The Blind Leading the Blind – Bacon’s Rebellion


Were you aware !

by James A. Bacon
Some people believe whatever they want to believe, and no recitation of contradictory facts will sway them. That seems to be the case with the new editorial writer at the Roanoke Times. In an opinion piece published today, the author takes Governor Glenn Youngkin to task for undoing the education policies of the Northam administration.
In pursuit of dubious education “reforms,” such as a banning of “critical race theory” that in practice tends to be about purging the history of Black Americans from the classroom, Republican politicians have defended their actions as a championing of parents’ rights and deferral to parents’ choice. (My bold face — JAB)
In a single sentence the editorialist accomplishes two fact-defying feats.
First, zhe (I don’t know if the writer is a he, she, or otherwise, so I’ll use the gender-neutral pronoun) states that Youngkin’s reforms are about purging the history of Black Americans from the classroom — without offering an iota of evidence and in the face of Youngkin’s repeated insistence that public schools will continue to teach the good, bad, and ugly of Virginia history. If progressives are determined to be offended because Youngkin wants not to expunge the “good” parts of our history, as opposed to recounting only a litany of crimes against the oppressed, that’s their right. But they can’t pretend he wants to repress the teaching of slavery, segregation and racism. That’s called making stuff up. In less polite quarters, it’s called telling bald-faced lies. Repeating the untruth endlessly makes it no less a lie.
Second, the editorialist deems “dubious” that “critical race theory” plays a role in Virginia schools. In doing so, zhe ignores a mountain of evidence that the architects of Virginia education policy delved deeply into the literature of CRT and propagated many of CRT’s premises regarding systemic racism, White privilege and the need for “anti-racism” (reverse discrimination).
A week ago Jillian Balow, the superintendent of public instruction, released a letter describing the administration’s first cut at identifying the work of identifying “inherently divisive concepts” in the public education system. The appendix to her letter identifies programs, policies and materials that have been identified within the administration’s first 90 days, with an acknowledgment that more may follow.
Some examples.
EdEquityVA. Numerous resources within the  Virginia Department of Education’s EdEquityVa website advance the concepts of systemic racism, White privilege, and reverse discrimination as a remedy for past discrimination. Suggested reading lists include the works of authors such as Ibram X Kendi and Gloria Ladson-Billings.
Diversity, Equity & Inclusion audit tool. The goal is to achieve “equity,” which is defined as eliminating the predictability of student outcomes based on gender, zip code, ability, socioeconomic status or language spoken at home.
Culturally Responsive teaching. Divisive concepts taught in training include “redressing” bias in the system, including “culturally responsive” efficacy in teacher evaluation, mitigating power imbalances, advancing “anti-racism,” and becoming change agents for social justice and academic equity.
Virginia L.E.A.R.N.S. This program contains “equity checkpoints” similar to the EdEquityVA audit tool. It states, “Education Equity is achieved when we eliminate the predictability of student outcomes.”
Virginia Math Pathways Initiative. This proposed overhaul of the public school math curriculum is based on the premise that “dismantling inequitable structures that challenge spaces of marginality and privilege are needed to ensure that every student is well prepared with the mathematical literacy they require and deserve.”
In theory, we could have an honest discussion about these issues. We could openly debate the propositions that Virginia public schools are “systemically racist,” that Whites are racially “privileged,” that Whites are oppressors and Blacks are victims, and that the antidote to past discrimination is reverse discrimination. But we are not having that debate. Instead, pundits like the Roanoke Times editorialist suggest that Youngkin’s real aim is to repress the teaching of racism.
Why this pathological disconnect from reality? I believe the explanation is simple. Progressives know a large majority of Virginians do not believe that public schools are systemically racist, or any of the rest of the progressive catechism. Progressives would rather advance their aims through opaque bureaucratic processes that never expose their ideas to public scrutiny.
If, in its willful insistence upon believing what it wants to believe, the punditocracy obscures the truth, the public, which relies upon the media, will know no better. It is truly a case of the blind leading the blind. 

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