My speech at the Parents Unite Conference in Boston: “academia is pretty much gone, and now the question is how do we protect society from academia, because it can’t be changed. The systems are there, the bureaucrats are there, the DEI statement requirements are there, and they are spreading.”
On October 28, 2022, I spoke at the Parents Unite Conference in Boston.
You may recall that I spoke at the Parents Unite 2021 conference as well where my topic was How Parents Can Frame The Media Narrative And Counter False Messaging.
I’ve already written about the speaker who immediately preceded me this year, High School teacher Jeremy Adams, whose speech on the Hollowed Out Youth Crisis was startling and fascinating.
Jeremy was a hard act to follow, but I did my best. My own speech was on An Inflection Point In The Fight Against The Racialization Of Education.
The first half of the speech summarized how we got to this point in the educational and societal crisis. I then turned to what I mean by “an inflection point” (11:45):
So this is very much a fight for national survival. I think we are at an inflection point, and I think in many ways we have won the public relations battle, not everywhere and not with a hundred percent of the people, but what is commonly referred to or loosely referred to as CRT, Critical Race theory, is a toxic term.
Now they run from it like it’s the plague. That is a major achievement. And then we get into these stupid arguments. Well, it is CRT, it’s not CRT, but very few people are actually defending it. I mean, we do see activists who will defend it, and we do see that. But at a macro public level, it’s not being defended. The question is can they kind of surreptitiously work it, work it in…. The public relations battle there has been won. And I think that what we saw last year, so 2021 was the year of CRT in many ways…
So we’ve won in many ways the public relations battle. But that’s not enough. And that’s really where I come into the notion of an inflection point. Now that we’ve addressed the narrative, we need to address the infrastructure that perpetuates these things because you can win the news narrative, but if the same administrators are there, if the same book publishers are there, if the same funders are there, if all of that stuff is still there, and for the most part it is, nothing’s going to change.
Starting around the 14:17 mark) turned to how we cannot lose focus on the destructive racialization of education, that it is much more deeply embedded than the radical gender ideology recently dominating the headines. Here are key excerpts:
And so the inflection point, I think people who care about children, who care about education need to now be making is to address the systemic problems that we have. Andthat’s a lot more difficult. I think the systemic problems in some ways, at least at the higher ed level, are getting worse. At Cornell, they now require DEI statements from all new hires, faculty hires, and all faculty promotions. So as warped as the ideological outlook is among faculty in universities, it’s going to get worse.
(15:50): …. So this is going to get worse. Where I’ve come out pretty clearly on higher education is that it cannot be reformed from within.
There are a lot of groups who are doing a lot of good work, and I respect it to try to bring viewpoint diversity to campuses. And I’m not saying we shouldn’t be doing that, but ultimately it’s not going to succeed.
I don’t know what the answer is in higher ed, but it cannot be reformed internally. It’s going have to be external forces, and it’s going to have to be legislation, it’s going to have to be funding, it’s going to have to be other things. What they look like remains to be seen. But I do believe academia is pretty much gone, and now the question is how do we protect society from academia, because it can’t be changed. The systems are there, the bureaucrats are there, the DEI statement requirements are there, and they are spreading. And if you see what’s happening in professional schools, law schools and medical schools and elsewhere, it’s just as bad.
There is a new issue, like I mentioned, the gender ideology. I view that as more of a passing phase than the CRT stuff. Because it’s so horrific, the stories that we’re seeing, it cannot last. It just cannot last… [That’s] not to say there aren’t real issues there, but in terms of it sweeping the nation, I think that’s gonna burn itself out. I don’t think the CRT stuff is going to burn itself out. And I think that’s why we need to keep the focus. We cannot take the fact that this year there is massive pushback about the violation of women’s spaces, the violation of women’s rights, all critically important issues, but it’s going to burn itself out. The CRT stuff, though, has been there for 30, 40 years. The trajectory that we’ve seen, it is so deeply embedded. The racialization of education at every level is so deeply embedded that it’s going be harder to get out…
(28:35): [After discussing CriticalRace.org] So we are gonna keep the focus on CRT. Our databases have been used by legislators, to document what’s going on by other researchers, by other authors, by media. And so we’re not gonna lose the focus on that. Other issues are very important, certainly important. We each need to find out what we can do. But in this inflection point of moving from public relations to actually finding out where the problems are and giving people the information they need to actually implement changes in those locations, that’s what we do. It’s what I think is our strength and we’re gonna keep doing that. And so I would urge you all to now focus … on solutions and how do you get those solutions to this problem enacted and change.
Certainly school board elections are very important and I think we may see some interesting results in 2022 school board elections, but there’s really the infrastructure that supports this, the budgets, the book publishers, the foundations, all need to be addressed. And we need to move from public relations to actually implementing changes on the ground. Thank you very much.
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