[Photo above: Pages 136 and 137 of the Salinas Union High School District Ethnic Studies Curriculum. Credit: Kelly Schenkoske].
The good news is that California education authorities have agreed to drop part of the Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum (ESMC) that encouraged public school students to pray to bloodthirsty Aztec deities. The quaint religious practices of Mesoamericans about 700 years ago included slicing out human hearts along with flaying victims and wearing their skin.
The ESMC is needed, the devoutest left-wingers insist, to help teach children about the systemic racism that supposedly defines America.
“We are reminded daily that racism is not only a legacy of the past but a clear and present danger,” said California State Board of Education president Linda Darling-Hammond, a leftist who headed the Biden-Harris regime’s education transition team. “We must understand this history if we are finally to end it.”
Worshiping these gods that belong in torture-porn horror movies will somehow advance diversity, equity, inclusion, and antiracism, the board of education must have reasoned when it approved the nearly 900-page ESMC in March 2021, making California “the first state in the nation to offer a statewide ethnic studies model for educators,” the board boasted at the time.
Under pressure from the Thomas More Society, a highly effective national public interest law firm that filed a lawsuit last year on behalf of angry parents and the Californians for Equal Rights Foundation, the state agency agreed in January to nix the Aztec devotions.
The bad news is that the destructive Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum bursting with virulent anti-Americanism still exists, and California law mandates that it will spread dramatically in coming years.
Ethnic studies, by the way, comes from a weird place.
In the upside-down leftist world of ethnic studies, race itself is a concept invented by white oppressors. The term is defined as “a (neo)colonial social construction” that is “based upon a Eurocentric biological fallacy that is central to inequitable power relations in society.” Race also “produces racial consciousness and facilitates the process of racialization and racial projects, including both the oppositional projects of racism/colorism/anti-Blackness/anti-Indigeneity and anti-racism/racial justice,” according to the preface to the model curriculum available on the California State Board of Education’s ESMC page.
The preface borrows from the 2019 book Rethinking Ethnic Studies, co-authored by R. Tolteka Cuauhtin, who headed the committee that developed the ESMC. To Cuauhtin, there are only two races in America today: whites and everyone else.
“In the United States today, races very broadly break down as people of color (POC) and white people,” Cuauhtin’s book states.
This turns the American experience in its entirety into an ugly “us” versus “them” situation. It goes without saying that this politically useful dichotomy would send a thrill up the leg of any practitioner of the dark art of Saul Alinsky-style community organizing.
Cuauhtin also “demonstrates an animus towards Christianity and Catholicism—claiming that Christians committed ‘theocide’ (i.e., killing gods) against indigenous tribes,” according to court documents in the lawsuit filed by the Californians for Equal Rights Foundation.
The model curriculum will reach many Golden State children in the not-too-distant future.
California’s pathologically dishonest, woke Democrat governor, Gavin Newsom, signed a piece of legislation known as Assembly Bill 101 that will make ethnic studies required across the state for graduating high school beginning in the 2029–30 school year. The law also forces junior high schools to offer at least a one-semester course in ethnic studies, starting in the 2025–26 school year, The Epoch Times reported.
Some California schools are ahead of schedule.
Ethnic studies is already being taught in the ninth grade in the Salinas Union High School District in California’s Monterey County.
Schoolchildren there learn that capitalism is bad and are encouraged to embrace “redistribution of wealth” and a “shift in economic thinking.”
One chart students examine identifies Christians as the “privileged/hegemonic” group that is responsible for “creedism, Islamophobia and anti-Semitism.” The chart also describes “Muslims, Jews, non-major world religions, atheists and indigenous spiritual traditions” as “oppressed/marginalized” groups. It states that “religious freedom/regenerating indigenous spiritual traditions” are a form of resistance to “oppression.”
One young man who graduated in 2019 from Branham High School in San Jose told The Federalist in December 2021 that the school urged white students to dismantle, that is, hate, themselves.
“The idea that white students must ‘dismantle themselves’ in the context of their personality is cultish,” Samuel Martin said.
“Not only is it cultish, but it is deliberate in that this school system wants its white students to hate themselves. Do these people honestly think that drilling racial identitarianism into childrens’ heads from a young age is going to make them less racist?”
The local school district also steered students to something called the Black Lives Matter Resource Guide, which, among other things, encourages the use of witchcraft against people who disagree with the left’s twisted racial agenda.
“Hexing people is an important way to get out anger and frustration,” it states. People who say “all lives matter” or commit “microaggressions,” need to be targeted, it continues. “Write your own hex poem, cursing that person,” it adds.
Returning to the state’s Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum, the document itself is focused “on the traditional ethnic studies first established in California higher education which has been characterized by four foundational disciplines: African American, Chicana/o/x and Latina/o/x, Native American, and Asian American and Pacific Islander studies,” according to the preface to the model curriculum at the ESMC page.
This “provides an opportunity for students to learn of the histories, cultures, struggles, and contributions to American society of these historically marginalized peoples which have often been untold in US history courses.”
“Ethnic studies is for all students,” Chapter 1 of the model curriculum opines. Embracing neo-Marxist concepts, the chapter claims that the coursework, “through its overarching study of the process and impact of the marginalization resulting from systems of power, is relevant and important for students of all backgrounds.”
The document admits that indoctrination, not education, is the real goal, painting a happy face on this hateful, divisive ideology that elevates race over all other concerns.
“By affirming the identities and contributions of marginalized groups in our society, ethnic studies helps students see themselves and each other as part of the narrative of the United States. Importantly, this helps students see themselves as active agents in the interethnic bridge-building process we call American life,” the chapter states.
“Ethnic studies helps bring students and communities together … by simultaneously doing three things: (1) addressing racialized experiences and ethnic differences as real and unique; (2) building greater understanding and communication across ethnic differences; and (3) revealing underlying commonalities that can bind by bringing individuals and groups together.”
Citing dubious research, the chapter claims ethnic studies helps “foster cross-cultural understanding among students of color and white students, and aids students in valuing their own cultural identity while appreciating the differences around them.”
“By asking students to examine and reflect on the history, struggles, and contributions of diverse groups within the context of racism and bigotry, ethnic studies can foster the importance of equity and justice,” the chapter states.
Of course, patriotic, more traditional American education doesn’t ignore the nation’s past racial problems: it tries to place those challenging times in context, instead of arguing, as ethnic studies enthusiasts do, that they have always been the norm in this supposedly racist hellhole of a country we call home.
Chapter 5 of the model curriculum references popular left-wing brainwashing techniques, including “several ethnic studies-oriented chants, proverbs, and affirmations.” Such things “can be used as energizers to bring the class together, build unity around ethnic studies principles and values, and to reinvigorate the class following a lesson that may be emotionally taxing or even when student engagement may appear to be low.”
The chapter notes that at “Social Justice Humanitas Academy (SJHA) … in the Los Angeles Unified School District, various Ethnic Studies unity chants were combined into one and are recited in a call and response format.”
Call and response, of course, was a big part of the mass meetings of the America-hating Occupy Wall Street movement.
Read more for yourself about ethnic studies in the bizarre chapters of the model curriculum at the above-referenced ESMC page.
It seems fair to say that good rarely triumphs over depravity in the wacky world of California public policy nowadays, but every once in a while a little bit of sanity prevails – even if it is forced upon the educrats by way of litigation.
It is undeniably a good thing that the Aztec prayers were dropped from California’s Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum, but dismantling this evil ultra-leftist indoctrination is going to take a lot more work.