Monday, April 30, 2018

New AP History Text Categorizes Trump Supporters as Racist, Questions President’s Mental Fitness

“His not-very-hidden racism connected with a significant number of primary voters.”

It is sadly common for conservative presidents and political leaders to be portrayed in a less-than-flattering light in the left-leaning textbooks used in public school and college classrooms, but a new volume on American history gives a new spin on the term “rush to judgment.” Less than a year-and-a-half after taking office as America’s sitting president, Donald Trump is already being maligned in the pages of an upcoming high school history text which insinuates that he and his supporters are driven by racism and that he is mentally unfit to serve as our Commander-in-Chief.

Textbooks rarely receive a high profile before their publication, but the new history text “By the People: A History of the United States” written by New York University Professor James W. Fraser and set to be published by the Pearson Education publishing company has already proved controversial for its radical left-leaning and insulting narrative on Donald Trump’s election as president. The book’s one-sided nature was exposed not by an educator but by high school student Tarra Snyder, a junior and AP History student at Rosemount High School in Minnesota, who was provided with Fraser’s book as a sample text that might be used for class instruction next year. Snyder was so incensed by the work’s slanted portrayal of history that she shared images of the book with Indianapolis radio show host Alex Clark, who tweeted images of the text along with commentary that quickly went viral:

The book’s concluding section titled “The Angry Election of 2016” puts NYU Professor Fraser’s hatred and disdain for President Trump on full display. “Most thought that Trump was too extreme a candidate to win the nomination, but his extremism, his anti-establishment rhetoric, and, some said, his not-very-hidden racism connected with a significant number of primary voters,” Fraser writes.

“Trump supporters saw the vote as a victory for people who, like themselves, had been forgotten in a fast-changing America—a mostly older, often rural or suburban, and overwhelmingly white group,” he adds, blatantly stereotyping those who supported Trump’s victory.

In another section, he has the audacity to question Trump’s mental fitness for office: “Clinton’s supporters feared that the election had been determined by people who were afraid of a rapidly developing ethnic diversity of the…country…They also worried about the mental instability of the president-elect and the anger that he & his supporters brought to the nation.”

“It was really, really surprising to me,” whistleblower Tarra Snyder commented on viewing Fraser’s text, which is intended to replace an older AP History text in classrooms across the nation next year. “I really believe that learning should be objective and that students can make their own decisions based on what they’re able to learn in a classroom and if the facts are skewed then students aren’t able to make well-rounded decisions on what they believe.”

Responding to Fraser’s claims that Trump supporters are mostly older white rural voters, Snyder said, “I really am surprised by that, I know the multitudes of people who are diverse and who do want to be represented, and when the Democratic Party…pushes them out of the frame, that’s what’s doing the Democratic Party harm because people do feel like they are being forgotten, not just white suburban people living out in the country.”

Snyder is correct in her assertions. Trump, in fact, garnered a higher percentage of African-American, Asian, and Hispanic votes than Republican candidate Mitt Romney did in 2012.

Fraser’s left-wing bias does not begin and end with President Trump. His text also contains a section on the officer-involved shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri and the Black Lives Matter movement which casts the police in a highly negative light. According to Fraser, Michael Brown’s parents “were kept away at gunpoint” after he was shot and “The nearly all-white police force was seen as an occupying army in the mostly African American town…the police increased the tensions, defacing memorials set up for Brown and using rubber bullets on demonstrators.”

Scott Overland, a spokesman for the Pearson publishing company, told Fox News that the text was “developed by an expert author and underwent rigorous peer review to ensure academic integrity.” He further asserted that it was “designed to convey college-level information to high school students” and “aims to promote debate and critical thinking by presenting multiple sides” of the 2016 election.

Pearson Education’s defense of an obvious ideological left-wing smear campaign to discredit President Trump and his supporters in the eyes of American schoolchildren is ultimately even more disturbing than the content of Fraser’s text itself. The notion that a textbook this one-sided was reviewed by multiple academic historians in a “rigorous peer review” process and found to be not only acceptable but to promote “debate and critical thinking” should be cause for even greater concern. 


We need to keep trans politics out of schools

British schools have become laboratories for contentious ideas about gender

Teachers wanting to transition – to change their gender – now have a new resource. This week, the National Education Union released its Trans Equality Toolkit, a series of documents ‘designed to support trans education professionals in the workplace and to help make your transition at work as smooth as possible’. The teachers’ union argues that ‘every school and college should have a policy in place to support employees who intend to transition’.

Despite anti-bullying policies and inclusion statements being piled up in every staffroom, schools can still be ruthless workplaces. Individual transgender teachers should, like other members of staff, be supported if they confront difficulties in carrying out their role. Allowing transgender teachers to dress how they see fit is common sense.

But every school having its own formal policy on transgender teachers takes us beyond common sense. The overwhelming majority of schools are unlikely to have any transgender teachers – estimates suggest that less than 1 per cent of the adult population is transgender. So the ‘toolkit’ becomes less practical advice for school leaders (treat your staff humanely) and more a political statement in support of trans activists. It is less about supporting individuals and more about formalising a particular set of assumptions about gender at the heart of the education system.

The toolkit reflects the fact that many schools now find themselves, often unwittingly, at the frontline in a battle over contested ideas about gender. School uniform, toilets and changing rooms have moved from being practical concerns to political statements. Currently under review, mandatory sex-and-relationships classes look certain to include transgender issues. Government-backed guidance issued last December advises school leaders to ‘celebrate’ transgender people and ‘ensure the visibility’ of trans perspectives in the classroom. Primary schools are advised to use books featuring transgender parents.

Schools are teaching and enacting trans activists’ ideological outlook – that people are born with both sex and gender firmly fixed, but whereas sex is merely bodily and located in the genitalia, gender is innate and located in the brain. According to this way of thinking, assuming a child’s gender based simply on their biological sex is an act of violence, an invalidation of the transgender child’s identity. In transitioning, the trans person is not making a choice, but simply bringing their body in line with their real, brain-based gender. That this fundamentally contradicts what children are taught in biology lessons appears to be of little concern in the rush to issue new guidelines.

Influencing what goes on in schools allows trans activists an audience for these highly contested views about gender while avoiding complex arguments with adults. Schools that are slow to come on board with the demands of trans activists can find themselves the subject of organised social-media campaigns and emotive claims that ‘education should be inclusive not abusive’. Perhaps unsurprisingly, most schools simply change their policy and practice – often without consultation with parents, and perhaps at great expense.

Despite an exponential rise in the number of children referred to Gender Identity Development Services, the time and money schools devote to transgender issues remains out of all proportion to the total number of transgender children in the population. In 2017, there were a total of 2,016 referrals for children aged between three and 18 – a six-fold increase in five years. Trans activists argue that the increase in referrals better reflects the ‘true’ number of transgender people, as removing stigma allows more people to seek help in transitioning.

Well, the increase certainly represents a greater degree of confusion among children about what it means to be a boy or a girl today – confusion often now planted by teachers. For children, especially teenagers, changing gender becomes a legitimate – if limited – means of self-expression, of marking yourself out as different and non-conforming but also beyond all criticism. Bizarrely, schools will have rules for sixth-formers about inappropriate clothes or body piercings, and yet changing gender is not just permitted but celebrated.

Schools celebrating the transgender child can do a disservice to other children struggling with puberty. Those wanting the privacy of single-sex toilets and changing rooms can find they have to include the boy or girl who is transitioning. Although disabled toilets or staffrooms can be made available, this often does not meet the demands of trans activists, who argue pupils need to be able to use their chosen toilet and changing rooms in order to feel recognised and included.

Always, it seems, the feelings of teenagers who are not struggling with their gender identity, but simply struggling with the changes to their bodies that come with growing up, must give way to the feelings of the transgender child. Trans children are presented as more vulnerable than their classmates. Research is cited claiming transgender people are 40 per cent more likely to have attempted suicide – the assumption being that not supporting children through gender transitioning is a cause of mental distress. But it might be the case that mental-health problems pre-existed, and perhaps even initially took the form of, questioning gender identity.

Schools should not be compelled either by trans activists or government directives to rush headlong into changing provision or teaching about transgender issues. But to argue this point prompts campaigners to draw comparisons with Section 28 – government legislation introduced in 1988 and repealed in 2003 that prevented councils, and therefore schools, from intentionally promoting homosexuality or publishing material with the intention of promoting homosexuality. Section 28 was illiberal and I would have opposed it. It prevented local authorities from being able to provide support and services for their communities and prevented teachers from being able to discuss issues around sexuality in an honest and open manner.

But the comparison between homosexuality and transgenderism made by today’s activists is simplistic and crude. It asks us to compare tolerance for an expanded human sexuality forged privately between consenting adults with publicly demanded changes in everyone’s behaviour, language and perception of reality. Someone who refuses to tolerate gay people might be a deeply unpleasant individual, but they do not invalidate the gay person’s right to exist and live as they choose. Yet the trans person, activists tell us, only exists through public acts of recognition. It is therefore vital that we collude with their demands, even if they impose a more constrained and conservative gender identity on us.

Turning schools into laboratories for testing out new ideas and practices around gender is damaging to children and to education more broadly. Teachers should be free to answer pupils’ questions as they arise and offer individuals the advice and support they need. But schools should resist pressure from trans activists to do any more than this.


Australian jihadi's Sydney high school was a 'religious hothouse that made him ashamed of his heritage' - before he fled to Syria to join a terror group

An Australian government school is a hothouse of Sunni Muslim  preaching???

The father of an Australian jihadist jailed for travelling to Syria to join an Islamist terror group says his son's secular high school was a 'religious hothouse' that made him ashamed of his heritage.

Mehmet Biber, 25, who flew from Sydney to the Middle East in 2013 to join Jabha al-Nusra, was sentenced on Friday to at least two-and-a-half years jail after pleading guilty to entering a foreign state intending hostile activity.

During sentencing, the court heard of his father's concerns about Parramatta High School in Sydney's west, where his jailed son was a student.

'We were very happy Australian public schools were totally secular and glad we sent Mehmet to one. We were misinformed... We came to learn it was a religious hothouse,' the court heard, according to The Daily Telegraph. 

The court heard Biber's father, Gaven, believed religious practices were 'a constant feature' of education at the school, and that teachers thought they were being were being 'culturally sensitive' by encouraging it. 

The court heard the father believed Biber was made to feel ashamed of his Alawite heritage, a branch of Shia Islam.

'Visiting mullahs and prayer groups and school employed emirs were a constant feature of education there. All of them it seemed legitimising a strain of Sunni fundamentalism,' the court heard.

The father tried four times to alert authorities before his son travelled to Syria. He later went to Turkey himself to persuade him to come home.

Outside court on Friday, Mr Biber said Mehmet posed no risk to the community and just wanted to get on with his life.

'We did everything in our power to stop him but, unfortunately, the authorities gave us no assistance whatsoever,' he said. 'Any parent would have done the same thing that I did.'

Justice Christine Adamson on Friday jailed Biber for four years and nine months with a non-parole period of two and a half years.

During a NSW Supreme Court hearing last week, Biber insisted he never went near the front line because his hosts - from the moderate Ahrar al-Sham group - were protective of Australians.

However, he conceded he would have tried if allowed. Justice Adamson accepted part but not all of his evidence.

She considered his offending 'well below the mid-range of seriousness' for the charge which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years. Biber's youth and naivety at the time of the trip were mitigating factors, the judge said.

His decision to leave behind his pregnant wife in Australia and pose for photos during the trip with a group of men holding assault rifles were indicative of his immaturity.


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