Saturday, February 27, 2021

Dear Students: You Have No Right Not to Be Offended

The latest insanity from the Left (or one of the latest insanities, at least; they seem to compound daily) is that a group of Harvard students and faculty are demanding the university rescind degrees awarded to Ted Cruz, Kayleigh McEnany, and other conservatives and “Trump allies.” Why? Because said students and faculty members disagree with them about politics. Because they find their views to be “offensive.”

Where in the world did people get the notion that they can cancel others just because they offend them? Are the would-be cancelers oblivious to the fact that the Constitution expressly protects freedom of speech while offering not one word about freedom from offense?

Yes, they probably are. As to why they didn’t learn that, and where they got this idea that there’s some sort of right not be offended—well, that is a topic for another column. As a practical matter, I’m more concerned about stopping this poisonous idea in its tracks and helping young people learn to grapple with the reality that not everybody thinks like them—which is really just another way of saying, help them grow up.

To that end, each semester, I give the following short speech to my college students on the first day of class and also include a version of it in my syllabus. I share it here in the hope that it might do some good in the wider world. If you agree, perhaps you can forward it to a millennial or Gen-Zer that you love. If you disagree — well, I hope at least you’re not offended by this:

“There’s a lot of talk these days about 'hate speech' and other things people say that are “offensive.” So before we go any further, I need you to understand that 'hate speech' s not an actual thing, as the Supreme Court has repeatedly affirmed—including very recently in Matal v. Tam (2016).

“Yes, people sometimes say things that others find offensive. And while we should probably try to avoid offending people whenever possible — something my parents taught me when I was a child — there’s no way you can go through life without doing so occasionally. I certainly can’t teach a class of any substance without saying something that someone might find offensive.

“Not that I go out of my way to offend. Personally, I’ve never taken a ‘shock jock’ approach to teaching, saying outrageous things in order to provoke a response from students. That’s just not my personality. But I’ve had professors like that, and you probably will, too. Just be aware that they’re allowed. It’s called academic freedom.

“But even if I don’t mean to offend you, I just might. And if I don’t, one of the writers we’re studying probably will. After all, writers WRITE about all sorts of controversial topics, like sex and gender and politics and race and what have you. Any writer worth reading ultimately writes about the human condition, of which all those are important elements.

“So my advice to you, as we embark on this class, is twofold. First, keep in mind that being offended is a choice. Others can say what they want; you have no control over that. What you can control, however, is how you respond. You can choose not to be offended, even if someone’s words are objectively offensive— although that’s relatively rare. The vast majority of the time, offense is subjective: something taken, not given.

“More importantly, in the context of a college course, you should understand that being offended is an emotional response, not an intellectual one. The appropriate intellectual response to offensive speech, whether objectively wrong or merely subjectively distasteful, is to formulate a cogent rebuttal.

“Why, exactly, is the speaker (or writer) wrong? Why are you right? What evidence can you marshal to support your position?

“Unfortunately, as a society, we seem to have gotten the idea that the answer to offensive speech is to shut down or cancel the speaker. But that never works, long-term, as the history of oppressive regimes clearly shows. That’s especially true in the United States, where many of us have grown accustomed to speaking our minds and view efforts to silence us as a personal challenge.

“Instead, the antidote to wrong or offensive speech is more speech, not less. When it becomes apparent that a bad idea cannot withstand reasoned argument, then it will die, and not before. That, in my humble opinion, is one of the main things you’re going to college to learn.”


Woke segregation comes to campus

A poisonous ideology is festering on American campuses – the ideology of woke racialism.

It was this ideology at work in Elon University’s ‘white caucus’. This was a planned series of Zoom meetings at the North Carolina university’s School of Education, in which ‘white-identifying students’ would be encouraged to ‘engage in conversations that unpack race and systemic oppression’. The sessions were white-only so that the discussions would not ‘burden or re-traumatise people of colour’. Instead, the white caucuses would provide whites with ‘a space to learn about and process their awareness of and complicity in unjust systems’.

But before it started, this semester’s caucus was cancelled after student complaints, and when the press started to notice. A university spokesman said: ‘Elon’s policies prohibit discrimination on the basis of age, race, colour, creed, sex, national or ethnic origin, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, or veteran’s status. Because this student-led program would have excluded non-white individuals, it would be at odds with university policies and will not be held.’

A black undergraduate told university news outlet, the Elon News Network, that the caucus was a ‘horrible idea’. He said, ‘If you’re going to exclude the people who the issues are about [from] the conversation… there’s just no positive outcome that comes from that.’

A university spokesman told Fox News that the caucus was organised by students, not the university itself – and that it only became aware of it last week. But according to the Elon News Network, the programme ran for a whole semester before being stopped.

Elon is not the only institution where these ideas have gained a foothold. Last year students at the University at Buffalo, New York were invited to student-organised ‘listening sessions’ where they could reflect on the impact the presidential election had on them. The idea was to divide people into groups – a ‘white affinity group’ and a ‘people of colour affinity group’ – meeting at different times.

Similarly, two postgraduates at the University of Florida invited their fellow students to a virtual ‘town hall’ event last year, about sexuality and culture, which was intended only for ‘BIPOC’ (black, indigenous and other person of colour). ‘We cannot hide our skin colour’, an email advertising the event explained.

How have we got to this stage, where race relations are supposedly so bad that black and white cannot even talk to each other about racism?

The justification for today’s segregationist instincts may be different from the old racism. ‘Anti-racist’ activists say they want to protect black students from white hostility and racial trauma. But the divisive impulse is still there. They want to reintroduce racialised education, where whites and blacks receive different messages with very different tones. And they want us to believe that white and black are so fundamentally different that they cannot possibly understand each other and cooperate for mutual benefit – that is, until the whites have gone through a process of self-reflection and ultimately self-condemnation.

But perhaps the most fundamental contradiction in today’s so-called anti-racism movement lies in how it understands the origins of racism itself. On the one hand, its supporters believe that racism is a product of human failure: after all, there have to be racists for racism to exist. They appear to see racism primarily as an evil construct of the white race, which it uses to suppress the black.

But on the other hand, they see race as so all-defining that nothing can be understood except through its lens. They see race as incontrovertible and universal, the thing which characterises humanity more than anything else. They see race as the essential problem of the world, which we cannot escape from. The ideology’s core tenet is that race is everything, yet we can do little about it.

Some of us still believe that anti-racism should mean pushing for a society in which your skin colour has no negative impacts on you or on anyone else. A society where we can appreciate and value our cultural heritage, but do not have to be defined by it if we do not want to be. A society where white and black can be just skin colours – rather than standing in for ideologies which must be lifted up or taken down.

Racial segregation – no matter how woke the reasons given for it – will achieve the opposite. That this even needs to be said – that it is not obvious to some that separating the races is bad – is extraordinary.

We should refuse to accept this miserable, adversarial vision. Race need not define us. In fact, it is often the least interesting thing about us. But woke anti-racism says race is the issue of history and can never be anything else – that attaching anything other than ultimate importance to it makes you either a racist if you are white, or a useful idiot if you aren’t.

Let’s reject this racist notion. Let’s stand up for racial unity rather than division by ethnicity. Let’s stand firm in the face of a movement gone mad and defend what we know to be true: race is only what we make of it – and not what makes us.


Student was not victim of racism for 'eating while black' at $80k Smith College and made up details that ruined the lives of four campus workers and led to controversial anti-bias training that employee resigned over

An elite Massachusetts liberal arts college has quietly conceded that there was no truth to allegations of racism made by one of their students that 'ruined the lives' of numerous campus workers.

Oumou Kanoute was in the canteen at Smith College on July 31, 2018 when she claimed she was profiled for 'eating while black' after a security guard asked her what she was doing.

Kanoute, a psychology undergraduate student, posted video of the incident on social media and claimed that she was the victim of racism.

However, an independent law firm investigating the incident found that same year that there was no evidence of wrongdoing and cleared all those involved. The case has come to light again after an employee resigned from the school on Friday, citing a 'racially hostile environment.'

Kanoute had named staff online, causing one to be hospitalized with stress and another, a janitor who was not present, forced from his job.

Kanoute said the security guard may have been carrying a 'lethal weapon' when, in fact, he was unarmed.

As a result, Smith forced employees to attend seminars about unconscious bias.

The 150-year-old women-only college, whose motto is 'audacity, agency, authenticity,' charges $80,000 a year in fees.

About 6.6 per cent of Smith's more than 2,500 undergraduates identify as black, according to college data: 36.3 per cent identify as a person of color.

Jodi Shaw, who worked for the residential life department, resigned from the school on February 19, citing a 'racially hostile environment.'

In October she began speaking out against the anti-bias training programs, and found a fervent YouTube following.

'I ask that Smith College stop reducing my personhood to a racial category. Stop telling me what I must think and feel about myself,' she said.

'Stop presuming to know who I am or what my culture is based upon my skin color. Stop asking me to project stereotypes and assumptions onto others based on their skin color.

'Stop demanding that I admit to white privilege, and work on my so-called implicit bias as a condition of my continued employment.'

In her resignation letter, published on former New York Times editor Bari Weiss's substack, Shaw said everything changed with Kanoute's accusations.

Having graduated from Smith College herself, Shaw said she loved her job, 'but the climate — and my place at the college — changed dramatically when, in July 2018, the culture war arrived at our campus when a student accused a white staff member of calling campus security on her because of racial bias.'

She continued: 'Before even investigating the facts of the incident, the college immediately issued a public apology to the student, placed the employee on leave, and announced its intention to create new initiatives, committees, workshops, trainings, and policies aimed at combating 'systemic racism' on campus.

'In spite of an independent investigation into the incident that found no evidence of racial bias, the college ramped up its initiatives aimed at dismantling the supposed racism that pervades the campus.

'This only served to support the now prevailing narrative that the incident had been racially motivated and that Smith staff are racist.'

On the day of the incident, Kanoute, a 21-year-old who was raised in New York after her family emigrated from Mali, was in an empty canteen that was reserved for a summer camp program for young children.

Jackie Blair, a veteran cafeteria employee, mentioned to Kanoute that it was reserved for the summer school, and then decided to drop it, according to The New York Times.

A janitor, who was in his 60s and poor of sight, and had worked at Smith for 35 years, was emptying garbage cans when he saw a figure reclining and eating alone, in a far corner of the canteen which was supposed to be closed.

Campus police had advised staff to call security rather than confront strangers on their own, so the janitor called security.

'We have a person sitting there laying down in the living room,' the janitor told a dispatcher according to a transcript.

'I didn't approach her or anything but he seems out of place.'

A well-known older campus security officer drove over to the dorm where the cafeteria was situated, The Times recounted, and was accompanied by a campus police officer.

He recognized her as a student and they had a brief and polite conversation, which she recorded on video.

'Hi,' she says.

'How are you doing?' a man says.

'Good, how are you?' she replied.

'We were wondering why you were here,' he says.

'Oh, I was eating lunch, I'm working the summer program, so I was just relaxing on the couch.'

He replies: 'Oh, just taking a break. So you're with the program?'

'Yeah. I'm actually a TA,' she says.

He replies: 'Oh, so that's what it was. We just wondered.'

Kanoute says: 'It's OK, it's just that kind of stuff like this just happens way too often, where people just feel threatened.'

Hours later she wrote on Facebook: 'It's outrageous that some people question my being at Smith, and my existence overall as a woman of color.'

She said the officer, who could have been carrying a 'lethal weapon,' left her near 'meltdown'.

Kanoute did not mention that Blair had already told her that the empty cafe was closed, except for the summer school students.

She wrote: 'I cannot even sit down and eat lunch peacefully.

'I did nothing wrong. I wasn't making a noise or bothering anyone. All I did was be black.'


Australia: Redcliffe State High School’s trial of pronoun badges has divided the community

A state high school’s trial of gender pronoun badges has divided the community with some welcoming the new initiative and others saying the “world has gone mad”.

Redcliffe State High School’s LGBTIQ+ group launched the trial of the pronoun badges last week. It provides students an option to wear a badge with he/him, she/her or they/them on it.

A Facebook post shared by the school said: “(The) purpose is to display to everyone what those who are wearing them define themselves as. They’re also so that people know what to refer to the wearer as.”

A poll conducted by the Redcliffe Herald found 91 per cent, of the almost 2000 voters, did not think gender badges should become common practice at all Queensland schools.

Many readers said the school should focus less on this and more on the basics of education. William said: “No wonder our world ranking in math and science are going to the dogs”.

“How about teachers teaching maths, science and English and leaving all this rubbish alone. Teachers and the education system have no right or authority to start reading around with gender issues. That should only be the responsibility of the parents,” Peter said.

Philip, a teacher, supported the idea. “Regardless of what many people might think about the use of differing pronouns by people, this is an incredibly good idea,” he wrote. “As a teacher, having to recall the preferred pronouns for all my students has always been difficult. The uniform does not help you, nor does the hair style, etc.




Thursday, February 25, 2021

New York School Official Says She Was Fired For Not Giving 'Wakanda' Salute

A Bronx school superintendent says she was fired as a result of Chancellor Richard Carranza’s “equity” agenda that advanced people of color over whites. Karen Ames is suing the New York schools for $150 million because she says she was targeted by Carranza’s “Disrupt and Dismantle” campaign to oust or marginalize longtime employees.

“The agenda of Chancellor Carranza and his senior leadership team was euphemistically touted as an ‘equity platform’ but in reality, it was a platform used to create gender, age, racial and ethnic divisions in the NYC School system,” she contends in her lawsuit.

New York Post:

Ames was grilled about her “ethnic background,” chastised by a colleague at a training session when she shared her grandparents’ experience during the Holocaust in Poland, and “admonished” when she declined requests at superintendents meetings to take part in the comic book movie-inspired “Wakanda Forever” salute to “black power,” she charges in the legal filing.

Almost too funny to be real, but Ames isn’t laughing.

Ames was praised by Carranza in a visit to her Bronx school. He praised her for raising math scores at troubled schools.

But instead of celebrating Ames’ work, Cheryl Watson-Harris, Carranza’s top deputy — who left last year to become schools chief in DeKalb County, Ga. — interrogated Ames during a chauffeured car ride about her DOE history, her family, residency and “improperly inquired” about her ethnicity, she claims.

I guess the non-discrimination laws are only for little people.

At an implicit-bias workshop where superintendents were asked to tell their personal stories, Amestalked about her grandparents’ loss of two children during the Holocaust — only to have colleague Rasheda Amon tell her, “you better check yourself,” the lawsuit alleges.

“That is not about being Jewish! It’s about black and brown boys of color only,” court papers quote Amon as scolding.

Radical educators are banking on parents either agreeing with them or being too busy to pay much attention to what they’re filling their kids’ heads with for 8 hours a day.

The situation for Ames came to a head in August 2018 when she was summoned to the Department of Education headquarters. There, she was handed a termination letter by Watson-Harris who told her the department was “was moving in a new direction.”

Colleagues were prohibited from communicating with her, and Watson-Harris ordered staff to “eradicate” any reference to Ames, down to the district’s purple color scheme she had designed, she charges.

When the single mom pleaded to keep her employment, retirement benefits and health insurance, the DOE sent her to a Brooklyn “rubber room” with nothing to do.

A month later, Ames was given a choice: take a demotion or be removed from the payroll in 24 hours. She took the demotion.

“This case highlights that those in power often put their own agendas before the well-being of our community. It’s a terrible example for our children to be taught to judge people on anything other than merit,” her attorney Israel Goldberg said.

I suppose Chancellor Carranza’s “disrupt and dismantle” program means disrupting innocent people’s lives and dismantling fairness.


Cornell Offers a Racially Segregated Rock Climbing Course, Then Scrubs Its Website to Hide Their Racism

Cornell University is very woke. They’re so woke that they offered a rock climbing course for BIPOC students only. BIPOC, for those of you unwoke, stands for black, Indigenous, and people of color — a catchall for everyone oppressed by white people.

The course ain’t cheap. Campus Reform reports that the school charges “$1,890—including the standard cost of a one-credit course, $1,575, and an additional mandatory ‘course fee’ of $315.”

It’s expensive to get woke at Cornell.

Campus Reform confronted school authorities about the blatantly racist course description, which led to the school scrubbing its website to change the course requirements.

If you’re going to be a racist, you should own it.

According to the new description, posted on Cornell’s website, the class will provide a “high degree of individual attention” and a “supportive space” where students will discuss “BIPOC individuals and groups in rock climbing.” The new description states that the class is now “open to all” students who are “interested in learning rock climbing with this special focus.”

The explanation given by the school is comical.

When asked for comment, John Carberry, Cornell’s Senior Director of Media Relations and News, issued a statement to Campus Reform claiming that “all Cornell students” are “welcome” to enroll in the course, contradicting the original course description.

Carberry insisted that the course’s original description reflected an “intentional focus” on “outreach and inclusion,” but that there was “never” any intention to exclude students that don’t identify as BIPOC.

“All Cornell students are welcome to enroll in this course. While the original description of the course represented an intentional focus on outreach and inclusion, there was never an intent to exclude non-minority students. The description of the course has been adjusted accordingly,” Carberry said.

So a course titled “BIPOC Rock Climbing” was so named as “an intentional focus on outreach and inclusion.” I call bullcrap on that. The title and course description were exclusionary and no amount of pussy-footing double-talk will change it.

This kind of stealth brainwashing makes a mockery of academic freedom. Besides, restricting admission based on race is illegal, according to New York state law.

According to the New York State Attorney General’s website, “Students in New York schools are protected by federal, state, and local laws that prevent discrimination on the basis of race, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, religion, disability, and other categories.”

Additionally, the New York Human Rights Law “makes it illegal” for “non-sectarian educational institutions” to “deny their services to students on the basis of race, color, religion, disability, national origin, sexual orientation, military status, sex, age or marital status.”

I guess the BIPOC crowd believes the law doesn’t apply to them.


Racists Masquerading as Educators

Mark Federman, principal of East Side Community High School in New York City, is a man on a rather dubious mission. In a burst of “wokeness,” Federman sent white parents of students in grades 6-12 a handout asking them to “reflect” on their “whiteness.” It was accompanied by a color-coordinated graph of “8 White Identities,” ranging from a red zone on the left titled “White Supremacist” to a green zone on the far right labeled “White Abolitionist.”

This screed was authored by Barnor Hesse, a Northwestern University professor of African American studies, political science, and sociology. Hesse also teaches a course called “Unsettling Whiteness,” and the professor makes it clear the content of one’s character takes a distant back seat to the color of one’s skin — if it matters at all. “There is a regime of whiteness, and there are action-oriented white identities,” he insists in a statement above the graph. “People who identify with whiteness are one of these. It’s about time we build an ethnography of whiteness, since white people have been the ones writing about and governing Others.”

The graph, developed by the Slow Factory Foundation, a group that bills itself as “anti-racist” and “climate-positive,” contains the following descriptions:

White Supremacist: Clearly marked white society that preserves name and values white superiority

White Voyeurism: Wouldn’t challenge a white supremacist; desires non-whiteness because it’s interesting, pleasurable; seeks to control the consumption and appropriation of non-whiteness; fascination with culture (ex: consuming Black culture without the burden of Blackness)

White Privilege: May critique supremacy, but a deep investment in question of fairness/equality under the normalization of white and the white rule; sworn goal of “diversity”

White Benefit: Sympathetic to a set of issues but only privately; won’t speak/act in solidarity because benefitting through whiteness in public (some POC in this category as well)

White Confessional: Some exposure of whiteness takes place, but as a way of being accountable to POC after; seek validation from POC

White Critical: Take on board critiques of whiteness and invest in exposing/marking white regime; refuses to be complicit with regime; whiteness speaking back to whiteness

White Traitor: Actively refuses complicity; names what’s going on; intention is to subvert white authority and tell the truth at whatever cost; need them to dismantle institutions
White Abolitionist: Changing institutions, dismantling whiteness, and not allowing whiteness to reassert itself

A New York City Department of Education official told the New York Post that it was parents who initially shared the material with school staff, and that Federman then sent it to every parent “as part of a series of materials meant for reflection” and as “food for thought.”

A Department of Education (DOE) official doubled down on this absurd assessment. “Anti-racism and the celebration of diversity is at the core of our work on behalf of the young people of New York City, and the East Side Community School’s students, parents and staff partner together to advance equity in their community,” the official insisted. “The document in question was shared with the school by parents as a part of ongoing anti-racist work in the school community and is one of many resources the schools utilizes.”

The official also illuminated the blowback precipitated by the handout. “Our staff are now being targeted with vile racist, anti-Semitic and homophobic slurs and degrading language from people outside of their school,” the official added, “and nothing justifies the abuse directed at our educators.”

None of this vile nonsense should surprise anyone. NYC Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza has made it clear that a major part of his “education” agenda is aimed at eliminating a “white-supremacy culture” among school administrators.

Toward that end, Carranza held “white supremacy culture training” sessions that included the disparagement of concepts such as “individualism,” “objectivity,” and “worship of the written word.” The basis of this program is “Dismantling Racism: A Workbook for Social Change Groups,” authored by Kenneth Jones and Tema Okun. It lists more than a dozen hallmarks of “white-supremacy culture” school administrators are expected to avoid.

Christopher Rufo, who did a masterful job exposing the federal government’s equally corrosive training sessions on white privilege and Critical Race Theory — to the point where former President Donald Trump issued an executive order to end them — was the person who exposed this effort as well. He offered up a succinct take on what’s going on: “This is the new language of public education.”

Actually, this is the language of racist indoctrination and the attempted intimidation of anyone who dares to defy a progressive ideology increasingly exposed as bankrupt.

A concerned NYC parent summed up this orchestrated descent into de facto apartheid. “I grew up partly in New York on the Upper West Side and when I was young, you’d see all these kids playing in the yard at recess — black, white, Hispanic, Asian, whatever — and they all got along great,” he writes. “Now you have the schools teaching white kids they should feel guilty and that black kids should resent them.”

How bad has it gotten? The author of the op-ed wished to remain anonymous — because he was afraid school principals and teachers might retaliate against his children if he went public.

Thus, genuine diversity, as in the ability to challenge contemptible race-baiting drivel, remains beyond the boundaries of “acceptable” discourse. Instead, Americans are faced with a Cancel Culture where one’s choices are silent acquiescence or personal ruination.

All of this is by design. While Americans are force-fed lectures about race, the most divisive and corrosive aspect of American society — as in an elitist class intent on imposing a de facto oligarchy on a constitutional republic — remains purposefully obscured. “The most elite in America are the most likely to damn the privilege of those who lack it,” historian Victor Davis Hanson explains.

What else is being obscured? A black-white educational achievement gap that spans more than half a century. And what is Chancellor Carranza doing about that? Implementing a grading policy more attuned to social justice than academic achievement and eliminating tests for the city’s elite schools because they don’t produce the “proper” racial outcomes — as in not enough blacks and too many Asians.

Thankfully, there’s a light at the end of this repugnant tunnel. Last Friday on Fox News’s “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” Rufo reminded America that his Stop Critical Race Theory coalition will continue filing lawsuits against racist programs being implemented in America’s classrooms and elsewhere. The coalition asserts such efforts violate the 1964 Civil Rights Act, which “prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.” Their aim is to get a case in front of the Supreme Court.

It’s what happens when one tries to eliminate racism — with racism.


Saving Civics From Racism

A reasoned (and reasonable) approach to civics is what our kids desperately need.

For decades the Left has flocked to education as a vocation, taking the open opportunity to pass on a heaping helping of their anti-American and immoral propaganda as part of their lesson plans. As a result, generations of children beginning with the Baby Boomers received a subtle but one-sided message that our nation had flaws and character wasn’t important. (Neither was capitalism, an aspect we covered a year ago.) More recently, the message has gone out via the New York Times’s 1619 Project that our nation wasn’t founded on the concept of Liberty at all but was instead conceived as a means to exploit one race for the benefit of another. Sadly, hundreds of school districts around the country have adopted the 1619 Project as a basis for teaching history despite its numerous and verified flaws.

All that background leads us to the latest development on the educational front — the battle for civics.

The state of Illinois recently proposed new regulations for teaching civics in the state. It amounts to a sweeping change that creates “culturally responsive teachers and leaders” who, in part, “understand that there are systems in our society that create and reinforce inequities, thereby creating oppressive conditions.” Therefore, “Educators work actively against these systems in their everyday roles in educational institutions.” They also should “understand how the system of inequity has impacted them as an educator.” If adopted, the rules will take effect just after the beginning of the 2021-22 school year.

“Illinois is literally about to mandate that every one of its licensed teachers adopt progressive political orthodoxy and impart that ideology to students,” writes an exasperated Stanley Kurtz in National Review. Kurtz, who wrote a longer treatise on the subject for the Claremont Institute, has also proposed model legislation called The Partisanship Out Of Civics Act.

“Instead of inciting students to protest or engage in lobbying based on unexamined prejudices, teachers ought to be cultivating an appreciation for the complexities, unintended consequences, and trade-offs inherent in any policy position, and conveying the importance of tempering advocacy with respect for the rights of others,” explains Kurtz. “Political positions are for students to determine themselves, as free individuals, in the fullness of time. Protest and lobbying are for students to practice outside of formal schooling.”

Kurtz would seem to be a one-man band given his passion on the civics subject, but his battle is being joined by other important allies. Paul Mirengoff at Power Line has also been writing regularly on the subject, but more importantly Bill Jacobson — the mind behind the Legal Insurrection website — has created a clearinghouse website devoted to sharing the truth behind Critical Race Theory (CRT).

In announcing the new website, Jacobson wrote, “The impact [of CRT] on education has been enormous, and destructive. What started on college campuses has moved to primary and secondary education, and into the broader culture. Government agencies and private corporations now are some of the worst offenders of the obsessive focus on race.” He added, “ is a resource for parents and students concerned about how Critical Race Theory, and implementation of Critical Race Training, impacts education. We have compiled the most comprehensive database to empower parents and students.” One eventual plan for the website is to determine the 10 worst schools for indoctrination into CRT.

Yet while Kurtz, Jacobson, and others are doing yeoman’s work on the subject, they could use all hands on deck. Most of us pay taxes to support our local schools, so it’s worth finding out just how much these anti-American values have permeated your local classrooms. If you have kids (or grandkids), it’s worth remembering the Proverbs admonition to train up your children in the way they should go. That includes critical thinking as part of a well-rounded civics education.




Monday, February 22, 2021

French Government Launches an Investigation, Blames America for 'Islamo-Leftist' Influence Over Its Universities

As it turns out, the U.S. has contributed to “Islamo-leftist” ideas that are cracking French society like a shovel to ice.

Hence, France means to investigate the influx and melt American influence on the college scene.

The government announced such — in the words of The Daily Wire — “following months of rhetoric from top French officials and leading academics warning against ideas coming to France from American universities.”

Per The New York Times, on Tuesday, French Minister of Higher Education Frederique Vidal informed Parliament that state-run National Center for Scientific Research will probe the “totality of research underway in our country.”

According to the Wire, it’s the first time the French Powers That Be have taken explicit action to oppose “Islamo-leftist” positions.

But the notion of national identity being altered by outside sources isn’t new.

As RedState’s Brandon Morse wrote earlier this month, “The extreme leftist ‘woke’ culture…has infected the country and French officials are now sounding the alarm that it must not infect France itself. … [F]rench officials see what’s happening in America and are making it clear that they need to be ideologically opposed to it.”

The Daily Mail noted on February 9th, “Some French intellects have…argued that American universities are to blame for giving justification to acts of terrorism carried out by Muslims. After three Islamist terror attacks last fall, Education minister Blanquer accused the universities of being complicit.”

And Higher Education Minister Frederique has slammed the impact of cultural conversion before.

The Times reports:

In an earlier television interview, Ms. Vidal said the investigation would focus on “Islamo-leftist” — a controversial term embraced by some of Mr. Macron’s leading ministers to accuse left-leaning intellectuals of justifying Islamism and even terrorism.

“Islamo-leftism corrupts all of society and universities are not impervious,” Ms. Vidal said, adding that some scholars were advancing “radical” and “activist” ideas. Referring also to scholars of race and gender, Ms. Vidal accused them of “always looking at everything through the prism of their will to divide, to fracture, to pinpoint the enemy.”

Not everyone’s ebullient over the investigation, particularly among the academic set.

Frederique’s announcement, says the Times, brought backlash “among university presidents and scholars, deepening fears of a crackdown on academic freedom — especially on studies of race, gender, post-colonial studies and other fields that the French government says have been imported from American universities and contribute to undermining French society.”

Nonetheless, they’re cracking down.

In October, President Emmanuel Macro expressed that he’s not fond of an apple-pie kind of import.

Amid reference to “certain social science theories entirely [courtesy of] the United States,” the leader indicated he’d like to keep France France:

“And in so doing, we have left the intellectual debate to others, to those outside of the Republic by ideologizing it, sometimes yielding to other academic traditions. I am thinking of Anglo-Saxon traditions based on a different history, which is not ours. And when I see certain social science theories entirely imported from the United States, with their problems, which I respect and which exist, but which are just added to ours, I say to myself that it is reasonable to make this choice. And so we must, very clearly, re-invest, on a massive scale, in the field of social sciences, history, understanding of civilizations by creating posts, by stepping up dialogue, academic and scientific debate in order not to allow the knowledge, the understanding of Islam as a religion, of the civilization it underpins and its contribution to our country and our continent to become ideological and exclusively political debates.”

I’d wager many on the Left side of American politics find the world’s favorite place for quiche’s clampdown appalling.

On the other hand, if France adopts American ways, isn’t that cultural appropriation?


What Left-Wing Educators Don't Teach During 'Black History Month'

Apart from the bizarre notion that educators should set aside one month to salute the historical achievements of one race apart from and above the historical achievements of other races, Black History Month appears to omit a lot of Black history.

About slavery, do our mostly left-wing educators teach that slavery was not unique to America and is as old as humankind? As economist and author Thomas Sowell says: “More whites were brought as slaves to North Africa than Blacks brought as slaves to the United States or to the 13 colonies from which it was formed. White slaves were still being bought and sold in the Ottoman Empire, decades after Blacks were freed in the United States.”

Are students taught that “race-based preferences,” sometimes called “affirmative action,” were opposed by several civil rights leaders? While National Urban League Executive Director Whitney Young supported a type of “Marshall Plan” for a period of 10 years to make up for historical discrimination, his board of directors refused to endorse the plan. In rejecting it, the president of the Urban League in Pittsburgh said the public would ask, “What in blazes are these guys up to? They tell us for years that we must buy (nondiscrimination) and then they say, ‘It isn’t what we want.'”

Do our left-wing educators, during Black History Month, note that President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s celebrated New Deal actually hurt Blacks? According to the Cato Institute’s Jim Powell, Blacks lost as many as 500,000 jobs as a result of anti-competitive, job-killing regulations of the New Deal. Powell writes: “The minimum wage regulations made it illegal for employers to hire people who weren’t worth the minimum because they lacked skills. As a result, some 500,000 blacks, particularly in the South, were estimated to have lost their jobs.”

Are students taught that gun control began as a means to deny free Blacks the right to own guns? In ruling that Blacks were chattel property in the Dred Scott case, Supreme Court Chief Justice Roger Taney warned that ruling otherwise would mean that Blacks could legally own guns. If Blacks were “entitled to the privileges and immunities of citizens,” said Taney, “it would give persons of the Negro race, who were recognized as citizens in any one state of the union, the right … to keep and carry arms wherever they went … endangering the peace and safety of the state.”

Are students taught that generations of civil rights leaders opposed illegal immigration and raised questions about legal immigration? After the Civil War, Black abolitionist Frederick Douglass implored employers to hire Blacks over new immigrants. Twenty-five years later, Booker T. Washington pleaded with Southern industrialists to hire Blacks over new immigrants: “One third of the population of the South is of the Negro race. … To those of the white race who look to the incoming of those of foreign birth and strange tongue and habits for the prosperity of the South: Cast down your bucket where you are. Cast it down among the eight millions of Negroes whose habits you know, whose fidelity and love you have tested in days when to have proved treacherous meant the ruin of your fireside.”

About illegal immigration, Coretta Scott King signed a letter urging Congress to retain harsh sanctions against employers who knowingly hire illegal workers. The letter said: “We are concerned … that … the elimination of employer sanctions will cause another problem — the revival of the pre-1986 discrimination against black and brown U.S. and documented workers, in favor of cheap labor — the undocumented workers.”

These are just a few historical and inconvenient notes left on the cutting room floor during Black History Month.


UK: The hatred of the stupid for the smart

Why do so many students hate Jews? Especially now. You’d think with so much spare time on their hands — all those sob stories about being denied the full Uni Experience of staying drunk on cheap students’-union booze 24/7 and becoming more intimately acquainted with each other and the cast of Neighbours than with their own blood relatives during communal hangover days — they’d be buckling down and using these months to do some work now that they’re prevented by law from getting together and bonding over bullying the Chosen. But no, it seems that for many of them, all that time is being used to put in the extra hours on Jew-baiting duties.

Following a report from a small group of academics at UCL, its Academic Board has passed an advisory resolution calling on the university to ‘retract and replace’ the international definition of anti-Semitism which it adopted in 2019. Rebecca Lyons, vice-president of UCL’s Jewish Society, said: ‘The IHRA definition of anti-Semitism directly codifies what it means to be anti-Semitic, thereby shielding Jewish students from acts of intolerance and hatred. The removal of the definition leaves us exposed and unsafe on campus.’

Who can call this hyperbole when a supporter of the move chose the eve of Holocaust Memorial Day to state ‘I am confident that long will pass Israel’s time, as South Africa passed before it, and we’ll laugh at these days when people actually took this state seriously’? As ever, Jews are being told what is and what is not anti-Semitism, by both their teachers and their fellow students — an unimaginable situation if it were applied to other ethnic minorities.

It’s tempting to think that this is all about Palestine, but that lets those who turn the Socialism of Fools into a campus caper off the hook. A Gentile friend told me of her experience at Dundee University (twinned with Nablus!) in 2015:

‘My best friend was in with the Free Palestine gang and thought I was weird for finding them so appalling. She was eventually enlightened when Trump was running for election — and they basically wanted him in because he was portrayed as a Nazi, so they said “At least he might finally deal with the Jews”. She finally saw what I was talking about, the basic anti-Semitism of these people hiding behind anti-Zionism. Nevertheless, I ended up having to go to the police when a good part of the campus turned on me.’

It’s all about the brains, in my opinion; see the crazy percentage of Nobel Prizes won by this extraordinary people. Anyway, academic anti-Semitism existed long before Israel was reclaimed. The thick children of the bourgeoisie have always known that they can’t keep up with these under-privileged over-achievers, so they get spiteful. Thus no sooner had the musty right-wing prejudices against Jews been overcome, with the end of quotas on the number of Jewish students accepted into the top universities, than what I’ve previously coined ‘Fresh’n’Funky anti-Semitism’ was there to take the weasel wheel under the guise of being pro-Palestinian.

The first wave of banning Jewish student societies started in 1975. Disgustingly, considering the unique Jewish experience of fascism, this was at a time when the National Front was perceived as a threat and thus many students’ unions adopted policies of ‘No Platform for racists and fascists’ with which (in the wake of the UN passing the ‘Zionism is Racism’ resolution) they mired Jewish societies, too.

But Jewish students in Britain have been systemically bullied since the founding of the very first universities right up to the present day — interrupted for a brief period after the war, when anti-Semitism was considered a bit of a faux pas. Only last year the education secretary, Gavin Williamson, sent a letter to vice-chancellors at English universities, accusing them of ignoring the persecution of Jewish students.

Fortunately, there’s no way to bring quotas back and thus prevent this cleverest of peoples from trouncing the dullard spawn of the Gentile ruling class — but by making campuses places of fear for Jewish students, they can have a go. Student activist Harry Saul Markham told me: ‘Anti-Semitism is alive and well at UCL. We, young Jews, are the ones who face anti-Semitism on campus, not these privileged, armchair academics. The provost will give racists a green light if he gets rid of this definition. And if he does that, young Jews applying to university will be sure not to apply to UCL.’

One of the many unattractive elements of wokeness is that it never really stopped hating all persecuted people, as advertised — it just doubles down on the groups of people it feels fine about hating and persecuting. Though anti-Semitism has elements of ordinary racism, it also has the unique quality of incorporating envy and resentment at the way this particular minority group have had to overcome unspeakable obstacles yet have still succeeded. It’s the hatred of the stupid for the smart — and as universities are magnets for stupid people who believe they deserve the rewards of the smart, it’s little wonder that they are Petri dishes running alive with the filthy bacteria of ‘the oldest hatred’. Students are indoctrinated into fashionable hatred of the tiny Jewish country in academia, and then they leave and join the BBC or the Guardian, where they are paid to spread the message worldwide — a vicious circle-jerk.

Except that with the contraction of the media — and specifically the way hoi polloi are increasingly reluctant to bankroll such rotten branches of the liberal establishment — the interesting and well-paid jobs in media and communication are ever thinner on the ground. Having been banging on about white privilege for the past five years, how will posh Gentile students explain their own failure to get the jobs they want even after such expensive educations? It’ll be the Jews’ fault, of course — as always.


Elite private schools go woke

Colleges have been fertile fields of woke craziness for years now. Just a few recent examples: Middlebury College Professor Jonathan Miller-Lane claims that “To preserve American democracy, Whiteness must be demilitarized so that bodies designated as ‘White’ might become human.” A Washington and Lee University law professor insists that votes of black Americans should be counted twice as a form of “voter reparations.” Not to be outdone, students, alumni, and faculty at Assumption University, a Catholic school in Massachusetts, have attacked the school’s promotion of Catholic social teaching on marriage and abortion.

It’s no secret that the wacky world of woke has also made deep inroads into our nation’s k-12 public schools. But what about private k-12 schools? Like Covid-19, the woke pandemic does not stop at the schoolhouse door – not even at the gates of the chichi private ones. For example, Brentwood School is a top-rated private institution located in a tony part of West Los Angeles. Parents of the 1,000 k-12ers who attend the school fork over – depending on grade level – about $37,725 a year. The school boasts that all its students who graduate go on to attend a 4-year college.

You might think that parents paying large sums of money to educate their kids would expect them to get something of a non-politicized education. But no. Brentwood School has gotten into bed with the diversicrats and the segregationists. The school’s “Community-Building Sessions” are right out of the Jim Crow South.


Harvard-Westlake is another upscale private school in Los Angeles that has descended into the woke pit. Part of the yearly $41,300 tuition parents must pony up to send their little ones to the school goes to the Glasgow Group, a Maryland-based firm which specializes in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) training. In fact, the school’s DEI page includes resources guaranteed to tickle every proud wokester. The book list is full of the usual woke books-du-jour including Robin DiAngelo’s White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism. The list of “acceptable” DEI terms at Harvard-Westlake is replete with “newspeak” buzz terms – implicit bias, gender identity, privilege, microaggressions, etc.


New York City’s swanky Dalton School, whose yearly tuition is $55,210, has gone full bore woke. Ditching its traditional liberal arts curriculum, the faculty is in the process of turning the school into a social justice utopia. Their demands include hiring 12 full-time diversity officers, and multiple psychologists to support students “coping with race-based traumatic stress.” The faculty also requires “anti-racism” statements from all staffers and an overhaul of the entire curriculum, reading lists and student plays to “reflect diversity and social justice themes.” While it is unclear as to whether the school’s administrators are happy with the faculty’s demands, they have done little to stop them.

But many parents are not pleased with Dalton’s turn. Some have disenrolled their children because the school “has totally failed in its mission to uplift the very people it professes to help.” A Jewish parent told the New York Post, “My ancestors experienced white supremacy by being slaughtered. The idea that being white automatically means you are privileged or a white supremacist is ridiculous. My child comes from people who had to fight for everything they got.”

While parents can protest a private school’s political dogma by simply removing their kids, a public school parent too rarely has the option to do so. Instead, they must get organized, and that is indeed happening. “No Left Turn in Education,” started by a concerned mom in her living room late last summer, is a grassroots movement of concerned parents, teachers, watchdogs and others. Just six months later, the group now boasts chapters in 18 states. Elana Yaron Fishbein, the organization’s founder, attributes the astronomical growth of her group to the fact that parents are fed up with far-left dogma because it’s a threat to their kids, she told The College Fix. Fishbein added that it is also “threatening their family. It’s threatening their way of life. It’s threatening their livelihood. So, it’s not something abstract, it’s very, very real.”

It is indeed very real, and the indoctrination will continue to metastasize until parents wake up and act. The cement is hardening; the time to act is now. Right now.




Sunday, February 21, 2021

House GOP Accuses Biden of Rejecting Scientific Consensus on School Reopenings

A group of 66 House Republicans accused President Joe Biden of rejecting the scientific consensus that schools can safely reopen, a move they say harms American children.

Led by Rep. Jason Smith (R., Mo.), the lawmakers sent Biden a Thursday letter urging him to "follow the science" by pushing state and local leaders across the U.S. to reopen schools. The letter notes that there is "little evidence to show in-person instruction in classrooms contributes to the spread of COVID-19," citing a January study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. It also criticizes the Biden administration for contradicting top government scientists. After CDC director Rochelle Walensky said there are "increasing data to suggest that schools can reopen," White House press secretary Jen Psaki dismissed the comment, claiming Walensky "spoke in her personal capacity."

"Despite [Walensky's] expert opinion, your White House continues to ignore the science," the letter reads. "Our children are suffering, and it is time to allow them to resume their education with in-person instruction."

The plea comes just hours after the White House clarified its promise to reopen schools within Biden's first 100 days in office, with Psaki stating Tuesday that Biden's goal is for a majority of schools to offer "some" in-person teaching "at least one day a week." Both House and Senate Republicans quickly criticized the walk-back, the latest example of the GOP's push to place the school reopening fight at the center of the 2022 midterm elections.

"The Biden Administration once again demonstrated that they have no intention of fulfilling the President's promise to students and families," Sen. Marco Rubio (R., Fla.) said in a statement. "Having 50 percent of schools offering in-person instruction one day a week is not what millions of parents and students across the nation think of as schools reopening."

Biden pledged to reopen schools throughout his presidential campaign despite receiving more than $232,000 in direct contributions from teachers' unions, which have led the charge to delay in-person instruction. Top unions such as the American Federation of Teachers also gave millions to liberal super PACs backing Biden, and AFT president Randi Weingarten recently called on Washington, D.C., to wholly close schools that detect even a single COVID case.

Biden's pick for deputy secretary of education, Cindy Marten, has also vocally opposed school reopenings. Marten recently delayed in-person instruction for her San Diego school district indefinitely after planning to reopen on January 13.

Rep. Smith told the Washington Free Beacon that Biden's soft stance on in-person learning reflects his need to appease powerful special-interest groups.

"President Biden should listen to the scientists and put the needs of American families over the needs of special interests," he said. "But as we have seen, he is more focused on appeasing his liberal allies than supporting kids in school."

The White House did not return a request for comment.

Some House Republicans have attempted to spur in-person learning by tying it to federal funding for K-12 public schools. A Tuesday amendment from Rep. Greg Murphy (R., N.C.), for example, would have required schools receiving funds through Biden's $1.9 trillion COVID relief bill to offer in-person instruction "at each of the public elementary and secondary schools under the jurisdiction of the local education agency." House Democrats rejected the amendment.


Department of Education Fights the White Supremacy of Math

In Oregon, they’re fighting prejudice in a way that really… counts. The state is promoting a program to subtract racism… from math.

As it turns out — The Daily Wire reports — “finding the right answer (is) a sign of white supremacy.” And that’s particularly unfortunate, since any answer other than the right one is the… wrong answer.

Yet, here we are.

Per Fox News, the Oregon Department of Education’s recent newsletter hailed a February 21st “Pathway to Math Equity Micro-Course.”

Such will allow middle school teachers to employ a toolkit for “Dismantling Racism in [Math].”

Molders of young skulls full o’ mush are encouraged to sign up.

ODE Communications Director Marc Siegel said the program “helps educators learn key tools for engagement, develop strategies to improve equitable outcomes for Black, Latinx, and multilingual students, and join communities of practice.”

A Pathway to Equitable Math Instruction: Dismantling Racism in Mathematics Instruction offers 14 manifestations of white supremacy.

Some of you may take the above as negative news. I myself have just realized everyone I’ve ever known — of every race — is a white supremacist.

But there’s hope: Fox notes the new program pummels the problems: Instead of focusing on one right answer, the toolkit encourages teachers to “come up with at least two answers that might solve this problem.”

It adds: “Challenge standardized test questions by getting the ‘right’ answer, but justify other answers by unpacking the assumptions that are made in the problem.”

It also encourages teachers to “center ethnomathematics,” which includes a variety of guidelines. One of them instructs educators to “identify and challenge the ways that math is used to uphold capitalist, imperialist, and racist views.”

Such is the new — and much more complex — way of addressing our color differences.

The old way: Not caring about them.

Going forward — it seems — caring will be compulsory.

The teachers care — and they’re making a change.

From the 81-page Pathway:

White supremacy culture infiltrates math classrooms in everyday teacher actions. Coupled with the beliefs that underlie these actions, they perpetuate educational harm on Black, Latinx, and multilingual students, denying them full access to the world of mathematics.The table below identi es the ways in which white supremacy shows up in math classrooms.

One way to do it right: Let the youngsters lead.

Students are tracked (into courses/pathways and within the classroom). Too often students are tracked based on the notion that adults know what the right thing is for them, which does not allow room for student agency, reinforcing paternalism and powerhoarding.

Is this our path to success?

As I’ve stated before, we’ll find out in 50 years. Or 40. Or whatever’s the least racist addition to 2021.


That gap

The underlying cause of income inequality and brewing civil unrest likely has less to do with media-inflamed coverage and much more to do with the problem that apparently no one wants to discuss: educational disparity.

The disparity year after year, decade after decade, in math competency, reading proficiency, test scores, honor roll status, and graduation rates, in virtually every U.S. school system, between African American students and other students is disturbing.

No Cause for Optimism

Any responsible American would understandably be concerned. Here in the third decade of the third millennium, with a male African American high school dropout rate at 40% across the U.S., can anyone view the situation optimistically?

"It's remarkable," noted Eric Hanushek, who is a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research, as well as a senior fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution. Following his extensive analysis, he remarked, "I knew that the gap hadn't been closing too much, but when I actually looked at the data I was myself surprised."

When strenuous efforts to bridge the gap, in one community after another, do not bear fruit, invariably someone yells "foul," as if some grand conspiracy is occurring and a magic wand, yet to be waved, could suddenly redress all. And, as if long-term, hard-working, dedicated teachers are not attempting their utmost for each of their students.

Consider the school system in Chapel Hill-Carrboro, North Carolina. This locale, deemed, “The southern part of heaven,” by a variety of writers, is among the most progressive in the United States. The teachers and educators here have a vested interest in demonstrating that their school system, beyond all others, can succeed in the vital area of closing achievement gaps between whites and minorities.

Year in and year out, nevertheless, the gap remains. The Chapel Hill-Carrboro Board of Education is primed to try anything. Another in an endless line of supposed "fixes" was to eliminate the advanced math classes in the middle schools and to lump all non-pre-algebra students together, with similar plans to eliminate other advanced classes such as in language arts.

One cannot easily erect a sound building on quicksand, and you cannot expect to solve a decades-old problem by starting with a shaky foundation. Taking a lowest common denominator approach to developing school curriculum has never consistently worked, anywhere. It frustrates the students and dramatically increases a teacher's burden – all such students must then be taught at individual learning speeds. Do you know any superhuman teachers? If so, could you afford them?

Address the Real Issues

Conclusively closing the academic gap between underachieving students and the rest of the student population requires addressing reality – airing the truth about the disparity – not resorting to politically "correct" psychobabble and curricula finagling for another ten years, and then another ten, and then another.

This disparity encompasses such issues as the number of hours the television is on in given households, family or parental encouragement for completing homework assignments, a regular workspace, and established hours for studying in a quiet environment, among other factors.

Until solid analysis, exploration, and programs that address these issues are undertaken, no amount of wrangling with classes will prove to be the "winning formula." School boards, moreover, will have zero chance of effectively addressing the continuing problem of poor academic performance among student groups.

Detective Sherlock Holmes, in Arthur Conan Doyle's story The Sign of Four, says, “... When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.” The schools in U.S. communities routinely exhaust talented teachers with a task that cannot be solved by them, nor is it theirs to solve.

Serious Students, Eager to Learn

Satisfactory academic achievement, however improbable to those who wish to pretend otherwise, occurs through individual effort: one boy and one girl after another rising above and cracking the books, then coming to class as a serious student, eager to learn, and primed to excel.

Such achievement is never likely to occur any other way. Otherwise, expect that income inequality and civil unrest will continue for decades into the 21st century.


Catholic University of America Shows How to Host Controversial Speaker Despite Uproar

The Catholic University of America, the college established by the United States bishops in Washington, D.C. became the latest university to come under fire for the views of an invited speaker.

For two years, a campus organization known as Cardinals for Life worked to schedule a speech by Abby Johnson. Ms. Johnson is noted for being a former Planned Parenthood abortion clinic director who, after witnessing atrocities in the abortion industry, resigned and committed herself to pro-life advocacy. Ms. Johnson recounted her story in the memoir, Unplanned (Disclosure: this writer’s public relations firm was hired to publicize the feature film “Unplanned,” which was based on the book).

It is understandable why students at a Catholic college would want to hear of Ms. Johnson’s experience. In his first week in office, President Joseph Biden, the nation’s second Catholic president, revoked the Mexico City policy, which prohibits federally funded nongovernmental organizations from recommending abortion abroad. If there was ever a time for students at the Catholic University of America to discuss abortion policy, it is now.

Shortly before the event was to take place, Father Jude DeAngelo, the University chaplain and advisor to Cardinals for Life, according to news reports, tried to “pressure” the group to cancel the event. Regrettably, the president of Cardinals for Life resigned after Father DeAngelo’s request to indefinitely postpone Ms. Johnson’s appearance.

Father DeAngelo believed some of Ms. Johnson’s comments, unrelated to the pro-life issue, were problematic. Some of these tweets dealt with race and her biracial son. Specifically, Ms. Johnson said in an online video that police officers would be “smart” to profile her adopted biracial son because “statistically my brown son is more likely to commit a violent offense over my white sons.”

It is understandable that these remarks may make some people might feel uncomfortable. However, discomfort should not be the basis of disinviting a speaker.

“As chaplain charged with the care of souls, I personally believe there are better pro-life speakers than Ms. Johnson who can bring the pro-life message to students who are hungry for the truth that every human life from conception to natural death is sacred and needs our protection,” Fr. DeAngelo said in an online statement.

One must ask who is better to discuss these issues. Few pro-life advocates have seen the inner workings of an abortion clinic. Furthermore, if Ms. Johnson was such an objectionable speaker, why did Fr. DeAngelo not raise this point two years ago when she was first invited.

More than three hundred people watched Ms. Johnson’s virtual speech. During the presentation, Ms. Johnson explained how Planned Parenthood makes money from abortion and how the aborted fetus is referred to as “products of conception.” She even displayed tools doctors use in the abortion process.

In his introduction to the event, College Republicans president Blayne Clegg-Swann said that if his group had allowed Ms. Johnson’s speech to have been cancelled, it would have been “easy and comfortable.” However, the decision to host the event “sets a precedent for student leaders for years to come.”

Mr. Swann notes that the College Republicans’ office had been vandalized and they had received angry emails, as has happened at colleges across the country. Perhaps the best result of this situation is that student leaders will be allowed to advocate to have speakers with whom others disagree and they can find strength and courage.

This was an event long in the planning. Ms. Johnson has been a recognized pro-life advocate for years, as well as a convert to Catholicism. The comments of Ms. Johnson to which many objected were made last summer. It was unreasonable to attempt to cancel a knowledgeable, high-profile speaker to assuage feelings. To cancel the event would have been easy, but the entire university community would have suffered. Colleges need more of this steadfastness.