Time now for some liberal bashing, all it of inspired by events and happenings of the past week, and all of it showing why, if you are not a member of the vast right-wing conspiracy, you should be.
For one thing, the Department of Education released the results of an exam taken last year by a representative sample of 29,000 students in public and private schools. Nearly six in ten of America’s high school seniors, it seems, lack even the most basic knowledge of U.S. history, and only one in ten seniors has any real knowledge of U.S. history at all. In other words, although Rod Paige, the secretary of education, was too polite to say so, the liberal-left denigration of America’s past has had its effect.
The New York Times, in its story on the students’ exam, provided evidence for this, even if it didn’t mean to. It cited Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong, a book by James W. Loewen, a sociology professor, and said it offered guidelines on how American history should really be taught. As the Times reported:
“His book discusses Helen Keller, for example, not only as a blind and deaf woman who overcame her disabilities, but also as someone whose experience led her to see poverty as the root of much disease and who became a lifelong Communist.”
So teach the kids that Helen Keller was so appalled by American life that she became a lifelong Communist. Lenin had something to offer, after all. Thus speaks a sociology professor, and, by extension, the Times. America, apparently, has a lot to apologize for, and despite her handicaps Keller wanted to right its wrongs. But it seems that many of the old wrongs still linger, especially those involving race and gender. Our best private schools insist on this.
Thus last week also brought in the mail the Manhattan Institute’s invaluable City Journal, with an article by Heather Mac Donald. “The diversity industry — the profession paid to harangue Americans about racism and sexism,” she writes, “has burrowed deep into the nation’s elite prep schools.” Where the schools once “inculcated American citizenship and patriotism,” they now want to show students “their complicity in an unjust society.”
According to Mac Donald, and you don’t her doubt for a moment, many students enter the elite schools “blissfully free of divisive race-consciousness,” but rather than encouraging this, the schools are determined to stamp it out. They immerse the students in courses on race, class and gender. Multicultural orthodoxy is enforced by fiat and money.
Venerable Andover, for example, America’s oldest boarding school, has established the Brace Center for Gender Studies, whose director says — and the Prowler is not making this up — that the major influences on her intellectual life include Karl Marx, Michel Foucault, Cornel West and Al Sharpton. Among other things, the Brace Center sponsors “community forums” on topics such as “the relationship between the presumption of heterosexuality and the development of gender roles.” It also provides research fellowships for students and faculty who want to explore “gender issues,” and as an American history teacher wistfully notes in Mac Donald’s article, this is the only campus money available for students to do historical research.
So, you think, the lunatics are now running the asylum, and it may be you are right. As Mac Donald also writes:
“Andover teaches its girls how to perform fellatio without a condom. (The key: Saran Wrap.)”
Where all this nuttiness will end nobody knows, although you may be sure that any attempt to introduce some sanity into the educational system will be met by liberal resistance. Consider what happened when the Bush Administration said last week that it would encourage the establishment of some all-boy and all-girl public schools. Single-sex education alone will not reform our failing school system, of course, but a number of studies have found that it enhances the learning process, and certainly it is worth a try.
But liberal orthodoxy is frozen in place, and it resists the idea that parents should be allowed to choose the kind of schools their children will attend. (Think school vouchers here, too.) Among the groups immediately announcing their opposition to the Bush Administration’s modest proposal were the American Association of University Women, the National Organization for Women and the American Civil Liberties Union.
Coincidentally the ACLU was active on another front last week. In a suit it filed against the state of Louisiana, it said Louisiana had used federal funds intended to promote abstinence in some “Christ-centered” programs.
You simply never know, their capacity for bad policy and bad ideas being endless, where any of these people will strike next. In Washington last week, Senate-House negotiations over a much needed bill to reform the bankruptcy system broke down because of the obstinacy shown by Senator Charles Schumer. He insists on a provision in the bill that would prohibit anti-abortion protesters from using the bankruptcy laws to escape any debts they might incur because of court fines or judgments arising from their demonstrations at abortion clinics.
Clearly the provision has no legitimate place in a bill to reform the bankruptcy system, but for Schumer that’s irrelevant. As do other Senate liberals, he shills for organizations like People for the American Way, and does whatever they tell him to do. The abortion industry has a wish list, and Schumer and his colleagues must fulfill it.
So join the right-wing conspiracy while you still can. God only knows what these people will try to do to us next.
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