Posted on February 25, 2021

Failure Factory

Christopher Rufo, City Journal, February 23, 2021


Buffalo Public Schools diversity czar Fatima Morrell, architect of the district’s pedagogical revolution, summarizes these dense phrases in a single word: “woke.” Last year, in her role as director of the Office of Culturally and Linguistically Responsive Initiatives, Morrell created a new curriculum promoting Black Lives Matter in the classroom and an “antiracist” training program for teachers. According to one veteran teacher, who requested anonymity, Morrell’s training programs have pushed “radical politics” and, in practice, become a series of “scoldings, guilt-trips, and demands to demean oneself simply to make another feel ‘empowered.’” {snip}

During one all-hands training session, the details of which I have obtained through a whistleblower, Morrell claimed that America “is built on racism” and that all Americans are guilty of “implicit racial bias.” {snip} Morrell, who earned her Ed.D. from the University of Buffalo, said that the solution is to “be woke, which is basically critically conscious,” citing a pedagogical concept developed by Marxist theoretician Paolo Freire holding that students must be trained to identify and eventually overthrow their oppressors. After Morrell’s presentation, one teacher reaffirmed this political imperative, declaring that students must become “activists for antiracism” and public school teachers should begin “preparing them at four years old.”

{snip}  In kindergarten, teachers ask students to compare their skin color with an arrangement of crayons and watch a video that dramatizes dead black children speaking to them from beyond the grave about the dangers of being killed by “racist police and state-sanctioned violence.” By fifth grade, students are taught that America has created a “school-to-grave pipeline” for black children and that, as adults, “one million Black people are locked in cages.”

In middle and high school, schools must teach about “systemic racism,” instructing students that American society was designed for the “impoverishment of people of color and enrichment of white people,” that the United States “created a social system that had racist economic inequality built into its foundation,” and that “the [current] wealth gap is the result of black slavery, which created unjust wealth for white people,” who are “unfairly rich.” Students then learn that “all white people play a part in perpetuating systemic racism” and that “often unconsciously, white elites work to perpetuate racism through politics, law, education, and the media.”