Worst Aspects Of CRT-Based “Liberated Ethnic Studies” Flourishing In Washington State Teacher Trainings
Who teaches the teachers? In Washington State, putrid CRT-based training treats Jews as unworthy.
California’s public bruhaha over ethnic studies may have lulled some into believing that what happens with ethnic studies, happens openly. That’s far from the case. In fact, anti-Semitic versions of ethnic studies are being force-fed to teachers, who can be expected to pass it along to schoolchildren.
Unlike California, Washington state’s Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction approved an ethnic studies framework rather than a specific curriculum. As blogger Emily Alhadeff explained, “Without a curriculum, educators who wish to engage with ethnic studies will need to seek out their own professional development, resources, and materials. Earlier this year, it was revealed that the State Board of Education contracted with WAESN [Washington Ethnic Studies Now] for professional development. WAESN is open and ready for business.” Daily Wire elaborated on this: “In March 2021… the Washington State Board of Education voted unanimously to require its own members and staff to take eighteen hours of training from the nonprofit Washington Ethnic Studies Now (WAESN).”
Alhadeff also noted, “WAESN is honest about its vision to take Critical Race Theory mainstream, which counters many claims that CRT is an obscure legal tool that never sees the light of the school day.”
Liberated Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum Consortium (LESMCC) is pursuing a similar strategy to that of WAESN. According to allegations in a pending federal lawsuit, LESMCC is working in coordination with United Teachers of Los Angeles (UTLA). UTLA is an LA teachers’ union and affiliate of the National Education Association.
LESMCC is the group behind the 2019 model curriculum that California rejected for anti-Semitism. Since that rejection, LESMCC has marketed its version of ethnic studies privately to school districts.
According to the federal lawsuit, LESMCC is also working with the LA teachers’ union behind the scenes to “educate” teachers about ethnic studies, in an effort reportedly designed to dodge the state’s sunshine law. The lawsuit alleges that LESMCC is trying to insert anti-Semitic material into LA’s public school curriculum.
In Washington state, revelations about the alleged anti-Semitic prejudice of WAESN’s executive director raised some controversy, but not enough to halt the state’s involvement with the organization. Per Daily Wire:
Prior to [a November 2] meeting, the [Washington State Board of Education (WSBE)] sought to quell a firestorm by issuing a statement that said that ethnic studies “is not… the idea that any race is superior to another; about blaming or making students feel guilty about their race or identity; [or] indoctrination.”
… But WAESN and its executive director, Tracy Castro-Gill, have recently been lashing out against Jews who have complained about their treatment in the curriculum and claiming that they have too much power with the school superintendent.
In an October 20 blog post on “Jewishness and Ethnic Studies,” Castro-Gill mulled “Jewish complicity with whiteness” and downplayed the oppression faced by Jews, saying, “Racially motivated hate crimes increased in 2020 while religious hate crimes decreased.” The blog post was one of several on the topic, with an earlier installment saying, “Why do some white Jews, in particular, insist that their experiences with oppression and genocide are somehow unique? There are far more examples of genocide among people of the global majority than white Jews.”
In another entry in WAESN’s series on “Jewishness and Ethnic Studies,” Castro-Gill wrote, “White Jewish people insisting on being included in a curriculum that has never been about them reeks of white privilege.” She noted that the Washington state development is reminiscent of what happened in California, in which Governor Gavin Newsom vetoed a radical plan following an outcry by Jewish groups, ultimately signing a slightly watered-down version.
… [According to Castro-Gill:] The thing is, ethnic studies, historically, has never been about Jewish Studies. The focus has always been on racially minoritized groups.”
The ethnic studies debate in Washington is arguably even more fraught than in CA on Jewish issues. Here's the director of the nonprofit hired by the state to implement ES question why "white Jews" make such a big deal about their "experiences with oppression and genocide" pic.twitter.com/lSmdCTBNIr
— Gabe Stutman (@jnewsgabe) November 9, 2022
As Alhadeff explained, for Castro-Gill, Jews are an ethnicity rather than a race, Therefore, in her view, they shouldn’t be taking up too much space in the ethnic studies conversation.
Given that perspective, it’s puzzling exactly why Castro-Gill is so determined to include the Palestinians within ethnic studies. But, she is. She has openly expressed her “view of Israel as a settler-colonial state, and my support of Palestinian Studies in ethnic studies programs.”
Speakers at a May 2022 WAESN program enthusiastically endorsed inclusion of Palestinian studies as essential to ethnic studies. Anita Fernández, Ph.D., executive director of Xicanx Institute for Teaching and Organizing, identified Arab-American studies and “Palestine” as among the “core tenets” of a “decolonizing ethnic studies curriculum.” David Stovall, Ph.D., also advised listeners to be open about “why we’re including Palestine, indigenous nations,” as well as about the fact that ethnic studies teaches Critical Race Theory.
Let’s parse that:
- Anti-Semitism shouldn’t be part of “ethnic” studies because Jews are an ethnicity, not a race. Maybe they should call it “racial” studies?
- Jews are really “white” or “complicit with whiteness.”
- Palestinians should, nay, must be part of anti-“Zionist” ethnic studies because they are not just an ethnicity, but an indigenous one, and have suffered colonization.
- Is Castro-Gill saying Jews aren’t indigenous and haven’t been colonized?!
None of this makes sense in light of historical reality.
It makes some sense given the left’s obsessive focus on anti-Westernism. Colonization becomes something the West, defined as white people, is always doing, but that non-white people can never do – even though history is replete with such examples, including the Arab colonization of Israel.
It also makes sense given the left’s racist belief in collective guilt and a caste system. In it, all people defined as white in the current day are deemed collectively guilty of colonizing activities by some ancestors of some of them. People defined as non-white are never guilty of colonizing, even though some ancestors of a number of them were, in fact, colonizers.
Finally, it makes sense as the latest manifestation of anti-Semitism. As Rabbi Jonathan Sacks put it, society defines Jews as whatever is most hateful to it. In the Middle Ages, Jews were hated for their religion. During the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, Jews were hated for their race and branded sub-human. Today, Jews are hated for their nation-state and branded as human-rights-abusing racists.DONATE
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