The Corner

Education

Saying ‘No’ to the Pollution of Academe

Students board the bus at Kratzer Elementary School in Allentown, Pa., April 13, 2021. (Hannah Beier/Reuters)

The latest offensive by leftist forces in their century-long push to control how people are educated is the incursion of critical race theory, an incomprehensible mush of ideas that are intended to sow mistrust and grievances. It also creates the need for ever-more government coercion so as to make things “equitable.” If CRT didn’t justify increased government power, the Left wouldn’t be interested.

At least defensive lines have gone up and now a counterattack is building. In today’s Martin Center article, Sumantra Maitra looks at the battlefield.

Leftist writers are whining that their pet idea is being “canceled” because some states have legislated against teaching CRT. Too bad. Schools ought to teach students knowledge, not crazed theories.

Maitra writes:

Legislation to bring a semblance of balance is in fact necessary when the entire ideological edifice is under the control of the left. Legislation is not value-neutral, but it is the only way to implement policy in a democratic polity. At the time of writing, Ontario and Calgary in Canada have legislated and mandated free speech in schools. Most importantly, in Britain, the higher ed department has taken the fight in a landmark policy by mandating free speech on penalty of fines, putting the burden of implementation on universities.

Freedom of speech? One of the hallmarks of CRT (as with the whole body of leftist theory) is that it must never be analyzed, just accepted. Students and faculty members who have dared to speak out against CRT have been rebuked, or even fired.

The hyper-zealous demands of CRT advocates has provoked a strong reaction against it. Perhaps Americans will learn something important about the nature of the leftist project from this.

Maitra concludes, “The collapse was inevitable, and the backlash is on the way. The CRT ideas are failing to convince people, who are choosing politicians who are legislating those ideas out of business. The system works. ”

George Leef is the the director of editorial content at the James G. Martin Center for Academic Renewal.

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