Progress & Love in a Divisive Climate

In a nation divided, linking progress & love together feels sadly out of place. But progress & love are being packaged together and used against the American people. Now a weapon in the culture wars, progress & love are cloaked, vilified, and denounced under the label “critical race theory” and social justice “ideology.”

Yes, you read that right. Here’s how I know.

Listening recently to critical race theorists speak about what sparked their interest in the theory, their use of it in scholarly research, and their discussion of recent events, several remarks stood out.

“It’s about progress.”

“It’s founded on the ethics of love.”

“Be equipped with truth and history.”

“Pursue what is just.”

“Commit to equity and excellence.”

“Live up to the promise of Brown v. Board of Education.”

Looking Further into the Love Connection

Historically, critical race theory arose when anti-discrimination laws appeared to no longer be moving us towards progress on equal treatment under the law. (See connection under: “Linking …”) But without being versed in scripture and seeing Martin Luther King, Jr. more as a a civil rights leader than a Reverend, the love connection gets lost. It’s found by looking through the perspective of a critical race theorist.

The Beloved Community. The goal of Critical Race Theory [CRT] in Christianity is the Beloved Community envisioned by Scripture and the biblical witness of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr (Revelation 5:9-10, 7:9-10; Galatians 3: 28-29; John 10: 16; Ephesians 2: 14-21; Colossians 1: 15-20; Acts 10: 34-35). Done in the spirit of lovethe ultimate goal of CRT in Christianity is the reconciliation of all peopleKey Tenets of Critical Race Theory in Christianity

Rise of the False Narrative: Where to Begin?

It’s hard to say with certainty where – behind what closed door – the false narrative about critical race theory began. But we don’t need to look far to see and hear the claims. The false claims include:

  • False: it has “identity-based” Marxist roots (truth: it’s an offshoot of social justice, civil rights and critical legal studies).
  • False: it’s “injected into” primary school curricula (read true stories below).

From there, the false claims of “indoctrination” go off the rails!

“… the overthrow of capitalism … the end not only of private property, but also of individual rights, equality under the law, federalism, and freedom of speech … [the theory will] overturn the principles of the Declaration and destroy the remaining structure of the Constitution.” Christopher F. Rufo, Critical Race Theory: What It Is and How to Fight It

Christopher F. Rufo, lecturing at Hillsdale College on March 30, 2021, also made the following claim.

“Last year, one of my reports led President Trump to issue an executive order banning critical race theory-based training programs in the federal government.”

In this same lecture, Rufo, a young, talented, privately-schooled film-maker and right-wing journalist/activist, focuses his main criticism on the work of Ibram X. Kendi, refered to as a “critical race guru.” But Ibram X. Kendi, another privately-schooled talented young person, has his own definition of racism from which he puts forth his ideas on “antiracism.”

A new definition for racism!?! Who knew? But never-mind how confusing that is for us. The real concern is, what is actually happening in OUR public schools?

Is there some kernel of truth to allegations of “indoctrination”?

I believe “antiracism” is misguided. Can I still teach Black children?” Catchy title! Written by a teacher!

In answering the nagging question of “indoctrination,” I thought I’d found a firsthand account. But alas, this author wasn’t “just” a teacher. He was a senior advisor to [DPPS] Democracy Prep Public [Charter] Schools, served as vice president for the Core Knowledge Foundation, and is senior fellow and vice president for external affairs at the Thomas B. Fordham Institute. His voice is amplified by a list of corporate-funded, politically right-leaning media outlets. And he provided a story!

(Subtitle) Does antiracism pedagogy demand—or even condone—inflicting emotional distress on children?

“The most chilling revelation to emerge earlier this month from a whistleblowing teacher at New York City’s private Grace Church School was the headmaster’s acknowledgement captured in an audio recording that “we’re demonizing kids, we’re demonizing White people for being born.”

Private schools have control over the content they teach —without interference or accountability to taxpayers. But I found another story, a lawsuit alleging indoctrination at a “public” charter school in Nevada. However, it is a story without an ending – to date.

On the surface, it looks straightforward.

Quoted from court documents, “My son is the only white student in this class, as far as we can tell. This teacher is blatantly justifying racism against white people thereby putting my son in emotional, psychological, and physical danger. This is not ok.”

… In the federal lawsuit [it’s alleged that the charter] violated the high school senior’s First Amendment rights by “repeatedly compelling his speech involving intimate matters of race, gender, sexuality and religion” during a required civics class. Las Vegas charter school sued for curriculum covering race, identity

This seems like a commonsense response.Yes?

But the rest of this story?

To date – this story shows a tangled web of people, money, power, lose of local control of curriculum and lack of public oversight for private providers.

Superintendent and CEO Natasha Trivers is a co-defendant in the case. Her role is to personally oversee staffing, design, and implementation of the charter school’s national curriculum program …

[The student] was originally enrolled in Andre Agassi Preparatory Academy in 2014. New York-based DPPS [Democracy Prep Public Schools ] acquired the Academy after receiving a $12.7 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education in 2016.

Parents were unaware of the ideological changes in the Civics Program, as Trivers had used the name of an existing program  … and “inserted consciousness raising and conditioning exercises under the banner of ‘Intersectionality’ and ‘Critical Race Theory’” when she modified the Program in 2017. Lawsuit Alleges Leftist Indoctrination in Nevada Charter School

The founder of DPPS is Seth Andrew who also founded Democracy Builders, “a charter school advocacy group intending to create a hybrid college education system.” But students spoke up! Look at some of the allegations raised when Andrew attempted to purchase Marlboro College campus.

“We hope, through this letter, to give you some insights into the man behind Democracy Builders, the irreparable harm he has caused to the low-income and first-generation students of color that he served as the founder of Democracy Prep; and show you why the sale of the Marlboro College campus to Seth Andrew, is not only antithetical to the legacy of Marlboro, but a great human rights concern for the very demographics that he claims to serve,” the Black N Brown at Democracy Prep letter reads.

Marlboro Alumni condemn campus sale amid reports of racism at Democracy Builders

Then this story took an unexpected twist.

“Prosecutors say Andrew helped create a network of charter schools based in New York City in 2005, and left the network in 2013 for a job at the US Department of Education, and later became a senior adviser in the Office of Educational Technology at the White House, where he continued to be paid by the charter school network. Prosecutors say Andrew left his role in the White House in November 2016 and cut ties with the school network in January 2017.”

Natasha Trivers continues to be the CEO of the organization.

What and Who are We to Believe?

Going back to an earlier publication, Critical Race Theory: An Introduction (Delgado & Stefancic, 2001), the writers describe a collection of activist and scholars adopting and using the theory to explain racism as it relates to various aspects of the world we live in, our laws, and our history. But it was clear that differing “camps” of thinking exist – realists / materialists / idealists etc. Conformity to one way of thinking (or “indoctrination”) is not at all what you find in this introduction to the theory.

Throughout the book, there is a feeling of real desire to help people understand the effects of racism. Granted, there are two more editions of the book since 2001, but the same desire to help others understand what critical race theory is and its proper use is exactly what came through in the discussion among the higher education critical race theorists mentioned at the beginning of this post.

At this time of escalating public confusion, we see new laws emerging opposing the theory!?! That doesn’t make sense!

“Over the past few months, Republican legislators in Idaho, Iowa, Louisiana, Missouri, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, and West Virginia have drafted bills that would ban the teaching of what they deem “divisive” or “racist and sexist” concepts.”

Good laws begin with at least some clarity about the subject central to the legislation. So why deliberately write state laws restricting academic freedom? Because you can? Because legislative creep has allowed more and more State and private control of curriculum “content” while pushing aside parents and other local controls.

In Ames, Iowa: “This bill is very intentional in its approach to shut down equity work in districts. I think they can sugarcoat it however they want. That is what the bill is intended to do,” said Jenny Risner, the superintendent of Ames Community School District.

In Idaho …

BOISE, IDAHO

Meanwhile: The Search Continues for Proof of Wrong Doing by the PUBLIC School System


In Idaho, a public claim of “propaganda” entering K-12 education was made in an article posted by a private, Dark Money-funded “non-profit” — after the law passed. But the claim is once again against a charter school. So that does warrant looking further at Idaho’s charters.

Author: Anna Miller

Idaho has a private charter-expansion organization, Bluum, that received at least $22 million to expand charters under the DeVos administration.

“Bluum is privileged to give voice to the work that the charter school networks [DPPS] Democracy Prep, Great Heart, Success Academies and the [Hillsdale College] Barney Charter School Initiative are doing … ” — Terry Ryan, Bluum CEO

And at the Idaho Hearing (Senate Ed 4/26/21) on the Anti-Critical Race Theory bill, Terry Ryan clearly voiced his opinion — “Pass the budgets.”

Hum? Follow the money if you can.

Idaho news spread quickly in “The Network” designed to undermine and defund higher education. “The Fix” isn’t a fix.

Author: Anna Miller writes, “Starving universities of public money is the only way to rein in a social justice university and force activists to find careers outside of higher education.”

The College Fix is a “news” website focused on higher education and funded by the Koch Foundation (among others).

It’s no coincidence that the author of both the “propaganda” and “The Fix” articles is Anna Miller, a George Mason University grad. With Idaho lawmakers passing a higher education budget cutting $2.5 million to “send a message about ‘indoctrination,'” it goes into the win column for the Koch Network.

George Mason University has long been known as a place where students are treated to a  Koch-backed curriculum. Yes, this really did turn out to be another story about money, power, and control.

“We’ve Lost the Narrative” said a Scholar of Critical Race Theory.

We are losing more than the narrative. We’re losing the truth, public control of public education, and the ability to communicate with the public ahead of the Misinformation Network.

The danger is not in theory; it’s in limiting discussion of race and social justice in places where it belongs. But there is also the problem of ignoring State overreach and private control of public schools’ curriculum.The public education system is being dismantled.

Our biggest risk? Losing opportunities to stand on the ethics of love and create progress towards the promise.

Critical race theory allows us to see a path toward a truly just future where economic, social, and political power are decoupled from race.” U.S. Representative Jamaal Bowman

Turning Point USA: Aiming to Win

Turning Point USA fits the criteria of an astroturf — fake grassroots — organization. But what makes them a real danger are three things: their strategies, target audience, and mode of operations. Even real Republicans have warned about this far-right danger. It behooves us all to take note!

Turning Point USA (TPUSA) began with the discovery of a charismatic young speaker named Charlie Kirk by Tea Party activist William (Bill) Montgomery. Through Montgomery, Kirk became further connected to the influential and well-to-do. Together they launched TPUSA in 2012. Montgomery left TPUSA in April and recently died due to COVID-19.

In Kirk’s telling, he started the group in his parents garage as a teenager in Chicago and grew it to be a powerful political force through sheer grit and hard work.”

Discrepancy? Or deception? Your call.

The Storm Is Here” is a QAnon rallying cry. Another slogan is “Where we go one, we go all” thus the hashtag #WWG1WGA

Growing Fear: Let’s Connect the Dots

First, breathe. Politics is out of control. But knowing the truth about America’s current power struggle is the first step towards gaining back control of our country. It starts with understanding the rise of people like Charlie Kirk and organizations like Turning Point and QAnon (dots in need of connecting). Start by considering what others fear.

“Today’s politics and social tensions are dominated by three fears: fear of other social groups, fear that those other groups are encroaching on one’s territory, and fear that the state no longer has the ability to protect the people.”

Those fears underlie Turning Point’s strategies. But the strategies are not new. They’ve been used historically and have worked well for President Trump — to date.

“Trump’s aim is to incite fear—fear of violence, disorder, change—and to paint himself as the bastion of law and order.”

BUT “things do not have to get worse.

“… there is still time for political leaders—locally and nationally—to calm the storm, douse the flames, and stifle the violent provocateurs across the spectrum…” Is America in the Early Stages of Armed Insurgency?

First, The Charlie Kirk Story

After launching TPUSA, Charlie quickly rose through the Trump ranks.

“By the time the 2016 election rolled around, Turning Point was a well-funded outfit and Kirk had become increasingly influential. He met Donald Trump Jr. at the GOP convention that year and glued himself to the president’s eldest son.” USA TODAY

In 2018 the Washington Examiner dubbed Charlie “Kid Trump.” The title fit! But it wasn’t simply due to Charlie’s efforts. He already had much in common with Donald J. Trump. Charlie shares a similar background — he’s from a “well off family”— and both operate similarly in keeping their dealings under-wraps.

“Earlier this year, leaked records revealed TPUSA efforts to secretly funnel thousands of dollars into multiple college student government elections to elect conservatives.” Who Funds Conservative Campus Group Turning Point USA? Donors Revealed

Kirk’s TPUSA is a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) and as such “may not be an action organization (may not attempt to influence legislation & may not participate in any campaign activity for or against political candidates).” But Charlie Kirk walks a fine line and few will calling him out when he crosses it.

TRUTH: According to the FBI, militants on the radical-right have committed more acts of domestic terrorism. QAnon members included..

Utilizing Kirk’s Charismatic Appeal

TPUSA targets 18-24 year olds (and the larger millennial voting block) with anti-government, anti-leftist propaganda. In the process, Charlie effectively campaigned for Trump in 2016 and has never stopped.

“Don Jr. came in and announced, ‘If it weren’t for Charlie Kirk, my dad would not be president of the United States today.’”

“’If there’s one person this president admires, it’s Charlie Kirk,’ House majority leader Kevin McCarthy tells a roomful of high school students ….”

You see, Charlie is “the hook” at TPUSA meetings, conventions, and social media blitzes. His job is to fire-up the crowds. He is a provocateur.

“Charlie Kirk … has made it his business to ‘own the libs,’…”

“Own the libs” is slang for “triggering the liberals” into reacting. It’s one of Charlie’s favorite games enjoyed by his young audiences.

“He sees himself as a general in the ‘culture war’ and TPUSA’s members as ‘culture warriors’—effective ‘disrupters’ of the left on campus and eventually across America.”

Will TPUSA Turn the Tide for Trump in 2020? And what is the Long-Term Goal?

 

Look at Turning Point USA’s 2018 fourth annual High School Leadership Summit.

“On July 23, hundreds of students gathered  … The four-day event … [was] punctuated by speeches by prominent conservatives, from House whip Steve Scalise and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos to rabble-rousers like Sebastian Gorka and Anthony Scaramucci.”

For four days, speaker after speaker, hour after hour, the audience is enraptured by such political entertainment and by the performative politics they’ve come to D.C. to join in.”

“The nation’s villains are obvious at TPUSA: liberals and the media …”

This “us-versus-them” discourse is nothing new in politics. But Kirk’s provocative style of using disinformation targeted at young people must be recognized for the danger it is creating. Therefore, prepare yourself to believe the unbelievable.

“… asking him [Charlie Kirk] about the further growth of TPUSA and whether he’d be interested in bringing the organization abroad. ‘I wouldn’t rule it out,’ he says. ‘It’s something we’re considering. We have groups in Canada.’ Is it something you could see in Europe? ‘Oh, without a doubt. I would love to take this global. Yes.’” (2018 Kid Trump)

Not So Fast Say Traditional Republicans

Some Republicans are questioning Charlie Kirk and his tactics. Look at what Jordan Lancaster, a contributor to “Red Alert Politics,” had to say in 2019 about TPUSA’s growing influence among high school and college students.

“Turning Point’s entire existence is deceptive.”

“Turning Point claims to exist for the mission of ‘promoting the principles of fiscal responsibility, free markets, and limited government.’ In reality, it’s an organization that pulls kids too young to know any better into a group that’s deeply troubled and dishonest at its core.”

“To make matters worse, TPUSA has a troubling track record with racism.”

“Young conservatives should avoid Turning Point USA at all costs.”

Going Global?

That idea did not go on a back-burner.

“Kirk … is  … a smooth-talking, telegenic salesperson pitching Trump’s ‘Make America Great Again’ agenda to a young audience. Now he has radical ambitions to import its confrontational brand of activism to the UK.”

“But already some of the Tory activists Kirk recruited to launch Turning Point in the UK are having second thoughts about its war on ‘cultural marxism’ … ” Days After Its Disastrous British Launch

This is THE strategy. Find a cause, twist a few facts in with lies, ignite emotions, and later aim the enthusiasm at the real goal. But people are catching on. The question is, will enough catch on in time?

Back in the U.S.A.: Followers & Influence Grow

2015: “ …  Turning Point has a presence … on more than 800 high school and college campuses.”

“GOP donors, strategists, and even presidential candidates are awed by his [Kirk’s] composure, his intellect, his passion for politics …”

2019: “… Turning Point has become the largest student movement in the USA, with 150 staff, a budget of $15 million, and a presence in no fewer than 1400 educational institutions.”

2020: “… $10 [ or $15?] million budget comes mostly from conservative billionaires and the oil and gas industry … funding … student training … including leadership conferences at the White House, attended by President Trump himself. Most of the money comes from very rich conservative donors … including … the in-laws of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos.

So, where does QAnon fit into the Kirk & Trump Show?

Well, for starters, both Kirk and Trump have promoted QAnon posts on Twitter. But much of the public is still unfamiliar with Q, QAnon, and Twitter. So again I remind readers, you might find this story unbelievable.

Is there “a simple explanation“? ……  But, is it acceptable behavior for a U.S. president?

In short, the anonymous “Q” first posted comments on what was called 8chan. Less than a month after Q’s first post, Trump tweeted the “QAnon-promoting Twitter account MAGAPILL” (2017).

Innocent enough? No, it isn’t ! It’s deceptive.

This is the mechanism being used to shape the “culture wars.” This is how the Trump arm of the 2020 Disinformation War is being waged.

“Q” releases a post (sometimes cryptic in nature). Others pick up on it and social media is flooded. Here’s an example.

“On July 7, [2018] Charlie Kirk ….  published a tweet that contained startling but inaccurately sourced statistics about the alleged growth of human trafficking arrests under the Trump administration.”

When Charlie was called out on it his tweet quickly disappeared. But the fake news spread over social media. Really? Is this THAT important? Yes! This disinformation feeds into the QAnon followers beliefs.

This is how it happens — by design. A fake story is released.

 

It spreads like wildfire. The meme making apparatus goes into overdrive. But before fact-checkers can slap a label on the disinformation, it has been consumed with the result being two-fold. First, this story feeds the QAnon conspiracy. Secondly, the fact-checkers become the villains thickening the plot as a main-stream media (MSM) cover-up.

Yeah, there was no trailer.” This was not a sex-trafficking operation.

You see, QAnon supporters believe that a “deep state” of “elites” exists where pedophiles are running a global child sex-trafficking ring. They believe that Donald Trump’s claim to “drain the swamp” was in reference to his working diligently to end the atrocities and stop the conspiracy waged —by evil Democrats— against America.

How Effective is QAnon’s Spread of Disinformation?

EXTREMELY!

“In July, Q believers co-opted the #SaveTheChildren hashtag and organized rallies that lured in a lot of well meaning people with no idea about the conspiracy theory behind it.” America’s Fastest Growing Cult

Remember, “Turning Point’s entire existence is deceptive.”

TPUSA’s influence runs high. Their effort to reach young hearts and minds runs deep. So  with their leadership linked to QAnon, they are more than a threat to national tranquility. Their agenda includes winning seats at every level of government. Therefore, the public must believe that the threat posed by Kirk, Turning Point USA, QAnon, and the Trump family is real and serious.

Voters NEED TO KNOW If Their Candidates Are QAnon Supporters or Adherents

Back in May, Idaho political journalist Randy Stapilus wrote about Q and a 2017 remark where President Trump referred to “the calm before the storm.”

Mr. Stapilus went on to tell Idahoans about the Senate race in Oregon.

“[Jo Rae] Perkins [R], it turns out — this seems not to have been widely known beforehand — is a Q adherent. In announcing her win, she said on a video, ‘Where we go one, we go all. I stand with President Trump. I stand with Q and the team.’”

Stapilus called for QAnon candidates to stand up and let us know who they are and what they believe.

BELIEVE THE UNBELIEVABLE

“QAnon’s conspiracy theory is a rebranded version of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion.”

Compare for yourself. Q’s rebrand is a watered-down version of this.

“A secret cabal is taking over the world. They kidnap children, slaughter, and eat them to gain power from their blood. They control high positions in government, banks, international finance, the news media, and the church. They want to disarm the police. They promote homosexuality and pedophilia. They plan to mongrelize the white race so it will lose its essential power.” From : “the 1902 Nazi newspaper, Der Stürmer —derived from the German word for ‘Storm’.

                            SOURCE: Just Security

The rise of Nazism began as a mass movement. But it did not have social media to use as an accelerant. However, consider this. Hitler understood how crucial it was to win over the youth to his side.

“Turning Point, funded by millions of dollars of dark money seems to have more in common with a culture war approach which embraces partisan gerrymandering and increasing restrictions on voting rights as necessary remedies to combat a liberal scourge.”

“But those things are profoundly undemocratic, as is running stealth student-government campaigns in order to enact an agenda which is hidden during the campaign itself.” SOURCE: Inside Higher Ed

THIS needs to be stopped NOW!

Remember, “things do not have to get worse … there is still time” for local and state actions to calm The Storm.

VOTE AGAINST Q CANDIDATES¦ SAVE AMERICA, STOP FASCISM