Friday, June 30, 2017

A letter to my son, as he prepares to start college in a time of campus craziness

by Robert Ehrlich

Congratulations, son! Your high school graduation is now in the books. Lifelong friends, favorite teachers and big wins (and losses) will define these formative years.

But now a new cycle begins. College life awaits. Plenty of new challenges will be presented – academically, socially, athletically and… politically. With respect to the first three of these, you have demonstrated an ability to handle your business. Here, your brains, brawn and common sense have served you well. Such attributes will continue to serve you in your new environment.

The fourth challenge will be somewhat unique, however. Some of your new peers (and professors) will seek to define (and degrade) you by the fact that your parents earn a good living; you are the product of a two-parent home; you attended excellent private schools; you are a Christian; you are a white male; you are a Republican; you are a conservative.

Your spiritual upbringing has taught you that all of this does not for a second make you better, or worse, than any other person on this earth. You have often heard Mom and me talk about judging others according to their values, actions, character – rather than the color of their skin (or any other characteristic for that matter). This is what Dr. Martin Luther King was referring to in his famous "I Have A Dream" speech. It remains advice for the ages.

But today's college environment seeks to question even this most basic of values. You see, there is a new, virulent ideology bumping around "higher" education and, therefore, our culture. It is called "identity politics" – a brand of progressive thought that has gained an unfortunate foothold with your generation – and is especially popular on campus.

This platform turns King's advice on its head. It seeks to impose judgment as a function of everything but personal character. And people that look like you and have your kind of background will often find themselves in its crosshairs.

This means that you must be prepared to deal with those who will label you in order to denigrate you. The more aggressive types will tag you with the "product of privilege" moniker. This means you will be identified as a "hater" – an unfeeling type incapable of empathizing with the plight of those less fortunate – defined as just about everyone who does not fit your description.

This, of course, is the essence of identity politics. It is also a first class, in-your-face guilt trip that may also be administered by professors and administrators who just live for this stuff.

Recent years have brought us the most radical iteration of this "movement." It unfolds almost daily on our television screens during commencement season – or whenever a conservative speaker appears on a left-wing campus.

The scenes capture aggressively violent young people acting out in order to shut down or intimidate the audience and speaker. Sometimes, the protestors are heard screaming expletives such as "Fascist!" or "Nazi!" They also tend to carry signs, lots of signs, with every "victim" cause known to mankind. The riots at Berkley and Middlebury have been the most grotesque, but many campuses have experienced this sickening intolerance.

The election of President Trump has given these snowflake-protestors a convenient boogeyman to hate; but truth be told, they did not need a disruptor such as Trump to come along in order to strut their stuff. This group believes they own the moral high ground because of their self-identified victimhood. And those like you, my dear son, are the designated victimizers, aka "oppressors." Yes, you and your ilk are "The Man" – just grinding various victim groups down for your own nativist, racist, homophobic, capitalist purposes – or so the popular narrative goes.

And please do not let the fact that so many of these "oppressed" young people come from wealthy, private school backgrounds confuse you. The guilt that accompanies their economic advantage only makes them angrier.

Today, this mindset has infiltrated the Democratic Party to its core. Conservative Democrats have been vaporized. Moderates have been shuttered. The party's once consequential block of right-of-center "blue dogs" is on life support.

And all in the name of political correctness.

The left-wing intelligentsia (yes, the same group that gave us modern victimology) has now morphed into the go-to advisory group for the "The Resistance." In this capacity, progressive pundits are providing advice on how best to talk to the great unwashed, i.e., "deplorables" who somehow ended up voting for Trump. People like…us.

Your job is not to go looking for conflict with campus progressives. But if conflict does find you, you know not to back down. In this context, engage where you can and debate with substance when opposing remarks dignify a response. If possible, remind the opposition millennials that college is (still) supposed to be about the respectful exchange of ideas.

But never allow them to shut you down. Bad things happen when good people are silenced. Never allow yourself to be silenced.


I don't think I said a word to my son before he went to university.  I knew he was temperamentally conservative.  He still is -- after 9 years in that environment -- JR

UK threatens to close Jewish school for not teaching LGBT agenda

Note that the girls are aged only 3 to 8

'All equalities are equal, but some are more equal than others': LGBT agenda tops parents' and schools' right to choose 1st grade studies.

A private haredi school with 212 students in northern London is in danger of being ordered to close after it failed its third inspection since February 2016 last month.

The school, which teaches haredi girls ages three to eight, was reported as not giving students "a full understanding of fundamental British values" because they do not teach the LGBT agenda.

Jewish law prohibits the homosexual act and only recognizes a marriage between a man and woman as a legitimate way to build a family.

According to the Office for Standards in Education, Children's Services, and Schools (Ofsted), the girls "are not taught explicitly about issues such as sexual orientation. This restricts the pupils' spiritual, moral, social, and cultural development and does not promote the equality of opportunity in ways that take account of differing lifestyles."

School leaders "recognize the requirement to teach about the protected characteristics as set out in the Equality Act 2010," the report continued. "However, they acknowledge that they do not teach pupils about all the protected characteristics, particularly those relating to gender re-assignment and sexual orientation. This means that pupils have a limited understanding of the different lifestyles and partnerships that individuals may choose in present-day society."

This approach, they said, means the children are "shielded from learning about certain differences between people, such as sexual orientation. The school's culture, however, clearly focused on teaching pupils to respect everybody, regardless of beliefs and lifestyles."

Though the school is not expected to "promote" ideas about sexual orientation or gender reassignment, they must still "encourage pupils' respect for other people, paying particular regard to the protected characteristics set out in the 2010 Equalities Act."

Elsewhere in the report, the school, which belongs to the Vizhnitz hasidic sect, was praised for its high quality of education.

"It’s now been made crystal clear by Ofsted that the Equality Act is actually hierarchical," Christians in Education member Gill Robins said. "Sexual orientation and gender reassignment are at the apex of the Act."

Freedom of religion is not. "All equalities are equal, but some equalities are more equal than others. Ofsted has revealed its true agenda. It doesn't matter how good your school is in all other respects - simply refusing to teach very young children about gender reassignment will lead to your closure."

The school has been visited three times since February 2016, and told each of those times that it must incorporate the LGBT agenda into the 3- to 8-year-olds' curriculum.

After the third time that the school refused to cooperate, the government decided to close it down. This, despite the fact that the school was praised elsewhere in the report, especially for the teachers' "good subject knowledge and high-quality classroom resources that inspire pupils with enthusiasm for learning and to achieve well."

Though private schools in the UK are not required to teach the same curriculum as public schools, they must still meet two separate sets of Ofsted standards for sex and relationship education.

Though the school did revise its curriculum, Ofsted said it couldn't show that "pupils are taught explicitly about issues such as sexual orientation."

An Ofsted spokesperson said the current standards "actively promote fundamental British values such as democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and respect, and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs."

"Parents have the right, on behalf of their children, to expect an education that conforms to their religious beliefs and is in compliance with the law.

"Children living in England deserve the best. The law expects schools to demonstrate that they are encouraging pupils to take a respectful and tolerant stance towards those who hold values different from their own. Ofsted acts robustly and impartially to ensure children in England receive a good education."

However, teaching sexual orientation does not conform to the religious beliefs of Orthodox Jews.


Australia: Stupid Leftist prank on innocent schoolkids

Anything to keep alive the"stolen generatuion" myth.  Some Aboriginal kids were indeed taken away from their parents -- because they were grossly neglected, not because of the colour of their skin

Year 4 children tricked into believing they would be taken away from their parents - but then were told it was just a lesson on the Stolen Generation

Nine-year-old children spent most of a school day believing they would be taken away from their parents in a bizarre Stolen Generation role play.

The Year Four students at St Justin's Catholic primary school on the outskirts of Sydney burst into tears when a nun broke the news at 9.30am on Tuesday.

She held up what she said was a letter from the Prime Minister saying their parents weren't looking after them well enough so they would be taken away.

Distraught children asked their teacher if it was true, and she said yes. They were not told it was an exercise until 2.50pm when they were asked to write down how they felt.

Natalie Wykes said she was looking at moving her son Kynan to a public school over the incident, which she called 'emotional abuse'.

'He came home and he said "Mum, I was really scared at school today",' she told Daily Mail Australia.

'They said you won't be seeing your family again, that they had to change their last names, and even where they would be sleeping in the school.

'During the day they had to do activities that Aboriginal children did whey they were taken, like picking up rubbish and raking leaves, running around the oval and doing star jumps.

'If they didn't do it right they'd get yelled at, it was pretty full on.'

Ms Wykes said Kynan even tried to escape from the school by faking bumping heads with a friend during lunch so the school would call his mother to get him.

'I get these calls all the time so I didn't think anything of it until he came home and told me he did it because it he was afraid he wouldn't be allowed to come home,' she said.

She complained to the principal on Wednesday and said Kynan told him 'the army can come and take us away at any time', and remained convinced even after being told that wasn't true.

Another mother, Mary Jane Turner, said her son Tyrone was in the same class and the lesson distressed him even more because he suffered from anxiety.

She said Tyrone came home in tears and was too upset to eat his lunch at school.

Tim Gilmour, assistant to the director of schools in the Catholic diocese of Wollongong, said the activity was intended to give students an experience of the infamous chapter in Australia's history.

'We wanted to ask them how they would feel if we did that now. It was done without incident last year and quite a lot of parents said the activity was a good one,' he told the Sydney Morning Herald.

Mr Gilmour said students in two of the three classes that participated were told early on it was a role play but it 'wasn't done as well as it should have been' in the other.

'Seven students became a bit distressed but they were reassured by their teacher and made to understand the context of the activity,' he said.

He said the diocese would look at how it could be 'refined' and whether it needed significant changes for next time.

Stolen Generation members were also outraged by the lesson, saying it was an inappropriate way to teach children about it.

'I’m aboriginal and my grandfather was a part of the stolen generation, this is absolutely disgusting to be teaching the kids such lies to the point also where they’ll fear they’ll be taken if they play up,' Sascha Smith wrote on social media.  'Furious is an understatement right now.'

'We weren’t taken away because of neglect, we were taken because of the colour of our skin,' NT Stolen Generation Aboriginal Corporation spokeswoman Eileen Cummings told News Corp.

'We were taken away because they believed that our people couldn’t teach us anything, they wanted to educate us because we were half-caste children.'


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