by Sara Dogan
“Racial justice work is the work of all of us.”
By longstanding tradition, on the third weekend in October, Minnesota schoolchildren are granted a four-day holiday so that their teachers can attend an indoctrination bootcamp—otherwise known as the “Minnesota Educator Academy” or “MEA”—sponsored by Education Minnesota, the state’s teachers union. Billed by the union as an opportunity for professional development and for educators to connect with their colleagues across the state, the Academy is a poorly-disguised effort for leftists to further their agendas by promoting radical race theory and the progressive concepts of “white privilege” and “Islamophobia” to the individuals charged with educating our next generation.
The most recent MEA which was held last week in St. Paul was no exception and the conference itinerary made no effort to hide the political thrust of its efforts. The one-day conference kicked off with a keynote address by Dr. Eddie Moore Jr., the co-founder and director of The Privilege Institute and The National White Privilege Conference.
Moore is a proponent of “equity” which is notably different from the concept of “equality” which was championed by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and other civil rights leaders during the 1960’s. While those who champion equality want to ensure equality of opportunity and equal rights under the law, those promoting equity want to ensure equal results. If black students are receiving poorer grades or more suspensions in schools than white students, proponents of equity declare that the school system must be racist, that its very structure and foundations are suspect, that it must be privileged towards whites—regardless of the many cultural, economic and sociological reasons why such disparities may exist.
“When you design systems, organizations, institutions, believing that you’re supreme, that is what white supremacy is all about. And we know that in many of the people who came before us who contributed to this nation’s design, they believed in white male supremacy,” Moore explained in an interview. “White privilege is the perk that comes from that structure’s design because you resemble the structure. Simply because you are alike those who believed in that supreme design, that you get a reward for that.”
The conference agenda assumes that all its participants will buy into these radical theories. “Moore will talk about why racial justice work is the work of all of us, no matter where we live or who we know,” states the conference itinerary, which lauds his organization for providing opportunities for “those committed to true social and institutional change.”
Following Moore’s keynote address, the conference’s participants had the option to attend several breakout sessions. Among these is the ironically titled “Anti-Bias Education: The Foundation of Culturally Responsive Teaching” which claims to teach educators “ABE theory and practices that create identity safety, belonging and equity.” Again, the focus is on “equity,” on achieving equal results for all students, not “equality,” which would mean providing all students with the same opportunities.
An “REA Workshop,” is noted as being open only “to members who have been accepted into the Racial Equity Advocate 2019-20 cohort.” These Racial Equity Advocates have been specially trained to “serve as a supportive peer for colleagues who are working to develop an anti-racism growth mindset,” “deliver professional development and facilitate community learning experiences related to racial equity” and “participate in conflict resolution and restorative justice efforts within learning communities.” Like the MEA’s keynote speaker Dr. Moore, REA’s are trained to demand “equity” or equality of results—not equality of opportunities or resources.
An afternoon session at the Academy was devoted to the topic of “Muslims in the Classroom.”
“Learn the basics of what impacts Muslim students and their daily lives in the classroom. Aspects of diet, dress, gender relations, prayer, fasting and Muslim holidays are integral to this topic,” explains the conference guide. “The workshop is meant to help identify and address Islamophobia and Islamophobic bullying in the classroom.” According to FBI statistics, hate crimes against Jews are far more common than those committed against Muslims, but no comparable sessions on Judaism, Christianity, or other faiths were provided to educators at the MEA.
Another afternoon session returned again to the topic of “privilege.” In “Introduction to Privilege: Who's Right? Who's Left?” educators are told that they will experience a “hands-on session” that will help them “experience how inequity from privilege affects people's daily lives.” And a training on “Building Cultural Competency Through Culturally Responsive Teaching” promised to provide “sample lesson plans that demonstrate how to use culturally responsive teaching practices to build cultural competency for their students.” Two separate sessions provided guidance on teaching students about climate change.
The MEA thankfully offers more than ideological indoctrination. Amidst the lessons on avoiding privilege and Islamophobia and promoting racial equity are sessions on teaching reading, math and other academic subjects and also on understanding medical conditions that can impact learning such as dyslexia, autism and ADHD. But the selection of Dr. Moore—founder of the Privilege Institute and the White Privilege Conference—as the conference’s keynote speaker lends a tenor of ideological fervor that permeates throughout. Minnesota’s educators—and the children that they teach—deserve better.
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