After shredding the Paso Robles Joint Unified School District (PRJUSD) over its Resolution 21-27 that aimed to ban teaching of critical race theory (CRT) in Paso schools ("Mighty white of you, Paso!" June 24), many undies were immediately bunched—none more bunched than Superintendent Dr. Curt Dubost, who penned this week's commentary.
"More extreme supporters of critical race theory label anyone who disagrees with its inclusion in schools as racists," Dubost screamed.
Except this is a straight-up straw man argument since no one—no one—is calling to teach CRT in K-12 schools. I, for one, am disagreeing with the idiocy of making a boogeyman out of CRT with resolutions like 21-27, which is going to the trouble of stopping something that no one's trying to do. Making CRT scary and in need of banning is white protectionist claptrap.
Dubost goes on to cry himself a river over all the wrongs done to the PRJUSD by the mean old NAACP of SLO, mean old political cartoonist Russell Hodin, and mean old opinion columnist me, wah-wah-wah! Somebody call the wahmbulance because Dr. Curty has a boo-boo.
"These exaggerated insults do nothing to further healthy debate and solely serve to inflame extreme perspectives," Dubost wrote, completely oblivious to the PRJUSD's culpability in inflaming extreme perspectives with the inanity of Resolution 21-27.
Then he goes on to explain that the district's ethnic studies curriculum isn't going to "ignore or omit historical instances of racism. The only restriction was that historical atrocities be presented in historical context, not through a contemporary lens, and that presentations and supplemental readings be balanced."
Let's break those restrictions down. What does "historical context" mean? Does it mean teaching slavery through the historical context of, say, 1863 through 1965, when treating Black people as subhuman was sadly typical and worse legal?
"Enslaving negroes wasn't that evil because, in a historical context, they weren't considered human beings like white people." Is that the idea, Dr. Dubost?
And what does it mean to not teach through "a contemporary lens?" Are teachers supposed to ignore how our culture has evolved? Do teachers, for instance, have to teach Japanese internment through the lens of the 1940s when it was perfectly fine to hoist a banner outside your business that read, "Japs keep moving. This is a white man's neighborhood"?
My point is that all we have is a contemporary lens through which to view history, and pretending that things like slavery, Native American genocide, Dred Scott v. Sandford, Executive Order 9066 and Japanese Internment, Jim Crow laws, and other things white people did to people of color weren't abhorrent because white people "thought differently" in the old days is beyond asinine.
And what "supplemental readings" are you thinking of to keep history "balanced?" Are we talking about Jefferson Davis' defense of slavery or William Luther Pierce's The Turner Diaries about overthrowing the government and exterminating non-whites? Some things are not relative, sir. Slavery is simply indefensible. There's no legitimate "supplemental readings" to balance that it's not pure evil.
Sigh. Dubost's commentary is about as lucid and logical as the vaguely constructed Resolution 21-27!
"What was and is of concern are extreme efforts to rewrite American history," Dubost continued, going on to complain about how people don't want to continue to honor old 'heroes.' Let me read between Dubost's lines: "First they came for our Confederate Statues, and I did nothing because I was not a Confederate. Then they came for George Washington High School. Not cool, man!"
Dubost complains about "extreme conclusions such as those reached in San Francisco that schools named for Washington, Lincoln, Jefferson, Grant, and others be renamed so that no one who ever said or did anything now objectionable be honored, regardless of the balance of their historical legacy. Abraham Lincoln? Ulysses S. Grant? Seriously? Not pure enough?"
Oh my! Your slope is so slippery, Curt! Be careful not to fall and fracture your coccyx!
Reassessing American history and deciding who to continue to honor or not isn't CRT or revisionism; it's simply coming to grips with the truth, evolving as a culture, and deciding what's important to teach our children. Dubost mentions the Tulsa Massacre, which most schools failed to teach about for decades! Curriculum evolves! How about you, Curt?
Just to prove his "woke" bona fides, Dubost goes on to trot out all the things that prove he isn't racist: "I have stood at the former cell of Nelson Mandela." "I have toured the National Museum of African American History and Culture." "I remember when racism was overt and institutionalized."
You "remember?" Oh yeah. We're a post-racial society now.
Dubost presides over a school district that's gone out of its way to appease conservative alarmists who fear their children are being indoctrinated in CRT and taught their white skin makes them inherently evil, which isn't what's happening at all. CRT isn't being taught in K-12 and no one—I repeat no one—is calling for it to be.
This is a boogeyman of Dubost's own making. In fact, I bet if any Paso students are now asking about CRT, it's because this ridiculous resolution brought it up and kids are curious. Sheesh! Δ
The Shredder volunteers to literally shred both Resolution 21-27 and Dubost's commentary. Send your thanks to firstname.lastname@example.org.