By James C. Sherlock
Credit JAMA Pediatrics, April 6, 2020
We have arrived today at a situation in which huge percentages of Virginia children and adolescents exhibit mental health problems.
Both sides of the political divide acknowledge the problem.
It’s existence is not up for debate.
Both blame the soaring pediatric mental health issues, a problem before COVID, on COVID school shutdowns that caused children to lose foundational developmental experiences that depend in part on socialization in schools and in part on interpersonal relationships with friends, both of which were profoundly interrupted.
Both sides acknowledge that minorities suffered worse than white kids.
That is where the agreements end.
Conservatives blame the disparate mental health impacts largely on easily observable inappropriate responses to COVID insisted upon by progressives and executed for far too long in progressive-run school divisions — in which minority children are mostly educated in America and in Virginia.
Progressives, by dogma never acknowledging agency in any problem, have actively tried to blame those same disparate impacts on institutional racism.
The facts are on the conservative side.
This article will show what progressives did and the results. Progressive dogma was the cause of extended school closures. Both the closures and disparate impacts happened disproportionately in progressive school divisions and progressive states.
So progressives closed the schools, closed them disproportionately on minority kids and now bemoan the outcomes of those closures as artifacts of systemic racism.
It reminds one of the story of the young man who killed his parents and asked the judge for leniency because he was an orphan.
It takes some combination of denial, an assumption that people who hear those claims are idiots, and Olympic-level audacity.
Racism, unless it was progressive racism, had nothing to do with it.