#DisruptTexts, Absentee Ballots, Accreditation, Antiracist Baby, Atticus Finch, Cairn University, Chalkboard Review, Council on Social Work Education, Critical Race Theory, Election Integrity, George Soros, Hayden Ludwig, Intersectionality, Jack Dorsey, LGBTQIA Activism, Mark Zuckerberg, Silicon Valley Community Foundation, To Kill a Mockingbird, Tom Knighton, Tom Steyer, Tony Kinnett, Woke Activism, Woke Middlemen
Not long ago I wrote about the “woke middlemen” who are corrupting our institutions, especially education. A few related and disturbing stories have come to my attention since then, upon which I’ll elaborate below.
Lefty School Books
One of these stories has to do with the most obvious of educational middlemen: book publishers. Some of them have joined forces with the #DisruptTexts movement among leftist teachers, helping it to gain headway. These teachers are eliminating great literature from the curriculum on the thin pretext that those books are “too white” or involve “white saviors”, like Atticus Finch of “To Kill a Mockingbird”. The publishers are only too happy to help, offering Zoom seminars on teaching “anti-bias literacy” for a fee and selling new texts for the classroom and guidebooks for teachers that promise to help them make the transition to a curriculum focusing on “advocacy”. That includes a fat dollop of “LGBTQIA” advocacy. One example:
“… replacing ‘The Great Gatsby’ with ‘Juliet Takes a Breath’–a book about a ‘queer Latinx woman’ interning under a feminist writer in Portland.”
Tony Kinnett, co-founder of The Chalkboard Review, is quoted extensively at the link above. He says:
“Take all the racial stuff and set it aside. The Western canon is just objectively better literature. It is a higher form of language. It requires you to think. The plots aren’t spoon-fed to you. The moral of the story isn’t so black and white that it’s like watching a PBS after-school special. … In the #DisruptTexts movement, the big thing you’re going to see is ‘Culturally Relevant Pedagogy’, which is, at best, a pandering concept, and at worst, a horribly racist concept”
This is not confined to middle or high school. The idea is to inculcate “woke activism” from K-12 and beyond. To put it bluntly, the #DisruptTexts crowd promotes activist dumb-assery to our children to the exclusion of traditional lessons and the great writers of the past.
As Tom Knighton warns, the effort to get critical race theory (CRT) into schools is sometimes made with a cunning, as if designed to escape parents’ attention. It might be called by names other than CRT, but it is a danger to your child’s education and well being.
Not on Our Backs
Better news came in a recent article about a college that thumbed its nose at an accrediting association by simply eliminating a social work program, rather than complying with requirements that compromised the school’s values. Cairn University, a Christian school near Philadelphia, rejected the demands for accreditation by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). Accreditors like CSWE are middlemen organizations that sometimes attempt to leverage educational institutions as tools for advocacy. A statement from Cairn explained that the CSWE standards are objectionable because they embody:
“… a set of critical theory and intersectionality assumptions and values inconsistent with our biblical view of humanity, human nature, and the world.”
In May, the CSWE claimed that Cairn’s president was exaggerating the changes in the Council’s requirements, and noted that it was aware of efforts in various states to limit education in “racism, diversity, and equity”. Apparently, Cairn’s response was SO WHAT? The new standards are what they are, as noted at the link above. Good for Cairn U!
Finally, I previously overlooked another obvious set of “woke middlemen”: the charitable establishment, which often serves to promote and fund leftist causes, including election activism. The article at the link, by Hayden Ludwig, focuses primarily on the Silicon Valley Community Foundation (SVCF), which he describes as a 501(c)(3) “pass-through” philanthropy. It is funded by still other donor-funded vehicles and supported by such Big Tech luminaries as Mark Zuckerberg and Jack Dorsey, among others. And to whom does SVCF “pass” these tax-privileged funds? According to Ludwig, some of the recipient organizations are local universities and arts organizations. However, billions of dollars have been awarded to the likes of the following left-wing nonprofits:
- Voter Participation Center (nationwide pre-filled absentee ballot applications)
- Center for Voter Information (same)
- Voter Registration Project, which in turn funds:
- State Voices
- New Florida Majority
- Florida Immigrant Coalition
- Georgia Coalition for the People’s Agenda
- Blueprint North Carolina
- Mi Familia Vota
- Texas Organizing Project (BLM)
- National Redistricting Foundation (Eric Holder)
Political Dark Money
Other Leftist Political Grants
- Clinton Foundation
- Barack Obama Foundation
- Southern Poverty Law Center
- Forward Justice
- Color of Change Education Fund
- Food & Water Watch
- Vera Institute of Justice
- Human Rights Watch
- ACLU Foundation
Ludwig rightly warns about the potential that large donors can alter election results by providing funds to activist organizations like these, quite apart from the pernicious leftist influence of their social media, news, or other business organizations:
“Those are just the seven-figure grants from a single year, from a single organization. The left has dozens of mega-funders just like it, feeding hundreds of activist groups. Can the right boast the same? In my experience, the answer is a resounding ‘no.’ … Too few realize that the professional left in this country is the best-funded, most well-coordinated political machine in the world, thanks to its weaponization of America’s generous nonprofit sector.”
These days, leftist mega-donors like George Soros and Tom Steyer are even helping to field “fake-Rs” in Republican primaries in districts that Dems could never win. Fortunately, they haven’t prevailed … yet!
The kinds of “woke middlemen” I’ve discussed here and previously are too easy to overlook, often flying “under the radar” of both libertarians and conservatives. Unfortunately, they are highly effective and extremely dangerous to the education of our children and the information available to potential voters. They are a threat to our election process, and ultimately to all of our political institutions, not to mention individual freedom. Our republic’s saving grace is that the people often recognize when elites are pushing bad ideas or trying to gaslight them. But ultimately, the fight to preserve election integrity, educational balance, free speech, and individual rights is likely to require greater firepower.