Biden Mistakes Anti-Racism for ‘Sensitivity Training’

by Christopher Paslay

There’s nothing unifying about Critical Race Theory, Mr. President. 

“I’m rescinding the previous administration’s harmful ban on diversity and sensitivity training and abolishing the offensive, counterfactual 1776 commission,” President Biden stated at a recent press conference. “Unity and healing must begin with understanding and truth, not ignorance and lies.”

It’s painful to watch Joe Biden squint at the teleprompter and stumble though a bunch of lines he seems to know nothing about.  It’s unclear whether Joe has been duped by his handlers and staffers — those who tell him what to say and what sign — or whether Joe actually believes what he’s saying. The fact is, President Biden’s words to the American people about lifting a supposed ban on “diversity and sensitivity training” are so off-base it almost seems as though he comes from another planet. Either that, or he’s simply gaslighting the country with flat out propaganda.

Those familiar with Critical Race Theory — and its offshoot, anti-racism — know that it has little to do with “diversity and sensitivity,” and even less to do with unity. In fact, Critical Race Theory and anti-racism emerged because things like diversity and sensitivity training — and Martin Luther King’s Civil Rights Movement based in classic liberalism — were moving too slowly for militant activists who wanted a more aggressive and provocative approach to so-called racial equality. 

Believers in Critical Race Theory and anti-racism don’t want unity, and freely admit as much. The notion of unity, along with trying to identify universal qualities that bring us together, is a big no-no for anti-racist educators pushing Critical Race Theory. People like Robin DiAngelo, author of White Fragility, and Ibram X. Kendi, author of How to Be an Anti-Racist, insist universal human values don’t exist, literally. Whites are so privileged and steeped in systemic racism, and people of color are so oppressed and victimized, that these two groups can only experience the world relative to their own cultures, and a universal or unifying system of values and communication is impossible; to anti-racists, everything is relative to culture, and processed through the lens of race. 

Which is why anti-racists preach that whites could never understand the oppressive lives of people of color, and any attempts to do so are met with accusations of racism or claims of white acculturalization — which is a fancy way of saying that whites who believe traditional values transcend race are pushing white supremacy culture on people of color.

Robin DiAngelo flat out states, “Niceness is not anti-racist.” In fact, suggesting people should be nice to each other is a form of violence, she believes, because being nice isn’t going to stop systemic racism or oppression; being nice simply perpetuates white supremacy.  This is why KIPP charter school founder Richard Barth recently announced KIPP was retiring its national slogan, ‘Work hard. Be nice.’  According to Barth, the slogan “ignores the significant effort required to dismantle systemic racism, places value on being compliant and submissive, supports the illusion of meritocracy, and does not align with our vision of students being free to create the future they want.”

So much for the phony notion of unity, at least where Critical Race Theory and anti-racism are concerned. Anti-racism, stated another way, could be called “anti-unity.” Again, the unity model, based in “niceness” and understanding, does not attack so-called systemic racism and white supremacy culture head on, but serves to perpetuate it. What anti-racists who espouse Critical Race Theory want is agitation, provocation, and confrontation — and advocate for the kind of racial unrest we witnessed over the summer. In short, they want to shock white society out of its inherently racist, privileged bubble. 

Critical Race Theory aims to target, disrupt, and dismantle “whiteness.” It stereotypes entire groups of people into polarizing identity groups — oppressive whites on one side, oppressed people of color on the other.  Trainings based in Critical Race Theory, in public schools and government agencies, require participants to segregate themselves into affinity groups by race, deconstruct their racial identity, and admit their privilege and participation in a racist system.

Despite what President Biden says, none of this has anything to do with sensitivity training or unity.  The ban on Critical Race Theory was an attempt to stop the polarization of people by race, the racialization of government agencies and schools, and from using skin color to judge entire groups of people. It was an attempt at universal communication and values, an attempt at unity. 

In essence, President Biden is calling for unity by rescinding a ban aimed at bringing unity.  He’s rescinding a ban on judging people by the color of their skin, and not the content of their character. He’s rescinding a ban that aimed to forward the Civil Rights legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  His out-of-touch Executive Orders are what’s counterfactual, as is his bizarre notion of “sensitivity training.” 

Ironically, it was the 1776 Commission that aimed to counter the misinformation being purported in the New York Times “1619 Project,” misinformation called out by Princeton historian Sean Wilentz, who in November of 2019, began circulating a letter objecting to the project, and of author Nikole Hannah-Jones’s work in particular. 

Soon James McPherson, Gordon Wood, Victoria Bynum, and James Oakes — all leading scholars in their field, signed the letter which stated the 1619 Project fabricated facts and that the project reflected “a displacement of historical understanding by ideology.”

The New York Times refused to correct the misinformation about Americas’ founding, and author Hannah-Jones won a Pulitzer Prize.  But even Hannah-Jones admitted that the 1619 Project wasn’t necessarily about history, but about journalism. Loose translation: it was first a piece of social justice propaganda, which put activism over history, and politics over facts.

And yet President Biden inverts reality and flips facts on their head.  The 1776 Commission was created to correcthistory, not distort it. The ban on Critical Race Theory was made to bring America together, not drive it part. 

Unity and healing, Mr. President, indeed start with understanding and truth, not ignorance and lies. Perhaps, as the new leader of the free world, you’d like to get some perspective on both.

The Problematic Inaccuracies of the ‘1619 Project’

by Christopher Paslay

The New York Times’ ‘1619 Project’ is a problematic work of historical revisionism, and has been criticized by historians and scholars on all sides of the political spectrum for its fundamental inaccuracies and biased narrative.

John McWhorter, an African American professor of linguistics at Columbia University, takes issue with the historical facts at the center of the “1619 “Project.” As McWhorter writes in Reason Magazine

The verdict is in: The idea that America’s real founding was in 1619 does not wash. And yet, it will be considered a mark of sophistication to pretend otherwise.

Since last August, The New York Times has asked us to consider that America’s real founding was not in 1776 but in 1619, when the first Africans were brought to these shores. Nikole Hannah-Jones teaches that the Revolutionary War was fought mainly not to escape British tyranny, but out of fear that British tyranny was about to threaten the institution of slavery.

In a Wall Street Journal article titled “The ‘1619 Project’ Gets Schooled,” Elliot Kaufman further elaborates on the criticisms of well-respected scholars and historians:

“So wrong in so many ways” is how Gordon Wood, the Pulitzer Prize-winning historian of the American Revolution, characterized the New York Times’s “1619 Project.” James McPherson, dean of Civil War historians and another Pulitzer winner, said the Times presented an “unbalanced, one-sided account” that “left most of the history out.” Even more surprising than the criticism from these generally liberal historians was where the interviews appeared: on the World Socialist Web Site, run by the Trotskyist Socialist Equality Party.

In an Atlantic article titled “A Matter of Facts,” Sean Wilentz, Professor of history at Princeton University, detailed the letter he wrote to the New York Times, requesting the publication correct its basic mistakes: 

On December 20, the Times Magazine published a letter that I signed with four other historians—Victoria Bynum, James McPherson, James Oakes, and Gordon Wood. Our letter applauded the project’s stated aim to raise public awareness and understanding of slavery’s central importance in our history. Although the project is not a conventional work of history and cannot be judged as such, the letter intended to help ensure that its efforts did not come at the expense of basic accuracy. Offering practical support to that end, it pointed out specific statements that, if allowed to stand, would misinform the public and give ammunition to those who might be opposed to the mission of grappling with the legacy of slavery. The letter requested that the Times print corrections of the errors that had already appeared, and that it keep those errors from appearing in any future materials published with the Times’ imprimatur, including the school curricula the newspaper announced it was developing in conjunction with the project.

Curiously, the New York Times chose to let the flawed revisionist history stand in an effort at bringing awareness to past racial injustice. But as America’s leading historians have pointed out, altering facts to forward so-called social justice causes is in fact doing a disservice to the cause itself.  How is teaching America’s youth inaccurate depictions of America’s past going to help educate them as knowledgeable and informed citizens?  Accuracy of information is necessary to allow students to think critically about the world around them, and altering such information — in the name of social justice — is not providing our children the resources they need to become proactive, self-empowered learners. 

Reframing America as country based on slavery and victimization — rather than on freedom, liberty, and democracy — works well if the aim is to indoctrinate our children into the polarizing and divisive world of identity politics.

“We are now to instruct black kids just a few years past diapers in this way of thinking — in studied despair over events far in the past, and a sense that it is more enlightened to think of yourself as a victim than as an actor,” McWhorter writes in his Reason article.  “At no other point in human history have any people, under any degree of oppression, conceived of this kind of self-image as healthy . . .”

Yet American schools are doing just that.

Which is why Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., recently introduced a bill that proposes denying federal funds to schools that incorporate the New York Times’ controversial “1619 Project” into its teaching curriculum, and why President Trump said Sunday that the Department of Education is examining the use of the New York Times Magazine‘s 1619 Project in schools, and warned that institutions that teach this alternative narrative of American history could lose federal funding.

As McWhorter so aptly writes in his Reason article

The insistence on maintaining the 1619 idea is rooted in a pervasive modern notion that when evaluating race issues, it is a form of intelligence and morality to duck truth when it is inconvenient to a victimhood-focused construct. W.E.B. Du Bois tackled the Dunning School with facts; today people sensing themselves as his heirs insist we accept alternative facts. Yet, to point out that neither Du Bois, Frederick Douglass, nor Martin Luther King Jr. would see this as progress renders one a heretic. This is one more thing we must overcome.

A Critical Look at the 1619 Project

The above video is an episode of “The Glenn Show” featuring Brown University economics professor Glenn Loury and Columbia University linguistic professor John McWhorter, who take a critical look at the New York Times controversial 1619 Project.

McWhorter explains that to boil-down the complexities of the American experiment — and everything that’s happened over the past 400 years — simply to slavery is intellectually lazy and dishonest.  

McWhorter states, “it’s simplistic thinking, and none of this work, to me, provides a coherent justification for why we should go from the way we looked at these things 30 years ago, to this new paradigm, where we reduce everything to this moralizing . . . and that’s what it is . . .  it’s not intellectual, it’s moralizing . . . about slavery and slavery alone. And so I’m disappointed because I feel like it’s low rent thinking disguised as higher wisdom.”