An elementary school in Cupertino, California, asked “third-graders to deconstruct their racial and sexual identities, then rank themselves according to their ‘power and privilege.’”
The children were taught about the “Dominant Culture” and about “intersectionality,” and they were then asked “to create an ‘identity map,’ listing their race, class, gender, religion, family structure, and other characteristics.” For “gender,” the eight-year-olds were given the options of “female, male, nonbinary, cisgender, [and] transgender.”
The lessons are based on “critical race theory,” which views everything in Western Civilization through the lens of racism.
Christopher Rufo released the story on Twitter and wrote an article about the indoctrination of students, titled, “Woke Elementary.” Rufo is the Director of the Discovery Institute’s Center on Wealth and Poverty. The Discovery Institute is a conservative non-profit think tank that works to promote “traditional Western principles and institutions and the worldview from which they issued.”
Rufo detailed and documented the lesson plan, from R.I Meyerholz Elementary School, which was taught during a math class. The dominant culture, the students were taught, is “the culture that is considered ‘normal’” and was specifically “created and maintained by those who belong in this culture to hold power and stay in power.” In America, according to the lesson, the dominant culture is: “White, Middle class, Cisgender, Educated, Able bodied, Christian, English Speaker.”
The classroom materials helpfully explain to the children that “Cisgender” is when “your gender identity matches with the sex you were assigned at birth.”
After this bit of instruction, the teacher read from This Book is Antiracist, a kids’ book with “20 Lessons on How to Wake Up, Take Action, and Do The Work.” The book explains “intersectionality,” which creates a hierarchy of power and oppression, privileges and disadvantages – all based on aspects of identity such as race, socioeconomic class, gender, age, religious beliefs, family structure and abilities.
The book says, “Looking at intersectionality helps us to understand how our social identities affect our whole life. Kimberlé Crenshaw, a Black female lawyer, author, scholar and civil rights activist, used the term intersectionality in 1989 to help us understand that being a woman AND Black created greater disadvantages than just being a woman.”
The third graders then created their own “identity map” from these categories and had to “circle the identities that hold power and privilege.” Finally, they wrote essays with “at least 1 full page of writing!” about two of their “identities that hold power and privilege” and two that don’t, because, “Even within us, there are parts of us that hold some power and other parts that are oppressed.”
As you might guess, many parents were appalled. Rufo quoted one parent who said, “They were basically teaching racism to my eight-year-old.”
Another parent told him that the teachings were similar to the Chinese Cultural Revolution, “[It divides society between] the oppressor and the oppressed, and since these identities are inborn characteristics people cannot change, the only way to change it is via violent revolution.”
“Growing up in China, I had learned it many times,” the parent said, “The outcome is the family will be ripped apart; husband hates wife, children hate parents. I think it is already happening here.” That revolution, which took place from 1966 to 1976 under Communist dictator Mao Zedong, led to millions of deaths.
Parents complained to the principal, and the school eventually agreed to end the program.
“Critical race theory,” which is rooted in Marxist ideology, is being taught in schools across the nation. Rufo wrote in December 2020 about a teacher training session in Seattle Public Schools. Teachers were told that “American schools are guilty of ‘spirit murder’ against black students, that the United States is a ‘race-based white-supremist society,’ and that white teachers must ‘bankrupt [their] privilege in acknowledgement of [their] thieved inheritance.’”
Rufo also reported on the San Diego Unified School District, where “the district has announced mandatory diversity training for teachers, added a new ‘ethnic studies’ curriculum focused on racial grievance, and even abolished the requirement to turn in homework on time—all in the name of becoming, in the words of school board member Richard Barrera, ‘an anti-racist school district.’”
With teachers across the country being trained in this ideology, and then passing it on to their students, parents will want to be attentive to what their children are taught in school. If you find your children being inculcated in CRT and other controversial teachings, check out the free resource, Back to School – For Parents. There’s a section on “Protecting Your Child in the Classroom” that discusses issues of concern in school textbooks and curriculums.
Related articles and resources:
From The Daily Citizen:
From The Heritage Foundation:
Christopher Rufo is also a Visiting Fellow for Domestic Policy Studies at The Heritage Foundation. He participated in a virtual event, “The New Intolerance: Critical Race Theory and Its Grip on America.”