No Minister

Archive for the ‘Education’ Category

Where is “Vapourising small islands”?

It should be under the box labeled “physics”, even if it’s not really the done thing anymore.

I guess we’ll have to wait until we’re mining the planet Mercury or something like that.

Of course, who needs nuclear weapons to screw up the world when you’ve got lab-produced viruses: the diagram therefore also needs something like “genetically altering bat viruses” under Biology.

You can read about the island of Elugelab, and the Ivy Mike device that destroyed it in the world’s first thermonuclear test in 1952.

Written by Tom Hunter

October 2, 2021 at 12:00 pm

Posted in Education, Humour, Science

Quote of the Week

John Hinderacker – Powerline

The war on standards mostly comes down to the fact that so many teachers and educational bureaucrats cannot themselves meet any meaningful standard, let alone teach our children how to do so.

Written by adolffinkensen

September 5, 2021 at 4:58 pm

Posted in Education

Art for Afghanistan’s sake

Despite a love of books I endured English only as far as I had to take it in high school, which was up to the end of 6th Form (Year 12 it is now called). Funnily enough that last year was the one I enjoyed the most as various books and essays had to be analysed.

Earlier English courses were broader, covering things like art and poetry.

I hated poetry.

Despite hating it (or perhaps because of that) there were certain types of poetry and art that stuck in the mind although the details are long lost. One of them was “Concrete Poetry”. The other was Dadaism:

… the Dada movement consisted of artists who rejected the logic, reason, and aestheticism of modern capitalist society, instead expressing nonsense, irrationality, and anti-bourgeois protest in their works.[4][5][6] The art of the movement spanned visual, literary, and sound media, including collage, sound poetry, cut-up writing, and sculpture.

Ah yes. The boy who loved science, logic, reason, and rationality was really going to fall for this stuff. It was crap. Our entire class thought it was crap, including those who would go on to do university degrees in English. Luckily we had an English teacher (huge, ginger afro and beard) who was more than happy to hear such blunt critiques and be amused by them.

So it has been with a sense of amusement and despair that I have watched a video going viral around the Interwebby that shows Afghan women being taught about Dadaism in 2015. The key view is at 31 seconds:

Incredible is it not? American taxpayers paid for this, as well as many, many other such things, as Cockburn explains at the Spectator:

So, alongside the billions for bombs went hundreds of millions for gender studies in Afghanistan. According to US government reports, $787 million was spent on gender programs in Afghanistan, but that substantially understates the actual total, since gender goals were folded into practically every undertaking America made in the country.

A recent report from the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) broke down the difficulties of the project. For starters, in both Dari and Pastho there are no words for ‘gender’. That makes sense, since the distinction between ‘sex’ and ‘gender’ was only invented by a sexually-abusive child psychiatrist in the 1960s, but evidently Americans were caught off-guard.

The initiatives piled up one after another. Do-gooders established a ‘National Masculinity Alliance’, so a few hundred Afghan men could talk about their ‘gender roles’ and ‘examine male attitudes that are harmful to women’.

Challenging. In every sense of the word.

Under the US’s guidance, Afghanistan’s 2004 constitution set a 27 percent quota for women in the lower house — higher than the actual figure in America! A strategy that sometimes required having women represent provinces they had never actually been to. Remarkably, this experiment in ‘democracy’ created a government few were willing to fight for, let alone die for.

Probably the exact opposite, as Never Yet Melted suggests:

Western elites let Afghans see what Western elite culture is like. Naturally, and inevitably, they took down their AK-47s from the wall and fought tooth and nail to prevent being assimilated into that!

It should also be noted that Dadism arose in Germany after WWI in reaction to the waste, horror and futility of that war and was driven by the radical Left, who used it to attack everything they hated about the West. It was one of the centrepieces of the early German Wiemar period of government and fit perfectly with the uselessness and decadence of Weimar culture.

Perhaps that means we’ll see Dadism soon reborn in the USA, using MRE’s, PortaPotties, MRAPS and HumVees as the objects of art. The whole ethos would be a perfect fit for the American now. I’m also reminded of the famous final scene from the movie Cabaret.

As Law Professor Glenn Reynolds noted on his Instapundit blog:

“The American political/academic/managerial class is made up largely of buffoons. It’s hilarious, except for it being so toxic and deadly.”

Written by Tom Hunter

September 5, 2021 at 12:00 pm

Our Science is better than your Science

In exactly the same way that the Left have been screaming about “Climate Change Deniers” for the last twenty years, the appearance of Chinese Lung Rot brought to the fore a variation on this: “Science Deniers”.

This was applied against anybody who objected to any of the measures taken against Covid-19; lockdowns and masks especially.

In fact, even as the pandemic wanes, they’re still pushing stuff like this:

That is unscientific bullshit. The American Teacher unions are still jumping up and down about the need to mask kids in classrooms with vaccinated teachers.

They’ve begun to change their tune as they realise that the US public school system has lost millions of kids to home-schooling and the like, perhaps permanently as parents have realised what their kids are being taught and how lousy the results have been over the last few decades.

Then there are the Democrat clowns who ran away from Texas to try and prevent a quorum from passing new voting legislation. More accurately they flew away – without masks, even though that’s supposedly the law in the US even for private chartered planes. The Babylon Bee sums this up:

Meantime there’s some good news on the US education front, although it’s somewhat along the lines of the 1950’s/60’s Our Germans are better than their Germans” (H/T The Right Stuff)

Written by Tom Hunter

July 16, 2021 at 12:18 pm

It’s just an academic theory

I see there has been some ruction here in New Zealand about a high school activist group (School Strike For Climate Auckland or SSFCA) breaking itself up because of its inherent White Supremacy.

Apparently the group was “advised” about this problem by Maori and Pasifika groups also engaged in “fighting Climate Change”. I was amused that Chris Trotter covered this story with the title, Losing The “Struggle-Session” Over Climate Change:

The statement released by SSFCA was heart-breaking. To find an historical precedent for the document’s abject self-negation and unqualified acknowledgement of guilt it is necessary to go back to the “struggle sessions” of Mao Zedong’s Cultural Revolution of the late-1960s. Or, even further back, to the “confessions” tremulously delivered by the broken victims of Joseph Stalin’s show trials in the 1930s. The shaming and vilification required to reduce these idealistic young people to a state of such utter intellectual prostration proves conclusively that human viciousness is not a trait peculiar to those whose skins are white.

That’s because I’ve covered this insanity in a series of posts over the last year titled The Struggle Sessions, and yes, its treatment of humans is “heart-breaking”, although it’s hard to hold back the schadenfreude as the theory now hits some of the very people who wielded it not five minutes ago.

In the light of such occurrences as SSFCA’s it’s quite amazing that we’re suddenly seeing people, particularly the MSM, suddenly blathering about how this is “just an academic theory” that perhaps is being used badly by “fringe groups”.

Bullshit! This is spreading fast and wide through mainstream institutions and pushed by supposedly mainstream groups like teachers, and it is hitting your kids and grandkids. They know it better than you, as shown by the following two examples.

First up is a short speech by some 15 year old kid at a school board meeting for Rosemount High School, located in a suburb of Minneapolis.

At least he had the good sense to tell them he was quitting the school and going elsewhere to be educated in how to think critically.

The next example is a lot sadder. It’s a letter written by a high school student to his former English teacher, who recently resigned from Dwight-Englewood School in protest to the introduction of Critical Race Theory. The letter was released by Columbia university professor of linguistics, John McWhorter (whose take on “systemic racism” I wrote about earlier)

Dear Mrs. Stangel-Plowe,

I truly hope you do read this email, but I understand if you are too busy to. I am extremely grateful that you were my teacher this year, and for the ideas you finally brought to light recently. I hope you realize how big of an impact you made on our community. Unfortunately, all of what you said is true; I know many students that are scared to speak out on their opinions in fear. I have reluctantly prohibited myself from saying certain things in class also in fear of sounding politically incorrect. I see the negative effects of this toxic community in my fellow students and faculty every day.

Namely, my eighth grade English teacher taught us for the first two weeks about pretty much how awful white men are. For two weeks, I did not speak a single word in her class. My fellow white male classmates left the classroom every time feeling the same way. For lack of a better word, those teachings made me feel like horse shit, like worthless scum undeserving of living.

Later during that year, in my history class, my white classmates were constantly using the pronoun “we” when talking about slavery. Eventually, I had to raise my hand and remind them: that “we” were not and are not a part of these despicable acts. Most of our parents were refugees from foreign countries, whose ancestors were also oppressed and persecuted. This year, I have battled with countless generalizing and oppression towards white men. There are girls, whom I am friends with, that genuinely believe that all men are misogynistic. I see movements on social media like #KAM which stands for “Kill all men”; people don’t realize how strongly that affects boys in an extremely negative way.

Even now, I am struggling and frightened to fully express my opinion to my girlfriend, who believes that most white men are oppressive beings. Everyone is talking about your letter, many many students including myself are extremely grateful for what you’ve done. My friends and classmates feel much more comfortable expressing their voices and many minds are changing. So I am once again thanking you for trying to improve our school. I wish I could put into words the extent to which I admire and thank you. I wish I could describe to you the good that you have done. I aspire to be as brave as you some day.

With endless amounts of love and respect,

-Your former D-E student

You can see how this sort of “education” could produce sad, frightened young teenagers like the ones who formed SSFCA, whose actions show that it’s not just US high school kids who are imbibing this garbage.

Oh, and the first thing that second boy needs to do in terms of “bravery” is dump that toxic POS “girlfriend” before she fucks him up permanently.

“Even North Korea is not this nuts”

That’s not from this Babylon Bee tweet, despite it being another of their wonderful pieces of satire.

Now you may be thinking that photoshopping North Korea’s Kim Jong Un into a modern American university lecture theatre is over-the-top, even for a satirical story.

But that would be before you read this article about a North Korean defector named Yeonmi Park, who has recently graduated from Columbia University.

Park is one of the more famous defectors, having written a 2015 memoir called “In Order to Live”, in which she chronicled her life in the repressive regime of North Korea and her eventual escape with her mother. At the age of 13 she saw people die of starvation right in front of her. When she and her mother managed to get across the border into China they were captured by human slavers. Having been freed by Christian missionaries she still ended up having to walk across the Gobi desert before she got to South Korea.

Then she moved to the USA and went to one of the great Ivy League universities.

“I expected that I was paying this fortune, all this time and energy, to learn how to think. But they are forcing you to think the way they want you to think,” she said. “I realized, wow, this is insane. I thought America was different but I saw so many similarities to what I saw in North Korea that I started worrying.”

Her money quote:

“Even North Korea is not this nuts. North Korea was pretty crazy, but not this crazy.”

When you read the details she supplies about her education you can understand why she came to this conclusion.

Like in North Korea, Park said she witnessed example after example of anti-Western sentiment and guilt-tripping. During her orientation, for instance, a staff member scolded her for liking classic literature, such as the writings of Jane Austen.

“I said ‘I love those books.’ I thought it was a good thing,” Park said of her orientation. “Then she said, ‘Did you know those writers had a colonial mindset? They were racists and bigots and are subconsciously brainwashing you.’”

Heh. I encountered a number of feminists in the 1980’s with a very low opinion of Jane Austen, because she did not fit their conceptions of what a feminist was. To say the least their opinions of the woman were primitive and reductive, but by the late 1990’s things had turned around, with increased celebration of Ms Austen’s feminist traits.

Just in time to now be a “colonialist” and a racist.

Yeonmi Park

Her professors gave students “trigger warnings,” sharing the wording from readings in advance so people could opt out of reading or even sitting in class during discussions, Park told The Post.

“Going to Columbia, the first thing I learned was ‘safe space,’” she said.

“Every problem, they explained us, is because of white men.” Some of the discussions of white privilege reminded her of the caste system in her native country, where people were categorized based on their ancestors, she said.

The similarities with North Korea mounted up, but at least the North Koreans had some rationale in defending their system, which they did partly by hating on Americans. As Ms Park points out there seem to be rather a lot of Americans who also hate America.

When it came to gender pronouns and manipulation of the English language, Park was even more confused.

“English is my third language. I learned it as an adult. I sometimes still say ‘he’ or ‘she’ by mistake and now they are going to ask me to call them ‘they’? How the heck do I incorporate that into my sentences?” she remembered asking herself. “It was chaos. It felt like the regression in civilization.”

It is a regression in civilisation. And it comes from being in a “safe space”.

“Because I have seen oppression, I know what it looks like,” she said. “These kids keep saying how they’re oppressed, how much injustice they’ve experienced. They don’t know how hard it is to be free.”

The paradox of supposedly being taught about “oppression”, “injustice” and being “free” is that it’s producing graduates who actually don’t know anything about them.

Park said as a child she had thought dictator Kim Jong Un was “starving” and overworked until she was in South Korea and was shown pictures that showed how large he was in pictures compared to other people who looked thin and hungry.

“That’s what it does when you’re brainwashed …. Oh my God, why did I not notice that he was fat?’ Because I never learned how to think critically. That is what is happening in America, people see things but they’ve just completely lost the ability to think critically.”

More paradox, this time courtesy of “Critical Theory”. Or perhaps irony is a better term?

“You guys have lost common sense to a degree that I as a North Korean cannot even comprehend,” she said. “Where are we going from here? There’s no rule of law, no morality, nothing is good or bad anymore, it’s complete chaos. I guess that’s what they want, to destroy every single thing and rebuild into a Communist paradise.”

I don’t agree with that last, although I can see why she would think that. The fact is that outside of a tiny fringe of real Marxists there are few who believe in that, mainly because there are so many grifting, money hungry Leftists tearing things up just to make a buck for themselves:

But that doesn’t mean they can’t cause an awful lot of damage to American society as they claw in the money while forcing everybody else to bend to their whims.

Eventually, Park stopped arguing with her professors and “learned how to just shut up” so that she could graduate.

“I literally crossed the Gobi Desert to be free and I realized I’m not free, America’s not free.

Well she did still graduate, and she got to talk to reporters about this – but only once she escaped from the university, and to paraphrase Andrew Sullivan, once we all live on campus…

Got ya daily dose of batshit insanity right here

This is actually a good follow up to the previous post about modern university education in the USA and in general.

Yale University is one of the famous Ivy League colleges in the USA, which actually started the term in relation to their sports teams but gradually extended it to everything else about themselves, as Wiki explains:

The term Ivy League is typically used beyond the sports context to refer to the eight schools as a group of elite colleges with connotations of academic excellenceselectivity in admissions, and social elitism.

Despite it’s centuries old success, famous graduates and incredible wealth (their 2019 endowments totaled $30.3 billion) Yale has been taking quite a few hits in recent years.

A recent event won’t help. A psychiatrist named Dr. Aruna Khilanani, lecturing at Yale’s Child Study Center, was invited by the university to give a guest lecture and she jumped at the chance with:

‘The Psychopathic Problem of the White Mind’.

Yeah Baby!

Click on the link to the substack article, which in turn has an upload of the audio recording. It’s a doozy. Here’s just some sample quotes:

  • This is the cost of talking to white people at all. The cost of your own life, as they suck you dry. There are no good apples out there. White people make my blood boil. (Time stamp: 6:45)
  • I had fantasies of unloading a revolver into the head of any white person that got in my way, burying their body, and wiping my bloody hands as I walked away relatively guiltless with a bounce in my step. Like I did the world a fucking favor. (Time stamp: 7:17)
  • We are now in a psychological predicament, because white people feel that we are bullying them when we bring up race. They feel that we should be thanking them for all that they have done for us. They are confused, and so are we. We keep forgetting that directly talking about race is a waste of our breath. We are asking a demented, violent predator who thinks that they are a saint or a superhero, to accept responsibility. It ain’t gonna happen. They have five holes in their brain. It’s like banging your head against a brick wall. It’s just like sort of not a good idea. (Time stamp 17:13)

Rather than lambasting this fucked up woman as a bigot and a racist I think we should just conclude that she simply should not have anything to do with psychiatry and should be moved into another field. Caring for pet gerbils perhaps, although I’d fear for the lives of the albino ones.

Got the bastards! Now where’s that revolver?

But with a mind and a worldview like that, the universities that gave her a degree – apparently Cornell and NYU – should be fucking investigated to find out what the hell is going on inside them. At a minimum her employer should be made aware of all this, but they probably already know all about her since people like this lack self-awareness and discretion and lose control of themselves: I’d bet good money that she just cannot keep her mouth shut at work.

Dr. Khilanani is also obviously in desperate need of treatment from her own profession, but perhaps that would be a mistake. I have a cousin with a PhD in psychiatry who lectured at university on the subject some years ago. Long retired he is now and – as one other cousin recently remarked – “As crazy as a a shit house rat”, so perhaps it just comes with the territory?

Written by Tom Hunter

June 7, 2021 at 2:00 pm

Free University

It’s what I got in the 1980’s, although I still ended up with $10k in debt thanks to a couple of trips to Aussie with mates in my last year, plus my second degree pushing six months past the five year limit of the “Bursary” payments, which were always geared around a then-standard three year Bachelors and two year Masters degree.

Part of my reason for going back to get a second degree was that I could see the writing on the wall after 1984. With subsidies being stripped from farmers, the end of subsidy-like protections such as import licenses, de-regulation, privatisation and an overall push towards “user-pays”, it was obvious that university education was going to get the treatment at some stage. With two years of payments left in the bag I figured I might as well take advantage of it.

Every system has its own problems of course, and the user-pays system of university education, backed by student loans from sugar daddy government, has ones that are neatly eviscerated here by none other than Lefty TV comedian/host Bill Mahar.

While he’s talking about the USA it’s obvious that many of these apply to New Zealand:

The excessive cost of a university degree, thanks in part to ridiculous amenities (see the video). He doesn’t mention the massive growth in university administration but it’s a huge factor as well.

The uselessness of many degrees and the sheer lack of learning.

“A third of students now spend less than five hours a week studying and when they do it’s for their onerous Magnum Cum bullshit Sports Marketing, History Through Twitter, Advanced Racist Spotting, Intro To Micro-Agressions and You Owe Me An Apology 101”

“Why is China kicking our ass. Because in 2019 we issued more undergrad degrees in visual and performing arts than in computer and information science and math”.

The “inflation” of grade marking, with “A’s” being awarded for 45% of students versus 15% in 1960. As he observes, students have not got that much smarter. I don’t know whether this is a problem in NZ or not. As usual with our nation it’s probably not something we even have the stats for.

The “inflation” of job requirements, such that a Bachelor’s degree increasingly amounts to what a High School Diploma used to. And the pressure to “get qualified” to move up the job ladder for a job you already understand.

All of this has caused the cost of attending an American university to double every nine years for several decades now, four times the rate of inflation.

Which brings Mahar to addressing the point that “Free University” means that people without a degree get to pay for other people to get a Bachelor’s degree and then see them make 65% more lifetime income (Masters is more like a 100%), plus suffering half the unemployment rate.

I don’t know how much school I’m going to attend… but I do want the experience of like, game day and partying – Olivia Jade.

She certainly does look like a party girl!

Olivia is a “Social Media Celebrity and YouTuber”, and her mother Lori Loughlin went to jail briefly as one of a number of people caught in Operation Varsity Blues, where wealthy parents had been bribing university officials to get their little dimbulb darlings onto the first rung of the lifetime money ladder.

Maher’s comment on that is succinct:

“Yeah. I’m not fucking paying for that.”

Written by Tom Hunter

June 7, 2021 at 9:22 am

Schooling the Public

Many people have been talking about how the Great Chinese Sinus AIDS pandemic of 2020 has “changed everything“.

But by that they (“they” means the usual suspects of the Left) mean that Big Government is back to save us, since it saved us from the virus, at least here in New Zealand. So now it’s on to even bigger government, just the way Micky Savage and company would have wanted it. On that last, people should take note of the incredibly tough restrictions the First labour government placed on supplying benefits.

But the changes wrought may hit society in ways the Left have not expected, and of which they will not approve.

Like Public Education, especially in the USA, where the wooden-headed arrogant opposition of the teacher’s unions to re-opening schools in many parts of the USA – especially the Democrat parts – has left parents steaming and done more to wreck the system than any right-winger could have hoped to do.

Even the kids know there’s something wrong, as little Johnny does in this video where he explains his particular problem made worse by mask wearing and tells how his teacher doesn’t have to wear a mask because she has asthma, and that while he believes it’s ok for his teacher not to have to wear a mask, he should get the same choice too.

Perhaps I should not be so hard on teachers in the USA when you consider how many ordinary people there are who have been mentally damaged by Chinese Lung Rot: They’re Vaccinated and Keeping Their Masks On, Maybe Forever:

Whenever Joe Glickman heads out for groceries, he places an N95 mask over his face and tugs a cloth mask on top of it. He then pulls on a pair of goggles.

He has used this safety protocol for the past 14 months. It did not change after he contracted the coronavirus in November. It did not budge when, earlier this month, he became fully vaccinated. And even though President Joe Biden said on Thursday that fully vaccinated people do not have to wear a mask, Glickman said he planned to stay the course.

In fact, he said, he plans to do his grocery run double-masked and goggled for at least the next five years.

Just imagine running into this sad, insane person at the supermarket. He’d probably start screaming at you and then running away, even if you quoted the head of the CDC on masks. And he probably watches Rachel Maddow on MSNBC every night, even as she say things like this about the new guidelines to try and guide poor bastards like Glickman into the light, step by tiny step:

“I feel like I’m going to have to rewire myself so that when I see someone out in the world who’s not wearing a mask, I don’t instantly think, ‘You are a threat’, or you are selfish or you are a COVID denier and you definitely haven’t been vaccinated. I mean, we’re going to have to rewire the way that we look at each other.”

Whose this “we” Kimosabe?

We willfully indoctrinated, unscientific, groupthought fucktards…” is a better take on it.

I did like the response of fellow journalist Megyn Kelly:

“Thoughts and prayers for her during this difficult time.”

Also remember that these are the sort of people who have been screaming “But Science” in your face for the last year, when they clearly would not know science if it bit them on the bum.

Meantime it would seem that Critical Race Theory (CRT) may have a tougher time overthrowing Martin Luther King’s observation than the racist fanatics of the Left have hoped for (I probably should include the fact that White Supremacists love CRT also).

This Black mother lets her school board have it right between the eyes about the mindless, racist crap they’re trying to foist on her kids:

Some teachers would also appear to be fighting back:

Rain and Newton’s Laws

After two relentless weeks of sixteen hour days the rain has finally given me a day off, a brief respite before our teams plunge into the fields of maize once more.

I was lucky enough to grab the controls of a maize chopper the other night as I helped the young driver detach the head for a well-deserved cleaning of Ole Sassy Pants as he calls her. It took us many minutes and he told me that the latest John Deere models can detach the head in less than a minute.

The chopper head alone weighs several tons, and yet it is controlled from the now-standard “joy-stick” on the side of the chair armrest. Thumbing a smallish button “up” lifts the thing with a precision of centimetres: no levers to the hydraulics now. Similarly with moving forward or back as twenty tons of machinery can move as slowly as a snail – or at 40km/h – with just slight pressure on the stick. It really is like flying a plane.

The energy required to perform all these feats is also incredible; at the end of the day we refill her with hundreds of litres of diesel fuel. I’m sure Elon Musk would welcome the challenge of running this thing on batteries, but they’re going to have to be something much better than lithium-ion. Graphene batteries perhaps, packing up to 1,000Wh per kilogram compared to 180Wh of energy per kilogram for Lithium-ion.

Unfortunately diesel fuel powers in at almost 13,000Wh per kilogram.

It’s going to be interesting to see what the next generation of engineers can produce – assuming they can still do physics and math, which is not as much of joke as you might think:

The science program at Fieldston would make any parent swoon. The electives for 11th- and 12th-graders, according to the school’s website, include immunology, astronomy, neuroscience, and pharmacology.

But physics looks different these days. “We don’t call them Newton’s laws anymore,” an upperclassman at the school informs me. “We call them the three fundamental laws of physics. They say we need to ‘decenter whiteness,’ and we need to acknowledge that there’s more than just Newton in physics.”

That’s a quote from an article by Bari Weiss, The Miseducation of America’s Elites. Weiss was fired from the NYT some months ago for the crime of speaking some non-Leftist-approved ideas and, like fellow Leftists Matt Tabbi and Glenn Greenwald, has taken to writing articles on substack, a place where increasingly you find real journalists, people who actually investigate claims and news before writing about them, as opposed to the poorly educated, ignorant political and ideological hacks of the MSM who increasingly act as little more than stenographers for Leftist governments and ideas.

In this particular article you might not feel sorry for the parents who appear in it since they’re wealthy and determined to pour as much money as possible into getting their little darlings off to a good start in life:

These are America’s elites—the families who can afford to pay some $50,000 a year for their children to be groomed for the eating clubs of Princeton and the secret societies of Yale, the glide path to becoming masters—sorry, masterx—of the universe. The ideas and values instilled in them influence the rest of us.

“These schools are the privilege of the privilege of the privilege. They say nonstop that they are all about inclusion. But they are by definition exclusive. These schools are for the tippity top of society,” a young mother in Manhattan tells me.

What’s happening is that these parents, most of them “Liberal” upper-income folks rather than Bezo’s level billionaires, people who undoubtedly voted for Joe Biden, have only just begun to realise what’s happening to their kids and it’s scaring the shit out of them:

“I grew up in L.A., and the Harvard School definitely struggled with diversity issues. The stories some have expressed since the summer seem totally legitimate,” says one of the fathers. He says he doesn’t have a problem with the school making greater efforts to redress past wrongs, including by bringing more minority voices into the curriculum. What he has a problem with is a movement that tells his children that America is a bad country and that they bear collective racial guilt.

“They are making my son feel like a racist because of the pigmentation of his skin,” one mother says.

The teachers also, at least some of them:

“I am in a cult. Well, that’s not exactly right. It’s that the cult is all around me and I am trying to save kids from becoming members.” He sounds like a Scientology defector, but he is a math teacher at one of the most elite high schools in New York City. He is not politically conservative. “I studied critical theory; I saw Derrida speak when I was in college,” he says, “so when this ideology arrived at our school over the past few years, I recognized the language and I knew what it was. But it was in a mutated form.”

This teacher is talking with me because he is alarmed by the toll this ideology is taking on his students. “I started seeing what was happening to the kids. And that’s what I couldn’t take. They are being educated in resentment and fear. It’s extremely dangerous.”

Three thousand miles away, in Los Angeles, another prep-school teacher says something similar. “It teaches people who have so much to see themselves as victims. They think they are suffering oppression at one of the poshest schools in the country.”

Sure. But it’s working, as the kids themselves know:

One Los Angeles mother tells me that her son was recently told by his friend, who is black, that he is “inherently oppressed.” She was incredulous. “This kid is a multimillionaire,” she said. “My son said to his friend: ‘Explain it to me. Why do you feel oppressed? What has anyone done to make you feel less?’ And the friend said: ‘The color of my skin.’ This blew my mind.”

I’ll bet she still voted Democrat and Biden in the 2020 election though, and probably all the way down to Mayor.

Woe betide the working-class kid who arrives in college and uses Latino instead of “Latinx,” or who stumbles conjugating verbs because a classmate prefers to use the pronouns they/them. Fluency in woke is an effective class marker and key for these princelings to retain status in university and beyond.

For them, it’s not just the fear of getting a bad grade or getting turned down for a college recommendation, though that fear is potent. It’s the fear of social shaming. “If you publish my name, it would ruin my life. People would attack me for even questioning this ideology. I don’t even want people knowing I’m a capitalist,” a student at the Fieldston School in New York City told me, in a comment echoed by other students I spoke with. 

“The kids are scared of other kids,” says one Harvard-Westlake mother. The atmosphere is making their children anxious, paranoid, and insecure—and closed off from even their close friends. “My son knew I was talking to you and he begged me not to,” another Harvard-Westlake mother told me. “He wants to go to a great university, and he told me that one bad statement from me will ruin us. This is the United States of America. Are you freaking kidding me?”

Heh. It was the United States of America. Now it’s a Beatles song, only it’s not a parody. But that first statement is also what’s driving the fear in trying to fight back against this racist, totalitarian ideology:

The parents in this story are not parents with no other options. Most have the capital—social and literal—to pull their kids out and hire private tutors. That they weren’t speaking out seemed to me cowardly, or worse. The cynical answer for their silence is two words: Ivy League. “There are definitively rumors that the school has like, say, three picks for Duke and that if you stand up against this your kid will get blackballed,” says one mother.

And their own social networks of course:

To question any of the curricular changes, parents say, is to make yourself suspect: “Every group chat I’m on with school parents, with the exception of my concerned parents’ group, they have a pattern of shaming anyone who shares anything remotely political or dissents from the group narrative,” one Brentwood mother wrote to me. “Once someone shames one person, many chime in agreement. The times I speak up to defend those they shame, they attempt to shame me.”

Well shaming was always a key part of the struggle sessions, which makes the following quote a keeper:

One private school parent, born in a Communist nation, tells me: “I came to this country escaping the very same fear of retaliation that now my own child feels.”

As I often say to people when I talk about the insanities of the USA; don’t kid yourselves that this crap is not heading for New Zealand as well. In fact it’s already here. But read the whole thing and understand that this is happening in US public schools also.

About the only consolation I have is that even if this system fails to produce the engineers needed to build machines like the John Deere chopper, there is no way such education will stop the rain falling, or Newton’s Laws of Physics.

Written by Tom Hunter

February 25, 2021 at 12:09 pm