As part of its “Ethnic Studies Initiative,” Santa Clara County, California’s Office of Education recently lectured its teachers that the United States is a “parasitic” system which has led to “domestic violence, drug overdoses, and other social problems.”
The county’s teacher workshops were in preparation for implementation of the state’s new ethnic studies curriculum.
California approved the 900-page curriculum last month. Its overview section states oppression will be studied via the intersection(s) of “patriarchy, cisheteropatriarchy, exploitative economic systems, ableism, ageism, anthropocentrism, xenophobia, misogyny, antisemitism, anti-blackness, anti-indigeneity, Islamophobia, and transphobia.”
According to a new report by Christopher Rufo at City Journal, presenters at the Santa Clara workshops “encouraged teachers to inject left-wing politics into the classroom and to hide controversial materials from parents.”
One of the presenters, Jorge Pacheco, was an advisor to the (ethnic studies) curriculum. He said the document is based on the work of Paulo Freire, a Brazilian Marxist known for his “pedagogy of the oppressed.”
Rufo reports Pacheco told his audience the term “Marxist” can “scare people away,” and as such teachers should take care to hide what they’re teaching: “[We] have to be extra careful about what is being said, since we can’t just say something controversial now that we’re in people’s homes [because of remote learning].”
Pacheco then argued that the United States is a political regime based on “settler colonialism,” which he describes as a “system of oppression” that “occupies and usurps land/labor/resources from one group of people for the benefit of another.” The settler colonialist regime, Pacheco continues, is “not just a vicious thing of the past, but [one that] exists as long as settlers are living on appropriated land.” The white colonialist regime of the United States is a “parasitic system” responsible for domestic violence, drug overdoses, and other social problems. In a related PowerPoint slide, Pacheco presented examples of this oppression, including “men exploiting women,” “white people exploiting people of color,” and “rich people exploiting poor people.”
What is the solution? Pacheco argues that teachers must “awaken [students] to the oppression” and lead them to “decodify” and eventually “destroy” the dominant political regime. The first step in this process is to help students “get into the mind of a white man” such as Christopher Columbus and analyze “what ideology led these white male settlers to be power and land hungry and justify stealing indigenous land through genocide.” Pacheco describes this process as transforming students into “activist intellectuals” who “decodify systems of oppression” into their component parts, including “white supremacy, patriarchy, classism, genocide, private property, and God.”
Pacheco, who’s also president of the California Latino School Boards Association, also told his audience it should “cash in on kids’ inherent empathy” by turning them into activists as early as first grade.
IMAGES: WAYHOME studio / Shutterstock.com; Christopher Rufo / Twitter screencap