Having already “destroyed” higher education, the political left is ramping up its effort to fundamentally transform K-12 schooling, teaching children that anything associated with Western Civilization is dangerous, says former Princeton and Vanderbilt political science professor Carol Swain.
In an interview Friday with former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon on his “War Room” program, Swain discussed the “canceling” of the likes of Shakespeare in school curricula.
Noting the issue has been “simmering” for decades, she recalled Jesse Jackson back in 1987 leading Stanford students in a protest chanting, “Hey, hey, ho, ho, Western Civ has got to go!”
“What is dangerous now is that the diversity, equity, inclusion industry … has been mainstreamed,” Swain told Bannon.
Now, Shakespeare is a racist, misogynistic homophobe.
As the vice chairman of President Trump’s 1776 Commission, which recently was eliminated by President Biden, Swain is helping lead the opposition to the implementation of “critical race theory” in public schools across the nation. In general terms, CRC is a postmodern theoretical framework rooted in Marxist principles that views individuals through the lens of the oppressed or the oppressor, based largely on their skin color.
The elimination or marginalizing of the great works of Western Civilization already has destroyed higher education, she said, and now K-12 education and corporations are embracing the agenda.
“What it means is the destruction of education as we know it,” said Swain.
The 1776 Commission was formed to counter the growing influence on educators of the New York Times Magazine’s 1619 Project, which contends America is an inherently racist nation built on a foundation of slavery.
WND recently reported a veteran Philadelphia public teacher is warning that critical race theory aims to “disrupt and dismantle” and is “definitely not sensitivity and it’s definitely not diversity.”
Swain, who was a Democrat until 2009, grew up in severe poverty, living in a shack without running water and sharing two beds with her 11 siblings. Her father dropped out of school in the third grade and her mother in high school. She, herself, dropped out of school in the ninth grade then later earned a GED. Her educational path culminated with a Ph.D. in political science from the University of North Carolina and a Master of Legal Studies from Yale Law School. She was a tenured associate professor of politics and public policy at Princeton University. Beginning in 1999, she taught political science and law at Vanderbilt University before retiring in 2017.
She ran for mayor of Nashville in 2019, recognizing she faced a steep, uphill climb.
“It might be a challenge but I believe in miracles,” she told The Tennessean newspaper at the time. “My life has been a life of beating the odds.”
The racism of denied opportunity
In the interview Friday, Swain said that in some schools, it’s now being argued that demanding correct answers in math and science amounts to white supremacy.
“For parents who think, well, we’ll put up with this – the school board says we need to treat minority students in a particular way – they have to realize that it’s not just minority students who are affected by this nonsense,” she warned.
She said that teachers “are being forced to teach things that they know will destroy the lives of their children, but to keep their jobs, they’re being forced to do this.”
The solution, contends Swain, is to appeal to the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment and civil rights laws that forbid race-based policies.
“I cannot think of anything more racist than denying children an opportunity to be educated in a way that they can be productive citizens, get real jobs,” she said.
Swain argued that “if you say that math doesn’t demand right answers, and that teachers can’t correct math problems – that two plus two doesn’t equal four – it means that you’re training people who cannot be engineers, scientists, pharmacists or even cashiers.”
If public schools continue down this path, she said, “the children of more affluent parents will read Shakespeare and the great books of Western Civilization, but the working class will always get an inferior education.”
She noted the great black novelist Toni Morrison and black leaders were educated reading the great books of Western Civilization.
‘You’ll be hearing more from us’
Swain agreed with Bannon that education is the civil rights issue of the 21st century.
“We’re all going to be victims if we don’t stand up,” she said.
Swain said the 1776 Commission “lives on,” with, among other activities, the publishing of a book within a few months.
“We may not be part of the U.S. government, but you cannot destroy a set of ideals, and so you will be hearing more from us,” she said.
“We care about the education of America’s children and its people, and so the ideals that the Biden administration is trying to destroy at this time, they live on.”
See the interview beginning at 7:30:
See Swain discuss the cancellation of the 1776 Commission and her future plans:
— Dr. Carol M. Swain (@carolmswain) February 18, 2021
Embedding racial ‘equity’
In his first week in office, President Biden unveiled a plan to “embed racial equity,” rather than equality of opportunity, in all government agencies and “redress systemic racism where it exists” across the nation.
With the aim of restoring education on America and its founding, the 1776 report argues that while the country “has its imperfections, just like any other country, in the annals of history the United States has achieved the greatest degree of personal freedom, security, and prosperity for the greatest proportion of its own people and for others around the world.”
“These results are the good fruit of the ideas the founding generation expressed as true for all people at all times and places.”
Last October, two members of the 1776 Commission, Hillsdale College President Larry Arnn and Hoover Institution fellow Victor Davis Hanson, were among the professors, academics and historians who signed a letter urging the Pulitzer Prize Board to rescind its award to the author of the “1619 Project,” Nikole Hannah-Jones.
Posted on the website of the National Association of Scholars, the letter asserts there is “simply no evidence” for her claim that “protecting the institution of slavery was a primary motive for the American Revolution.”
The Pulitzer board called her work “a sweeping, deeply reported and personal essay for the ground-breaking 1619 Project, which seeks to place the enslavement of Africans at the center of America’s story.” Hannah-Jones asserts that 1619, “when some 20 Africans arrived at Jamestown,” should be recognized as the year of the nation’s founding, not 1776.
The scholars point out that the 1619 Project has been discredited by so many historians that the Times “has felt the need to go back and change a crucial passage in it, softening but not eliminating its unsupported assertion about slavery and the Revolution.”
“Prominent historians” keep finding “serious factual errors, specious generalizations, and forced interpretations,” they emphasize. But Hannah-Jones has dismissed the criticism, and the Times has stonewalled, the letter says.
The New York Times’ own fact-checker, Leslie M. Harris, the scholars point out, has “warned the newspaper that an assertion that ‘the patriots fought the American Revolution in large part to preserve slavery in North America’ was plainly false.”
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