To the Editor:

Conservatives claim that government schools are in the tank for “progressivism” and that “progressive educators” lie when they claim to value diversity. There is no better evidence for those claims than the upcoming “All-School Seminar Day 2017” on Feb. 28 at New Trier High School (both campuses), which serves the affluent communities of Northfield and Winnetka.

A perusal of the list of workshops being offered at this mandatory event reveals a leftist dream for “education.” No need to travel to the next White Privilege Conference. New Trier parents can just send their kids to school for a smorgasbord of ideologically non-diverse seminars on “Understanding Today’s Struggle for Racial Civil Rights.”

Esteemed Chicago attorney Joseph Morris describes the seminar as “a rather bold and raw effort at hard-left propaganda with decidedly anti-American, anti-free-market, anti-family, anti-parent, and bigoted biases on display.”

In our quixotic quest for the holy grail of education–ideological diversity–let’s meander about the day’s agenda to learn about some of the workshops and speakers.

Seminars/workshops:

- “Whose Civil Rights?: Transpeople of Color Navigating the U.S.”: “Civil rights are social and political freedoms that everyone in our society is supposed to have access to; however, because of socialization, bias, and discrimination, many trans people (particularly trans people of color) do not have access to these freedoms. In this session, we will explore the current cultural climate that enforces a gender binary and, therefore, forecloses civil rights for many trans people. We will examine how trans people are challenging and changing these systems.”

- “21st Century Voter Supression” [sic]: “A group discussion about the methods and regulations used in the US to deny or limit the voting rights of various minority groups…..The main emphasis of the workshop will be how to recognize, identify, and combat modern voter suppression tactics. Attendees should come out with a few concrete plans or ideas to help address the problem moving forward.”

- “Blackenomics 101 (The Movement, The Music, The Solution)”: “Rapper, entrepreneur, and activist, John the Author explores systemic racism in relation to building a black business and artist presence in minority communities.”

 I wonder what New Trier students will learn from little-known Chicago rapper who penned this little ditty about economics (my apologies to Mr. Author for any translation errors):

CHORUS:

Blackenomics nigga (repeat 8x)

Black beat black, nigga

Black beat black, suga

Black heat black, nigga

Take a back seat back nigga

Not graduate from back

Give back, nigga,

Tell them get back, nigga

Blackenomics nigga (repeat 8x)

Black beat black, nigga

Black eat black, suga

Black heat black, nigga

Take a back seat back nigga

Not graduate from back

Give back, nigga,

Tell them get back, nigga

VERSE 1:

I seek to restore

That’s why I opened the store

That’s why I seek to rebuild

‘Cause I know they seek to destroy

So when they look to the hills,

That’s when I look to the Lord

And when he tell me to kill

That’s when I reach for my sword

Die motherf*cker die

I’m surprised that you’re still alive

I heard you sold your soul a long time ago, but not I nigga, not I

I’m a freedom fighter

Need a lighter—no need cause I’m streakin’ fire, you can buy it from me

All the lyin’ eye of tiger (?) I ain’t lyin’, come to my side you can try it for free

Savor the taste, cause too much can endanger your taste buds

Hope you niggas know what is and what ain’t love

Cause if you don’t, then you can f*ck around and make love

I’m from a city where we had a black mayor but they took his ass

The public school system wasn’t built to last

No equal opportunity or (?) to land on

The only way we stand a motherf****** chance is if we break (?)

CHORUS

VERSE 2:

Blackenomics, that’s the logic, that’s the target

That was not a threat at all, that’s a promise

It’s apparent if you feel it, you will flourish

If you don’t you will perish, incoherent

Lost souls—you lost souls when you crossed over,

Trying to pass like a gallstone

Raised from the foster home

Niggas lost hope when the walls broke

They crucify me, but the cross broke

Heavy is the head that wear the crown

I don’t wanna be king, but I’m the only one ready for it now

Cause all these other niggas selling out

Individualism is all these mothersf*ckers yelling about

Divide and conquer, white supremacy the silent monster

I see you sneaking in the corner trying to have some karma

We ain’t looking to know your honor

No your honor we (?) problem

The resolution is an economic revolution

All in the name of retribution, you ready? Let’s do it

They integrated then infiltrated through immigration

The richest folk in our neighborhood ain’t even our neighbors

They take the dollar back across town, don’t you dare tell me to calm down

(?) mister doghouse

We want it all now, it’s time to push ‘em all out—I’m ready to start now

If this is what passes for education in one of Illinois’ best public high schools, imagine what kind of education our poorest performing schools offer.

- “R.E.A.L.: Race, Equity, and Leadership – A Unique Course for High School Students”: Students will “Experience a snapshot of a unique high school course that is grounded in the Courageous Conversations Protocol. The “Courageous Conversations” protocol was developed by skillful race-baiter Glenn Singleton who exploits public schools to advance Leftist assumptions about how to think about race. I first encountered Singleton and his Pacific Educational Group when I worked at Deerfield High School, where seven one-day visits to District 113 to teach faculty and staff about their institutional racism and “whiteness” cost almost $100,000.

-“Not a Day Has Passed”: Students will watch a slide show based on an article by Lee Mun Wah. According to his bio, Mun Wah is among other things “an…Asian folkteller, educator, community therapist and master diversity trainer.” I first learned of Lee Mun Wah’s “Stir Fry Seminars” when one of Deerfield High School’s premier “change agents,” Daniel Cohen, became a disciple of Mun Wah. Cohen, now an English teacher at Oak Park and River Forest High school, is listed as Stir Fry Seminar “facilitator-intern”:

As a white man dedicated to anti-racist, anti-sexist work, Daniel works to recognize his own assumptions and biases….Daniel has come to realize that he carries his whiteness, his maleness and his heterosexuality with him everywhere.

How dare he. Surely Cohen has learned from the left that he can dump his maleness like a hot potato. And if he can do that, it should be easy-peasy to shed that politically-incorrect whiteness and heterosexuality that mark him indelibly as an oppressor.

- “A People’s History of Chicago”: “In the tradition of Howard Zinn, A People’s History of Chicago is a poetic, progressive history that celebrates this great American city from the perspective of those on the margins whose stories are not often told.” For those who are unfamiliar with Howard Zinn, he was a far left historical revisionist who wrote The People’s History of the United States, which is used in many high school social studies classes. Eminent economist Thomas Sowell said this about Zinn’s pseudo-history book:

It speaks volumes about our schools and colleges that far-left radical Howard Zinn’s pretentiously titled book, “A People’s History of the United States,” is widely used across the country. It is one indictment, complaint, and distortion after another. Anyone who relies on this twisted version of American history would have no idea why millions of people from around the world are trying, sometimes desperately, to move to this country. The one virtue of Zinn’s book is that it helps you identify unmistakably which teachers are using their classrooms as propaganda centers.

- “Western Bias in Science”: “Newton, Darwin, Curie…Can you think of a nonEuropean [sic] or non-American scientist in history? Come examine the western bias in science education, its sources and its implications, in this interactive workshop.”If the theme of the all-day seminar is race, why would all European and American scientists be excluded? Don’t students learn about African American scientists George Washington Carver and Mae Jemison?Moreover, by the end of high school, how many scientists have students learned about in depth? 12? 16? 20? Here’s a question for those rummaging for racism: How many of the 20 most influential scientific discoveries or theories in over 2,000 years of history were the accomplishments of non-European and non-American scientists? And let’s not forget that America and Europe together cover vast geographic territories and include wildly diverse cultures and ethnicities over this time period. Many important American and European scientists are also excluded from the short list of scientists about whom students learn.

- “Developing Empathy & Acceptance by Reading Picture Books to Children”: “Come to the Northfield Library and read picture books to a group of children (ages 3-5). The picture books will focus on themes of embracing diversity…and social justice. Students will lead activities related to the books with the young children.” One wonders what picture books students will be reading to toddlers and who chose them? What forms of “diversity” will be depicted in these picture books?

Speakers:

Andrew Aydin is the keynote speaker at the Northfield campus. Aydin is a policy advisor to liberal congressman John Lewis. Aydin has contributed to the ethically impoverished Southern Poverty Law Center and the dystopian feminist comic book Bitch Planet.

Monica Trinidad “will share her organizing work with We Charge Genocide….She will then lead a hands-on workshop that will guide participants through a discussion of the Black Lives Matter movement today.” Trinidad “is a queer, latinx artist and organizer born and raised on the southeast side of Chicago.” The word “Latinx” was invented by those who detest “gendered” anything, including language. The goal is to “move beyond gender binaries….Latinx…makes room for people who are trans, queer, agender, non-binary, gender non-conforming or gender fluid.”

OiYan A. Poon: “Dr. Poon challenges students to critically analyze systems of higher education, student affairs practices, and to understand their power to transform oppressive structures as social justice change agents…. she received….a 2013 National Distinguished Educator award from the Pacific Education Group’s Courageous Conversations Summit.” An award from the Pacific Education Group is confirmation that Poon is a leftist.

Suggestions for ideological diversity on race

The Winnetka campus is offering a seminar on “Mass Incarceration: Race and Prison in America.” Perhaps in the interest of ideological diversity, seminar organizers could have students read Manhattan Institute scholar Heather MacDonald’s testimony before the United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary titled “The Myth of Criminal Justice Racism.”

In the workshop on black economics, students might be better served by reading some essays by black economist and Stanford University’s Hoover Institution scholar Thomas Sowell.

New Trier could invite Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s niece Dr. Alveda King to talk about the “black genocide”: the disproportionate number of black babies being aborted relative to the number of blacks in the population.

Seminar organizers could have students read or listen to and discuss an interview with black author Shelby Steele on “The Future of Race in America.” Steele asserts that fatherless families and the use of “victimization as a rationalization” are the chief causes of the plight of blacks in America.

Perhaps New Trier could offer students the opportunity to listen to a presentation by author and member of the Wall Street Journal editorial board Jason Riley, who happens to be black, in which he discusses his book Please Stop Helping Us: How Liberals Make it Harder for Blacks to Succeed.

I can almost see the scornful scowls on the faces of the organizers of New Trier’s All-School Seminar Day at the thought of exposing students to assumptions about race with which they—“progressive” dogmatists—disagree.

What can parents do?

- New Trier parents could file a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request seeking all documents including electronic communication that mentions “All-School Seminar Day,” “civil rights,” “race,” “racism,” “systematic racism,” “institutional racism,” “bias,” and “microaggression.” Those are broad terms, but they can limit the time frame that their request covers to, for example, Feb. 1, 2016-Jan. 9, 2017. This would help them know who the propagandists organizers are. Leftist teachers depend on their anonymity, autonomy, and absence of accountability to exploit their positions and taxpayer money to proselytize and propagandize.

- New Trier parents could call their children out of school on All-School Indoctrination Day. They could call them out for “personal reasons,” or tell the school administration and board members exactly why they’re calling them out. No school administration wants to risk the bad PR that would result if they tried to take disciplinary action against students for their absence, and no teacher wants to risk the bad PR and wrath of parents if he or she tried to dock a student’s grade for their failure to attend an indoctrination day.

- Parents could ask for the total cost to the district of holding this event, including speakers’ fees (and flights and per diem if speakers have come from out of state), cost of materials, and cost of any substitute teachers that may be needed.

- Parents could attend the next school board meeting to criticize (winsomely, of course) the absence of ideological diversity on these topics, which violates the most basic pedagogical obligations of a sound education. School administrators and faculty often respond to parents who challenge obvious bias and viewpoint discrimination by saying that students are free to express dissenting views, but that’s a red herring. The central issue is not whether students are free to express dissenting views. The central issue is whether all students should have their views challenged by the voices of experts or just conservative students. Should all students have the opportunity to have their views reinforced through reading and hearing the voices of experts or is that opportunity reserved just for “progressive” students?

- Parents should request that another “All-School Seminar Day” be offered with equal number of opportunities in which dissenting views (i.e., conservative views) on matters related to race (or gender dysphoria) are presented. If the school administration refuses, they should be asked to defend their refusal. Conservatives are always on the defensive. It’s long past time that we use the hypocrisy, intellectual inconsistency, and rhetoric of “progressives” to put them on the defensive.

It should be obvious that it’s not ideological diversity that we find in government schools today. It’s ideological incest committed by leftists. And the kind of de facto censorship of conservative ideas that is corrupting New Trier’s All-School Seminar Day is what transmogrifies education into indoctrination.

Laurie Higgins

Tinley Park

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New Trier Township High School
7 Happ Rd
Northfield, IL - 60093

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