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Father Offers Response to MA Elementary School’s “7-Day Anti-Racism Challenge”

Father Offers Response to MA Elementary School’s “7-Day Anti-Racism Challenge”

“inappropriate for elementary school kids under any circumstances”

A father of kids in a public school in Newton, MA named Jonathan Levin objects to a social justice program being offered to his child.

He writes at Substack:

A Response to The “7-Day Anti-Racism Challenge” being offered to Newton Public Schools elementary school kids

I went on Nextdoor and posted my objection to the Principal of my kids’ elementary school in Newton, MA, endorsing the “7-Day Anti-Racism Challenge” posted by Brandeis’s Heller school. I called it “100% ideological, ahistorical and immoral” and said “[t]his has no place in our schools.” I later referred to “lies” and another poster asked for examples before saying I was “unable” to provide examples. I created this substack because my response is too long for Nextdoor.

Here it is:

First of all, this “7-Day Anti-Racism Challenge” is inappropriate for elementary school kids under any circumstances; it appears to have been developed by Brandeis for or with some consultants who do corporate work. 6-11 year-old kids don’t have the facts (as discussed below) to contest assertions or the experience to evaluate the logic or implications of what they are being told and reach their own conclusions. This is one reason I consider this transparent indoctrination – the organizers don’t want kids reaching their own conclusions, but instead want them to just accept what they are told uncritically.

The introduction page to the challenge includes the following:

• Race is a social construct with real world consequences.

• The concept of race was invented by Europeans in the 14th-16th centuries.

The European intellectualization of race as embedding meaningful content about individuals of a race is historically relevant. Europeans relied on intellectualized racism to rationalize terrible violence against and oppression of non-Europeans, including slavery, even while developing the philosophy that culminated, for Americans, in the idea that all men are created equal. 19th C. German philosophy and its intellectualized racism led directly to the Holocaust.


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The European intellectualization of race as embedding meaningful content about individuals of a race is historically relevant.
Huh? Every people has been racist to a large extent, all throughout history. Asians have some primo examples of it in their history. Africans, too. It’s simply an extended form of tribalism. The Europeans “intellectualized” it because they thought SCIENCE! was the be-all, end-all of how the world worked.

Hmmmm, that sounds like Progressivism. The worship of “reason”. The application of “science” to things that are not mechanical. Sounds like Progressivism is the cause for European racism. Hmmmmm….

    George_Kaplan in reply to GWB. | February 23, 2022 at 7:06 pm

    Blacks as being made for slavery was a 7th century Islamic concept later introduced to Europe.

    As regards race being a concept invented by Europeans in the 14th-16th centuries, anyone know what that’s referring to? Scientific racism was a later invention, Greek distaste towards barbarians was far earlier. Are they referring to early European considerations as to whether humans should be classified as a single species with multiple variants, or multiple species, and peoples|nations|types|varieties|species classified according to their geography, shape, stature, food habits, skin hues etc.

    Seems like ahistorical ideology designed to hate Europeans and European culture.

    artichoke in reply to GWB. | February 24, 2022 at 8:22 pm

    I suspect this idea of the Europeans “inventing” race in the 14th – 16th centuries is a fiction made up out of whole cloth. They have special journals that are just amazing to read, that contain “scholarship” to reach conclusions like that. From the outside they look like journals. But those “articles” … what I saw was like an alternate reality, and the writing would get you the opportunity to repeat the year of English in high school.

Morning Sunshine | February 23, 2022 at 12:01 pm

worth reading the whole article. Well done.

“Europeans relied on intellectualized racism to rationalize terrible violence against and oppression of non-Europeans, including slavery”

But slavery was practiced by almost every civilization you can name, back beyond the advent of recorded human history, including well outside cherry-picked Europe. And even during the American colonial era, slaves in North America weren’t exclusively from a single race. Outside North America during this period, white Europeans themselves were enslaved by the millions.

Davis said it is useful to compare this Mediterranean slavery to the Atlantic slave trade that brought black Africans to the Americas. Over the course of four centuries, the Atlantic slave trade was much larger – about 10 to 12 million black Africans were brought to the Americas. But from 1500 to 1650, when trans-Atlantic slaving was still in its infancy, more white Christian slaves were probably taken to Barbary than black African slaves to the Americas, according to Davis.

Ohio State University News

The word ‘slave’ comes from the word Slav. At one time most European slaves were Slavic.

So before the year 1300, a white person from Europe traveling to west Africa and seeing nothing but black people with side noses and lips wouldn’t have noticed the difference? Or perhaps he’d assume it was just a result of parenting, right?

Before the year 1300 there wasn’t the printing press, so perhaps the evidence of race as a known idea isn’t as easy to find. That doesn’t mean they were blind.

wide noses, not side noses, above.

European views of race have hardly been consistent over time. At a minimum, if one looks at Europeans’ writing during that peak of second-wave imperialism in the late 19th century and the run up to WWI in the early 20th, one sees a huge conflation of race and nationalism.

Thus, one reads of “The English Race,” or, “The German Race” etc., which is just something that today seems to make no sense at all.

Yet Critical Theory postulates racism as Original Sin, thus tacitly assuming that racial divisions (if not the significance of these) have always been viewed as they are today.