On one of the windows of a public Marin County middle school there was recently not a display of children’s work or announcements of school events. There was instead a poster issued by Black Lives Matter at School asking for a pledge of support for,
Restorative Justice. Transgender Affirming. Globalism. Collective Value. Queer Affirming. Unapologetically Black. Loving Engagement. Empathy. Intergenerational. Black Villages. Black Women. Black Families. Diversity.
One would have to wonder how a 12-year old might interpret this complex pledge. Parents, as well as taxpayers, might want to ask themselves how time spent discussing such concepts affect time available to learn skills like reading and math.
This Black Lives Matter at School poster falls comfortably under political propaganda. The objective of all propaganda is to convert as many hearts and minds as possible. Therefore, parents and taxpayers should know what they and their children are being recruited for.
The BLM at School website from which the poster in question can be procured makes quite clear what the group wants their recruits to support. As all attempts at winning hearts and minds, BLM at School principles contain both positive and dangerous objectives. And, as is often the case, positive messages of love and understanding do not pass muster when the more aggressive messages are explored. Here are samples from the BLM at School website.
It is our duty to fight for our freedom. It is our duty to win. We must love each other and support each other. We have nothing to lose but our chains. ~Assata Shakur
We are committed to collectively, lovingly, and courageously working vigorously for freedom and justice for Black people and, by extension, all people. As we forge our path, we intentionally build and nurture a beloved community that is bonded together through a beautiful struggle that is restorative, not depleting.
We are committed to fostering a queer‐affirming network. When we gather, we do so with the intention of freeing ourselves from the tight grip of heteronormative thinking or, rather, the belief that all in the world are heterosexual unless s/he or they disclose otherwise.
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.
The first objective quoted above might need clarification for those not familiar with Assata Shakur. Ms. Shakur, a former member of the Black Liberation Army, is presently residing in Cuba, where she received asylum following her escape from prison in 1984. Her crime was murder of a state trooper during a 1973 shootout. Her brother, Mutulu Shakur, also a member of the BLA is still incarcerated for his role in a 1981 Brinks armored truck robbery, in which two policemen (one, by the way, Black) and one Brinks guard were murdered. In violent struggles for liberation people die, regardless of all professed love and justice.
Ms. Shakur is not the only radical honored in the BLM at School website. Another name that should stand out, especially to residents of San Francisco, is BLM at School endorser Bill Ayers, a leader of the Weather Underground and foster parent of San Francisco DA Chesa Boudin. However, his role in several bombings in protest of the Vietnam War during the late 1960s and 1970s is not what is significant here.
Bill Ayers, along with other prominent radicals like Bernardine Dohrn (Weather Underground leader and retired Northwestern University law professor) and Kathy Boudin (Weather Underground leader and Columbia University co-founder of the Center for Justice), pivoted from violence to education (or indoctrination). After his Weather Underground days, Ayers became known for his work in education theory, education reform, curriculum and instruction.
Things roll downhill, and the race/gender-focused socialism that radicals brought into universities is now sipping into primary schools.
The Marin County middle school poster could have been the idea of one teacher or one parent for all we know. The concern here is not with that particular school, but with a wider trend of mainstreaming radicalism in children’s schools. The California Department of Education website has a section describing California’s Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum and containing the following in the lesson plan.
… develop an understanding and analyze the effectiveness of #BlackLivesMatter and the broader Movement for Black Lives (M4BL), specifically delving into the movement’s structure, key organizations, and tactics/actions used to respond to incidents of police brutality…
The ultimate questions for parents and taxpayers need to be: Is reform of schools, criminal justice, and some cultural conventions desirable at this time? What is the track record of the race/gender-focused education that has gained ground during the past three decades? Are parents and taxpayers these days willing to speak up if their answer to the first question is “Yes” and to the second question is “Lousy?”
This article was written for California Political News & Views, March 23, 2021