Back in the mid and late 1960s, college students rebelled against authority and American traditions. Social mores, government policies, corporate America, schools, and the media were targeted mostly by urban youth eager for radical change. But now, almost 60 years later, we have done a 180. The government, big business, schools, the media, etc., aka “the establishment,” are now the radicals demanding change.
Even the military has not been spared the ravages of the woke insurgence. The armed forces now proudly support “diversity and inclusion.” The military, whose traditional raison d’être has been defending the country by killing people and blowing up things, now concerns itself with such matters as “reviewing hairstyle and grooming policies for racial bias.”
Big business is no better. Bud Light showed its woke bona fides when it partnered with “trans influencer” Dylan Mulvaney to sell its beer. It didn’t work quite as planned, however, and the company lost billions of dollars. The media, of course, blamed right-wingers for objecting to the marketing campaign.
A while back, retail giant Target began to promote “Pride Month,” but now has upped their game by partnering with a British transexual satanist to push his agenda in their stores. One of the items for sale from Abprallen is a messenger bag that reads “Too Queer for Here.” Additionally, one of the label’s sweatshirts states, “Cure transphobia, not trans people.”
Education is clearly a major target in the culture wars. Most recently, the federal Department of Education concluded an investigation into a Georgia school district, arguing that the removal of several books containing pornographic material “created a hostile environment” for LGBTQ and nonwhite authors and readers. In fact, the books contain sexual depictions, including boys performing oral sex on each other. In a video, Joe Biden called out “MAGA extremists” for banning certain books from the classroom, even though they contained pornographic material.
Law schools are no less woke. Georgetown University Law School is demanding that students consider whether the law should any longer be “considered and enforced neutrally.” A professor at Boston College of Law suggests that it’s time to consider scrapping the Constitution.
In the medical arena, U.S. News has for years been ranking medical schools on factors such as reputation, MCAT scores, and grade point averages of incoming students. But now these schools are resisting. Typical is the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, which, in a Jan. 24 statement, said the U.S. News rankings undermine the school’s “commitment to anti-racism” and “outreach to diverse communities.”
But when it comes to education, a large majority of current culture war activity comes to us via the teachers unions, which were not an influence in the 1960s, but now are front and center in the woke Revolution.
Perhaps there is no more egregious example than American Federation of Teachers president Randi Weingarten, whose statements and actions could fill a tome on culture war activity. With no sense of irony, on May 21, she wrote, “Culture Wars Harm Education. Yup, the woman who was once rightfully deemed “an arsonist pretending to be a firefighter” is pointing fingers at everyone else.
Just a few Randi-isms: She once said about Covid that “Millions of Floridians are going to die for Ron DeSantis’ ignorance and he’s choosing to profit from it. She has asserted that unions “actually make communities safer and…the right-wing is threatened by that.” She also retweeted Virginia’s former Secretary of Education’s post calling parents advocating for their children “racists.”
The National Education Association is also a prominent culture warrior. The union is touting June 10 as “Teach Truth Day,” when educators should “pledge to teach truthfully about U.S. history, defend LGBTQ+ rights, and speak out against anti-history education bills, banned books, and more.”
The irony here is that the NEA is partnering with the Zinn Education Project, whose approach to history is based on Howard Zinn’s best-selling book A People’s History of the United States. Published in 1980, the book became extremely popular and still dominates our nation’s classrooms. Zinn maintained that teaching of history “should serve society in some way” and that “objectivity is impossible and it is also undesirable.” When called on the carpet for writing a history book that played very fast and loose with the facts, the author freely admitted it, saying that his hope in writing the book was to create a revolution.
Well, at least Zinn was honest about admitting he was a liar, unlike the NEA.
The California Teachers Association, the Golden State wing of NEA, is certainly down with Teach Truth Day and will supply its teachers with sharable art, help its teachers plan events, etc.
Also, the CTA recently involved itself in the Dodgers – Drag Queen Nuns imbroglio. The Dodgers, you see, rescinded an offer to honor the drag group, known as the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, for its advocacy before a June 16 home game against the San Francisco Giants.
As Susannah Luthi notes in the Free Beacon, “From its inception in 1979 in San Francisco’s Castro District, the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence has satirized Catholic beliefs in the name of progressive activism. When Pope John Paul II visited San Francisco in 1987, the group held an ‘exorcism’ and a ‘Condom Savior Mass’ featuring the ‘Latex Host’ in Union Square, according to the Catholic League. Other events included a mock Mass with tequila, a Good Friday fetish fashion show, and a ‘Midnight Confessional Contest’ at a bar with prizes for the ‘hottest confessions.’ The Sisters are best known for their ‘Hunky Jesus’ contest every Easter Sunday in San Francisco, featuring sexual parodies of the crucifixion.”
But the Dodgers realized this may not be appropriate entertainment for a baseball game and cancelled it. This was a bridge too far, however, for the CTA, which said the Dodgers decision is “rooted in the same bigotry that’s led to LGBTQIA+ books being banned, drag shows criminalized….”
The CTA accusation did the trick. Hours after the union weighed in, the Dodgers caved and agreed to go on with the perverse display as originally planned. On May 22 the team offered its “sincerest apologies” to the drag group and its allies and pledged to “continue to work with our LGBTQ+ partners to better educate ourselves.” The Sisters confirmed that it had accepted the Dodgers’ apology and will appear as planned on June 16.
In April, the Pennsylvania State Education Association, another NEA affiliate, held a press conference at which PSEA and district officials celebrated the implementation of the union’s “I’m HERE” badges among staff.
Displaying the pride flag, the badges include a QR code that takes students and staff to the website of the LGBTQ caucus of the NEA. The website includes a “resource toolkit” with links to other sites that provide not only purportedly supportive information to LGBTQ kids but sexual content as well. There is a link to the Teen Health Source website, which includes how-to advice for sex acts. For anal sex, it tells kids to “make sure that the person being penetrated is relaxed” and to “use lots of lube!” When engaging in bondage, it advises kids to make sure “that the ties don’t cut off blood to any part of the body.”
It was bad enough when teachers unions were destroying education by enforcing tenure and seniority rules, which guarantee that subpar and even criminal teachers stay on the job. But now their power trip has taken an even more evil turn.
At the end of the day, to fight back people can boycott Bud Light, Target and the Dodgers. But the education conundrum is worse because kids are legally forced to be schooled, which is why homeschooling and private choice programs are now more important than ever.
To be continued.
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Larry Sand, a former classroom teacher, is the president of the non-profit California Teachers Empowerment Network – a non-partisan, non-political group dedicated to providing teachers and the general public with reliable and balanced information about professional affiliations and positions on educational issues.