Racist Roots of Ethnic Studies

California Governor Gavin Newsom has signed Assembly Bill 101, authored by Riverside Democrat Jose Medina and cosponsored by the California Teachers Association (CTA), which mandates one “ethnic studies” course for graduation from high school beginning in 2030. Newsom had previously rejected AB 331, a similar bill by Medina, because it was “insufficiently balanced and inclusive.” For Katy Grimes of the California Globe, the revamped AB 101 “is not any of those things,” and ethnic studies is not an academic discipline. 

Those who opposed AB 331 note that “ethnic studies” divides the people into “us and them.” Jewish organizations protested the anti-Semitic content. The authors of the Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum (ESMC) removed their names and founded the Liberated Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum Institute, and their curriculum “is expected to be even more anti-Semitic than the original ESMC.” As Grimes shows, this is hardly the only problem. 

The curriculum was already implemented at a Salinas high school, and samples include: “Intro to Critical Consciousness: The Biological Fallacy of Race and its Social Construction as a Tool of Ideological Oppression”; “Reclaiming Race As a Space of People of Color Empowerment in the 1960s—Today: Black Power, Red Power, Brown Power, Yellow Power, White Allies in Solidarity”; “Ethnic Studies Saves Lives,” and so on. This is nothing more than caustic political indoctrination based on racist junk-thought with deeper roots than embattled parents might suspect. 

Jose Medina is a former teacher of “Chicano Studies,” a form of indoctrination based on The Cosmic Race (La Raza Cosmica) by influential Mexican educator and presidential candidate José Vasconcelos. According to the cosmic racist Vasconcelos, the Ibero-American race is destined to surpass all the others. The black race, “eager for sensual joy, intoxicated with dances and unbridled lust,” will fade away. So will the “Mongol” with his slanted eyes and lack of boldness for new enterprises. The “Indian” is simply inferior,  while the “white” race ranks at the bottom for Vasconcelos.

Vasconcelos does not include those whites from the Iberian peninsula of Europe. As the razaist contends, “any teacher can corroborate that the children and youths descended from Sandinavians, Dutch and English found in North American universities are much slower, and almost dull, compared with the mestizo children and youths from south.” Such is the erudition of Vasconcelos, but there is more to the man. 

Back in the mid-1940s, when those inferior Yankee “anglos” were tangling with National Socialist Germany, Vasconcelos was editing the pro-Nazi Timon magazine. For Mexican-American Communist Bert Corona, Vasconcelos was a fascist and his racial theories a brand of the racial superiority theory supported by Hitler. Vasconcelos’ razaismo never caught on in Latin America but in 1979 the Chicano Studies department at Cal State Los Angeles republished The Cosmic Race in a bilingual edition. 

The ideas of a racist Nazi collaborator are the core curriculum of Chicano studies, now part of the ethnic studies curriculum soon to be a requirement for high school graduation in California. This racist indoctrination is hardly the extent of parents’ woes. 

Back in 2012, Larry Sand outlined the case of Los Angeles teacher Mark Berndt, who masturbated in class, fed children cookies laced with his semen, and so forth. This went on for years as the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) looked the other way. 

An elementary school teacher since 1979, Berndt was arrested in 2012 and in 2013 drew a sentence of 25 years in prison. Dozens of students filed lawsuits and the LAUSD paid a settlement of nearly $140 million. As government likes to say, your tax dollars at work. The case prompted state senator Alex Padilla to author SB 1530, aimed at streamlining the lengthy and complicated process of firing abusive teachers. 

The California Teachers Association opposed the measure as “teacher bashing,” cumbersome and even “un-American,” and Padilla’s bill never got out of committee. As Sand noted, “apparently none of the committee Democrats had the sense to ask how protecting children from pedophiles amounts to ‘teacher-bashing.’”

The CTA, a protector of sexual predators, now co-sponsors Jose Medina’s racist ethnic studies, soon to be required for graduation. Such is the injustice inherent in the government k-12 education system, a collective farm of ignorance, failure, and outright indoctrination. The time is right to boycott the schools, and as Ben Boychuk explains, it is possible to gain some victories within the system. On the other hand, with racist indoctrination prevailing, the time has come to depart.

The pandemic reinforced the value of home schooling and the G.I. Bill models a system in which the dollars follow the scholars, not the bureaucracy. If parents, students, and politicians are serious about reform, they need to promote full educational choice for all students as a matter of basic civil rights. 

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About Lloyd Billingsley

Lloyd Billingsley is the author of Hollywood Party and other books including Bill of Writes and Barack ‘em Up: A Literary Investigation. His journalism has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, the Spectator (London) and many other publications. Billingsley serves as a policy fellow with the Independent Institute.

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