Critical Theory – Radical Philosophy Tue, 21 Jun 2022 22:50:34 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Critical Theory – Radical Philosophy 32 32 Is this the end of Imran Khan’s conspiracy theory? – OpEd – Eurasia Review Tue, 21 Jun 2022 22:50:34 +0000

There is something definitely non-linear about PTI politics. The fictional foreign conspiracy mantra viciously trumpeted by Imran Khan and his PTI has been baffled by the presentation of the facts by all concerned stakeholders, both nationally and internationally. On display is a classic case of blind devotion by PTI supporters who see nothing wrong with what Imran Khan believes and preaches. There is indeed a suspension of the critical spirit that only the hysteria of the masses can explain, because only they believe in this voluntarist rhetoric of the former Pakistani Prime Minister.

The proceedings of the National Security Council meeting have been repeatedly twisted through a vigorous social media campaign by the blind worshipers that the official military spokesman had to demolish the fiction with the facts by saying, “In terms of the military response to the NSC meeting, that position at that meeting was fully given and then a statement was issued…which clearly says what was reached at that meeting. meeting. The words used are in front of you…as I said…the words used are clear. Is there a word such as conspiracy used there? I think not.” It became mandatory for the army to tell the truth because Imran Khan was playing a dangerous game by inflaming the environment through this fabrication of facts. It was perceived that Imran Khan might return to his advisory board to conjure up a new narrative because the conspiracy mantra was already dying without hard evidence, but no, PTI did not swallow their pride and continued to propagate this myth. When DG ISPR rebuked this conspiracy myth, US State Department spokesman Ned Price in a media interview acknowledged DG ISPR’s statement in which he dismissed the impression of a foreign “plot” to overthrow the government of former Prime Minister Imran Khan. Not once, but DG ISPR must have refuted this conspiracy mantra in the national media so many times.

Following DG ISPR’s repeated denials of the conspiracy myth, PTI leaders Shireen Mazari and Asad Umar in a live press conference themselves admitted that the military leadership was of the opinion during National Security Committee meeting that they had found no evidence of foreign conspiracy against former Prime Minister Imran. Khan. After this acceptance, PTI still drags the conspiracy mantra. At the same press conference, Shireen Mazari claimed that the figure was intentionally not shown to the then Foreign Secretary. However, much to Ms Mazari’s dismay, former Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi had already publicly admitted that he had seen the cipher when it was received in Pakistan. He added that he himself informed the former prime minister of the figure and advised him to issue a demarche, but this was delayed due to the upcoming 48th session of the OIC conference that Pakistan was hosting. Now the question is whether the former government was aware of a foreign plot hatched against them by the United States before the OIC conference, why they invited the United States Undersecretary Azra Zia to the same OIC conference? Then-NSA Moeed Yusuf and ex-FM Shah Mehmood Qureshi also held separate meetings with her, after which Shah Mehmood tweeted; “Bilaterally, Pakistan has a long-standing relationship with the United States and we believe that a regular and structured process of dialogue is important to promote our bilateral and shared regional objectives. We look forward to commemorating the 75th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations this year. The question that arises again can this be a tone and a language of a foreign secretary who was very well aware that a foreign plot was hatched by the same country for which he was now making remarks commendable?

Pakistan’s former Ambassador to the United Nations and the United States, Maleeha Lodhi, also flatly rejected the foreign conspiracy mantra saying that “contradictions and differences exist between countries, which are exchanged through diplomatic cables. . Therefore, with the alien conspiracy narrative, Imran Khan was building from the beginning, there was no reality behind it. In the past, we have exchanged very harsh diplomatic cables with the United States on the nuclear program and the war on terrorism, but this does not prove a sense of conspiracy. Therefore, it is just a diplomatic exchange and there is nothing unusual. Another senior diplomat who also served as High Commissioner to India, Abdul Basit also refuted Imran Khan’s claim while saying that “State officials issuing such threats to diplomats is completely unheard of. Incidents of state officials telling diplomats they would sever ties if a country’s government was not removed have never been heard of before.

This political maneuver full of illusions and delusions must be buried for a better political discourse in the country. You disagree on economics, politics and policies every day, but PTI needs to think about something else. Because, it has become even more crucial today. Is the plot concoction dying or is it already dead? You decide!!

Humais Sheikh is an independent defense analyst based in Islamabad. He obtained his Masters in Defense and Strategic Studies from Quaid-I-Azam University in Islamabad.

Why the Black Educator Was Forced to Step Out of False Critical Race Theory and Agree to Share Her Story Sun, 19 Jun 2022 20:23:19 +0000

by Nicole Carr [This article first appeared in ProPublica, republished with permission]

ProPublica is a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative newsroom. Sign up for The Big Story newsletter to get stories like this delivered to your inbox.

Series: A Closer Look

Examine the news

Cecelia Lewis did not want to share her story.

In fact, she just wanted it all to go away.

Late last year, I was on the phone with a former colleague, talking about local coverage of campaigns against critical race theory in the Atlanta metro area. CRT argues that racial bias is embedded in American laws and institutions and has caused disproportionate harm to people of color; it’s rarely taught in public K-12 schools, but it’s still become a lightning rod in districts across the country — and a catalyst for conservative political candidates looking to energize their base.

He mentioned that a woman quit her job at the Cherokee County School District before she started and wondered what happened to her.

We talked about a lengthy statement she wrote for the Cherokee Tribune & Ledger-News, explaining her decision to quit. The letter was released a week and a half after an ugly scene at a school board meeting in which parents railed against the hiring of Lewis (a middle school principal from Maryland), as well as against the diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives (which Lewis had been brought to the helm) and CRT (a once obscure, now politicized concept that Lewis hadn’t even heard of). I learned later that the people who had gathered outside the building where the meeting was taking place were knocking on the windows. School police and other law enforcement officers escorted council members to their homes, where some were given continued security.

In that letter, Lewis, who had resigned the day after the meeting, explained the DEI plan she would have implemented in Cherokee and how it would benefit all children. And she mentioned that she’s been threatened by people who have no idea who she is or what she stands for.

It sounded like something worth reporting in more depth.

A comment posted at the bottom of an article in the Cobb County Courier caught my eye: A reader, who did not reveal his identity, warned that Lewis was heading to the neighboring Cobb County school district of Cherokee.

Sure enough, Lewis’ LinkedIn profile showed she had worked in Cobb County for just two months after her resignation to Cherokee. She had supervised social studies for this district. No one had reported what had happened to him to Cobb.

At the same time, I had filed Open Records Requests with the Cobb County School District regarding COVID-19. I noticed a cache of emails that showed how the then school board president was getting advice from a local lawyer about the CRT’s conservative definition, its supposed dangers to children, and how the concept was infiltrating businesses and schools.

The school board — like many others across the country in 2021 — had voted against CRT. The vote took place the same month that Lewis began working on it.

I wanted to know exactly what happened to Lewis in the two districts and how it happened. I also wanted to know who was behind the how.

I started reaching out to Lewis via LinkedIn in December, shortly after talking to my former colleague and trying to connect what little I knew of her brief stay in Georgia. She did not answer. But I had some hope of hearing from her because I got alerts that she was at least looking at my LinkedIn profile.

She’s thinking, I thought.

Earlier this year, I found his email address and followed up. Still no answer.

I continued to file requests for records in both school districts, and through the emails I received from those requests, I learned more about the players behind the campaign to oust him. In Cobb and Cherokee, people had sent similarly worded complaints to the districts, demanding to get rid of Lewis.

Then I found people who were upset about what had happened to Lewis. One of them knew a little more about what had led up to that horrible school board meeting in Cherokee.

This person had a recording of an organizational meeting a few days earlier at a golf course clubhouse. There was also a private Facebook group filled with hysterical posts about Lewis, some of which advertised fake “sightings” of Lewis in the county.

Two of the presenters at the clubhouse meeting are leaders of groups who encourage the public to anonymously report educators for perceived curriculum-related transgressions, inappropriate books or lessons, or guest speakers — or simply submit a tip anonymous.

In addition to giving me details of efforts to oust Lewis, the recording and publications provided insight into local and national conservative networks involved in strategies to overthrow school boards, vilify parent-teacher associations and to enact state legislation to prohibit a multitude of program concepts. At the clubhouse meeting, the crowd watched a Prager University video that explained how white people are treated as racists no matter what they say or do — because, well, CRT. They also listened to a controversial recording of a Manhattan high school principal filmed speaking about the demonization of white children. The group was coached on how to speak at school board meetings in a way that could land them an appearance on Fox News.

It all seemed very coordinated to me.

In March, I decided to see if meeting could change Lewis’ mind about the conversation. I knew she was back in Maryland, so I went there to go door-to-door the old-fashioned way, meet people who knew Lewis, and send her a direct handwritten message (my business cards ProPublica had not yet been printed!).

As I was sitting in my hotel room, she called.

She still didn’t want to be recorded, but we talked for hours that day and hours the next. I told her why I wanted to tell her story, and she started to piece it together for me. I learned that she did not even initially apply for this DEI position. The Cherokee District administration encouraged her to do so after she interviewed for a job as a teacher coach. But Lewis still refused to be recorded, and she wasn’t too interested in meeting me. She had issues. Security and privacy issues.

My ears perked up when, on our first call, she mentioned an upcoming school board meeting in her own district. I decided to go sit in the back, to get a feel for the area. I heard some of the same anti-CRT lines in Maryland that I had heard in Georgia. This time, it tied into the district’s hiring of its first black superintendent.

Again, the wording suggested there was coordination. People don’t learn these things on their own. They’re driven the same way I heard in that recording of the Cherokee County clubhouse reunion.

I left Maryland without an interview I could use in my story. But I kept reporting.

I have received more emails from districts in Georgia. I spoke to school employees in Cherokee and Cobb counties; they stood up for Lewis and felt sorry that these things happened to him. Most of them said they often thought of her. One of them, who was disappointed that I tried to visit Lewis, thinking it was too far, was especially protective of her. She didn’t want me to hurt her any more, and I had no interest in doing so.

I also attended a Cherokee County School Board meeting, standing in a long line to get through the metal detectors that had been installed because of the uproar on Lewis and CRT a year earlier. In this line, the women circulated what they called evidence of obscene material in the books of the school library. An informal circle of people formed around me. Some knew each other. Some showed up knowing they shared a common goal in banning the books. One woman said a leading parent was a “Marjorie”, as in a follower of controversial Georgia MP Marjorie Taylor Greene, who isn’t afraid to say anything, anywhere. Another raised her hand and said proudly, “I’m a Marjorie too.”

Everyone in my immediate vicinity was going without the materials provided by a blonde woman: laminated pages of books she says should be banned from school libraries. Well, almost everyone. No one gave them to me. No one handed them to the black mother standing behind me with her high school daughter either.

As I continued to report in the weeks to come, it became clear that none of the backlash Cecelia Lewis faced in Georgia was actually about Cecelia Lewis. She found herself at the wrong job in the wrong state at the wrong time. And yes, from the details you will find in the story I finally wrote, the wrong skin color.

(In response to a detailed list of questions covering all aspects of Lewis’ experience in the Cherokee County School District, his director of communications replied that “we have no further comments to add.” response to similar questions to the Cobb County School District and its school board, a spokesperson replied, “Cecelia Lewis was employed by the Cobb County School District during the summer of 2021, voluntarily submitted her resignation letter in early fall 2021 and, like every member of the team, his contributions and work for the students was greatly appreciated.”)

At the end of April, Lewis agreed to take another call from me, this time via Zoom, where we got to see each other for the first time. At that time, we were approaching the anniversary year of his resignation from Cherokee County. When I told him what I had learned through recordings and interviews — and how my colleague, ProPublica research journalist Mollie Simon, had found examples of educators across the country who had experienced similar reactions — she said she would consult with her family, district and pastor and pray to decide if she will speak to me publicly.

A few days later, my phone popped up with a call from her. She wanted to share her experience — so it might help people understand the extraordinary challenges that so many educators face.

Bill Gates castigates cryptocurrencies and NFTs Fri, 17 Jun 2022 22:10:36 +0000

Iquite a complicated year for cryptocurrenciesseveral voices have been raised against these digital assets

Recently, the creator of Microsoft Bill Gates talked about cryptocurrencies, from a critical point of view.

At a conference in Berkeley, California, the mogul claimed that the cryptocurrency market and NFTs (digital tokens) are “100%” based on the biggest fool theory.

What does this theory say?

The BBC says that according to this theory, it is possible for investors to make a profit by buying too much and then selling it to another investor.

A cycle that works without anyone stopping to think about the real value of the asset and many investors fall into this trap – experts say – probably without knowing it.

Companies that create real products

The Mircosoft owner said he prefers to invest in companies that create real products. And not in a service whose “anonymity is used to evade taxes”, he pointed out in reference to the most famous of crypto-currencies.

He also commented that people were buying cryptocurrencies and NFTs regardless of price and convinced that they could sell for more because “someone is willing to pay more than me.”

Gates said he had never invested in this market.

Mocking the value of NFTs

The billionaire also quipped about the value of NFTs, or non-fungible tokens, which, after becoming hugely popular last year, demand for them seems to have stagnated recently.

“Obviously the expensive digital images of monkeys are going to make the world a whole lot a better place. It’s amazing,” he said sarcastically in reference to the Bored Ape Yacht Club’s digital art collection, a limited production run by 10,000 unique pieces of a monkey image with minor variations that have sold for thousands of dollars.

Investors skeptical about cryptocurrencies

In addition to Gates, other wealthy investors and executives, such as Warren Buffett and Jamie Dimon, have also expressed their disbelief at these digital assets.

Buffett once went so far as to call bitcoin “the rat’s death squared.”

Elise Stefanik in feud with NYC education boss over critical race theory Wed, 15 Jun 2022 23:02:00 +0000

State Education Department Commissioner Betty Rosa has accused upstate Rep. Elise Stefanik of meddling in conspiracies with her questions about critical race theory — but the member of the Congress countered that the school boss had yet to fully address his concerns.

The GOP legislator faced sweeping denial that the state ‘doesn’t provide critical theory of race’ after asking Rosa for a ‘full accounting’ of how her department was spending federal recovery funds in pandemic, and if any of the dollars went to Instruction related to the CRT.

“As frequently stated, the State Department of Education does not provide critical theory on race. It does, however, allow for critical thinking. It allows our children to distinguish fact from opinion, deepen their understanding… replied Rosa in a May 10 letter.

“Your accusation – whether intentional or negligent – is disappointing. What lesson do we teach our children when a US representative engages in conspiracies and confuses opinions with facts.

Stefanik, a senior House Republican, then accused Rosa of dodging and refusing to provide the documents while spouting a nasty personal attack.

“Instead of asking my questions about the gross misuse of federal taxpayers’ money, Commissioner Rosa shamefully attacked me. The facts in my letter were clear and implementing CRT by any other name in New York City classrooms is wrong, Stefanik told The Post when asked about the commissioner’s criticisms.

Rosa wrote in a response to Stefanik in May that New York “does not provide critical race theory” in schools.
AP Photo/Mike Groll

“It is no surprise that the far-left department does not fully comply with my demand for truth and reverts to petty name-calling, because they know how outraged parents would be if they knew that hard money earned from taxpayers was used to peddle this radical ideology.

She continued, “This isn’t a conspiracy theory – it’s a commitment to the facts. I will continue to lead the charge for transparency and, as the longest-serving New York member of the House Committee on education and work, I am committed to providing critical oversight on behalf of New York parents and families.

Stefanik sent Rosa a follow-up letter — co-signed by Virginia Rep. Virginia Foxx, the ranking Republican on the House Education Oversight Committee — asking for more information on Wednesday.

“Your failure to offer a full response to the advance information request appears to be an attempt to obscure how you use the funding and what you encourage local education agencies to implement,” the letter reads.

Stefanik insisted that Rosa had not provided the requested information on critical <a class=race theory in schools.” class=”wp-image-22678461″ srcset=” 1536w, 1024w, 512w” sizes=”(max-width: 1024px) 100vw, 1024px”/>
Stefanik insisted that Rosa had not provided the requested information on critical race theory in schools.

A spokeswoman for the state Department of Education said, “The commissioner’s response provided the requested information.

“Use of funding provided to New York schools has been consistent with federal law and plans submitted to USDE,” the statement said. “The premise of the original and most recent letter is based on a disgraceful and openly partisan campaign to denigrate and undermine efforts to ensure that our children are welcomed and supported in our public schools with fair treatment, equity and opportunities for all.”

Congressional scrutiny of the CRT isn’t going away anytime soon. Republicans will likely take majority control of the House of Representatives, which means they will have the power to hold hearings on racialized education and recruit educators to testify.

Stefanik and Foxx are lobbying New York education officials on how they are using federal taxpayer money provided through Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) on “l ‘social-emotional learning’ and ‘sustainable and culturally appropriate education’.

Lawmakers said education officials did not provide requested documents on how the funds were used and instead referred them to the state’s elementary and secondary school emergency relief plan on its website.

The state’s plan said students should “learn to critically examine the root causes of inequality” and promote “justice-oriented citizenship” and that school districts “share best practices” on these approaches. .

But lawmakers say many of the state’s social and emotional learning resources “contain conflicting and politically charged ideologies that don’t belong in American K-12 classrooms” — in other words. , a critical theory of race that focuses on white guilt, white privilege, or white oppression.

“This underlies our great concern about your use of taxpayer funds,” Stefanik and Foxx said.

They noted that one of the resources promoted by NYSED is the “Say Their Names” toolkit used by Chicago Public Schools which states “no white person has ever lived in a non-racist North America” ​​and “having white privilege…means we have certain advantages, just because we are white,” while upholding the beliefs of the Black Lives Matter organization.

“The fact that these are the resources that NYSED promotes only reinforces the need for complete transparency,” Stefanik and Foxx said.

Stefanik and Foxx asked Rosa for correspondence between state and federal education officials regarding the SED pandemic stimulus package, a full accounting of expenses, all memos and advice provided. to local school districts, including “discussing the decision to use federal pandemic funds to support critical race theory.” or its key concepts under cover of SEL [social emotional learning’ and CRSE [Culturally Responsive and Sustaining Education].”

Last month, The Post revealed that some schools in New York were offering an inflammatory children’s book called “Our Skin.”

Children's Book Pages
Pages from the children’s book “Our Skin” which has been used in some New York schools, according to a report by the Post.

The book teaches children as young as 2 that the concept of race was created by white people who claimed they were “better, smarter, prettier and more deserving than everyone else”.

Rosa, in her initial response to Stefanik, explained that the congresswoman had “confused” social-emotional learning with critical race theory, a “duck” she said came from conservative activist Christopher Rufo, a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, who is not an educator.

She said the SED’s use of funds in the US bailout is in accordance with the law and has been implemented in a transparent manner.

Southern Baptist Convention: Election will test fiery right Mon, 13 Jun 2022 22:56:52 +0000
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ANAHEIM, Calif. — Southern Baptists packed the ballroom of a cavernous hotel on Sunday to hear a warning: Don’t cooperate or compromise with the devil. And this week, as their huge denomination gathers for its annual meeting and to elect a new president, the urgent warning was aimed at their fellow Southern Baptists.

“You don’t advance the kingdom of God by aligning yourself with the kingdom of Satan,” said John MacArthur, dean of conservative evangelical preaching. audience, referring to issues ranging from the role of women to the fight against racism. “You will never advance the kingdom of God by being popular with the world. If you think you will, you are doing the Devil’s work. How can you negotiate with people who hate Christ, hate God, hate the Bible and hate the Gospel?

The host of the Part prayer rally, part campaign rally on the first night of the annual meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention was the Conservative Baptist Network, an upstart group that some observers have likened to the MAGA wing of the Republican Party. The network was formed two years ago in response to issues of institutional racism and sexual abuse as priorities in the nation’s largest Protestant denomination.

In the Southern Baptist Convention – where women are not allowed to be senior pastors – same-sex marriage is opposed and 70% of its almost 14 million members vote Republican – CBN leaders and supporters say the situation is an emergency. This week, they hope to elect a president who agrees.

“Soon it will be women preachers, social justice, then racism, then [critical race theory], then victimization because the world is a ball and chain, and when you’re addicted, it will take you to the bottom. They hate the truth, MacArthur told a crowd that swung, into the night, between stunned silence and cheers of “It’s true!

Southern Baptist leaders release sex offender database they’ve kept secret for years

The SBC tends to reflect the state of white evangelicalism in America, and some pundits said CBN’s gathering at the conference and the appearance of MacArthur, whose church is not Southern Baptist, reflected the new bedfellows of that time.

“In the past certain issues that divided evangelicals, such as speaking in tongues, end-time theology, Calvinism – all of those things have receded, and now it’s those social and political issues that define allegiances” , said Kristin Kobes Du Mez, a Calvinist. Academic historian who writes on gender and religion. “It seems that a tough patriarchy goes hand in hand with Trump and Trumpian politics. It is a faithful political and patriarchal alliance. And that’s where you see MacArthur finding common ground with CBN.

Nearly 10,000 Southern Baptists are expected to vote on trade issues Tuesday and Wednesday, including sex abuse reforms.

After messengers at last year’s meeting approved an investigation into the SBC’s executive committee’s handling of sexual abuse complaints, the convention hired a third-party investigative firm, whose major report released last month documented a cover-up of abuse by Southern Baptist leaders for years. That company, Guidepost Solutions, posted a tweet this month supporting the LGBTQ community, drawing criticism from some Southern Baptist leaders.

Key takeaways from explosive Southern Baptist sex abuse report

As in many institutions, more and more white evangelicals are questioning their leaders and ready to break. Among their battles: Is recognizing institutional racism akin to embracing critical race theory, and is it unbiblical?

Some recent SBC presidents have mirrored much of their membership, especially younger ones, in beginning to focus on issues such as poverty, racism, and sexism, rather than sexual and gender mores. mainly conservative. And the right flank doesn’t like it.

Benjamin Cole, a longtime SBC member and SBC politics columnist on the Baptist Blogger site, said he thinks the conservative Baptist network is more about divisiveness and political power.

“When it comes to the CRT, the women in the ministry, whatever the issue, I’m not saying they don’t have legitimate concerns, but they’ve exaggerated the issue so much in order to mobilize the uninformed to fight this spectrum of Marxism and liberalism,” Cole said. “I think there’s a broad consensus within the SBC about the things that matter. But in all democratic organizations, not all registered voters decide. It’s the passionate crowd that counts.

Christian nationalism is shaping a Pa. primary and a GOP shift

Tom Buck, an outspoken Texas conservative, said Sunday that he was not an official CBN member, but was there and supported the group. He called a 2019 SBC vote calling critical race theory and intersectionality useful “analytical tools” that are evidence of a problem.

“Anything you raise will be problematic,” he said. “There is what I would call a lack of trust and commitment to the sufficiency of Scripture.”

He said the group was also important because of what he called an increase in the number of women preaching. Asked to name one of the 47,000 SBC churches with a female senior pastor, Buck said he knows of a few with female assistant pastors.

Buck said that as he considered what reforms the convention might bring to sexual abuse, he was concerned that the accused would not be sure who their accuser was and could be treated as guilty until proven guilty. He calls current standards, which say any pastor who allows “unrepentant” sex offenders to stay in their church should be kicked out of the SBC, sufficient.

“And it’s not just sexual abuse, but there are many other issues with people living in unrepentant sin that need to be addressed,” Buck told the Post.

Leading contenders for SBC president this week include Tom Ascol, a Florida pastor who is not a CBN member but was endorsed by the group on Sunday and spoke at the prayer rally. Bart Barber, a Texas pastor who has held various leadership positions at the SBC, is also in the running.

In a post-Trump world, these pastors are ditching the evangelical label for something new

The size and influence of the conservative network is difficult to assess. The group does not publish any data on its members or funders, and its spokesperson, Louisiana pastor Brad Jurkovich, did not return calls or emails for comment.

Last week, a Louisiana judge ordered Jurkovich to turn over 10 years of financial records to former members of his church who claim he failed to tell church members that funds intended to support the missionaries were instead used to support the CBN.

Several longtime observers and SBC members say Ascol and Barber are in many ways similar in their conservative beliefs. And generally speaking, in American Christianity, the two leading candidates would be considered theologically side by side, said Griffin Gulledge, a Georgia pastor who views Ascol as divisive and politically motivated.

“It’s their political commitment” that sets them apart, he said, and sets Barber apart from CBN management. Ascol has appeared on secular conservative media shows in recent weeks, and MacArthur has been represented by Jenna Ellis, an attorney for former President Donald Trump.

“What is it really about when it comes to this? The SBC is the largest Protestant denomination in the United States. He is very powerful and influential and has widespread power in think tanks and other venues,” Gulledge said. “…There are those who see [the SBC] as a center of influence for American culture and politics and I don’t want to lose it to someone who doesn’t see it as a political tool.

]]> ‘Common sense thinking prevailed’: Lawmakers dedicated roadworks and dismissed burning social issues | Legislature Sat, 11 Jun 2022 21:31:00 +0000

Allow people to carry concealed handguns without a permit? He died in the Louisiana Senate.

Anti-vaccination legislation? The senators did not suggest that either.

The highly publicized “Don’t say gay” measure, modeled on a new Florida law? He perished in the Chamber. So did a high-profile bill that would have imprisoned women who have had abortions.

And the House and Senate have ignored calls to cut taxes for Louisianans.

Lawmakers in other conservative states this year passed laws on burning issues like guns, abortion and gay rights, and they also cut taxes.

But in the annual session that ended Monday, Louisiana’s Republican-dominated legislature implemented all of these measures. What happened?

Several factors were at work, lawmakers said. The first is that Governor John Bel Edwards, a Democrat, opposed these initiatives and could have vetoed them, while in other red states, conservative governors, such as Ron DeSantis in Florida and Greg Abbott in Texas, have put their political strength behind these causes.

With a record surplus in hand, instead of cutting taxes, Louisiana lawmakers focused on spending the money in a way Edwards and Republican lawmakers had agreed to. They used the one-time money for new and existing roads, bridges and water systems across the state and to pay down debt, rather than increasing annual spending and likely creating future deficits. budgets.

“Everyone realized that the state this year had to put the state on a new economic trajectory, said State Rep. Tanner Magee, R-Houma, the pro tem speaker. “We didn’t want to waste this opportunity and let other issues become obstacles. It was at all levels with the House, the Senate and the Governor’s office. We had a unique opportunity to get it right. »

In other words, moderate Republicans — who occupy the middle of Louisiana’s political spectrum — have dominated this year, with lawmakers giving much of the credit to Senate President Page Cortez, R-Lafayette.

“Rather than fighting over the shiny objects, we were able to focus on the big, important things,” said Matthew Block, Edwards’ legal counsel.

Prior to the start of the session in March, these shiny objects seemed likely to drown out other problems.

Ultra-conservatives have spoken confidently about passing measures addressing priority issues in America’s culture wars: banning the teaching of critical race theory; the adoption of the “Don’t Say Gay” restriction for teachers; limit the governor’s ability to impose vaccination mandates; and lifting the requirement that people carrying concealed handguns must be licensed.

None of these measures have been adopted.

“We weren’t going to be swept away by political winds,” said Sen. Bret Allain, R-Franklin. “We stuck to what we thought was necessary. In the end, legislation and common sense thinking prevailed.

Certainly, the Conservatives have triumphed on two divisive social issues.

The Women’s Sports Equity Act, Senate Bill 44, passed with a non-vetoing majority, a year after Edwards vetoed a similar measure. Sponsored by Sen. Beth Mizell, R-Franklinton, it will ban transgender athletes from participating in high school sports. Edwards let SB44 become law without his signature, calling it “petty” and “unnecessary”, but saying the legislature would have struck it down had he vetoed it.

The Legislature also passed two tough anti-abortion bills that would go into effect if the U.S. Supreme Court, as expected, overturns Roe v. Wade.

Senate Bill 342, sponsored by Sen. Katrina Jackson, D-Monroe, would increase criminal penalties for abortion providers. Senate Bill 388, by Sen. Sharon Hewitt, R-Slidell, would allow the prosecution of out-of-state vendors who sell abortion pills to women in Louisiana.

Edwards, who has expressed doubts about some aspects of the bills, did not reveal whether he would sign them, but he has always supported anti-abortion legislation.

In some cases, ultra-conservative measures have run into headwinds in part because of their sponsors.

Rep. Ray Garofalo, R-Chalmette, pushed bills that would ban critical race theory, which conservatives consider state-sanctioned racism. Proponents say the theory teaches that racism is an integral part of US history.

But Garofalo remained at odds with House Speaker Clay Schexnayder, R-Gonzales, after sparking controversy last year with a remark about slavery, then declined the president’s request to step down as Chairman of the House Education Committee. Schexnayder took it off.

This year, anti-criticism measures of Garofalo’s race theory — House Bill 1014 and House Bill 747 — failed even to make it out of the Education Committee, the first stage of the legislative process.

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Rep. Danny McCormick, R-Oil City, made national headlines with Bill 813, which would have allowed prosecutors to jail women who had abortions. But with the state’s leading anti-abortion groups — Louisiana Family Forum and Louisiana Right to Life — saying it went too far, the House killed the bill.

McCormick angered his anti-abortion colleagues by insisting they vote on HB813 — their anti-abortion vote would draw criticism from mainstream allies — even though everyone knew he would lose badly.

“It started a discussion that we should be having,” an unrepentant McCormick said recently.

The House passed McCormick’s Bill 37, which was similar to a measure passed last year by the National Rifle Association that would allow anyone to carry a handgun without undergoing firearms training. Edwards vetoed the 2021 bill.

But HB37 died this month without another vote after a Senate committee accepted an amendment by Sen. Eddie Lambert, R-Gonzales, to rewrite the bill to instead allow school districts to authorize officers to security, which could include teachers and administrators, to carry concealed handguns in schools. The vote came in the wake of a Texas school shooting that killed 19 children and two teachers.

“The school shooting changed the conversation on this issue,” Cortez said.

The House Education Committee also killed Rep. Dodie Horton, R-Houghton’s Bill 837, which would have mimicked a Florida measure to ban public school teachers from discussing sexual orientation. or gender identity.

And the Senate bottled up several House measures that would have limited Edwards’ ability to impose vaccination mandates, prompting an outcry among conservatives.

Edwards lowered the temperature in May by withdrawing its order requiring schoolchildren to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

“In a right-wing state, we have avoided going down some of the paths of extremism that have been taken in other conservative states. Reason #1 is that we have a moderate Democratic governor who has acted as a brake to that,” said Peter Robins-Brown, executive director of Louisiana Progress, a Baton Rouge group that pushes progressive legislation.

Sen. Gerald Boudreaux, of Lafayette, who leads the Democratic caucus in this chamber, said Cortez and Schexnayder are also to be commended.

“We know where leadership has drawn a line in the sand,” Boudreaux said. “They didn’t open the floodgates and say, ‘Pour it out.’ We don’t follow the national example on everything.

After years of tight budgets, lawmakers have had to decide what to do with more than $2 billion in extra money, thanks to federal stimulus funds approved by the Democratic Congress and President Joe Biden and the post-pandemic economic recovery. .

Lawmakers decided not to pass tax cuts, as lawmakers did in 2007 and 2008 in a similar situation. As Cortez noted, they expect the Legislature in three years to choose not to renew a temporary sales tax of 0.45 cents on the dollar, which will provide $425 million in annual savings. to taxpayers.

Legislators used the excess money to fix traffic problems and other infrastructure.

A new bridge over the Mississippi River near Baton Rouge received $300 million to start the project, which could eventually cost $3 billion. The Legislative Assembly and Edwards spend $200 million on a new bridge over the Calcasieu River in Lake Charles; $200 million to expand I-49 south of Lafayette; $450 million to upgrade water and sewer systems across the state; $400 million to pay a post-Hurricane Katrina debt to the federal government for reinforcement of the New Orleans area levee system; $500 million to replenish the fund that pays the unemployed; $175 million to the rainy day fund; at least $100 million to repair existing roads and bridges; plus $100 million to repair old buildings at public colleges and universities and state buildings.

The Louisiana Public Affairs Research Council has applauded fiscal conservatism of spending one-time money for one-time needs.

“All of this funding has overshadowed these other political issues,” Cortez said. “People wanted to get it right financially, for federal money to be invested in roads, bridges and debt. It’s not really a fancy thing to do, but you get a better credit rating to have a lower interest rate in the future. If you were in business, you would want to do this.

Lawmakers also invested $105 million in parochial projects that, in many cases, received little public scrutiny.

But Cortez said that money — which went to nearly every legislative district — helped placate anyone unhappy that his other bills didn’t pass.

“Getting this for the members is huge,” Magee said.

Edwards engendered goodwill by using the veto on a handful of lawmakers’ bills, hoping he would use that power to punish those who crossed his path.

Even the District of McCormick has received funding to lay a new water main that will improve drinking water in Oil City and surrounding areas.

“It’s really necessary,” he said.

Lawyer and philosopher Ryan D. Doerfler joins Harvard Law School Thu, 09 Jun 2022 14:13:32 +0000

1 credit

Ryan D. Doerfler ’13, who focuses his research on critically examining the place of federal justice in the American legal and political order, will join Harvard Law School as a professor of law, effective July 1. July.

Doerfler is currently a professor of law at the University of Chicago, where he teaches in the areas of administrative law and legislation. From 2016 to 2019, he was Assistant Professor of Law at the University of Pennsylvania. In the fall of 2018, he was a visiting assistant professor of law at Harvard.

“Ryan Doerfler is a brilliant and original scholar who rigorously applied insights from the philosophy of language to shed important new light on how we should read law,” said John F. Manning ’85, dean and professor of right of Morgan and Helen Chu. at Harvard Law School. “A wonderful teacher and colleague, Professor Doerfler’s ideas and energy will enliven our classrooms and our intellectual life. We are delighted to welcome him back to the Harvard Law School community.

Doerfler’s recent scholarship includes a critical reassessment of the embrace of judicial review in the liberal legal tradition and an analysis of the relationship between theories of statutory and constitutional interpretation and a fundamental commitment to democratic autonomy. A jurist and philosopher, Doerfler’s work on issues of statutory and constitutional interpretation grew out of an interdisciplinary focus on epistemology and the philosophy of language.

His academic work has been published in many leading legal journals. He has a forthcoming article, “Late-Stage Textualism,” in the Supreme Court Review, and he also recently co-authored, with Yale law professor Samuel Moyn ’01, “Democratizing the Supreme Court,” California Law Review (2021), and “The Ghost of John Hart Ely”, published in the Vanderbilt Law Review (2022). In a recent Vanderbilt Law Review podcast, Doerfler and Moyn discuss the ideas behind late constitutional law scholar John Hart Ely’s theory of judicial review.

Other articles include “Can a law have more than one meaning?” (New York University Law Review, 2019), which examines whether statutory language can mean different things in different cases, and “High-Stakes Interpretation” (Michigan Law Review, 2018), which explores why courts often interpret text differently when they decide – case of stakes.

His popular writings have also been published in l’Atlantique, Jacobin, la Nation, la Nouvelle République and the Washington Post.

“I’m incredibly excited to be going back to Harvard,” Doerfler said. “I look forward to joining the growing community of scholars who doubt the role of the federal judiciary in our democracy. »

“I first met Professor Doerfler at Harvard Law School’s third Latino Alumni Celebration shortly after he joined the faculty at the University of Pennsylvania,” Andrew Crespo said. 08, Morris Wasserstein Professor of Public Interest Law at Harvard Law School. “In the years that followed, I watched with admiration how he established himself not only as a brilliant scholar of statutory interpretation, but also as a leading public intellectual and critic of the role of the Supreme Court. in American society. Looking back on the community that came together when we first met, I know his appointment will have special meaning for our Latino students and alumni, many of whom have waited decades to see a Chicano law professor on the faculty. of Harvard Law.

Doerfler joined the Chicago faculty in 2019, having served as Harry A. Bigelow Lecturer there from 2014 to 2016 and as Walter V. Schaefer Visiting Assistant Professor of Law during the winter of 2019. In the fall of 2019 , he was the Nathaniel Fensterstock Visiting Professor of Law at Columbia.

Doerfler earned a BA in Philosophy from Wake Forest University in 2004 and a Ph.D. in Philosophy from Harvard University in 2011. He went on to study law at Harvard and received a JD in 2013. After graduating from Harvard Law School, he served as a law clerk for the Hon. Sandra L. Lynch of the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit.

Iowa Election 2022: Who’s Running for Governor, Congress, and Statewide? Tue, 07 Jun 2022 14:52:51 +0000

Only two of Iowa’s federal races have contested primaries, with many races already down to one candidate per party in the weeks leading up to the June 7 primary election.

Governor Kim Reynolds and Senator Chuck Grassley are both re-elected in 2022, and all four races for Iowa’s House will be contested. But only two of the races have primary fields. Several Democrats are lining up for Grassley’s Senate seat, and three Republicans are competing to challenge Rep. Cindy Axne in the 3rd District.

Reynolds and Republican incumbents in the U.S. House each face a single Democratic nominee in the march to the November general election.

Here’s where the race stands as Iowa holds its primary election on June 7. Article last updated on 06/06/22

Who is running for governor of Iowa in 2022?

Incumbent Reynolds, 62, officially launched her re-election bid in March. She focused her campaign launch on freedom, promising that “Iowa is going to be a state where you can live your life freely,” if she is re-elected.

Deidre DeJear is a Democratic candidate for governor. (Photo courtesy of DeJear Campaign)

In May, Democrats had only one challenger for Reynolds: Deidre De Jear, a 35-year-old Democratic activist and former candidate for Secretary of State. DeJear officially launched his gubernatorial campaign on August 14. She spoke to the Iowa Capital Dispatch Aug. 20 about her campaign priorities and the future of the Democratic Party in Iowa.

Reynolds leads DeJear in polls and fundraising. A March Des Moines Register/Mediacom Iowa poll found that 51% of Iowans would vote for Reynolds in a game with DeJear. Only 43% said they would support DeJear and 5% said they didn’t know who they would vote for.

DeJear has raised just under $740,000 in 2022, according to new campaign materials, after entering the year with just $8,500 in cash. Over the same period, Reynolds has raised over $1.3 million — and has nearly $5 million in his war chest.

State Representative Ras Smith withdrew his bid for governor in January, citing fundraising difficulties. Smith, 33, has represented Waterloo at Iowa House since 2017. Smith announced in February that he will not be seeking re-election to the House.

Who is running for the Iowa Senate seat in 2022?

Grassley, 88, announced in September that he would run for an eighth term in the US Senate. If he wins in 2022, he will be 95 at the end of that term.

Several Democrats lined up to challenge Grassley.

Former 1st District Representative Abby Finkenauer, 33, announced in July that she would run for the Senate in 2022. She was nearly dropped from the primary ballot after two Republicans challenged her candidacy, arguing that Finkenauer had not collected enough signatures on her nomination petitions . The Iowa Supreme Court unanimously ruled in April that Finkenauer could be on the ballot.

Physician and Minden City Council Member Glenn Hurst, a 52-year-old Democrat, announced July 29 that he would run for the Grassley seat. Hurst has cast himself as the most progressive Democrat in the race, frequently speaking out in favor of Medicare for All.

Retired US Navy Admiral Mike Franken, 64, joined the race in October. He sought a Democratic nomination for the U.S. Senate in 2020, but lost the primary.

Grassley will also face an out-of-state Republican primary challenge Sen. Jim Carlin, R-Sioux City. Carlin, 59, has aligned himself closely with former President Donald Trump. However, Trump endorsed Grassley during an October visit to Des Moines.

Senator Joni Ernst, 51, will not be re-elected until 2026.

Who’s running for Iowa’s 1st District in 2022?

The redistricting made things a little trickier for Iowa’s House races. Currently, Rep. Ashley Hinson represents Iowa’s 1st District, but will reside and run in the 2nd District in 2022.

Representative Mariannette Miller-Meeks, IA-02, announced in November that she would be moving to the 1st District and running for re-election there. His home county of Wapello was drawn into the 3rd District in the new maps.

Miller-Meeks, 66, faces a challenger in the 1st District. State Rep. Christina Bohannan, a Democrat and University of Iowa law professor, announced her candidacy in August.

Iowa’s congressional districts changed significantly in the 2021 redistricting session. (Iowa Legislative Services Agency maps)

Who’s running for Iowa’s 2nd district in 2022?

Hinson, 38, will run in the 2nd arrondissement in 2022.

State Senator Liz Mathis, a Democrat, will challenge Hinson in the new 2nd District. Hinson and Mathis, 63, are former television journalists.

Who’s running for Iowa’s 3rd district in 2022?

Representative Cindy Axne, 56, announced in November that she would seek re-election in the 3rd District. The two-term holder faces several Republican challengers.

State Senator Zach Nunn, 42, entered the race in July. Nunn represents Bondurant and has highlighted her Air Force career in campaign ads.

Republican Nicole Hasso also announced his candidacy in July. The Johnston resident released a campaign video that highlights her opposition as a black woman to critical race theory. US Senator Ted Cruz of Texas Hasso approved August 12.

Gary Leffler, a Republican activist best known for his patriotic tractor, also filed with the Federal Election Commission to challenge Axne. Leffler has not filed any campaign finance returns since launching his campaign.

Who’s running for Iowa’s 4th district in 2022?

First-term Rep. Randy Feenstra, 53, faces an opponent in the 4th District. Democrat Ryan Melton, 37, is an insurance supervisor in Story County. Melton only raised $1,477 in the first quarter of 2022.

Who is running for other Iowa state offices?

Secretary of State: Two Democratic candidates — both county auditors and election commissioners — are running to face incumbent Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate in the general election.

Linn County Auditor Joel Miller, 66, said he was motivated to run for office statewide after Trump’s presidential campaign sued Miller for sending in ballot request forms pre-filled mail order to voters. A judge ruled in favor of the campaign, invalidating 50,000 claim forms sent by Miller’s office.

Clinton County Auditor Eric Van Lancker, 53, has served as county auditor for 12 years and served as president of the Iowa State Association of County Auditors in 2014. In an interview with the Des Moines Register , he said he could establish a better relationship. with Iowa County listeners of all parties.

State Auditor:

Two Republicans are vying for the June 7 primary for the chance to challenge incumbent Democrat Rob Sand in the general election:

Mary Ann Hanusa of Council Bluffs served at the Iowa House from 2011 to 2021. She served in the White House during the administrations of President George HW Bush and President George W. Bush and headed the Correspondence Office.

Clive’s Todd Halbur is the former CFO of the state’s liquor division. He is a small school supply business owner and real estate agent.

Two other statewide offices will be on the ballot in the fall:

Resources for voters

Prepare for the upcoming elections by registering to vote and marking your calendar for Election Day.

The primary elections for 2022 will take place from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on June 7, 2022. Iowa has closed the primaries, meaning only registered Democrats or Republicans can participate in their party’s primaries. Iowans can register with a party or change their party affiliation through the Secretary of State’s website.

The general elections will take place on November 8, 2022.

Britt Hawthorne on work, the essays that inspired ‘Raising Anti-Racist Kids’ Fri, 03 Jun 2022 14:12:14 +0000

Courtesy of Britt Hawthorne/S&S Simon Element

When Britt Hawthorne moved from Illinois to Texas years ago to pursue her teaching career, she very quickly noticed the big differences between what the curriculum was like in the Midwest and what it involved in the South. After seeing and experiencing the whitewashed revisionist history being shared, she sought out a community, individuals who wanted to do things differently.

“I started finding my people,” she tells ESSENCE.

She took to social media and founded a Facebook group for the organization, Montessori For Social Justice.

“I loved what they were saying, I loved what they were doing, and I thought I could do it too, but with a little help,” she recalled.

She began volunteering with MSJ, learning and attending conferences where she would eventually present. These were the roots of what would become his work in anti-racism, which is about actively changing the behaviors, beliefs and, to go further, the policies that allow racist ideals and actions to thrive.

“I’ve been doing anti-racism work for six years now, and that was before anti-racism became mainstream,” she says. “Overwhelmingly, I’ve heard people say, ‘What else can I do? What more can I do to help myself and my children understand and have language?’

This is what she heard the most after deciding to homeschool her two sons. She made this momentous decision when a teacher told her youngest child, who was four at the time, to “shut up”.

“We knew our home would be the safest place that would affirm their many identities, center the darkness, and also help them practice anti-racism tools,” she says.

She soon started sharing a lot on Instagram about anti-racist parenting as she took on homeschooling and found other people wanted to learn more. As these questions about what parents could do for themselves and their children began to flood in, she first teamed up with Tiffany Jewell (author of This book is anti-racist) to give workshops. When the job took a lot more than expected, Hawthorne thought a book on the subject would be the best, most sustainable option to move forward. What started as an e-book, she says, could be very useful for parents, with the help of Christine Platt, author of The Afrominimalist’s Guide to Living on Lessis now a physical book, or parental guide, soon available in bookstores. Raising Anti-Racist Children will be released June 7 from the Simon & Schuster imprint, Simon Element.

“It’s full of practical strategies,” she says. “These are scenarios, these are actions you can do with any of your parenting partners, whether it’s your grandmother, your aunt, your beloved, your husband. There is going to be something for everyone.

It includes tools for everything from “organizing an anti-racism book collection” to “conversations about racial identities” and “creating lists of locally owned and BIPOC-owned businesses to support.” It took Hawthorne two years to put the work together, with help from co-writer Natasha Yglesias. And there were hurdles to overcome to see it through, including debates about inclusivity, from who should be on the cover, to who the anti-racism conversations should be (to which she says, “Our liberation should never be traditional or exclusive”).

But the end result is really, as she said, for everyone to be ready to learn and take action.

“The book is really for anyone who has children in their life,” she says. “A lot of it is about unlearning and unpacking the myths and misconceptions we’ve picked up, especially about ourselves, our own people. It is for us to have the tools to identify a racist situation but also to fight it? »

She enlisted 15 contributing authors from diverse backgrounds, bringing the same kind of community that inspired her anti-racism work in creating her book to make sure people can understand what anti-racist parenting looks like for different adults and within different family dynamics of all races.

In a world where critical race theory has been deemed divisive and has let people ban books and pull entire sections of textbooks to sanitize this nation’s history, Raising Anti-Racist Children is needed more than ever. “In the era of anti-critical race theory and book bans, I think we see people who hold more firmly to their values ​​and ideals, but who say anti-racism is important and who want to stand up for anti-racism and make it something that happens to everyone. day in their lives, but don’t know how to do it and don’t know where their role is. With that in mind, the book leaves parents wondering what they know, what they don’t know, and what work they need to do first so they can start trying to raise an anti-racist child.

It hasn’t been the easiest job, but it’s been fulfilling for Hawthorne. Despite the times we live in, she remains encouraged by focusing on what she can do in the present to bring about change and help others do the same.

“At the very beginning of my journey, I spent all my time trying to get an unofficial degree in racism. I spent all my time reading about the issues and about the past 400 years. And not to minimizing all of that, but I also needed to balance my efforts, and the same time that I was spending understanding the problem, I had to spend the same time finding concrete solutions,” she says. That’s what gives me energy and keeps me going.”

“I have a line that goes, ‘I’m not overwhelmed, I’m just getting off. To me, it’s really clear what the problem is. It’s really clear what racism is and who it affects. That’s all I really need to know. I do not dwell on these details and I do not go into the details, ”she adds. “Instead, I’m always thinking throughout my day, how can I spend money that’s going to be different? What can I watch and consume that’s going to be different? How can I open a door and let as many people in as possible? Like with this book. I let 15 people in and take up space in this book. I always think of this as a solution and it keeps me going because there is still so much more There’s so much more I can do.

RAISING ANTI-RACIST CHILDREN: A practical guide for parents, will go on sale by S&S Simon Element on June 7, where books are sold. Learn more about Hawthorne and her work at

TOPICS: black parenting parenting Racism

Detroit boosts civics course by including people of color and community history Mon, 30 May 2022 15:11:05 +0000

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DDuring a social studies class at the all-girls Detroit International Academy, 10th graders learned last week that a historic student protest occurred in April 1966 at Detroit Northern High School.

The students took turns reading passages via laptop and discussing the incident with their teacher on Wednesday. They learned that northern students, who were black, were protesting what they described as inadequate educational resources at their school which had a white principal.

“Students refused to go through this type of treatment, said teacher Tal Levy. “Who wants to read the next paragraph titled “Student Requests”? »

“Some of the requests were to remove the principal,” replied one student. “Remove the policeman from campus, provide information on the school’s academic standards, and create a student-teacher council for the school.”

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The lesson is part of a new approach to teaching history at the Detroit Public Schools Community District (DPSCD), the largest public school district in the state. For DPSCD, he uses a traditional approach of incorporating local history and municipal government into his high school civics course – but with more cultural inclusion and promotion of community engagement.

“The district’s mission focuses not only on education, but also on student empowerment and civic engagement,” said DPSCD Superintendent Nikolai Vitti.

Citizen Detroit partnered with the school district to revise its “Detroit: A Manual for Citizens,” a manual that hadn’t been updated in decades. The manual is available in print and electronic versions and can be taught via laptops and tablets.

Citizen Detroit is a nonprofit civic education organization that “focuses on educating Detroit residents about issues critical to our well-being; seek to increase civic literacy; and work to establish a standard of public accountability on the part of local and state elected leaders,” according to its website.

The Skillman Foundation, also a partner, helped fund the effort, which lasted just over two years.

The textbook and workbook were released in time for the 2021-2022 school year and used in all high school civics classes. Students spend approximately six weeks learning about local government.

“The idea is to give people a historical understanding of the function of city government and an understanding of each city department and how citizens can be engaged and their voices heard,” Sheila Cockrel said. , CEO of Citizen Detroit and former member of the Detroit City Council.

Civics is a one-semester stand-alone 10th grade course that is a Michigan Department of Education graduation requirement. In Detroit, materials related to civics are integrated into every grade, from kindergarten through high school, as required by Michigan grade and high school content expectations.

According to Elizabeth Triden of the DPSCD’s Office of Curriculum and Instruction, students learn about public policy issues and work to form their own opinions on those issues before they get to their civics class in grade 10. .

critical race theory

The DPSCD’s strengthened civic effort preceded Republicans in Michigan and across the country who attempted to ban critical race theory (CRT) in schools. CRT is a college-level theory that examines the systemic effects of white supremacy in America, but lawmakers have interjected the issue in K-12 policy debate.

House Bill 5097introduced by Rep. Andrew Beeler (R-Port Huron), does not explicitly reference the CRT, but prohibits schools from teaching any curriculum that includes the “promotion of any form of racial or gender stereotyping or anything that might be understood as implicit race or gender stereotypes”.

Senate Bill 460,, introduced by State Senator Lana Theis (R-Brighton), explicitly prohibits “critical race theory” from being taught in schools and threatens to cut school funding by 5% if the state determines that he is breaking the law. The Senate Education and Career Readiness Committee, chaired by Theis, approved the bill last October.

Critical Race Theory threatens Michigan K-12 students with a dangerous false narrative about our country and its place in the world,” Theis said at the time. “This is an extreme political agenda that is manipulating academia and now targeting private businesses, public institutions and, sadly, our K-12 grades. Our schools should be teaching students the true history of our country, including its flaws. and its flaws, but most importantly the founding principles of this nation of individual liberty, freedom and equality that so many have given their lives to defend.Critical Race Theory is an affront to everything our country stands for. Our children should learn to respect each other equally because of their humanity, not to discriminate based on identity group or race.

Senator Erika Geiss (D-Taylor) called him a “short-sighted, inappropriate and corrupt bill”.

“This bill will have a profoundly crippling effect on education, our ability to foster talent development and career readiness for today’s young people in Michigan, which would ultimately – and negatively – impact the economic future of the state,” said Geiss, who is Afro-Latina, a parent of school-aged children and a former public school educator.

The Michigan State Board of Education past a resolution in January to postpone the CRT bills.

Address cultural diversity

For years, the DPSCD’s Department of Social Studies has published a book guiding students through the structure of Detroit’s government and “community citizenship.”

The book and corresponding civics course were taught in Detroit schools as early as 1938, and the last course was held in the late 1970s. The school district’s enrollment has been predominantly African American since 1963.

The 1968 manual, for example, spoke of Lewis Cass‘ as Governor of Michigan, but does not specify that he owned slaves.

The document points out that “every public school in Detroit has been open to children of all races since 1869,” but does not mention that Fannie Richards, a black woman, operated a private school for black children before 1869 and fought the school district all the way to the Michigan Supreme Court to racially integrate the school district. Willam Ferguson was among the first black students to attend the school district. In 1892 he became the first African American elected to the Michigan House of Representatives.

It also does not specify that the school board was all-white until Remus Robinson, a black doctor, was elected to the body in 1955. He does not mention that the school district did not have a black principal until Beulah Cain Brewer in 1947.

The new publication, “Citizen Manual Detroit,” is designed to help its users develop a deeper understanding of Detroit’s history, its government, the roles and responsibilities of government, and how the city’s citizens can work within government systems to provide currency.

It offers contributions from organizations such as the African-American-led Trade Union Leadership Council, League of Revolutionary Black Workers, Westside Mothers, as well as Latin Americans for Social and Economic Development (also known as LASED), Arab Community Center for Economic and Social Services (also known as ACCESS) and others.

“These organizations, and many others, were created by individuals and groups who identified needs within their respective communities and used civic engagement and civic action to address them,” says the new manual.

The new manual also includes passages that highlight African-American broadcast legends Martha Jean “The Queen” Steinberg; William V. Banks, the leader in launching WGPR-FM 107.5 radio and WGPR-TV 62, the first black-owned television station, as well as Haley Bell and Wendell Cox, who launched WCHB-AM radio 1440, the nation’s first black television station. -station founded in 1956 after applying for a federal license.

“The Citizen Handbook is a concrete example of [student empowerment and civic engagement]”, Vitti said. “By recognizing students’ expertise on the needs of their neighborhood, inspiring them with Detroit’s rich history of activism, and equipping them with concrete tools to get involved, students see themselves as leaders capable of building a stronger Detroit.”

Michigan Advance is part of States Newsroom, a grant-supported network of news outlets and a coalition of donors as a 501c(3) public charity. Michigan Advance maintains editorial independence. Contact editor Susan Demas with questions: Follow Michigan Advance on Facebook and Twitter.


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