“Beyond `Taco Night`: Barack Obama And The Frightening Future of “Critical Multicultural Education”


A Barack Obama presidency now seems inevitable. So the
hard-left policies of his Administration on education
compel urgent consideration.

Given Obama`s emphasis on greater funding for education,
he could leave a real mark—and further entrench an
increasingly radical faction of
cultural Marxists
within
America`s
learning establishment.


Did you ever wonder where those
bomb-wielding militants
from the Weather Underground
ended up? Many, like

William Ayers
, traded their militancy for careers as
"educators."

Other high-profile leaders of the Weather Underground
and its precursor Students for a Democratic Society
(SDS),
Bernardine Dohrn
, [Email]

Michael Klonsky
,
Mark Rudd
, and

Cathy Wilkerson
, are now educrat academics.


Over the past several decades, left-wing radicals—Saul
Alinsky
`s "community
organizers
" —carved out a unique niche in
education in their Gramscian
"long march through the institutions."

They work day-in and day-out to transform w:st="on">America into an ethnically and
culturally balkanized and borderless wreck.

In speeches, debates, and on his campaign`s website,
Obama emphasizes both education`s
significance
and his desire to strengthen

civil rights
—the twin

social incubators
of radical egalitarian and
multicultural social policies.

As Obama noted in a
speech to La Raza`s 2007 conference
:


"It doesn`t matter if the injustice involves a brown man
who`s badgered into
proving his citizenship
again and again or a

black man who`s pulled over
because the car he`s
driving is too nice—it`s

injustice
either way and we all have a role in
ending it."

For years, conservatives expressed their opposition to
multicultural education.
But they`ve achieved
nothing.

Instead conservatives, who
once called
for the dismantling of the

federal Department of Education
, have capitulated to
the permanent government`s steady leftward drift.

Despite constant public vigilance, taxpayers are unaware
of a growing menace to their local public schools: the pervasive
reach of radical multicultural educators.


The ongoing downward slide of our public educational
system corresponds with the aggressive agenda of the
multicultural educators.


Their underlying objective is to subvert public
education with "a philosophy of inclusion" that
eclipses the traditional emphasis on knowledge,
competition, ability, talent, excellence, and
performance standards with a core concentration on
"cultural pluralism,"
ethnocentric-centered
"understanding,"
"alternative family"
structures, and "liberating" the curriculum
through "storytelling."

The multiculturalism juggernaut`s core elite— the
fanatical avant-garde of multicultural ideologues—is
represented in the movement`s primary organization: the
National Association
of Multicultural Education.

At taxpayer expense, numerous "progressive educators"
and "radical activists" attend NAME`s annual
conferences.

The 17th Annual NAME conference [Oct.
31 to Nov. 4, 2007
] was held in
Baltimore
, w:st="on">Maryland
,, to overflow capacity.

Several speakers and attendees lauded the "Jena
Six
"
, a reference to six black youths facing
second-degree

attempted murder charges
in
Jena
,
Louisiana
.
"Racial tensions"
at Jena`s
high school were the focus of considerable media
coverage in 2007. The w:st="on">Jena incidents have since
become a rallying slogan for left-wing activists.


Workshop panelists and keynote speakers openly described
their mission as multicultural activists as
"subversive"
. They advocated "activist"
strategies for teachers, administrators, university
professors, and researchers that advance the goals and
agenda of multicultural education
"beyond Taco
night"—
a
quote from a pre-conference workshop in which
multiculturalists expressed concern that their liberal
colleagues can`t get beyond the

"Taco Night"
stage of recognizing diversity.

The multiculturalists aim to create a permanent
resistance to conventional educational teaching methods
and curriculum. They seek to undermine the status quo in
the classroom by aggressively promoting "consciousness" and "social
justice"
among a cadre of committed
teacher-activists in our public schools and colleges.


"Critical
Multiculturalism"



advocates, such as

Paul Gorski
[Email
him
], a co-founder of
EdChange.org and
the incoming president of NAME, offer a more radicalized
strain of multicultural education that thoroughly
subverts liberal teaching methods and goals.(As a
subfield of
"education,"

"critical
multiculturalism
"
is a robust subculture
dominated by counter-culture advocates.)

During a pre-conference workshop titled Beyond Celebrating
Diversity: Teaching Teachers How to be Critical
Multicultural Educators,
Gorski asserted


"One problem with
teacher education is pragmatism."

The workshop`s purpose was to grapple with the problem
of well-meaning educators who lack a fully developed
"consciousness"

for
"achieving social justice."

Objective
teaching methods
in history,

mathematics
,, science, and the humanities are seen as
an obstacle to implementing the agenda for more diverse
and inclusive community schools.


Gorski emphasized the importance of addressing the
testing gap—test score

disparities
between

racially diverse student populations
—as an outcome
of the educational
"system."

According to orski, "privilege" and

"systemic oppression"
create

educational disparities
in testing-based outcomes.
Differences in student performances are attributed to
"oppression"
and the
"hegemonic pedagogy"
of the educational
establishment. Teachers should continue to shift the
emphasis to "what
is wrong with the system"
issues, implying that
equity and social injustices trigger testing
disparities.

Said Gorski: "You don`t make progress through

objectivity
."


Gorski

views
contemporary American culture as a "white/male
supremacy
"
hegemony—one that reinforces the "normalcy
of Christianity
"
and creates an "invisible
culture."


Aspects of this include:


  • Individualism

  • Traditional family

  • Capitalism

  • Competition that reinforces market-place solutions


Keynote speaker
Cornel Pewewardy
, [Email]


assistant professor of education, University of Kansas,
where he teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in
"Multicultural
Education"
and
“Culture
and
Education of Indigenous Peoples”
, emphasized the
efforts of multiculturalists to correct the

record
on

Columbus
—that he was lost on his voyage and stumbled
onto the

New World
—a region with a thriving culture.


Pewewardy`s address, "Multicultural
Education Since 1492: An Indigenous Perspective
,"
included a reference to

Thanksgiving
…which he called "Thankstaking."


According to Pewewardy,

Thanksgiving
and the official history of the

early colonial settlements
perpetuate falsehoods
about North American Indian culture.

Such myths, he claimed, oppress and deny the cultural
contributions of "indigenous peoples" to
America
`s cultural
formation.

An entire sub-field of Multicultural Education is
devoted to the oppression of so-called "indigenous
peoples"
—formerly known as

Indians
oor Native Americans.

Pewewardy asked the audience: "How do you tell your
children and grand children that your people were hunted
and killed?"
That`s his version of the European
colonial settlers`

encounter
with American Indians.

Pewewardy cited radical author
Howard inn—described
by the
Revolutionary Worker,
a Maoist publication, as

"one of America`s foremost radical scholars"
as
an authority on the "massacres" of Indian
Americans.

In his interview with the Revolutionary
Worker
,, Zinn explained his interest in history:

"I got into history not to be a
historian, not to be a scholar, not to be an academic,
not to write scholarly articles for scholarly journals,
not to go to academic conferences to deliver papers to
bored fellow historians. I got into history


because I was already an activist

at the age of 18….
I wanted my writing of history and my teaching of
history to be a part of social struggle. I wanted to be
a part of history and not just a recorder and teacher of
history."
[Howard Zinn:
"History as a Political Act``: 100 Years of U.S. Empire
1898-1998 and Radical Hopes for the Future

Revolutionary Worker #987, month="12" day="20" year="1998" w:st="on">December 20, 1998]

Pewewardy also reviewed the efforts of activist
educators
like
himself
 to
eliminate Indian mascots and

ban
the names of athletic school teams, and
professional football franchises, such as

"Redskins" and
"Chiefs,"

via NAME`s initiative to pressure the NCAA.


The theme that emerged from the various speakers,
participants, presenters, and attendees: a
commitment to actively

transform American society

via the educational system to reflect a socialistic utopian community,,
rather than simply putting forth an alternative
multicultural curriculum to counter conventional
teaching.

These core activists seek the radical
transformation of American society
—to a
Marxist, classless,

multiracial
, multicultural, multilingual,

borderless
social order
..

One NAME workshop that illustrated this social activist
agenda: Undoing Whiteness in the Classroom: Critical Educultural Approaches for Social Justice Activism.

The panelists stressed the need to have students
recognize
unconscious racism
or interrupt unsuspected racist
thinking during classroom exercises.

One panelist noted that the Academy Award-winning movie Crash
offers a number of valuable lessons for
deconstructing racial stereotype types, even though

four or five examples of "institutional racism"
exist in the film.

Friday`s keynote address by two leading Multicultural
academics, Sonia
Nieto
[Email
her
](University of Massachusetts) and

Patty Bode
(Tufts University) [Email
her
] explained their revisions to the 5th

edition of their Affirming Diversity: The Sociopolitical Context of Multicultural Education which
is the

standard textbook
in the field of multicultural
education.

Bode noted that even after "30
years of multicultural education
there is still a
disconnect between theory and practice."
Bode
stressed that "teachers are not the villains" and
that a "mind-numbing pedagogy" is rampant in
public education.


Bode noted that multicultural education is

Describing lingering racism as "smog in the air,"
Bode identified four components of achieving "social
justice"
in education:


  • Challenge, confront, and disrupt misconceptions,
    untruths and stereotypes

  • Provide resources

  • Draw on students` resources, their talents and
    strengths

  • Create learning environment for social change,
    activism

One issue Bode mentioned was the practice of
"unstandardizing standards"
which utilized "detracking
math curriculum
"
and the experience of Hurricane
Katrina provided for an opportunity for change.


A PowerPoint presentation explained a new approach to
first graders that challenged the traditional concept of
the family.



"What is a family"
showed first graders who, in artwork,
emphasized that there are "all kinds of families."
One first grader drew a picture of one family having two
fathers.

This year`s NAME conference, as in years past, featured
a number of vendors: book publishers, such as Routledge,
Teachers College Press ( w:st="on">Columbia University)
and Peter Lang; boutique clothing booths (representing
African and South American clothing fashions); and
radical-socialist-anarchistic merchandise and
literature.

Bumper stickers with slogans, "Fascism is capitalism
in decay," "Well-behaved women seldom make history,"

as well as
Che Guevara
, Malcolm X, Karl Marx, and
Emma
Goldman
posters, buttons, shirts, and bumper
stickers were on sale.

Francisco Rios, [Email
him
] professor of education studies at the
University of Wyoming, and newly appointed director of
the Social
Justice Research Center
at the University of
Wyoming, is the associate editor of
Multicultural
Perspectives,

NAME`s official in-house periodical.

Rios recently
explained,
in a
University

of Wyoming

press release, that the
Social Justice
Research Center at the University of Wyoming
is:

"established to encourage
and nurture scholarly research in topics related to
social justice. …The center`s long-range goals include
developing meaningful solutions to identified problems;
serving as a catalyst for grant funding; developing an
outreach program to create and present research; and
strengthening existing UW academic programs that have a
social justice focus, such as


Women`s Studies
, African American Studies, American
Indian Studies,


Chicano Studies
and other programs."

Rios delivered Saturday`s Keynote Speech: "La
Casa De Esperanza: The House that Multicultural
Education Built.
"


The concept of La Casa Esperanza, Rios explained, is a
metaphor to describe "issues, wholeness and
connectedness, challenges, which show that we

[multicultural
activists] live in the same ghetto, city, barrio, and
village."

Rios urged the passage of the
DREAM Act
, which would allow
illegal
immigrant children
attending K-12 schools to be
eligible for permanent residency if they were either

attending college
or serving in the
Armed
Forces.

For his various multicultural efforts, Rios has secured
a $1 million grant from the
Wyoming legislature
for three

diversity projects
.

The NAME conference underscored the importance that
multicultural education advocates place in getting the
federal government to subsidize multicultural projects.

An Obama Administration, pledging to increase the nearly
$70 billion in federal education funding by an
additional $18 billion, will certainly underwrite this
Treason Lobby
approach to education.


There is one simple way to start immobilizing the
Marxist momentum of multicultural education: dismantle
the federal Department of Education—and push to minimize
federal support for this ideologically contaminated
area.


Just another missed opportunity in the
Great Bush Bust
.



Cooper Sterling [
email
him]
 is a freelance
writer in the w:st="on">Washington, DC
area.