It has never been at the top of my radar screen, but from time to time I will address ongoing indoctrination efforts at government-subsidized schools (and colleges) in South Carolina. And the broader context behind these indoctrination efforts.
It is simple: When it comes to education, we need to teach our future generations to read, write, add, subtract, multiply and divide … but we do not need to teach them to be divisive. Once students have mastered the basics – assuming they can – we should begin teaching them multiple historical perspectives (while encouraging them to undertake critical assessments all of views).
You know, independent thought. (Perish the notion).
These are my views when it comes to schools which receive government funding, by the way. When it comes to private schools, I believe they can teach whatever the hell they want – including divisive curriculum like critical race theory.
Critical race theory, for those of you uninitiated, maintains that present and future racism against white people is acceptable in light of racism perpetrated against black people in the past. In other words, it holds that two wrongs make a right.
“The only remedy to racist discrimination is antiracist discrimination,” critical race theory scholar Ibram X. Kendi has written. “The only remedy to past discrimination is present discrimination. The only remedy to present discrimination is future discrimination.”
I will return to this distinctly Hammurabian concept in a moment …
Critical race theory is currently outlawed in South Carolina – at least when it comes to state funding. In the final version of the fiscal year 2021-2022 South Carolina budget, a proviso approved by state lawmakers stipulates that no state tax dollars can be spent on instruction which holds that “an individual, by virtue of his race or sex, is inherently racist, sexist or oppressive, whether consciously or unconsciously.” This proviso also expressly forbids the subsidization of teaching materials which make people “feel guilt, anguish or any other form of psychological distress on account of (their) race or sex.”
Again, though, private schools are able to do whatever they want … which is exactly as it should be.
They are accountable only to the marketplace …
“This is where we establish ground rules,” she said in a video obtained by the website The Post Millennial.
One of those ground rules? “No snitching …”
(Click to view)
(Via: The Post Millennial)
“What’s said in this class, stays in this class,” Revels-Davis (above) said in announcing the launch of her social justice curriculum.
I am curious, though … what do parents think of this rule?
Shouldn’t parents and guardians be aware of what their children are being taught?
Revels-Davis’ maxim of classroom secrecy is actually not from Fight Club (or from any Las Vegas promotional literature). Instead, it is a variation of one of the so-called “rules of the neighborhood” – which are taken from a book entitled Long Way Down by author Jason Reynolds.
Those rules are as follows …
- Crying. Don’t. No matter what.
- Snitching. Don’t. No matter what.
- Revenge. Do. No matter what.
While seemingly supportive of the notion of an “eye for an eye” – or in this case a “life for a life” – Reynolds’ book is actually a pretty innovative, sophisticated treatment on the efficacy of revenge, chronicling a young black teenager’s struggle over whether he should avenge the gang-related murder of his older brother.
Reynolds’ book (spoiler alert) never reveals how his protagonist chose to address this elemental dilemma … but the book is generally interpreted as compelling argument against reflexively indulging a cycle of revenge-based violence.
“There’s a code of conduct, and what those rules are is number one, no crying, number two, no snitching, and number three, always seek revenge,” the author told NPR when his book was published back in 2017.
Of course, Reynolds – who experienced a similar tragedy in his own life – noted that his career as a successful author came about because he declined to indulge the cycle. In other words, he broke “the rules.”
“I’m grateful that we didn’t do the thing that we thought we were going to do,” he said.
As for Revels-Davis, though, is she glorifying the notion of revenge? Or is she encouraging her students to break “the rules” – and, in turn, break the cycle of violence.
I do not know …
More importantly, the parents/ guardians of Revels-Davis’ students will never know given the gag order she has imposed on her classroom.
Ultimately, schools which do not receive taxpayer money should be (and are) free to teach pretty much anything they want. They are also free to impose whatever “ground rules” they deem appropriate in governing the conduct of students in their classrooms. But unlike the public system, these methods are always going to be accountable to the marketplace – and I have a hard time believing any academic environment which stipulates secrecy in its curriculum is likely to encounter long-term success from parents and guardians footing the bill.
Unless these parents and guardians are willing to completely surrender their role in the upbringing of their children …
ABOUT THE AUTHOR …
Will Folks is the founding editor of the news outlet you are currently reading. Prior to founding FITSNews, he served as press secretary to the governor of South Carolina and before that he was a bass player and a dive bar bouncer. He lives in the Midlands region of the state with his wife and seven children. And yes, he has LOTS of hats (including the above-pictured Carolina Mudcats’ lid).
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