A friend of mine told me an apocryphal story that left me with a cold shudder. He is an old-fashioned left-leaning “liberal” and a strong advocate of public education. All his children attend public schools. In fact, he is vehemently opposed to the idea of promoting private schools on the premise that its implementation will result in a more stratified society because, he believes, poor whites and blacks will be disproportionately disqualified from attending such institutions.
In good faith, he has always entrusted his children’s education to what I had typically referred to as Government Schools. He was confident that his children would receive a robust education from K-12 grade.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, however, he was forced to monitor the classroom activities of his children. Unemployment had left him more time to inconspicuously sit-in — especially on the classes of his 6th grader son.
He was shocked, one afternoon, to come upon an assignment being conducted during an English class in which all the white students in the zoom online course were required to place their arms beside a brown paper bag. How his 6th grader had acquired a crisp brown paper bag was a mystery to him. The teacher asked them if they noticed a difference in color between their skin and the brown paper bag. All of the white students nodded, and some verbally assented. The teacher asked them if the color of the bag looked close to the color of some of the students identified as black in the class. His son peered at the zoom screen and raised the icon button identifying his acknowledgement. The teacher then announced with full moral rectitude and intransigence the following:
If your skin color is different from the color of the paper bag, then you are part of a problem in America known as systemic racism that does irreparable harm to all black and brown people in America. Further, if your skin color is different from the brown paper bag and you are identified as white you enjoy something called white privilege which means you are practicing racism every day without knowing it.
Each such student that had a different color than the brown paper bag bore a collective guilt. The teacher then went on to ask the class if they had ever heard the term, “Reparations.”
Out of some sense of visceral, atavistic paternal protection, my friend slammed down his son’s computer and told him to go to his room for a while. He said he stood with his fingers pressed into the metal cover of the computer, shaking with incredulity.
I explained to him that guilt implied wrong-doing, and that because his son at age twelve had committed no egregious harm against any black person that he would eventually grow to feel a burgeoning sense of resentment. Over time, as his mind grew more focused and the charges against him repeated had been codified into a cultural norm, he would feel that he was the real cause of all harms directed at black people. I said that something evil and sinister was going to take root in his son’s psyche.
My friend grew alarmed. But I pressed on. His son, I told him, would grow to feel resentment towards black people. It would be mild at first; a contemptuous discharge fueled by a growing sense of his superiority and empowerment that he, by the power of his whiteness, could cause so much harm and that he, by that same magical power of whiteness, could alleviate the misery and suffering of blacks. I told him it would not end well, His son’s curriculum would include a phalanx of black and white progressive nihilists who would call for the annihilation of “whiteness” which, his mind would come to understand as: the annihilation of all white people from the earth including himself. His son, I told him, runs the risk not just of becoming a racist, but of a white supremacist. Becoming a white supremacist, he will come to believe, will be his only default position from which to protect his life from the early stages of assault being waged against it — starting with the seemingly benign comparison between his skin color and that of a brown paper bag. And all this from white liberals masquerading as anti-racists.
Be careful how you proceed with his education, I warned him. It is not too late for you to assume responsibility and assert control of his mind by extracting him from one of our many national security threats destroying our American civilization: our Government schools on the tertiary level, and our nation’s universities. The decision is yours.
Doubtless, readers have been keeping up with reports of how our public schools have become inundated with what is becoming known as “Culturally Responsive Teaching.” Teachers are required to implement “action civics” in the classroom, leading students in activism on behalf of various causes.
A school district in San Diego conducted a “white privilege training” for its white teachers who were told they were racist for being white, and for upholding racist ideas and policies. They were made to feel ashamed for teaching on stolen Native American land.
Seattle Public Schools also held racially charged teacher-training sessions that accused them, unequivocally, of murdering the souls of black children everyday through systemic institutionalized, anti-black, state-sanctioned violence. They, too, were told they were natural racists because of their mere possession of white skin, and that they had to self-consciously reject their “whiteness.” Any objection to their indictment of being racists, they were told, no matter how well-argued or factually grounded, would be dismissed as a reflex of their whiteness, as “lizard brain,” which was proof of their white fragility.
These stories come on the heels of decolonized courses in which Shakespeare, Homer, Chaucer and other classics are expurgated from curricula in high schools and colleges in the United States (I cannot keep up). The idea first started by Rutgers that grammar is racist, has been extrapolated on to the disciplines of science and math — they, as well, are racists disciplines, we’re being told.
It is obvious that today’s cultural activists are guilty of massive child abuse in our classrooms. They have criminalized independent thinking, logic, reason, and so, have ended up conceptually breaking the minds of our children. They have usurped the purpose of educational from one of learning to one of, ultimately, Marxist indoctrination and the destruction of the values that undergird American civilization. They are using children as political pawns, weapons of mass destruction, and objectified instruments in their war against the United Sates of America.
They have declared war on this country’s children and their precious minds — openly, vulgarly, and with full forethought of malice.
It is time to apply an intransigent and implacable counterassault against their efforts. We know where they are and who they are.
The battle is, first, a philosophical one. We must proudly defend our first principles and our unassailable constitutive values that define America: our free market system of capitalism, our sacred Constitution and its Bill of Rights, a philosophy of individualism, reason, and American exceptionalism.
To destroy this movement, we must, first, abolish public education, that is, all government schools from K-12 to our public universities that have become national security threats and indoctrination centers for anti-American, and Marxist and post-modern ideologies. They have to be shut down. Your tax dollars cannot fund these institutions any longer.
A future secretary of education, and philosophically-minded future leaders must prepare for the complete eradication of the Department of Education. Education must be placed back in the hands of parents, and morally speaking, ought to be privatized. If as the New Cultural Leaders say, state teachers are racists — then, alright, they must all be fired.
Private learning institutions should no longer receive any funding from the federal government, or from any state governing agencies that mandate an activist curricula.
This is a contentious position to hold. I am willing to entertain the idea of issuing school vouchers for the use of a child’s private school tuition. This is also a more divisive issue among reasonable people, as it involves the use of public funds to pay for a child’s education. Some will argue, therefore, that vouchers still involve the state’s role in education. A safer alternative, it seems to me, and one predicated on the moral principle that people are responsible for the procreative choices that they make — not society — is to implement a unilateral tax credit for education for all parents. All one would have to do to qualify is to have a child or children that one wishes to educate in a private school. One would not be taxed on the portion of one’s income that is needed to send one’s child to school. This would certainly dis-incentivize more people from having more children than they can afford to educate. Among competing private schools in a free market, it simply would not be in the fiscal interests of private educators to leave broad swaths of people outside the system. We have seen where the emergence of private online universities have provided a plethora of opportunities for those whose income levels do not permit easy entrance into traditional, high-tuition universities, to receive an education.
I think a conversation about the two possibilities outlined is a healthy way to begin rooting out the existence of government schools from our republic.
To fight a war, one must start at the root by defeating the adversary’s strategies and methods. Strategies will follow as I continue to write on this topic. For now, I simply want those brown paper bags destroyed, those government schools closed forever, and American children given back to the safety of their parents. They are innocent. The future is theirs. And they deserve a shot at making something magnificent of it, and of their minds.
Jason D. Hill is professor of philosophy at DePaul University in Chicago, and a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center. His areas of specialization include ethics, social and political philosophy, American foreign policy and American politics. He is the author of several books, including We Have Overcome: An Immigrant’s Letter to the American People (Bombardier Books/Post Hill Press). His new forthcoming book is What Do White Americans Owe Black People: Racial Justice in the Age of Post Oppression. Follow him on Twitter @JasonDhill6.