Political correctness in the fourth grade...
Barry Rubin reports on the latest in the fourth grade...
First came the reading list of four books: one about an African-American, one on an Asian- or Hispanic-American, one on a Native American, and one--amazingly enough--a free choice.Every parent I know has horror stories about what goes on in the classroom today.
Then came the first book read in class on an African-American runner.
By the way, it should be understood that all these readings are not about a group of youngsters from all races, religions, and creeds, playing together while getting along but rather a focus on minorities in isolation rather than as part of the whole big society.
And next came the second book read in class, portraying the “horrors” of Japanese internment in the United States during World War Two.
By this point, my 10-year-old son piped up that he thought internment was necessary as a war-time measure. Whether or not this position is "correct," it is certainly one that wasn't going to be made otherwise in that classroom.
The teacher gave my son’s remark, in conversation with my wife, as an indication that he was opinionated and didn’t listen to other views. Naturally, of course, precisely the same thing can be said of the teacher. Different views weren't permitted in the class. Indeed, when he gave another opinion the opinionated teacher shut him up fast. Remember that these students had never been presented with two points of view but only one, over and over again.
No commemoration of September 11 but three days on manmade global warming. Even if the latter is more likely true, no alternative point of view or reservations were expressed.
The teacher explained later to my wife that when she went to school she was taught that the Indians were “bad” but now she understands things from the Indians, I mean Native Americans, view point. When applied to history and international affairs, this is clearly the dominant orientation today: America is always in the wrong
But dimwitted guardians of our children don’t understand the most basic concept of democracy and free speech. If at one point, teaching portrayed Native Americans as “bad” and the U.S. government, cavalry, and white settlers as “good,” the best solution is not simply to reverse this and to teach that Native Americans are “good,” and the United States, cavalry, and white settlers were “bad.”