Home > Essays > Headlines from May 20 Newsfeed on Education Underscore Conservatives Fixation on Status Quo, Certainty, and Close Mindedness

Headlines from May 20 Newsfeed on Education Underscore Conservatives Fixation on Status Quo, Certainty, and Close Mindedness

May 20, 2021

Here are some headlines from my Education newsfeed this morning:

Focussing on the Correct Answer in Maths “is racist” – The Sunday Times

“VA school teachers studies book that decried “adultism”, “religious privilege” – Fox News

Penn State to remove binary gender language such as “freshman” from course and program descriptions” -CNN

Indoctrination or distraction? NC joins the battle over Critical Race Theory” – ABC Eyewitness News

Wake school policy aims for “equity for all students”. Critics say it’s Marxist” – News and Observer

Lawmakers say critical race theory is “harmful”, urge State School Board to keep it from students” – Deseret News

Schools teaching critical race theory means pitting students one against the other: Ian Prior” – Fox News

What do these headlines have in common? In all cases they are pushing back against those who are trying to introduce a new perspective into the status quo, a perspective that questions any perspective of content that is new and different, any open-mindedness. In many of these cases, the reporters are creating controversy by insinuating that anyone with an alternative perspective is attempting to “indoctrinate” students without acknowledging that ANY instruction— including and especially the instruction in place today— indoctrinates students. In other cases the writer attaches a scary label to something— i.e. challenging “equity” by equating it with “Marxism”— in an effort to avoid talking about the issue altogether. And, as noted on many instances in this blog, the whole purpose of the “argument” is to keep us divided as a nation and set the parameters of the debate so that it is cultural instead of economic. It is not entirely paranoid to think that those who wish to protect economic the status quo want to go to extreme lengths to avoid having the voters asking questions about the inequities that exist— where 10% of the population owns 90% of the stocks and scores of billionaires and corporations pay no taxes. As long as voters are riveted to questions on gender nomenclature, race, religious freedom, and (gasp!) how equity is “Marxist,” meaningful debates over the economic status quo will be forestalled or abandoned entirely. Those on the top of the pyramid, those our current system has branded as “winners”, own and control much of the mass media. It would be helpful to democracy and the unity of our country if they fostered debates over the distribution of wealth and the income disparities instead of fanning the flames of race, gender, and religion. 

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