The Biden administration signaled its support for the teaching of “anti-racism” curriculum in public schools Friday, wading into an ongoing culture war over critical race theory playing out on cable news and in school board meetings across the nation.
Asked about a recent decision by the National Education Association to throw its weight behind controversial progressive teachings about race, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki told RealClearPolitics that President Biden believes “kids should learn about our history” including the view that “there is systemic racism that is still impacting society today.”
Psaki continued that the president and the First Lady, who is also a life-long educator, believe that “there are many dark moments, and there is not just slavery and racism in our history.” Read More
No, Higher Ground isn’t where the Obamas plan to move to from their beachfront Martha’s Vineyard mansion when they flee the rising ocean levels caused by climate change. It’s the name of their production company, which in May 2018 inked a “high eight-figure” production deal with Netflix to go along with their $65 million contract with Viking Press to write their memoirs. Announcing the Netflix partnership, the former president promised that “these productions won’t just entertain, but will educate, connect, and inspire us all.” (That’s what Oprah always says, too, about her own noble but inert efforts as producer.)
Anyway, a year after their big announcement, the Obamas — apparently not wanting to rush too precipitously into anything — finally made public their first slate of Netflix projects. One is a biopic of Frederick Douglass. (That topic took a year to come up with?) Others include Bloom, a drama series about the “barriers faced by women and by people of color” in New York’s post-war fashion business, and Fifth Risk, a documentary series about “everyday heroes” in government. (Can I write the one on Maxine Waters?)
But the project we’re here to talk about is the just-released We the People. It’s a series of 10 civics lessons for kids, each in the form of a four- or five-minute piece of animation. (Somehow, the word “cartoon” seems inappropriate, given that this show is almost entirely lacking in humor.) Nine of the 10 episodes are music videos featuring original songs performed by some of the biggest names in the music business today. (I know that they’re some of the biggest names in the music business today because I’ve only ever heard of two of them.) The 10th features a poem. Perhaps needless to say, all of these videos exhibit the hyper-Benetton-ad-level diversity — e.g., hijabs galore, and more people in wheelchairs than you’ll ever see in real life — that is de rigueur everywhere in the entertainment industry nowadays. Read More
Rutgers University-Camden will remove a statue of the famous poet Walt Whitman from the center of campus as a result of activists’ petitions and a recommendation from a committee of scholars.
The statue of Whitman, featured prominently in the front courtyard of Camden’s Campus Center, will be “relocated to a historically relevant site on campus and contextualized,” interim Chancellor Margaret Marsh recently announced in an email to students and employees.
That new location has yet to be announced by campus officials. Read More
Critical Race Theory continues to permeate our classrooms and infect our children’s minds with outrageous ideas about their nation’s history. But a growing number of Americans are standing up to fight back against its false tenets and demand its removal from K-12 education. At the forefront of this patriotic effort is 1776 Action, an advocacy group committed to the vital work of restoring honest and unifying education in public schools throughout the nation.
The group’s Candidate Pledge has garnered national attention in recent weeks for its emphasis on America’s values and its vow to eradicate divisive race- and gender-based ideologies such as CRT from America’s schools. Political candidates who sign the pledge commit to restoring “honest, patriotic education that cultivates in our children a profound love for our country” and to promoting a curriculum that “teaches that all children are created equal, have equal moral value under God, our Constitution, and the law, and are members of a national community united by our founding principles.” The pledge also seeks to prohibit any curriculum that divides students by race and sex – or sets out to infuse harmful ideologies into course material.
In May, Gov. Kristi Noem (R-SD) became the first candidate to sign the pledge, declaring that CRT and similarly divisive theories are “shameful [and] must be stopped.” Other high-profile conservatives running for office, such as Republican nominee for Governor of Virginia Glenn Youngkin, also vowed to replace CRT with “a high-quality civics curriculum.” The two Republican candidates for Governor of Kansas, former Gov. Dr. Jeff Colyer and Kansas Atty. Gen. Derek Schmidt, have also signed the pledge. As more candidates sign this pledge, it will put pressure on teachers, principals, and school boards to declare their stances on CRT and other key educational matters. It will also hold them accountable for the materials they teach and ensure our children are not indoctrinated with malicious theories that seek to denigrate our country and reduce students to their sex or skin color. Read More
The state government of California has been revealed to have spent $13 million on providing security for 120 empty houses for five months, even as a homeless crisis ravaged the state, Fox News reports.
In a report broken by local outlet Fox 11, the California Department of Transportation (CalTrans) paid $9 million to the highway patrol from November 2020 to April 2021, and gave another $4 million to a private security firm over the same period, all for the purpose of protecting the vacant houses in Pasadena.
In a statement addressing the report, CalTrans said that the houses had been purchased by the government 60 years ago, when there were plans for a change in the local infrastructure by connecting the 710 freeway to the 210. However, that project “is no longer moving forward,” the government statement declared. Read More
The University of North Alabama’s student government is threatening to remove its new president for saying gays and lesbians must be “born again.”
Jake Statom has already apologized for his short-lived Instagram Story, posted during LGBTQ+ Pride Month, but his colleagues warned that he will face impeachment proceedings if he does not resign.
The university has defended Statom’s “right to freedom of speech, even when it is offensive to others,” citing a recent Supreme Court ruling on student speech, but has not stated whether it will halt impeachment proceedings or overturn his removal. Read More
A group of five police officers in Palo Alto, California are suing the city after it allowed far-left radicals to create a pro-Black Lives Matter mural in one of the city’s main streets, according to ABC News.
The mural was painted last June following the death of George Floyd, a career criminal who fatally overdosed on fentanyl while in police custody in Minneapolis last May. His death sparked nationwide race riots, as well as a wave of anti-police sentiment, including a rise in attacks on police officers and calls from far-left politicians to defund police departments.
Among the most controversial images in the Palo Alto mural, painted across the street from City Hall, is a depiction of Joanne Chesimard, a black nationalist who murdered a New Jersey state trooper in 1973. Chesimard, who goes by the name Assata Shakur, fled the country and has been staying in Cuba ever since, where she continues to be venerated by modern black nationalists. Read More
Five Michigan House GOP members sent Attorney General Dana Nessel a letter threatening to file articles of impeachment against her if she prosecutes anyone profiting from spreading lies about the 2020 presidential election.
The irony is that a Senate GOP report “found no evidence of widespread or systematic fraud in Michigan’s prosecution of the 2020 election” and even asked Nessel to investigate Michiganders making “misleading and false information about Antrim County to raise money or publicity for their own ends.” Read More
Both meek “aw shucks” conservatives and “chest thumpers” conservatives are handing America over to woke activists, author Abigail Shrier claimed in a Monday Substack.
The journalist and author highlighted the successful work of anti-Critical Race Theory writer Christopher Rufo, who Shrier praised for speaking not to elites, but to Americans, by “gathering evidence and pointing out the glaring harm in clear, unapologetic (but never crass or rude) language.”
“Rufo is out there identifying the problem, alerting the public, and sounding all available alarms,” Shrier wrote. “If he hasn’t yet slain the beast, he has at least awakened American parents from their coma, convinced them that they cannot trust the teachers and administrators and school boards who treat children, not as students, but as recruits for their revolution.” Read More
During the height of the pandemic, two college administrators from Clemson University used phony ticket reservations to suppress attendance at a conservative student event and bragged about it on Facebook.
The conservative group Turning Point USA’s local chapter hosted speakers Tomi Lahren, Brandon Tatum, and Graham Allen for an event on the South Carolina campus in April 2020.
The event was limited in capacity because of COVID-19, and people had to reserve tickets from a smaller pool in advance. Read More
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is asking for an internal review of its own approval process that gave a greenlight to a drug to treat Alzhiemer’s, a move that could shed more light on the controversial chain of decision-making that led to the drug’s being okayed for use.
The FDA last month approved drug company BioGen’s product Aduhelm, the first medicine greenlit in the U.S. to slow the cognitive decline of those living with Alzhiemer’s.
Yet that decision was shrouded in controversy: The approval went against the advice of an outside panel of FDA experts and even led to the resignation of several of those experts in protest. Read More
Utah is one of many states in America considering banning critical race theory in public schools.
Republican State Representative Steve Christiansen sponsored a bill that takes direct aim at critical race theory concepts being taught in public education. The bill passed the Utah House and is awaiting the signature of the Speaker to move onto the state Senate.
That bill, HR901, calls on the Utah Board of Education for a re-evaluation of guidelines to weed out critical race theory in publicly funded classrooms. Read More
The Biden Administration continued the Trump-era rejection of almost all of China’s territorial claims in the South China Sea, warning the communist country that an attack on the Philippines would draw a significant U.S. response.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken reaffirmed the U.S.’ message in a statement Sunday, which was also the fifth anniversary of an international tribunal ruling in favor of the Philippines and against China’s maritime claims. China has rejected the ruling since it was first made.
“Nowhere is the rules-based maritime order under greater threat than in the South China Sea,” Blinken said, accusing China of attempting to “coerce and intimidate Southeast Asian coastal states, threatening freedom of navigation in this critical global throughway.” Read More
Victimizers quickly becoming victims is a recurrent theme of Thucydides’ history. In his commentary on the so-called stasis at Corcyra, he offers his most explicit warning about the long-term dangers of destroying legal institutions, customs, and traditions that serve the common good for short-term gain.
The historian notes that in the inevitable yin and yang of politics, the destroyers inevitably will seek, but do so in vain, refuge in what they have destroyed. Between 2017 and 2021 the Left has done exactly that.
What was common to the media’s deification of the criminally minded Michael Avenatti, and the promotion of a series of abject hoaxes? Do we remember the Steele “dossier,” the supposed authority of Fusion-GPS, the Schiff “report,” and the entire Russian “collusion” yarn? Read More
Sixty-seven Texas House Democrats fled Austin Monday for Washington, D.C. on private planes in a political maneuver that Gov. Greg Abbott said only hurts Texans.
Shortly after 2 p.m., House Democrats confirmed in a statement they were not returning to the state Capitol to complete an ongoing special session, which began July 8 and lasts for 30 days.
By leaving Texas, House Democrats avoided being arrested by a “Call of the House,” which Speaker of the House Dade Phelan could have initiated had the members left Tuesday, when the chamber is scheduled to be back in session. Because the legislature was out of session on Monday, Democrats had time to leave after having met over the weekend. Read More
A pro-life group has accused an Ohio abortion facility of throwing a dismembered, aborted baby away in a dumpster.
Ohio Right to Life said Wednesday it found the remains of an aborted baby at about 17 weeks gestation discarded in dumpster behind Ohio Women’s Center (NEOWC) abortion clinic. The clinic, which has not responded to requests for comment from the Daily Caller News Foundation, denied that it improperly disposed of fetal remains.
“Ohio Right to Life is heartbroken and appalled by the abortion industry’s utter disregard for human life,” Mike Gonidakis, president of Ohio Right to Life, said in a statement. “This child suffered doubly at the hands of the abortion industry: first, by being subjected to a brutal death by dismemberment and second by the degradation of his or her broken body being dumped into the trash like garbage.” Read More
The hearing to determine the official approval of the state’s $600 million Flint water civil settlement began Monday at 10 a.m. in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan.
In January, Judge Judith Levy preliminarily approved the settlement establishing the process for eligible Flint residents to file settlement claims processed and paid by the claims administrator.
In August, Attorney General Dana Nessel and Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced the state’s portion of the preliminary agreement to settle the lawsuits after the city of Flint switched its public water supply to the Flint River in 2014. Read More
Ibram X. Kendi stated Wednesday that teaching young students anti-racism was a “prudent thing to do for teachers.”
The Boston University professor was a featured speaker at the 2021 TEACH conference, a virtual event hosted by the American Federation of Teachers.
The conversation occurred at a time of heightened focus across the nation on CRT in classrooms. It also represents the latest push by Kendi to advance anti-racism in American institutions. Read More
The Michigan Supreme Court denied a request from Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson and the Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission to grant an extension for redrawing the state’s district map.
Benson and the ICRC filed a Petition for Relief with the Court in April, asking the Court to recognize the ICRC’s constitutionally imposed deadline as “unrealistic.” The petition argued the new timeline would ensure the Bureau of Elections had sufficient time to update the state’s voter registration database with the new district lines. Additionally, they argued, local clerks would be able to create and provide every voter with a correct ballot.
The extension was requested because of the six-month delay of 2020 U.S. Census data due to the coronavirus pandemic, which, it anticipated, would precipitate lawsuits. U.S. Census data is scheduled to become available Oct. 1. The ICRC was seeking to move its deadline from mid-September to Dec. 11, which would push back approval of final district maps to Jan. 25, 2022. The deadline for the filing of candidates for the November 2022 election is April 15. Read More