01 November 2007

NAME and the Multicultural Classroom

Just when I think that I’ve read the height of multicultural drivel, something comes along to prove me wrong. I found this morning’s wakeup call on Neal Boortz’s site (linking to a Baltimore Sun article). It concerns the national conference for the National Association for Multicultural Education (NAME – event site here). Some of the conference’s events appear, to say the least, to be loaded with ideological jargon and indoctrination. Both the Boortz and the Sun articles cite the same list:
- "The Unbearable Whiteness of Being: Dismantling White Privilege and Supporting Anti-Racist Education in Our Classrooms and Schools."
- "Talking About Religious Oppression and Unpacking Christian Privilege."
- "Beyond Celebrating Diversity: Teaching Teachers How to be Critical Multicultural Educators."

I’d add two more from the event brochure:
- “Teaching For Social Justice In Elementary Schools”
- “Math, Media and Multiculturalism”

Based on NAME’s goal statement, it seems strange to me that there appears to be so much racial, religious and social bias packed into the above events. One of NAME’s stated goals is “to eliminate racism and discrimination in society.” If that is so, why are there explicit assumptions that Christians and whites are oppressors?

Is there a need, in some strange, twisted way, to create another victim class of white Christians? Does this group need to self-flagellate because of who they are, regardless of their intents or motives? It would appear so, based on some of the conferences listed above. But it would take a lot of time and space to “unpack” – to use the multi-culti term – the intents and motives of groups like NAME.

And more to the point, it appears that there must have been some hubbub over a few of these events. The “Christian Privilege” and “Unbearable Whiteness” conferences were canceled, according to the NAME event site, along with two other conferences. The others I’ve listed above, all with more insidious names, all appear to still be on the slate.

How multiculturalism comes into play in the math classroom baffles me. 2+2=4. There’s nothing racial about that whatsoever. Word problems…fine. Change the names and the objects being counted. Big deal. Next thing I expect to see is “number discrimination” – making 2 the victim of 3 because it is defined it as one less.

Why anyone would want to push social justice, which the Baltimore Sun article points out is a term which defies definition, in an elementary school defies logic as well – unless for ideological indoctrination.

One bright spot, one could hope, is that the obviously racist and anti-religious conferences were canceled. Perhaps folks could read exactly what those conferences were about and rejected those ideas either by direct complaint or by simply not registering for them. Either way, it is a welcome sign that some ideas just don’t hold water when put out in the light. If the other ideas can have additional light shone on them, perhaps folks will see them for the ideologically driven clap-trap that they are.

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