Multicultural Education—No “Americans” Need Apply
Recently by Athena
Diversity Is Strength! It`s Also…Ethnic Come-ons
realize that the term American is commonly used to refer
to the U.S. population, we view American as including
other North and
South Americans as well. Therefore we have tried to
limit the use of this term when referring to the United
That`s the introduction for Multicultural Education in a Pluralistic Society,
Donna M. Gollnick and
Philip C. Chinn. It`s the primary text for
“Pluralism and Identity in the Classroom,” a course
required for any undergraduate student who wants to
major in education—even though my university is
private and Catholic.
My good friend Maeby
is an Ed major and one of the few campus conservatives.
Directly after her class, the two of us usually met up
cafeteria food describable only as fit for a cheap
geriatric facility. She took to venting so much that I
now consider myself a
multicultural Ed student by proxy.
three-times-a-week initiation of America`s—excuse me,
the United States`—future teachers into the cult of
multiculturalism is not only 20-25% of a full semester
of classes, but it is also a requirement on par with the
subjects reasonable people would consider important for
future educators. Like, oh,
classroom management. Or
That`s three hours a
week of worship at the
temple of cultural relativism, praise of the
all-powerful minority (oops—I mean, oppressed classes),
sacrifice to the god Diversity. Drink the Kool-Aid,
no degree for you. No snoozing during the sermon
either, or we`ll have your name.
although we are a Catholic school (see above), the
School of Education requires only two theology courses.
And they can be nominal—“World
Religions” and the like.
First days in any
class are usually full of syllabi, definitions and
setting classroom dynamics.
And so, on the first day, Maeby received a course-clarifying handout
entitled, "MC Education
IS`s and ISN`T`s," based on the work of
Paul Gorski, an assistant professor at Hamline
University`s Graduate School of Education in St. Paul,
Dr. Gorski created
and maintains the
Multicultural Pavilion and the
McGraw-Hill Multicultural Supersite, two
websites focused on multicultural education. He is
actively involved in the
National Association for Multicultural Education
(NAME), and serves on its board of directors. He`s very
good-looking, judging from the
picture on his
personal website, which also features
shots of him as an adorable baby. (Now he`s an
adorable cry-baby.) He writes: “I
have a cat named Unity and love her dearly.”
Oh well, I love cats
too. You can email Gorski at
Here are a few
excerpts from Gorski:
isn`t about everyone agreeing and getting along, it is
about naming and eliminating the inequalities in
Actually, far from
agreeing and getting along, it`s about (see below)
isn`t only applicable to Language Arts and History, it
is a comprehensive approach for making education more
inclusive, active, and engaging in all subject areas."
physics and algebra. Interesting thought. Where`s the
new math when you need it?
In fact, the
multicultis have thought of that. One day, Maeby
reported her professor`s answer:
segregation. Since women and minorities aren`t
performing as well in math and the sciences, they
should be removed from the traditional classroom setting
and provided their own single-gender or
"culturally neutral" environment.
Separate, but equal?
Catchy phrase, that.
Maybe that`s why the
School of Education doesn`t require any history classes.
isn`t a process of watering down good curricula, it is a
process for presenting all students with a more
comprehensive, accurate understanding of the world."
Gorski and my school`s
Office of Student Diversity went to the same school
of sophistic rhetoric. A member of the OSD once told me:
"We aren`t trying to change anyone`s world view, we
just want to help you
understand the world differently."
And the problem is
that yes, by setting aside extra time for
multiculturalist indoctrination, the curriculum is
watered down. The use of classroom hours may not be a
zero-sum game for the leisure classes, but it certainly
is for those kids in low-income areas with
responsibilities outside of school and little or no
There are only so
many hours in the day, forcing a teacher to pick and
choose what he can teach. One
extra day preaching cultural tolerance means one
less day on the Federalist Papers.
isn`t achieved through a series of small changes, but is
achieved through the reexamination and transformation of
all aspects of education."
Well, shoot for the
moon and you`ll at least land among the stars.
Meanwhile, those of
still on the planet earth are struggling to save the
culture that made such a mission possible in the first
That culture, the
American culture (Canada, South and Central America
not going to be easily rescued, if professors like
this one get their way.
In addition to the
tri-weekly reading assignments, midterm and final exam,
Maeby was assigned a "Roots Presentation."
She was supposed to
explore her own cultural identity by investigating her
family`s "unique history" as a way of identifying
her personal worldview. The assignment consisted of a
3-4 minute presentation to the class, and a 2-3 page
paper, in which she would identify and describe her
Maeby was also
required to turn in weekly journals intended to track
her progress through self-reflection and reexamination
of her own behavior. Gorski encourages this kind of
exercise as a way of creating a “hidden curriculum”—that
is, a teacher whose actions and
consciousness revolve around multiculturalism, who
can teach students
through example instead of through textbooks or
I`ve also been told
that journaling is a kind of
brainwashing technique. Go figure.
The Roots assignment
was tricky, though, because being a
white Catholic American (USA-an?)
didn`t count in this class. A purely
American cultural heritage presentation was not
appropriate, according to her professor when Maeby
asked, because it would consist only of "white
So, because she
simply had to
dig up some
ancestors who came from a "non-dominant,"
i.e. minority, cultural heritage, Maeby had the choice
of becoming a
genealogist, or a
novelist. (Her solution: she
discovered Latin American forbears.)
Late in the semester,
Maeby wrote in her weekly journal:
had me find and research former,
non-dominant cultures in my heritage and talk about
them, even though their influence upon my life was
nothing…I wish I could have felt comfortable enough to
step back and say: this is who I am, I am an American,
and whether people like it or not, I am going to present
annotated that she was pleased to see Maeby had been
affected by the experience.
The hypocrisy of a
class on “multiculturalism” and
“inclusiveness” being blatantly exclusive of
Maeby`s American heritage goes unnoticed by the
multiCult. The exchange of one exclusive world-view for
another (from American chauvinism—as defined by the
cult—to politically correct value judgments—again as
defined by the cult) was simply seen as an opportunity
for Maeby to experience the feeling of being a minority.
Apparently being a
conservative on campus wasn`t minority enough!
The depressing news:
Maeby reported that the double standard wasn`t seen by
any of the aspiring teachers in the class either. Either
they enthusiastically joined in the America-bashing, or,
like Maeby herself, they were too afraid to speak up.
In one of her final
journals, Maeby noted: "I am afraid to show pride in
my culture at the risk of being
viewed as a proponent of oppression by the dominant
To this, her
professor had no comment.
Fear—isn`t that the
first step toward oppression?
Athena Kerry (email
recently graduated from a Catholic university somewhere in