A Maoist-style reeducation fest approaches in Seattle schools.
Thousands of taxpayer-supported Seattle teachers are planning to don Black Lives Matter t-shirts this week in public schools and force-feed left-wing propaganda to their students about race in an effort to draw attention to the systemic racism they imagine is embedded in the public education regime.
The shirts say “Black Lives Matter” and “We Stand Together,” which is almost identical in meaning to the Hillary Clinton campaign slogan “Standing Together.”
The Black Lives Matter cult is animated by a hatred of normal American values. Its members idolize convicted, unrepentant black militants and cop-killers Assata Shakur and Mumia Abu Jamal and have declared "war" on law enforcement. Its members openly call for police officers to be assassinated. Sympathizer Micah X. Johnson answered the call murdering five cops in cold blood during a Black Lives Matter rally in Dallas in July. Black Lives Matter, which is vehemently anti-white, ought to be designated a domestic terrorist organization for fomenting a war against police, critics say.
The October 19 event is being run by Social Equality Educators (SEA), a group of teachers within the Seattle Education Association (SEA), a local collective bargaining unit. A political faction, SEE runs candidates for offices in the SEA.
Jesse Hagopian, a SEE leader, says more than 2,000 shirts have been ordered for the event. Wearers will include teachers, counselors, paraprofessionals, nurses, instructional assistants, librarians, and others this Wednesday as part of “Black Lives Matter At School,” which he calls an unprecedented action.
Educators will also teach lessons that day about this mythical thing the Left calls institutional racism.
Teachers had planned to wear the black-nationalist shirts and rally at a local elementary school last month as part of an event called “Black Men Uniting to Change the Narrative.” More than 100 black men intended to gather outside and greet students as they walked into the building, in hopes of supposedly banishing negative stereotypes about black men. This bit of political theater was canceled after the plan was picked up by “conservative news outlets” and “at least one threat related to the event” was received, the Seattle Times reports.
After that, local teacher Sarah Arvey went to SEA’s representative assembly which voted to support teachers wearing the shirts to school.
“It’s important for us to know the history of racial justice and racial injustice in our country and in our world and really in order for us to address it. When we’re silent, we close off dialogue and we close the opportunity to learn and grow from each other,” Arvey said, according to Q13 Fox.
Except that public school teachers already saturate students with information about racial injustice in America in a nonstop barrage of historic facts and ahistorical nonsense. And in the culture at large, the media, politicians, and the entertainment industry can’t stop talking about race. President Obama can’t shut up about race. Like leftists around the country, he is obsessed.
The last thing any student in America needs to be taught is how racist and horrible this country is. If they have suffered at the hands of radical educators, they are already well-versed in how evil America supposedly is.
To people like Avery, it’s not indoctrination at all. “I would say that it’s not a political agenda. I would say we’re here to support families. We’re here to support students,” she said.
The event isn’t officially sponsored by the Seattle public school system but it may as well be. The school district is hosting a “day of unity” the same day to push race-based educational equity, whatever that means. SEE says that in addition “to wearing shirts, teachers and staff members will hold rallies before school and teach lessons on black history and institutionalized racism.” The day is supposed to end with a rally.
“Next week is the first week for the district’s new campaign called #CloseTheGaps, which aims to highlight the district’s efforts to eliminate opportunity gaps, especially for students of color,” the Seattle Times reported last week.
It isn’t exactly clear what an “opportunity gap” is and the newspaper makes no effort to explain the bogus-sounding concept that appears to be premised on the lie that the school system is somehow biased against students of color even though radical leftists who supposedly abhor such biases have had control of it for decades.
Organizing the wearing of t-shirts by teachers and a Black Lives Matter-oriented teach-in of captive public school students may not sound like much, but these local events sometimes acquire a national following and metastasize quickly.
And social and political trends often get their start on the West Coast. The $15 hour minimum wage movement, for example, got a huge boost in 2013, when voters in SeaTac, Wash., just outside Seattle, (barely) approved increasing the minimum wage to $15 an hour. Since then Seattle and the District of Columbia followed suit. California is scheduled to enforce a $15 an hour statewide minimum wage eventually. In the meantime, the California localities of San Francisco, Los Angeles, Emeryville, and Mountain View, have all approved $15 an hour minimum wage legislation. The $15 an hour mandate is also under consideration in many cities across the country.
When members of Social Equality Educators aren’t organizing political theater, they are focused on poisoning the minds of the young.
SEE’s website states:
We are a rank-and-file organization within the Seattle Education Association that is dedicated to strengthening progressive values inside SEA, promoting quality and culturally relevant pedagogy to provide the best possible education for Seattle’s students, and building a strong SEA that can fight for the rights of our membership.
And what does that “culturally relevant pedagogy” consist of? Anti-American Marxist propaganda, of course.
Under the “Culturally Relevant Curriculum/Holistic Education,” section of its website, it states:
We believe in curriculum that reflects the needs and desires of the community that the school serves. For to [sic] long, the dominant pedagogy has not adequately represented working class children and children of color.
Not surprisingly, the covers of three leftist books popular in the halls of academia appear in the section.
One is Pedagogy of the Oppressed, by Paolo Freire, a Marxist theorist who advocated using education to indoctrinate and agitate students so that they become agents of radical social change. Freire held that the so-called dominant pedagogy “silences” poor and minority children and that there is no such thing as a neutral educational system.
Another book listed is A People’s History of the United States, by Howard Zinn, a member of the Communist Party USA deemed at one time to be such a great potential threat to national security he was placed on the FBI's “Security Index” and “Communist Index,” designations that would have allowed him to be detained by the U.S. government in the event of a national emergency.
The third book is Rethinking Mathematics: Teaching Social Justice by the Numbers, edited by Eric Gutstein and Bob Peterson. It advocates intertwining mathematics with social justice teachings because with radicals everything everywhere is always political.
SEE also leads the fight against education reform in Seattle, which leftists say is code for privatization.
SEE’s Jesse Hagopian regards public school classrooms as just another battleground in the fight against the mythical “white supremacy” that dominates America.
Today, a new Black rebellion has erupted -- from the sit-down protests on NFL fields, to the urban rebellions in the streets -- galvanized by extrajudicial executions of Black people by the police and racist vigilantes. While the movement to defend Black folks from unaccountable, racist police has been the most prominent aspect this new movement, Black Lives Matter doesn't end with the demand that Black people not be shot down in the streets. While there are certainly many prerequisites to achieving a society where Black lives truly matter, one of them, certainly, is confronting the long legacy of racist schooling and replacing it with an a consciously anti-racist education system.
Hagopian doesn’t provide much in the way of evidence that the current school system is actually racist because with these people it’s all a matter of faith. Proof is never required.
Pushed no doubt by people like Hagopian, the Seattle Education Association has spent lavishly on community organizing in recent years.
It is unclear how much SEA spends on all aspects of its radical left-wing indoctrination program but its Form 990 disclosures filed with the IRS provide a clue. Over 10 years it spent more than $600,000 on what it describes as “community organizing.”
Its IRS filings show that SEA spent $77,312 on “community organizing” for the one-year period ending Aug. 31, 2015. For the 10-year period ending the same date it spent $602,252 for the same purpose. In the Obama era the SEA dramatically ramped up spending on community organizing. (The figures are: $77,312 (2015); $78,592 (2014); $82,759 (2013); $67,896 (2012); $42,101 (2011); $70,496 (2010); $70,567 (2009); $56,658 (2008); $32,671 (2007); and $23,200 (2006).)
The planned pupil indoctrination fest in Seattle comes the month after Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump unveiled a revolutionary proposal to change public education and American politics forever. It consists of a modern-day Marshall Plan to rescue poor kids in low-income neighborhoods from failing public schools. The unprecedented proposal includes a $130 billion plan to bail poor inner-city kids out of schools that don’t teach them, thus condemning them to lives of grinding poverty.
But that’s not okay with Hagopian. In his mind Black Lives Matter and the fight against charter schools are inextricably linked.
“Black organizations [are] bolstering the movement against the central components of the corporate education reform agenda,” he writes. He notes approvingly that the NAACP voted at its national convention in July to call for "a moratorium on privately managed charter schools."
A moratorium would halt the granting of any more licenses to open new charter schools -- that is, schools funded by the public but privately run and not accountable to democratically elected school boards. The NAACP announcement has corporate education reformers reeling. Rick Hess, director of education policy at the right-wing American Enterprise Institute, said that if local governments adopt the NAACP's proposed moratorium, "It would give a permanent black eye to the sector."
Except that getting away from “democratically elected school boards” is precisely the point of charter schools which seek to liberate inner-city children from the big city Democrat-dominated education systems that keep them poor and uneducated. Hagopian and his kind quite properly view charter schools as a threat to the sclerotic, dysfunctional public school system, which helps to explain their visceral contempt for charters.
SEA, by the way, is an affiliate of the Washington Education Association which in turn is an affiliate of the National Education Association (NEA). NEA has long been controlled by radical leftists. NEA is the largest labor union in the U.S. with a membership of just under 3 million as of 2014. Its members are public school teachers, faculty in colleges and universities, retired education employees, and college students preparing to become teachers.
NEA has embraced the community organizing techniques of Saul Alinsky for decades. In recent years the group’s website has recommended Alinsky’s two organizing books, Reveille for Radicals and Rules for Radicals, and described him as a “master political agitator, tactical planner and social organizer” who wrote a “guidebook for those who are out to change things.”
“Alinsky’s goal seems to be to encourage positive social change by equipping activists with a realistic view of the world, a kind of preemptive disillusionment,” according to the NEA. “If a person already knows what evil the world is capable of, then perhaps the surprise factor can be eliminated, making the person a more effective activist. Alinsky further seems to be encouraging the budding activist not to worry to [sic] much about getting his or her hands dirty. It’s all a part of the job, he seems to say.”
NEA also posted training materials from 1972, the year Alinsky died. The document, more or less a blueprint from Alinsky on how to wreck public education, is called “Alinsky for Teacher Organizers,” by J. Michael Arisman, who is identified as a Midwest training consultant for the NEA.
Arisman explains that “Alinsky believes that the teacher association's real power base is not in the teachers, but in the community.”
Arisman summed up what teachers needed to do to bring about radical change in the education system.
Because he sees the teacher's power base outside the membership and in the community, Alinsky offers a straight line route to organization of that power base:
1. Forget the older teachers four or five years from retirement. They will fight organizing.
2. Find one or several local teacher leaders.
3. Get those teacher leaders to organize the community to put pressure on the superintendent or the school board to get things done for education. Develop a multi-issue base in getting to the community. Local taxes, for example, is an issue teachers could use to organize other community elements.
4. Organize the community by using the natural interest in the children to get into the homes. That is, send teachers into the homes. Once teachers show interest in kids by visiting homes, they develop a relationship with parents.
5. Once one or two teacher leaders begin to push and get near community wide success, the rest of the teachers will go along.
It seems like the radical teachers of Seattle and elsewhere in America followed Alinsky’s advice.