrepresentation of American history, a motivated denial of the American virtue of progress, and a racist insult of American minorities.
An honest, academic, traditional American education is the most important gift we can give our children. We strongly request a stop by schools’ purchase of materials or conducting of any classes, workshops, etc. that embrace Crude Racist Theory, 1619 Project, and BLM Marxist messages. In addition, it must be clear that an activist teacher bringing supplemental materials into the classroom that undermine our founding ideals and basic values of progress, improvement and innovation will not be tolerated. We must stop the segregation and indoctrination of our children in Maryland and in our great Country. Don’t teach racism!
William Zartman is the Jacob Blaustein Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Conflict Resolution and International Organization; former director, African Studies Program, SAIS-The Johns Hopkins University