Educational activist organizations, many of which have a clear political agenda, are continuously designing curriculum and so-called “teacher resources” for K-12 schools. How much of this material, if any, should be used by teachers in American classrooms, and is it promoting the kinds of holistic instructional approaches we need in 21st century America? This video analyzes one group in particular, an organization called BARWE, which stands for Building Anti-Racist White Educators. Thanks for watching.
by Christopher Paslay
The USOPC has bowed to pressure from activists groups, and has placed a political agenda ahead of the interests of American athletes during the US Olympic trials.
According to an article in American Greatness:
The U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee said this week they will not sanction athletes for raising their fists or kneeling during the national anthem at Olympic trials, despite a decades-long policy banning protests at the official games.
The USOPC released a nine-page document Tuesday about the sort of ‘racial and social demonstrations’ that will and won’t be allowed. Holding up a fist, kneeling during the anthem and wearing hats or face masks with phrases such as “Black Lives Matter” or words such as “equality” or “justice,” will be permitted, according to the document.
This decision goes against International Olympic Committee rules, however. According to “Rule 50 Guidelines” developed by the IOC Athlete’s Commission:
As athletes, we are passionate about our sports and achieving our sporting performance goals. For each and every one of us, that passion continues into everyday life, where we advocate for change on issues of great importance to us and our world. That desire to drive change can naturally make it very tempting to use the platform of an appearance at the Olympic Games to make our point.
However, all of us are here at the Olympic Games because, one day, we dreamt of being an Olympian, and maybe even an Olympic champion. The unique nature of the Olympic Games enables athletes from all over the world to come together in peace and harmony. We believe that the example we set by competing with the world’s best while living in harmony in the Olympic Village is a uniquely positive message to send to an increasingly divided world. This is why it is important, on both a personal and a global level, that we keep the venues, the Olympic Village and the podium neutral and free from any form of political, religious or ethnic demonstrations.
If we do not, the life’s work of the athletes around us could be tarnished, and the world would quickly no longer be able to look at us competing and living respectfully together, as conflicts drive a wedge between individuals, groups and nations. That is not to say that you should be silent about the issues you care deeply about, and below you will find a list of places where you can express your views at the Olympic Games.
Where are protests and demonstrations not permitted during the Olympic Games?
At all Olympic venues, including:
- On the field of play
- In the Olympic Village
- During Olympic medal ceremonies
- During the Opening, Closing and other official Ceremonies
The USOPC doesn’t seem to care about this, however. They’ve bowed to pressure from activists groups which want to put a political agenda ahead of the interests of American athletes during the US Olympic trials.
Whether the USOPC will place political activism over honest athletic competition during the actual Olympic Games — promoting Black Lives Matter instead of celebrating America’s Olympians — remains to be seen.
Corwin’s teacher resource titled “Responding to Insurrection, Domestic Terrorism, and Threats to Democracy” is an outrageous lesson in political indoctrination and Critical Race Theory, and has no place in any classroom in America that genuinely cares about democracy, freedom, or critical thinking.
Dear Corwin Management,
After reviewing your recent teacher resource titled, “Responding to Insurrection, Domestic Terrorism, and Threats to Democracy,” I was both disappointed and alarmed to find it filled with resources and material inappropriate for K-12 children. A closer look at the linked resources shows they are disturbingly political and agenda-driven, with a clear objective to teach children what to think, and not how to think. In short, these resources fail to allow students to critically analyze current events in an accurate and balanced context (they do not offer a classic pro/con format), but are presented from a one-sided lens that takes a complex situation and boils it down to a simplistic, over-generalized version of reality.
In particular, they push polarizing identity politics, based in Critical Race Theory, on children in K-12 schools. These resources do not treat students as individuals, but polarize them by race — stereotyping whites as privileged oppressors and people of color as oppressed victims. The curriculum resource titled “Let’s Talk Racial Healing: If Not Us, Then Who?, by Victoria Romero and Gary Howard, is anything but healing. It indoctrinates youth with the anti-American message that the United States is founded not on the ideals of democracy and freedom, but on racism and white supremacy.
The resource begins by stating, “From the fifteenth century to the twenty-first, the genocide of Indigenous people and the enslavement of Black people, the voter suppression of the Jim Crow era to the most recent violent attempt to storm the Capitol and de-legitimize the votes of millions of Black, Brown, and Native people, a consistent through-line of our history has been white supremacy.” Is this what you want your children learning about in school?
Another resource, titled, “How to Teach Students About the Capitol Riots Using A Social Justice Framework” by Dr. Crystal Belle, begins by stating, “Drawing on the spirit of social justice and radical Black feminism, I welcome you into this written testimony of what it means to be a social justice educator after the Capitol riots that violently catapulted us into 2021.” Since when are America’s K-12 classrooms a platform for radical black feminism?
Corwin’s so-called teaching resources also push the highly political and agenda-driven Black Lives Matter curriculum, which aims to indoctrinate children with BLM’s “13 Guiding Principles,” one of which is committed to “disrupting the Western-prescribed nuclear family structure.” This is quite puzzling, being that 50 years of educational and sociological research show that children who come from two-parent nuclear families do better on every academic and behavior measure than students who come from a non-nuclear family structure.
Corwin’s resources also violate Federal anti-discrimination laws. The link titled “A Best-of-the-Best Collection of Resources for Social Justice- and Equity-Focused Educators” contains anti-racism lessons that force students to create “identity charts” which divide children and judge them based on race, religion, gender, and sexuality, and force kids to “unpack colorblind ideology,” literally teaching children that judging a person by the content of their character, and notthe color of their skin, is wrong.
Perhaps the most alarming thing about Corwin’s curriculum resources is that they are designed to indoctrinate, not educate — teaching students what to think, and not how to think. Specifically, instead of encouraging free discussion and open debate on the topics of race and violent protest, they persuade teachers to silence students who may disagree by discrediting any conversation that doesn’t follow Corwin’s identity-politics-based agenda. For example, a lesson titled “But What About Antifa?” guides teachers to discredit or marginalize any counterpoints from students aimed to create a balance of information regarding the violence and social unrest that has plagued America since last June and beyond.
If students inquire about the murder, property destruction, and domestic terrorism being perpetrated by Antifa (which was officially designated as a domestic terror organization by the Department of Justice, by the way), or the more radical fringes of Black Lives Matter, teachers are encouraged to do a lesson on “whataboutism,” explaining to students that all violence, murder, and property damage is not created equal. For example, when Antifa and Black Lives Matter rioters stormed and occupied the East Police Precinct in Seattle — taking over the entire neighborhood of Capitol Hill and holding residents and businesses hostage — this violence is different.
Four people were murdered within this so-called “autonomous zone,” including a 19-year old African American boy whose mother is now suing the City of Seattle, but this murder and violence doesn’t rise to the level of so-called “white Supremacy,” and because it’s been perpetrated by people with an agenda and political ideology favorable to Corwin, bringing up this violence is to be downplayed and labeled “whataboutism” by educators.
In July of 2016, when Black Lives Matter sympathizer Micah Xavier Johnson shot and killed five Dallas police officers during a BLM protest — publicly stating he wanted to kill white people and white officers — this is “whataboutism.” When Antifa and the radical fringes of BLM destroyed Federal courthouses, attacked the National Guard, and shot Las Vegas police officer Shay Mikalonis in the head last summer during a George Floyd protest — paralyzing him from the neck down and forcing him to live on a ventilator for the rest of his life — this is “whataboutism.”
When Antifa and the radical elements of Black Lives Matter destroyed tens of millions of dollars in property, including many small businesses that will never recover; when they looted neighborhoods and burned cars and buildings; when they terrorized citizens and business owners who did not openly wave BLM flags; when they ripped America in half for six straight months; bringing up these events is “whataboutism.”
According to Corwin’s educational resources, titled, “Responding to Insurrection, Domestic Terrorism, and Threats to Democracy,” violence is only to be talked about and processed if it fits your political agenda. If it stereotypes white America, especially those with conservative values who do not believe in indoctrinating our children in identity politics, as “white supremacists” and “domestic terrorists,” then, well, you can call it out as “real” violence.
That’s how identity politics and Critical Race Theory work. Divide good people up by race, religion, gender, and sexuality, and then polarize them against each other. And the ones who share you political agenda, well, gloss over all of their egregious behavior and pretend it doesn’t matter. And for those who demand equal treatment and colorblindness, well, brand them all as white supremacists, and discredit their worldview as evidence of domestic terrorism.
Corwin’s teacher resource titled “Responding to Insurrection, Domestic Terrorism, and Threats to Democracy” is an outrageous lesson in political indoctrination, and has no place in any classroom in America that genuinely cares about democracy, freedom, or critical thinking.
Philadelphia Public Schoolteacher, Counselor, and Coach
A leaked slide from an employee training course at the Goodyear Topeka plant revealed a discriminatory policy that allowed Black Lives Matter shirts and apparel to be worn by employees, but not Blue Lives Matter. Later, the company clarified that they ban all political speech outside racial justice and equity issues. But what are “racial justice” and “equity issues” if not political? The above video is a companion to the blog post “BLM, Goodyear, and the Censoring of Free Speech.” Thanks for watching.
by Christopher Paslay
Either ban all political slogans or provide an honest forum open to all perspectives.
There’s an old saying that used to govern corporate H.R. departments and most social gatherings: Don’t talk about religion or politics. Religion and politics — while extremely important and necessary — can be quite polarizing, and have the tendency to hurt feelings and damage friendships, and alienate employees and customers.
This hasn’t stopped corporate America (as well as schools and sports) from pumping-in politics by the boat-load, embedding partisan messaging and agendas in their products, services, and curriculum for all to see.
Recently the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company went down this slippery slope. A leaked slide from an employee training course at the Goodyear Topeka plant revealed a discriminatory policy that allowed Black Lives Matter shirts and apparel to be worn by employees, but not Blue Lives Matter (5 Dallas officers were shot and killed at a BLM protest in 2016) or All Lives Matter clothing. After Goodyear’s stock took a nosedive overnight, dropping more than 4%, the company scrambled to explain it was all simply a misunderstanding, that the slide was not representative of the national office, and that their policies do not allow for political speech in the workspace.
Goodyear issued a clarification, which said in part:
To be clear on our longstanding corporate policy, Goodyear has zero tolerance for any forms of harassment or discrimination. To enable a work environment free of those, we ask that associates refrain from workplace expressions in support of political campaigning for any candidate or political party, as well as similar forms of advocacy that fall outside the scope of racial justice and equity issues.
Goodyear’s response lays bare the obvious political games America’s corporations (as well as schools and sports) are playing with semantics. What are “racial justice” and “equity issues” if not political? This obfuscating language is simply a way to deem some forms of political speech more legitimate than others, and is a tactic that’s being employed by many across America. While you may agree with the goal of equity and justice for all, you may choose to express this by believing All Lives Matter.
But this is not acceptable according to the gradians of today’s woke culture, a network of openly partisan gatekeepers who get to define terms and language (the way Robin DiAngelo has redefined “whiteness” to mean inherent racism), and who not only control which politics are deemed acceptable, but what even qualifies as “politics” at all; the political agenda underlying BLM is so deep, partisan, and well-funded, it’s ludicrous to suggest this organization/slogan is not political.
Mascaraing under the guise of “equity” and “racial justice” is the latest tactic to silence opposing political points of view while keeping other political agendas front and center. Chloe Clark, an English professor at Iowa State University, was forced to correct her syllabus after informing her students that they could not submit work that opposes Black Lives Matter, abortion, and other social issues. Although the university said in a statement that the syllabus “was inconsistent with the university’s standards and its commitment to the First Amendment rights of students,” the fact that Clark felt she could openly censor free speech in such a manner is a cause for concern.
Earlier this summer Starbucks, in an effort to keep their image clean and stay out of the muck of political controversy, issued a policy that barred employees from engaging in political speech at work. The company explicitly stated that BLM attire was prohibited under its dress code policy, which did not allow for any kind of political expression to be worn, because it could incite violence, controversy, or unrest. Interestingly, this policy only lasted several days before the political might of BLM forced Starbucks to reverse its decision and announce its support of Black Lives Matter; all other forms of political expression, such as All Lives Matter, Blue Lives Matter, or Unborn Lives Matter, are still banned.
The NBA is perhaps the highest profile supporter of BLM, and one of the biggest censors of free speech it doesn’t agree with. The league has not only painted Black Lives Matter on their Orlando court, but also allows for players to wear the name of the activist organization on the backs of their jerseys as well, along with over a dozen approved so-called “social justice” slogans; these slogans all fall within the narrow window of perceived equity and racial justice, and the phrases All Lives Matter, Blue Lives Matter, and Unborn Lives Matter are prohibited.
The phrase Free Hong Kong is also banned. In an effort to bring awareness to the human rights atrocities being committed by the Chinese government against Hong Kong protesters in October of 2019 (such as police clubbing demonstrators and shooting teenage protesters), Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey tweeted support for pro-democracy demonstrators. The tweet tarnished the NBA’s extremely lucrative relationship with China, so Morey became an instant outcast.
Lebron James, at an effort at damage control, stated that Morey was “misinformed” or “not really educated,” suggesting that the clubbing and shooting of Hong Kong protesters by the Chinese police (and the fact that the Chinese Communist Party has arbitrarily detained between 1 million and 3 million Uighurs in so-called “reeducation centers” and forced them to undergo psychological indoctrination programs), was some kind of misunderstanding. Incredibly, when NBA fans tried to side with Hong Kong protesters and design “Free Hong Kong” NBA jerseys on-line, the NBA first blocked — then completely disabled — the personalized apparel option on its website.
The polarizing, agenda-driven BLM movement still has a home on NBA courts and player jerseys, however. But this kind of selective political censorship doesn’t sit well with everyone. Former NFL all-pro defensive end Marcellus Wiley, who is African American, said he thought the NBA painting “Black Lives Matter” on the court was a bad idea. He stated on the FOX Sports 1 show:
There’s a problem with when you start to go down this road of the freedom of expression, freedom of speech, and how much social space is allowed for those who don’t support in that same space, and that’s where I wonder where this is going to go in terms of identity politics. We know what identity politics does: it divides and it polarizes.
Wiley also highlighted concerns over Black Lives Matter’s mission statement, whose goal is to “dismantle the patriarchy” and “disrupt the Western prescribed nuclear family structure requirement.” Wiley explained many people have not taken time to read or understand BLM saying, “I don’t know how many people really look into the mission statement of Black Lives Matter, but I did, and when you look at it, there’s a couple things that jump out to me.”
According to The Federalist:
Wiley went on to explain why BLM is detrimental to Black families and personal success. He said that growing up, he observed friends who didn’t have intact family structures and they “found themselves outside of their dreams and goals and aspirations.” Wiley cited data backing up his observations about children raised in a single-parent home: “[They] are 5 times more likely to commit suicide, 6 times more likely to be in poverty, 9 times more likely to drop out of high school, 10 times more likely to abuse chemical substances, 14 times more likely to commit rape, 20 times more likely to end up in prison, 32 times more likely to run away from home.”
These facts brought up by Wiley don’t seem to concern the NBA, or the NEA, for that matter; the National Education Association, the largest teachers union in America, has officially embraced the BLM movement, promoting BLM’s goals and mission statements in official BLM curriculum.
The ultimate issue, however, is not the agenda of BLM, but the limiting of free speech. Either ban all political slogans or provide an honest forum open to all perspectives. Doing otherwise is dishonest and un-American, and a violation of the First Amendment.
by Christopher Paslay
Surveys show that many teachers see their unions as too leftist.
America needs organized labor, especially when it comes to our country’s educators. For decades, teachers (most of whom were women with no political rights) were offered low pay and had no control over their working conditions or the direction of their profession.
In 1857, forty-three educators came together in Philadelphia to change all of that. Forming what would become the National Education Association (NEA), the new union focused on raising teacher salaries, reforming child labor laws, and educating emancipated slaves.
A half-century later, a sixth-grade schoolteacher from Chicago named Margaret Haley came along. Frustrated by her low wage and the treatment she was receiving from her principal, Haley joined a group of elementary schoolteachers from Chicago in 1916 and went on to form the American Federation of Teachers, whose goal was to unify educators across the country.
Throughout the 20thCentury, the NEA and AFT would go on to fight for the rights of teachers, women, and minorities—not only revolutionizing the education profession by securing fair wages and safe working conditions—but also helping to bring equality to America’s marginalized groups along the way.
But in 2018, America’s two biggest teachers’ unions find themselves in a challenging situation. According to Kate Walsh, president of the National Council on Teacher Quality, a nonprofit, nonpartisan research and policy organization, teachers’ unions may be losing power. She writes:
Make no bones about it. Teachers unions are reeling from a game-changing decision from the U.S. Supreme Court. . . . The public may not have much noticed, but unions feel they are standing at a precipice, not at all certain they can maintain the power they’re long accustomed to wielding.
After the high court sided with Janus in Janus vs. AFSCME, public-sector workers will no longer be required to contribute to their unions, something nearly half of all states — including Minnesota — require regardless of whether teachers choose to belong to the union. The nation’s largest union, the National Education Association (NEA), having just held its annual convention in Minneapolis, expects to be hard hit. It’s anyone’s best guess how many of the 78,000 active teachers who currently contribute to the Education Minnesota union will opt out in the years ahead, but the initial hit will almost certainly include some 7,000 teachers who have already registered their discontent over having been forced to contribute.
Internal documents from the NEA predict the union could lose up to 300,000 members nationwide. The AFT, which has 15 of its 22 largest state affiliates in former agency-fee states, will be affected even more by Janus.
So why are teachers’ unions having such an issue with dues and membership? Union officials will undoubtedly point the finger at the Janus ruling, but this is by no means an adequate answer. The recent Supreme Court decision doesn’t bar educators from joining unions or paying dues, it simply gives them a choice. The real question that must be addressed is this: Why, if given the choice of joining a union and paying dues, are so many teachers opting out?
One major reason, other than simple finances, is that teachers’ unions have become far too political as of late. More specifically, they’ve veered too far left. According to Walsh, independent surveys consistently report that only half of all teachers see their union as “essential” and that many see “political activity as too leftist.”
Incredibly, only half of all teachers voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016. This is quite concerning, given the fact that the NEA and AFT combined to donate $33 million to political campaigns in 2016—over 93 percent to Democrats. But the fact that the Democrats lost the Presidency in 2016 (and over 1,000 total seats, including the House and the Senate, during the Obama years), doesn’t seem to register with union officials. Instead of taking stock of the diverse political affiliations and interests of their members, the NEA and AFT have done the complete opposite: they’ve doubled-down on their polarizing agendas, becoming even more political and even more leftist than ever before.
At the NEA’s annual convention in Minneapolis early this month, the union presented former San Francisco 49er quarterback Colin Kaepernick with their highest honor—the NEA’s President’s Award. Perhaps awarding Kaepernick, a man whom many see as disrespectful to law enforcement and the military, wasn’t the best choice when trying to increase union membership? That wasn’t the only thing that could be seen as polarizing by new teachers trying to decide if they want to become NEA members. According to the National Review:
The NEA adopted 122 total New Business Items, including commitments to promote the Black Lives Matter Week of Action (including supporting BLM’s demand that “ethnic studies be taught in pre-K-12 schools”), to support “a strategy postponing confirmation of a Supreme Court justice until after the mid-term election,” and to encourage teachers to assign readings that “describe and deconstruct the systemic proliferation of a White supremacy culture and its constituent elements of White privilege and institutional racism.” The NEA also promised to respond “in support of and in solidarity with immigrant families who are separated, incarcerated, or refused their legal right to request asylum due to the heartless, racist, and discriminatory zero-tolerance policies of the Trump administration.”
Basically, the NEA is saying screw you to any current or future member who supports the President, which is quite mind-boggling, being that nearly 63 million Americans voted for Trump in 2016—over 105,000 of them from Philadelphia alone.
The AFT went hard left as well. They unanimously endorsed a “public investment strategy for health care and education infrastructure,” which includes free tuition at all public colleges and universities, and “taxation of the rich to fully fund” a raft of education programs.
Again, doubling-down on a socialist agenda might not be the best approach when trying to court future dues-paying union members, especially if the AFT is interested in any political diversity whatsoever (which clearly they’re not).
Remember: The Janus decision merely provides America’s teachers with a choice: To join/pay dues, or not to join/pay dues. The fact that more and more teachers are opting for the latter might be a wakeup call to union officials to become a little more politically diverse, or at least soften some of their left-leaning political agendas.
If you’re thinking of joining BLM’s Action Week in Philadelphia, you should reconsider.
My name is Christopher Paslay, a 20-year veteran of the Philadelphia School District, and I’m officially skipping the Black Lives Matter “Week of Action” planned for Philadelphia public schools. For two decades I’ve been a dedicated English teacher, mentor, and coach, and have written hundreds of articles demanding respect, equality, and justice for our children, communities, and schools.
But I won’t be wearing a BLM button or t-shirt next week, or implementing any BLM curriculum in my English classes (even though I have an M.Ed. in Multicultural Education).
Here are 10 reasons why:
1. Students shouldn’t be shunned for supporting Trump or being Republican. Ironically, although “Diversity” is the first of BLM’s 13 “Guiding Principles,” which states they are committed to “acknowledging, respecting and celebrating differences and commonalities” which include race, religion, age, gender identity, sexual identity, economic status, and immigration status, nowhere in BLM’s 13 Guiding Principles do they acknowledge accepting differing political ideologies. In other words, it doesn’t appear that conservatives and/or Republicans are welcomed by this group.
Perhaps I’m misinterpreting BLM’s website and mission, and if I am, I apologize. However, after reading BLM’s calendar of events for their planned “Week of Action” in Philadelphia, it becomes quite clear that they have no tolerance for political diversity.
In a “kick off event” titled “Courage for Racial Justice in the Era of Trump,” which was scheduled for Friday, January 13, BLM’s discrimination is quite clear. The event description reads, In this time of mass incarceration, mass deportation, anti-Muslim sentiment, profound economic inequality, and the election of Trump, all of our social justice movements are coming together to build powerful resistance to the death culture. Additionally, people of all backgrounds are becoming active for the first time and looking for direction, as many are horrified by what the election of Trump means for our country.
The death culture? Strong words. So it’s obvious this “Week of Action” does not include any Philadelphia teacher, student, parent, or community member that voted for or supports Trump. This is quite interesting, because 105,418 people voted for Trump in the City of Philadelphia. 105,418. And apparently none of these Philadelphians are being made to feel welcome.
2. Students shouldn’t be taught to obsess over race, religion, gender, and sexuality. Sure, teens must be taught not to discriminate (consciously or unconsciously), but BLM’s fixation on race, religion, gender and sexuality is excessive and counterproductive. Teens should be taught to see people as people, and judge them by their character—not by their gender, skin color, etc. Viewing the world through the lens of various isms is unnatural and unhealthy.
For example, the BLM curriculum for Wednesday, 1/25, deals with the themes of “Queer Affirming” and “Trans Affirming,” and aims to teach teens to free themselves “from the tight grip of heteronormative thinking,” and to combat “trans-antagonistic violence.” Seriously? Instead of allowing our teens to naturally interact with one another and develop relationships organically, we’re going to burden them with such intellectual concepts as trans-antagonistic violence?
3. Students don’t need more lessons in rebellion and resistance. One of the central tactics of BLM is resistance and civil disobedience, as is documented by their disruptive (and sometimes destructive) past. Although there is value in learning about political activism, Philadelphia youth should master the skills of teamwork and collaboration before being exposed to the thrills of shutting down a highway via a protest rally or march. Interestingly, BLM’s city-wide MLK march scheduled for Monday, 1/16, calls for a day of “action” and “resistance”.
4. Students shouldn’t be taught to oppose Two-parent families. One of BLM’s 13 Guiding Principles, titled “Black Villages,” states, We are committed to disrupting the Western-prescribed nuclear family structure requirement by supporting each other as extended families and “villages” that collectively care for one another, and especially “our” children to the degree that mothers, parents and children are comfortable.
Why would BLM want to commit to disrupting the nuclear family when 40 years of educational research proves that children raised in two-parent families have higher academic achievement, better emotional health, and fewer behavioral problems than children born out of wedlock or raised “collectively” in alternative situations? I’m not sure. All I know is that BLM’s curriculum for Thursday, 1/26, addresses their “Black Village” theme which indeed calls for the disruption of nuclear families.
5. Students shouldn’t be taught to demonize those with opposing views. It’s clear that the 105,418 people who voted for Trump in Philadelphia are not accepted by BLM (or by the Caucus of Working Educators, who are co-hosting the “Week of Action”). The same goes for any Philadelphia teacher, student, parent, or community member who voted for Trump or supports him for any number of reasons. But it’s not enough that these Trump supporters and/or Republicans are rejected and ostracized, no; the various policies that they believe in and voted for must be defined as hateful.
“Join us in the necessary work to oppose policies based in hate,” states the itinerary for BLM’s city-wide MLK Day march.
6. Students shouldn’t be taught to glorify repressive dictators who violate humans rights. It’s no secret BLM glorifies Fidel Castro. According to Human Rights Watch, “During Castro’s rule, thousands of Cubans were incarcerated in abysmal prisons, thousands more were harassed and intimidated, and entire generations were denied basic political freedoms. . . . Many of the abusive tactics developed during his time in power – including surveillance, beatings, arbitrary detention, and public acts of repudiation – are still used by the Cuban government.”
What does BLM say about Castro’s recent death? “We are feeling many things as we awaken to a world without Fidel Castro. There is an overwhelming sense of loss, complicated by fear and anxiety. Although no leader is without their flaws, we must push back against the rhetoric of the right and come to the defense of El Comandante,” BLM posted on the internet after his death.
7. Students shouldn’t be taught to value some black lives more than others. BLM’s selective morality is troubling. What are our youth to think when young black lives are taken on a daily basis—mostly by other young black people—and BLM remains silent? When Philly youth die at the hands of gangbangers or drug dealers, and BLM are nowhere to be found? No marches. No rallies. No nothing. Day in, and day out. What are our students to think? That these black lives don’t count? In 2015 alone, nearly 6,000 blacks were killed by other blacks in the United States, and BLM didn’t say a word.
8. Students shouldn’t be taught by a group that was built and perpetuated on false narratives. BLM came to national attention when Michael Brown was reportedly shot and killed in cold blood—kneeling on the ground with his hands up—by Officer Darren Wilson in Ferguson, Missouri. I say reportedly because after the case was properly investigated, it was discovered that Brown was actually shot after punching Wilson in the face, and trying to take his gun. The Washington Post called the “hands up, don’t shoot” meme one of the biggest lies of 2015.
Another false narrative is the Trayvon Martin killing. After an investigation at the local, state, and federal level—and after U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder did all he could to nail Zimmerman on Civil Rights violations—it was discovered that George Zimmerman indeed shot Martin in self-defense . . . after, according to multiple witnesses, Martin knocked Zimmerman to the ground and was pounding his head on the cement. This doesn’t stop BLM from still propagating the myth that Martin was killed in cold blood by an angry white racist, who, by the way, isn’t white but Hispanic. According to the Caucus of Working Educators website which is promoting BLM’s Week of Action, “In 2012, Trayvon Martin was gunned down by George Zimmerman and the victim was posthumously placed on trial for his own murder.”
9. Students shouldn’t be taught by a group that celebrates JoAnn Chesimard, a convicted cop killer. Black Lives Matter co-founders Patrisse Cullors and Opal Tometi publically praise convicted cop killer JoAnn Chesimard, a.k.a. Assata Shakur, who is currently living in exile in Cuba and wanted by the FBI for the murder of a New Jersey state trooper. Words from a letter Shakur wrote, titled “To My People,” have been recited at BLM meetings. Mumia Abu Jamal, H. Rap Brown, and George and Jonathan Jackson are also convicted cop killers that BLM activists have praised.
10. Students shouldn’t be used as political pawns. What is BLM’s “Week of Action” really about? Growing their organization by indoctrinating our city’s children with their “social justice” curriculum. Curriculum which, at the time of this writing, still doesn’t exist. I’ve looked for it on the internet far and wide—I’ve even clicked on the links provided by the Caucus of Working Educators—but it’s not there.
Perhaps it will be posted soon, so educators have adequate time to vet it. Either way, I won’t be teaching it. Nor will I be wearing the BLM buttons or shirts. I’m going to pass on BLM’s “Action Week,” and if I were a parent of a Philadelphia school student, I’d demand that my child’s teachers and principals pass on it, too.