Category Archives: Culture wars

Schools Say They Teach CRT, Even As Journalists Deny It

by Hans Bader

Schools are teaching critical race theory, even as liberal education reporters deny it is taught anywhere, and falsely claim it is not taught in even a single school system.

Detroit’s school superintendent, Nikolai Vitti, says critical race theory is deeply embedded in his school system: “Our curriculum is deeply using critical race theory, especially in social studies, but you’ll find it in English language arts and the other disciplines. We were very intentional about … embedding critical race theory within our curriculum.”

His school district is not alone. Twenty percent of urban school teachers have discussed or taught critical race theory with K-12 students, as have 8 % of teachers nationally, according to an Education Week survey. The Seattle public schools employed a critical race theorist as part of the district’s efforts to embed the theory in elementary schools.

“Unequivocally, critical race theory is taught in K-12 public schools,” said the Heritage Foundation’s Jonathan Butcher, noting he wrote a research paper detailing numerous instances of school districts openly using the phrase “critical race theory” in curriculum plans. Continue reading

Young Peoples’ Attitudes About America Show that the Nation is Reaping What the Left has Sown

by James C. Sherlock

Updated Dec 2, 5:34 PM.

Terry McAuliffe:

“I don’t think parents should be telling schools what they should teach.”

Clearly, parents have not done so successfully. The Left has.

For a dramatic lesson in what the young have learned about America at enormous public and private expense, please see the Harvard Kennedy School Institute of Politics Harvard Youth Poll Fall 2021 Top Trends and Takeaways, published yesterday. The poll of more than 2,000 18- to 29-year-olds was taken between October 26 and November 8 of this year.

Some poll results:

A majority (52%) of young Americans believe that our democracy is either “in trouble,” or “failing.”

More than half (51%) of young Americans report having felt down, depressed, and hopeless — and 25% have had thoughts of self-harm — at least several times in the last two weeks.

American Exceptionalism is a highly divisive issue among young Americans; less than one-third believe that “America is the greatest country in the world.”

In a Spring poll taken March 9-22, 2021, young people were much more hopeful. In fact, their rate of loss of hope in the last seven months could reasonably be called a crash.

Harvard has been doing this survey twice a year for 46 years. The results are  not surprising. However, they will serve as a perfect Rorschach test for one’s political beliefs.

The Left will find them encouraging; the rest of us will not. Continue reading

Press Misinformation on Critical Race Theory in Schools Fuels the Fight

by James C. Sherlock

Americans are at one another’s throats over critical race theory in schools.

The debate is skewed and the rage fueled by completely different understandings of the terms of reference — the actual objections to CRT in education.

Those objections have been misstated routinely by the legacy national newspapers and the education press. The misleading articles make it into most national newspapers these days with the collapse of regional reporting. And the misinformation they spread has made it into these pages.

Education Week, in a surprise change of pace for that journal, published on November 15 an opinion piece by Rick Hess titled “Media Coverage of Critical Race Theory Misses the Mark.”

Based upon a detailed study of a year’s worth of press reports, Hess finds that the national legacy media and the education press have largely and purposely ignored the core objections to CRT in schools.

Instead they have misled the public with a selective and progressive-friendly, but inaccurate definition of the terms of the debate. Continue reading

A Look at Two Boards of Visitors

by Dick Hall-Sizemore

The boards of visitors of the Commonwealth’s colleges and universities have been taking some hits on these pages. To read these posts, one would come to the conclusion that the boards of visitors are comprised of mediocre “woke” personalities who have few leadership or business skills. One correspondent of Jim Bacon’s even charged that these institutions have “second rate boards” composed of “political hacks, ideologues, and rabid sports fans.”

My curiosity was aroused. Who were these people on these boards? I decided to look at the composition of the boards of visitors of the two institutions that have been most in BR’s crosshairs: the University of Virginia and Virginia Military Institute. Continue reading

To Get Respect, Show Respect

Khalah Sabbakhan, after her encounter with Richmond police. Photo credit: Daniel Sangjib Min, Richmond Times-Dispatch

by Dick Hall-Sizemore

There are frequent posts on this blog citing the low morale of police officers and officers quitting or retiring as a result. (For one example, see the post from earlier today.) However, for some reason, those posts often fail to report on the continued bad behavior of police.

Early last month, a 45-year old Black woman encountered two white police officers questioning a woman who appeared to be homeless near the Sauer Center in Richmond. (In order to keep the people involved in this incident straight in my narrative, I will refer to the woman being questioned as homeless, although it is not certain that was her status.) The subsequent actions were recorded by the Black woman involved and another eyewitness who started recording after she heard the first woman pleading for help. Continue reading

The Woke Are Coming for Your Doctor

by James C. Sherlock

I just finished reading a profoundly disturbing article by Robert Graboyes, a PhD. economist with deep personal and professional roots in Virginia.

“The Pall of Politics Descends Upon American Medicine”  is published in Discourse Magazine, a publication of  Mercatus Center at George Mason University.  It is subtitled: “A new guidance document for medical professionals emphasizes critical race theory and social justice at the expense of patient care.”

His subject is the 54-page Advancing Health Equity: A Guide to Language, Narrative and Concepts, or AHE, published in October by the American Medical Association and the American Association of Medical Colleges.

AHE is not benign, and is not posited as such.

It instead complements the other frontal assaults on the social fabric coming from the heights of the woke culture. Continue reading

Bacon Bits: Crime and Delusion Edition

Another drive-by, two more dead. Family, friends and community leaders gathered a week ago to remember 14-year-old Rah’quan Logan, who was murdered at a Richmond community store, in a drive-by shooting. Nine-year-old Abduel Bani-Ahmad, whose family owned the store, died in the same incident, in which occupants of an SUV drove past the store and let loose a hail of bullets. The boys’ deaths brought the number of slain in Richmond this year to 82, compared to 75 in 2020, reports the Richmond Times-Dispatch. JJ Minor, president of the Richmond branch of the NAACP urged fellow Richmonders and parents to take action. “I’m tired of marches, I’m tired of rallies, I’m tired of waiting on government,” he said. “We have to repair the village. We have to rebuild the village.”

Meanwhile, police morale continues to plummet. WTVR News tells of three-year Richmond police veteran Brenda Ruiz, who is calling it quits. She is one of 102 police officers who have either retired, quit or transferred this year, leaving the Richmond Police Department with a 600-person headcount, or 150 short. One issue can be solved easily, should City Council choose to make it a priority: raise police pay. The other problem is not so easy to fix — the lack of respect from local politicians. Amid last year’s social-justice protests and riots,” said Ruiz, “at least two of the City Council members made us look like the bad guys. … A lot of the time our command staff has their hands tied, and they can’t do much for us.” Continue reading

White Supremacists Are Pathetic Broke Losers

Mathew Heimbach in front of the Charlottesville courthouse in 2017. Photo credit: AP

by James A. Bacon

The mainstream media portrays white supremacists as an ever-present danger to the republic, and heavy hitters from the New York Times to the Washington Post gave the trial of White nationalist leaders in Charlottesville daily coverage. At last an article has been published that portrays the racists as the broke, pathetic — dare I say “marginalized” — losers that they are.

The Associated Press says that the nine people who sued the organizers of the United the Right rally in 2017 might have won a $26 million judgment, but they aren’t likely to collect much. As the article states, “Most of the defendants claim they will never have the money needed to pay off the judgments against them.”

“I have no assets. I have no property. You can’t get blood from a stone,” said Matthew Heimbach, co-founder of the Traditionalist Worker Party. Heimbach is a single father to two young sons, works at a factory and lives paycheck to paycheck. The plaintiffs, he said, “just wasted $20 million to try and play Whac-a-Mole.” Continue reading

Fairfax Schools Sex Survey Isn’t Just Intrusive, It’s Potentially Damaging

by Tyler Ohta

Once again, the Fairfax County School Board has put its ideological priorities ahead of the educational needs of the children. Yes, the 12 Democrats sitting on the school board have sent out another youth sex survey, just like it does each year.

The survey delivered during academic time to children in grades 8-12 reads like a rap song instead of a questionnaire to children as young as 11 years old. With a whopping 173 questions, the most pressing question judging by the fact that it is first, is — wait for it — “Are you transgender?”

Other questions include:

  • “How old you were when you first had sex?”
  • “How many people have you had sex with in the last 3 months?” (with an answer option of 6+ people!)
  • Have you ever tried heroin, cocaine, and cabbies? (multiple questions)

There are also plenty of other questions asking about children’s smoking, vaping, huffing, and drinking habits, as well as marijuana usage. Other questions delve deeply into the private lives of these kids, asking intimate and inappropriate
questions about family – the eerie thrust of which seems to lead children to doubt their families’ love and care for them. For example, “How many times a month do your parents bully, ridicule, or tease you?” Continue reading

In Defense of Intellectual Diversity

Larry Stimpert

Here follows the Founder’s Day message from Hampden-Sydney President Larry Stimpert to the Hampden-Sydney College community, Nov. 10, 2021. — JAB

Two hundred forty-six years ago today, Hampden-Sydney College held its first classes. Founded on the eve of the American Revolution “to form good men and good citizens” who would be the leaders of the new Republic, the College and its mission remain as important and relevant today as they were on November 10, 1775. This College has thrived for nearly two and a half centuries, in part, because of our commitment to freedom of expression and civil discourse.

The constitution of the Union-Philanthropic Literary Society, our College’s debating society — the second oldest in the United States — states that “freedom of discussion … was bought with precious blood.” We value freedom of expression not only because it is a central tenet of our Republic, one that our Founders fought and died for, but also because freedom of expression and open discussion make Hampden-Sydney a better and more vital college and our students better men and citizens.

Teaching students how, not what, to think has been our College’s North Star since 1775. Indoctrination, cancel culture, self-censoring, or anything that limits the widest possible intellectual exploration has no place on our campus, or any college or university campus. Faculty members, like all of us, have personal views on a host of topics and they may share those views with students in classroom discussions. But promulgating personal views or limiting the ability of others to challenge those views or to express their own views are unacceptable breaches of academic professionalism. Continue reading

Wake Up Call for Higher Ed

by James A. Bacon

How does a college or university stand out from the crowd these days and establish a competitive advantage in the higher-ed marketplace?

One way is to focus on the U.S. News & World-Report annual “Best Colleges” rankings and manipulate metrics such as graduation rates, faculty compensation, student selectivity, alumni giving and (in a recent addition to its ranking methodology) admission rates of poor kids — essentially doubling down on all the things that higher-ed institutions are focused on already. Years of sustained effort might help an institution climb one or two rungs higher the ladder.

But there’s another way: going against the lemming horde and emphasizing the one thing no one else is:  intellectual diversity and the vibrant debate of ideas.

The great thing about the anti-lemming strategy is that it doesn’t require vast financial resources. It just requires doing things differently, mainly supporting free speech and free expression, and hiring faculty who reflect a wider range of viewpoints and philosophies. Campuses that experience an exhilarating exchange of ideas may not prove popular to everyone — there will always be some people who select colleges based on perceived prestige — but they will appeal to the brightest and most intellectually curious faculty and students. Continue reading

Deciphering the Latest Events at VMI

Cedric Wins

by James A. Bacon

In my past couple of posts about the Virginia Military Institute, I observed that VMI Superintendent Cedric T. Wins and the Board of Visitors have caved into the demands of the Northam administration for transforming the racial climate of the military academy — not just by updating traditions and iconography relating to the Confederacy but hiring a director of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, a sign of obeisance to woke orthodoxy. At times I may have conveying the impression that Wins is in the same side of the culture wars as Governor Ralph Northam and Washington Post reporter Ian Shapira, who have done more than anyone to push the VMI-as-racist-hellhole narrative.

We won’t know the degree to which VMI has adopted the premises of wokism until Wins has had time to to carry out his “One Corps – One VMI” action plan.  Wins’ vision for VMI expresses a desire to balance “diversity and inclusion” with, in its words, honor as a way of life, the forging of leaders with character, and building an ethic of competing and winning.

One should not read too much into VMI’s acceptance of Governor Ralph Northam’s request to deliver a speech to the cadets Monday night. The Governor is Virginia’s commander in chief, and to have rejected the request would have been highly irregular for anyone who believes in respecting the chain of command. Meanwhile, it is abundantly clear that VMI regards Washington Post reporter Shapira as a hostile actor. Earlier this week VMI took the step of publishing a transcript of a recent Shapira interview — along with some pointed commentary. Continue reading

ODU Professor Allyn Walker Put on Administrative Leave

by Kerry Dougherty

That didn’t take long.

Two days after Old Dominion University issued a tepid word salad supporting assistant professor Allyn Walker, who’s attempting to normalize pedophilia, the president of the university, Brian O. Hemphill, placed Walker on administrative leave.

Looks like the brass at ODU heard loud and clear from the parents, donors and students — you know, normal people — who are outraged that an assistant professor in the department of sociology and criminal justice is urging society to dignify pedophilia by referring to these freaks as “minor-attracted people” or MAPs.

This is the person — who uses they/them as pronouns – who’s been in the news for the past few days:

Continue reading

In Speech to Cadets, Northam Defends His Treatment of VMI

Photo credit: WBDJ TV

by James A. Bacon

A year after denouncing the “clear and appalling culture of ongoing structural racism” at his alma mater the Virginia Military Institute, Governor Ralph Northam extended an olive branch of sorts. Delivering a speech last night to VMI’s 1,700 cadets, he offered praise of the Institute while also justifying measures he took to transform it in line with his vision of diversity and inclusion.

“We have a strong and thriving Virginia — a Commonwealth that opens its arms to people from around the world. The diversity that we’ve embraced in Virginia makes us stronger,” Northam said. “You will be out in this world, and no matter where you go — the military, or to a private sector job — you are going to encounter a wide variety of people, of all faiths and backgrounds.”

Implicit in those remarks is that VMI was a racist institution until the installation of new leadership in the past year. While Northam tactfully did not call VMI racist in his speech, he did allude to the flying of the Confederate flag, the playing of “Dixie,” and the glorification of the Lost Cause 44 years ago when he was a cadet.

Since then, Northam said, he has come to understand “what a large and diverse world we live in” and he has learned the importance of “diversity, being inclusive, being welcoming, and treating people fairly and with dignity.”

It is not immediately evident from the text of the speech what Northam was hoping to accomplish. My take is that Northam has residual feelings of loyalty to the Institute, which he credited with giving him a “world-class” education, and that he was trying to make peace with a community that he angered with his sweeping denunciations and heavy-handed tactics. Without waiting for the results of the investigation last year, he forced the resignation of the previous superintendent, J.H. Binford Peay III. He also installed a Board of Visitors willing to accelerate the removal of Confederate statues and iconography from the “post,” as the campus is known, and enact a progressive “diversity” agenda, such as hiring a chief diversity officer. Continue reading

Pedophiles Ought to be Stigmatized

by Kerry Dougherty

Stop it. Just stop. We’ve had enough.

At least I’VE had enough and I think I speak for many Americans who are done with woke. Done with the left. Done normalizing things that are anything but normal.

Late on Thursday night, as I was putting the finishing touches on Friday’s post, I got a text from a friend, “You’re prob aware of this – I just saw it,” with a link to this:

Continue reading