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Generally speaking, I’m not a fan of Andrew Sullivan’s politics, but on this one issue, he gets it right. Today he has a new piece titled: “When the ideologues come for the kids” which makes a point I’ve raised before about what the current focus on identity politics is likely to generate from those who are assigned the role of “the heavy” from a young age. Sullivan starts by referencing a recent piece written by a parent about seeing his kids encounter a wave of identity politics in NY schools. He then moves to a piece about “white boys” published earlier this year by a teacher:
This week, a student spoke up in class to say that every time a particular writer talked about White people and their role in racism, he would start to feel really guilty, and it made him not want to listen … I try to keep an arm around the boys who most need it, but it’s hard, because I’m also not willing to give an inch on making my room safe for my students of color. It’s not their job to keep hurting while White boys figure it out.
Children, in other words, are being taught to think constantly about race, and to feel guilty if they are the wrong one. And, of course, if they resist, that merely proves the point. A boy who doesn’t think he is personally responsible for racism is merely reflecting “white fragility” which is a function of “white supremacy.” QED. No one seems to have thought through the implications of telling white boys that their core identity is their “whiteness,” or worried that indoctrinating kids into white identity might lead quite a few to, yes, become “white identitarians” of the far right.
I wrote about this back in June when Bret Weinstein published a video arguing much the same thing. He said, “People who are the object of ire from the intersectionalists are going to be backed against the wall together. Who are they going to be? Well, primarily they are going to be straight and white and male.” He went on to predict that this combination of telling people that a) racial identity is paramount and b) your racial identity is suspect creates a breeding ground for the kind of white nationalism that we’d all like to avoid. Sullivan adds another note to his criticism, which is that there is no rational way out of this cult because reason has little to do with it. This is a substitute religion:
The racism, sexism, and condescension in those sentences! (The teacher, by the way, is not some outlier. In 2014, he was named Minnesota’s Teacher of the Year!) Having taken one form of religion out of the public schools, the social-justice left is now replacing it with the doctrines of intersectionality.
Watch the video:
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