Critical Theory – Radical Philosophy Sat, 15 Jan 2022 07:12:27 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Critical Theory – Radical Philosophy 32 32 Namdeo Dhasal and his irreplaceable grammar of social change Sat, 15 Jan 2022 07:12:27 +0000

The anti-caste school of thought arises and evolves around a rejuvenating humanism.

The radical anti-caste movement and its philosophy have greatly influenced other social movements in various ways. The Dalit Panther Movement (DPM) is the most popular among others. This movement and its members not only helped to fundamentally change the cultural and literary space of resistance, but it also instilled a great sense of confidence among the anti-caste generations born after the 1970s. Its revolutionary character and its methods of struggle for justice continue to motivate millions of Dalits even today.

This year, on May 19, we will celebrate 50 years of DPM. Meanwhile, January 15 is marked as the death anniversary of a co-founder of Dalit Panther, Padma Shri Namdeo Dhasal. No one can deny the fact that Dhasal has had an irreplaceable influence over many generations in the articulation or realization of socio-political and literary consciousness.

It can be seen that the political sphere at present is captured by self-interest and self-centeredness. However, radical leaders and activists like Namdeo Dhasal challenged the hierarchical socio-political structures of caste through revolutionary writings. His lyrics relate to the centuries-old history of a caste-dominated society. According to Dhasal, his poetry is influenced by traditional drama, tamasha and the anti-caste thought of Jyotirao Phule and Babasaheb Ambedkar. Along with this, Dhasal was also influenced by the thought of Ram Manohar Lohiya. Overall, Dhasal was influenced by Ambedkarite and socialist thought.

Looking back at his daily experiences, Dhasal says untouchability is so ingrained in village society that it persists even after he comes to town. Dhasal’s life was full of suffering; from his childhood experiences with caste discrimination to those as a taxi driver as an adult, privileged society has not given him a lifetime of respect. His life itself was the school and his experiences the program he built in calling for social struggle for change.

Dhasal imagined the role of sex workers and transgender people as radical activists and saw them as capable of leading their fight.

JV Pawar informed me of a 1971 incident where Dhasal even organized a “morcha” of people involved in sex work and transgender people – both groups were politically invisible – from Kamathipura to Chaityabhumi. If someone who knows structural social reality thinks of this action symbolically and pragmatically, it is a journey from dirt to self-respect.

In his interview with Nikhil Wagle on IBM Lokmat, Dhasal mentions that he used to write ghazals but had to give it up because he found no relational reasoning in the daily experiences of him or his community. Dhasal is said to have given new fame to the Marathi language, but one must go beyond this limited recognition. Of his Golpitha (1973) brings out the shocking social realities of Mumbai. Tuhi Iyatta Kanchi, Tuhi Iyatta? (“What Grade Are You In, What Grade?”, 1981), along with his other anthologies of poems, several prose plays and a novel gave new vocabulary and grammar to the Marathi language. Straddling established Brahmanical Marathi, Dhasal, through his poetry, offered a critical theory for a critical society.

In his poem “Kamathipura” compiled in the collection Tuhi Iyatta Kanchi, Tuhi Iyatta? he writes:

गोड किंवा खारट
विषाची चव घेण्यास जुंपल्यात इथं रांगा.
शब्दासारखे इथे मरणदेखील आले आहे भरून
बस्स, थोड्या वेळात इथे सरी कोसळू लागतील”.

(sweet or salty
there are queues here competing to taste poison
contrary to words, death also came as blocked
enough, in a while there will be heavy showers) [rough translation by author].

This stanza above describes life and social relations in Kamathipura, an area where a number of people come to see sex workers. In the crowd, no one will be visible. It’s a story of each red light zone and its narratives that have remained mostly invisible to society as a whole.

Through his social and political engagement, Dhasal introduced a new world into mainstream literary culture. Although there are few works available around Dhasal’s poetry, they have remained limited to anger, the body and the city. There is no in-depth study available that explores the critical pedagogy that Dhasal formed through his experiences and his writings. This critical pedagogy of Dhasal is poetic, political and socio-culturally rooted in humanism and the need to dismantle structural inequalities.

Prashant Ingole is a postdoctoral researcher in humanities and social sciences at the Indian Institute of Technology, Gandhinagar.

The Race War – Byline Times Thu, 13 Jan 2022 09:26:59 +0000

Sian Norris and Heidi Siegmund Cuda look at what happened on January 6, 2021 at the United States Capitol and investigate how the insurgents’ white supremacist goals led to a far-right takeover education policy

“This is America,” one man shouted into the camera during the January 6, 2021, attempted insurrection. “We are America.”

Anyone watching the scenes unfolding outside the US Capitol a year ago will likely notice one thing: This was a revolution led by white men. Yes, there were women and black people and ethnic minorities present. But they were extremely rare in a tumultuous crowd dominated by white men.

They were men who believed the ‘big lie’ that the 2020 US presidential election was stolen and wanted Donald Trump to stay in power – a desire so great that some, at least, were willing to trigger a second civil war to achieve this. . It is also the day that conservative white men became murderous towards police officers.

This desire for civil war is part of the new far-right’s fascist architecture of thought – an architecture of thought that underlies the actions of extremists participating in the attempted insurrection.

Simply put, the modern far right buys into a conspiracy theory known as the “Great Replacement”, which baselessly claims that white people are being “replaced” by immigration from the Global South as a form of “genocide White”. To defeat this apparent replacement, the far right aims to wage a race war, codenamed “boogaloo”. That was the goal of some, if not all, of those heading to the Capitol on January 6.

It was a white supremacist revolution eager to keep a white supremacist president. Although he failed, the goals of white supremacists did not go away. Instead, they waged their race war in schools and cultural institutions across the country.


Help expose the great scandals of our time.

The Race War in American Schools

Having failed to ignite a literal war, the white supremacist far right in the United States has launched an all-out assault, in coalition with mainstream Republicans, against a concept known as “critical race theory,” leading to book bans in American schools and libraries and racial tensions simmering across the country.

Critical race theory is an academic field that explores ideas about white privilege and institutionalized racism. It’s a subject taught in college, not school, but that truth hasn’t stopped a lie from taking hold that white schoolchildren in the United States are indoctrinated through “politicized” teaching about ” awakening” and even “cultural Marxism” – a fabricated enemy of the far right. who has come to represent a range of progressive movements such as Black Lives Matter, feminism and LGBTIQ rights.

Its opponents claim that the theory blames white people for past crimes against humanity such as the enslavement of black Africans – ignoring that, far from doing so, it simply demands that white people recognize and play a role in dismantling racism. structural.

“They’ve built their recent campaigns on the hijacking of the term, Critical Race Theory,” said Anne Nelson, author of Shadow Network: Media, Money, and the Radical Right’s Secret Hub Recount Signing time. “It’s all based on a misrepresentation that amounts to a lie saying ‘we need to protect our kids in primary school from being told they’re racist’.

“First, that’s not what CRT does, and second, that’s not a feature of elementary schools. So they are scaring based on a totally false premise, multiple false premises.

There is now a right-wing attack on discussions of racism in the American school system. Nine states – Idaho, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, Arizona and North Dakota – have passed legislation banning discussion, training and /or the orientation that the United States is inherently racist, as well as any discussions of conscious and unconscious bias, privilege, discrimination, and oppression. The legislation also extends to gender discussions.

Of those nine, Idaho and North Dakota explicitly mention critical race theory, while Arizona’s ban was overturned by the state Supreme Court. School boards in four other states – Florida, Utah, Georgia and Alabama – have introduced new guidelines banning critical discussions related to race theory, while state actors in Montana and South Dakota have denounced educational concepts that are associated with it. It was also militarized during the Virginia Governor’s campaign, as Signing time reported.

The white supremacy education agenda extended to book bans.

Last month, Oklahoma State Senator Rob Standridge proposed legislation that gives parents the power to ban books from school shelves, with a $10,000 bounty to be collected by parents. parents for each day a disputed book remains on library shelves. Stanridge justified his proposal by saying that “more and more schools are trying to indoctrinate students by exposing them to programs and lessons about sexual, sexual and racial identity. My bills will ensure that these types of classes stay home and out of the classroom.”

The American Library Association has even reported attempts to burn books offering perspectives on race and gender, in what is a disturbing echo of 1930s Germany. In Texas, a new state law restricts the how teachers can educate students about race and history, while a politician asked why 850 books dealing with race and gender issues were on library shelves.

Attacks on critical race theory, black literature, and writings raising questions about gender roles and stereotypes demonstrate how far-right white supremacist goals voiced by those on Capitol Hill have become mainstream over the course of the following year. For Republican lawmakers to embrace this goal of white supremacy in the legislature demonstrates the capture of a mainstream party by the far right.

But in this area, the United States is not alone.

The interests of the radical right behindthe school board race line

The impact in the UK

The UK faces its own backlash against critical race theory and tries to explore the role of racism and white supremacy in British history.

Conservative Equality Minister Kemi Badenoch has publicly attacked the theory, saying that “any school which teaches these elements of critical race theory, or which promotes partisan political views such as defunding the police without offering a balanced treatment of opposing opinions, breaks the law”. .

His intervention came as more and more of his colleagues attacked ‘revivalism’ and so-called ‘cultural Marxism’ – a conspiratorial concept rooted in anti-Semitism – within Britain’s cultural institutions such as museums.

One example was the backlash against the heritage charity, the National Trust, which moved to recognize the role the slave trade played in creating the wealth that built many of its properties. In response, 28 Tory MPs from the Common Sense Group wrote to the Telegraph newspaper condemning the decision as a form of cultural Marxism, saying their aim is “to ensure that the institutional guardians of history and heritage, tasked with safeguarding and celebrating British values, are not tainted by dogma cultural Marxist”.

Such actions are part of the fabricated “war on revival” currently being waged by the right against what the Common Sense Group calls the “liberal elite bourgeoisie” but which are, in fact, simply schools, universities and colleges. cultural institutions recognizing the reality of British imperialism. the story.

If lessons from the United States are any guide, the culture war on education about race and gender issues is an example of a far-right agenda being implemented by mainstream governments.


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Does the CRT make white students feel bad? Try to be a black student Tue, 11 Jan 2022 12:40:07 +0000

Patrick remembers the horror he felt as a little kid entering a suburban school district. He took the bus to school at the start of the school year with an armed law enforcement officer standing near his seat. He often fixed the firearm in the officer’s holster.

Through his window, Patrick saw crowds of angry faces, signs declaring the school a “white” school, and even a black doll hanging in an effigy. He and the other bus users entered the school through the cafeteria behind the school.

No one had asked about his feelings until I did. I then worked for the Louisville Courier-Journal. I interviewed him for a newspaper article.

By then he had become a man, but those freezing morning bus rides still echoed in his guts.

Much of the ever-evolving debate over critical race theory – a term for a body of academic work not taught in public schools from Kindergarten to Grade 12 – centers on the feelings of white students. We rarely seem concerned with how black students felt in public schools.

In October, for example, a report said Rep. Kristey Williams, R-Augusta, questioned whether the CRT was leading young white college students to feel unnecessary shame.

“If you are faced with the fact that you, because of the color of your skin, are a racist, it can be a manifestation of shame,” Williams said.

Let’s talk about shame.

Before Patrick, I met Percy, a quiet college boy. Percy’s teacher tormented him regularly, calling him “Darkman” or “Darth Vader”. Percy wouldn’t retaliate. He lowered his head and cried.

School terrified Percy. His grades plummeted. His mother sued, but Percy likely has similar traumatic memories in his guts.

Compare that with the high school student in Virginia who complained about “night terrors” after reading “Beloved” by Toni Morrison, a book that tries to teach us how to cope with a difficult past.

Several black men, now in their sixties, told me how white high school coaches told them they were good enough to start on their sports teams, but there were already too many black players so they weren’t there. would not make the team.

A white 1960s coach, who challenged five black basketball players, said officials told him to only play two black players at home, three on the road and five in the back. Sport has opened the doors to higher education and possible careers. Imagine the systemic thefts that so many young black men have endured.

Much of the ever-evolving debate over critical race theory … centers the feelings of white college students. We rarely seem concerned with how black students felt in public schools.

It is not all in the past.

Officials at my 19-year-old son’s former school had no problem getting him and the rest of the football team to play in a town where Confederate battle flags were fluttering in the stands.

But a white child in Virginia had a nightmare, so now the nation must reinvent the programs.

This centering of the feelings of white students is the very definition of systemic racism. Where were all those “benefactors,” now suddenly preoccupied with the feelings of students, as white adults terrorized black children like Patrick and Percy?

I once interviewed Earnest Gaines, author of classics such as “A Gathering of Old Men” and “A Lesson Before Dying”. We spoke as progressives wrongly, but we managed to remove the literary classic “Huckleberry Finn”, by the incomparable Mark Twain, from widespread study.

Why? The N word has appeared about 200 times in the book.

We should keep politicians out of the classroom. Gaines disagreed with the book’s withdrawal. I did it too.

I had learned that despite this horrible word, Huck Finn was critical of racism. Few white figures had much redeeming value. Twain described Huck’s abusive father this way:

“There is no color on her face, where her face used to be; it was white; not like another man’s white, but a white to make a body sick, a white to make the flesh of a body crawl – the white of a toad, the belly of a white fish.

Feelings are important, but learning what lies beneath those feelings is crucial.

I would have been uncomfortable to hear that word come out of the mouths of teachers and classmates. But exploring the societal cruelties of racism through Twain, Huck and Jim, along with these classmates, would have been more important.

Teachers who teach 7 year olds that they are “oppressors” or “victims” are doing it wrong. Race is complex, and few Americans truly understand our racial history. I also concede that some of this content is probably not intended for young children.

We need honesty in education. Administrators and lawmakers taking action based on the fears of the white majority, regardless of its impact on black children, are failing all children. We need to look at the full scope of the systems that created the wide array of racial wounds in the first place.

Or we will never find relief from the age-old calculations that still resonate in our collective guts.

Byrne & Local Parents Oppose Taxpayer Funding Linked to DCI Initiatives Sun, 09 Jan 2022 17:41:43 +0000
Putnam County Deputy and Executive Candidate Kevin Byrne

Assembly Member Kevin Byrne held a press conference last month to call on the NYS Department of Education (NYSED) to drop all efforts to tie state financial aid to school districts firmly recommended, but very controversial.
“Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DCI) Framework and Policy Statement”.

Last week, Assembly members Kevin Byrne and Colin Schmitt joined with their colleague, distinguished member of the NYS Assembly Education Committee, Doug Smith, in writing a letter to NYSED Commissioner, the Dr Betty A. Rosa, stressing the importance of respecting local oversight and their opposition to harsh state mandates or incentives related to the implementation of DCI. Several specific concerns regarding DCI’s policy were cited in the letter sent to Commissioner Rosa.

Last week, in its list of budget and legislative priorities for the 2022-2023 school year, the NYS Board of Regents included a new request for $ 1 million in funding to subsidize schools that adopt diversity initiatives, equity and inclusion and the cultural support framework.

“We need to trust our families, respect parents and honor local control. Our educators should continue to teach history, good and bad, but not rewrite it, ”said Assembly Member Kevin Byrne. “We strongly reject any attempt to link
public funding of schools for the establishment of DEI or CRS in our schools. Our elected officials on school boards and locally elected officials often talk about the costly mandates imposed on them by Albany, and for good reason, because they come at a price. If you combine a very controversial and divisive policy with state aid, it will be seen by many as a new mandate. We call on other elected leaders in our state to honor local control and respect parents who seek to advocate for their children at the local level. “

Although he was unable to attend in person, Assembly Member Colin Schmitt made the following statement: “The state Department of Education is trying to use the state budget process to trampling on local control of our schools and implementing the CRT and its underlying principles. This is wrong, and it demonstrates once again the disrespect of the Albany bureaucrats for parents and elected school boards. Our children deserve a high quality education that prepares them for college and to compete in a global economy. It is the sole responsibility of the State Department of Education. There is no room for CRT and other aspects of this partisan political agenda in our classrooms. “

“With the cute way the incentives are done with state help, the state will be dictating what happens in our local school programs,” said Frank Del Campo, former Putnam County deputy principal and school administrator. . “From my experience in
school administration, the best sources for curriculum writing are school administrators, teachers, and stakeholders in your own school district, not Albany bureaucrats. “

“As a parent, I feel compelled to educate myself about what is going on in our schools and involve other parents and community members to encourage them to get involved,” said Sarah Hanganu, President of Dutchess County Moms for Liberty. “We are here to ask Commissioner Rosa not to tie conditional funding to the implementation of these divisive educational frameworks.”

“As of early January of this year, Moms for Liberty has over 160 chapters in 33 states with over 70,000 members,” said Abby O’Brien, vice president of Putnam County Moms for Liberty. “I am here today on
on behalf of all New York branches of Moms for Liberty to oppose the allocation of public funds to DCI in our schools.

Although he was unable to attend in person, John Curzio, a member of the Carmel Central School District School Board, made a personal statement on his own behalf stating: “The statement I make today is my personal comments and I’m not speaking on behalf of the board or any other board member… The idea that Albany would tie critical school funding to the implementation of the controversial framework known as the “framework of diversity, equity and inclusion ”is nonsense. This framework seeks to divide us at a critical time when we must unite as a community, as a state and as a nation. We should not spread the idea among our children that they are defined by their race, which this framework endorses. “

Assembly member Byrne is also a candidate for the Putnam County executive. He represents parts of northern Westchester, Putnam County, and parts of Dutchess County that make up the 94th Assembly District.

The DEI learning debate continues in North Westchester, with the recent departure of Lakeland Schools Superintendent Dr Brendan Lyons in September 2021 believed to be due to disagreements between the Lakeland School Board and Lyon in subject of DEI education.

Former Superintendent Lyons and Yorktown Superintendent Dr Ronald Hattar both said at their respective school board meetings last year that their curriculum did not include the controversial term Critical Race Theory, CRT.

A group called Save our Schools (SOS), for the children of Westchester, said after Lyon’s resignation: “Today’s announcement must be a wake-up call for school administrators in Westchester that parents will not sit idle while their children learn to hate America and hate themselves by seeing their peers as oppressors or underdogs.

Another group that supports DCI education and opposes SOS is Yorktown for Justice. The two faced off at Yorktown School Board meetings last year. DCI “the framework encourages and guides schools to create a welcoming environment for all students; teach children a precise story adapted to their age; connect students across cultural differences and across similarities; and promote critical thinking skills so that students can be informed and compassionate American and global citizens who respect and explore a diversity of ideas from a variety of perspectives. ..Diversity, equity and inclusion efforts and the NYSED CR-S framework are not an embodiment of critical race theory. Critical Race Theory is a body of academic work that examines the racial dimensions of American law and other institutions in society. Critical Race Theory does not appear in Kindergarten to Grade 12 curricula and is not offered. Creating welcoming classrooms and critical thinkers is not to ‘indoctrinate’ students with ‘critical race theory’ – it is to teach our children well, ”Yorktown for Justice wrote in a letter signed by elected officials and parents.

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Data confirms link between respiratory stress Sat, 08 Jan 2022 02:04:53 +0000

Constant metabolic report found in 133 species of Chinese marine and freshwater fish provides new evidence to support the idea that fish become sexually active – and reproduce for the first time – in response to induced respiratory stress through growth.

Using the maximum size and the average size at first maturity of more than 200 fish populations of 133 species of fish, Chinese and Canadian researchers indirectly estimated the ratio of oxygen uptake of each species at these two sizes. They found that fish pass from juveniles to adults when that ratio is around 1.40, in a study published today in the Journal of Fish Biology.

“The consistency of this relationship between the species we examined – and other species studied in the past or under study – supports the idea that reproduction is initiated by changes in the balance between supply and oxygen demand, “said Dr Daniel Pauly, lead author and UBC principal investigator. The sea around us initiative.

“Maturation and spawning appear to be induced when the oxygen supply relative to the weight of individual fish decreases. Thus, growing fish gradually become limited in oxygen, and there is a threshold, now identified, that tells them it is time to respond to external stimuli for maturation and spawning, ”he said.

Dr. Pauly’s Gill Oxygen Limiting Theory (GOLT) suggests that the oxygen supply of fish gradually decreases as their weight increases, because their gills – the organs that extract oxygen from the water and bring it to their body – are surfaces that develop in two dimensions and cannot follow their body, which grows in three dimensions.

“There comes a time when the growth in weight of the fish results in a decrease in the relative area of ​​the gills, which leads to a critical level of oxygen supply. This triggers the hormonal cascade that causes fish to respond to environmental stimuli to mature and spawn, ”said Dr Pauly.

The GOLT takes issue with claims that it is only environmental stimuli at the start of the spawning season that trigger the maturation and spawning process.

“Being able to corroborate with empirical evidence that respiratory stress is what causes fish to reach their first maturity when they do is a great achievement,” said Dr. Cui Liang, co-author and researcher at the Chinese Academy of Sciences. science. “This has important implications for aquaculture practitioners, who have long recognized the importance of dissolved oxygen in fish production.”

Drs. Pauly and Liang said the constancy of the critical ratio warranted in this study can also be used to understand why fish stressed by climate change-induced increases in temperature and deoxygenation will tend to breed at smaller sizes. they survive and reproduce.

“The relationship between length at first maturity and maximum length of marine and freshwater fish” has been published in the Journal of Fish Biology

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Reviews | GOP makes “critical race theory” the new “sharia law” Thu, 06 Jan 2022 02:40:12 +0000

The protests of the summer of 2020 were perhaps not only among the largest in the country, but also among the largest in the world.

Millions of people have taken to the streets to condemn the racism that permeates modern life, as well as decades of past injustice. Protesters called for responsibility through the ages. The oppressive policies and practices of that time as well as those of the past were tied together, a continuum, and all were to be overturned, their perpetrators brought to justice.

The lies America told itself about the degree and gravity of its oppression have been judged. The American narrative has been put to the test. And it didn’t go well.

There has been a great movement for many towards enlightenment, a massive removal of scales from the eyes. Industries have responded, schools have responded, citizens have responded.