Michigan School District Under Fire For “Equity Challenge” That Includes Joining BLM Protests

The Farmington Public School District in Michigan is under fire this week for a direct call for students to join a Black Lives Matter political protest and declaring that calling America “the land of opportunity” is a microaggression.

The controversial statements were made as part of the school’s “21 Day Equity Challenge.” The district declared that “we, together with you, hope to deepen our understanding about the members of our community and to use this knowledge to confront bigotry, hatred, and discrimination against any individual or group.”

There is nothing wrong with that statement or the purpose of such a challenge. However, there is a “personal action plan sheet” for students to track their progress in becoming antiracist. Directives include “join a Black Lives Matter or an affiliated protest” and “donate to bail efforts supporting people arrested for protesting against injustice.”

While the movement to address racism and affirming that black lives matter has widespread support, BLM as an organization remains highly controversial from involvement in past violent protests to anti-police rhetoric to calling for people not to buy products from white-owned businesses. Reasonable people can disagree on those objections but the point is BLM is an organization that comes with pronounced political viewpoints. The direct solicitation for parents and students to join BLM runs counter to the political neutrality expected from a public school system.

On the microaggression controversy, we have previously discussed such lists on the college level that specify issues ranging from seating choices to eye contact. Terms are flagged from “melting pot” to phrases like “pulling oneself up by your own bootstraps.” Such terms like “postracial” and “personal responsibility” have been added to lists. Even the word “triggering” has been declared “triggering.”

The district warned that saying that America is “the land of opportunity” is another microaggression to be avoided. Why? This country has a record number of people crossing our borders because of the opportunities that it affords to them. That does not mean that we do not have serious problems to address on social or racial equity. You can be supportive of such movements while recognizing that this country also remains a great magnet for those seeking greater opportunities.

The question is how the district choses between political causes. We discussed previously how New York gave students the day off to join climate change protests. I happen to support combatting climate change and have always favored robust environmental protections. However, would students be given the same support for joining protests in support of other causes like a pro-police or pro-life demonstration?

The problem is that these debates are often driven from the extremes. There are many parents who support students discussing racial equity but also do not support school districts engaging in direct political solicitations or associations. As on so many issues, that reasonable middle seems entirely ignored by officials pushing agendas from the extremes.  The result is that many families are questioning whether they can send their kids to public schools if they are going to be subjected to political agendas or indoctrination. That will only increase the flight to private schools or support for voucher programs.

 

 

63 thoughts on “Michigan School District Under Fire For “Equity Challenge” That Includes Joining BLM Protests”

  1. It’s nigh impossible to pass on any message, to the masses that lack the skill to read and comprehend.

    About all that could be accomplished is indoctrination, Its no mistake schools are more interested in social justice issues. Pushing all the social issues, where there exists no measurement of progress, and ignore, academics, where constant measures are taken to monitor progress.

    Civics and history have been replaced by CRT, and SJ silliness. Hence 30 year olds have no idea how govt works and how to implement change they desire in government.

    1. It’s nigh impossible to pass on any message, to the masses that lack the skill to read and comprehend.

      Even having reading comprehension skills do not help, it seems.

      I have been following with keen interest the Feds response to the Omicron variant viz a viz booster vaccine, masking, social distance, closing of schools, etc. We are way past the ignorant stage of the virus that caused COVID. There has been more scientific literature published on this topic in less than 18 months, from all sectors of the globe, than any other single topic in the same time frame in my lifetime. The amount of peer review scientific literature on COVID has been staggering. We are literally experiencing data fatigue.

      Yet no amount of information is going to dissuade Biden’s handlers, Fauci, CDC Wollensky and alas even once revered medical journals like the New England Journal of Medicine (to which I am still a subscriber but rarely consult anymore).

      It is alarming, scary, dangerous and perilous for society when each and every pressing issue, especially medically related issues, have to be presented with a narrative. Data no longer rules.

      the following is but one example, published from a scholarly medical journal with bullet proof data and respected authors, all ignored by US Federal Govt Health leaders. So I find myself more and more distrusting the elite “leaders” and advising patients and peers with evidenced based medical data, and walking away. I will not fight people who choose to disregard data in service to obsequiousness to a party platform. These people, on both sides of the aisle, are growing in numbers.

      Free link:

      Considerations in boosting COVID-19 vaccine immune responses – The Lancet

      https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(21)02046-8/fulltext

      Current evidence does not, therefore, appear to show a need for boosting in the general population, in which efficacy against severe disease remains high. Even if humoral immunity appears to wane, reductions in neutralising antibody titre do not necessarily predict reductions in vaccine efficacy over time, and reductions in vaccine efficacy against mild disease do not necessarily predict reductions in the (typically higher) efficacy against severe disease. This effect could be because protection against severe disease is mediated not only by antibody responses, which might be relatively short lived for some vaccines, but also by memory responses and cell-mediated immunity, which are generally longer lived.

      Estovir Translation: T cells. T cells (CD4 T cells and CD8 T cells) kill viruses intracellularly. Antibodies (synthesized by B cells) do not. And yet the CDC, FDA, Fauci (who knows better) completely disregard the data.

      1. So, Estovir, what do you think accounts for the wilful blindness of the public health leadership? I can think of several reasons:

        1. Promoting the financial interests of the pharmaceutical industry, which employs them when they leave public service and funds their work;

        2. Bias in favour of vaccines as a public health cure-all, and policy inertia even when they fail to do what they expect;

        3. Enhancement of control over peoples’ lives and decisions; and/or

        4. Service to a political party/ideology.

        The same wilful blindness applies to the adverse impacts of lockdowns, school closures, the relative inefficacy of cloth masks and the drive to vaccinate young children. All hard to fathom.

          1. The CDC has forfeited its trust. Even according to The Atlantic, Wollensky has been hyping a deeply flawed study of the efficacy of masks in schools. They have tailored their guidelines to meet the demands of the teachers unions. They approved an EUA of vaccines for children knowing the safety assessment was woefully inadequate and that the risks of serious illness or death from Covid to healthy children is extremely low. They rejected their panel’s advice when approving boosters. They have not done a proper assessment of adverse events reported in VAERS. They have equated dying from Covid to dying with it. Etc.

            1. All valid critiques. The CDC has lost its credibility, and all of them should have the scientific rigor to see their failures and remove themselves. They are not efficacious at all in the “treatment” of Americans.

                1. Yes, it is Prairie. Since the ancient times of Judaism, it has been taught that Pride (hubris) is the greatest of the 7 deadly sins (Pride, Sloth, Gluttony, Wrath, Greed, Envy, Lust)

                  CS Lewis, a former atheist and intellectual par excellence, stated it well on a BBC broadcast after he converted to Christianity, when he was asked:

                  What is the great sin? What sin is worse than any other?

                  C.S. Lewis replied to this question with clarity:

                  There is one vice of which no man in the world is free; which everyone in the world loathes when he sees it in someone else and of which hardly any people, except Christians, ever imagine that they are guilty themselves. There is no fault which makes a man more unpopular, and no fault which we are more unconscious of in ourselves. And the more we have it ourselves, the more we dislike it in others.

                  According to Christian teachers, the essential vice, the utmost evil, is Pride. Unchastity, anger, greed, drunkenness, and all that, are mere fleabites in comparison. It was through pride that the Devil became the Devil: Pride leads to every other vice. It is the complete anti-God state of mind.

                  https://www.crosswalk.com/church/pastors-or-leadership/insights-from-c-s-lewis-on-why-pride-is-the-greatest-sin.html

                  St Thomas Aquinas, one of the greatest and most brilliant philosophers of all time, taught in the Summa Theologiae:

                  Article 6. Whether pride is the most grievous of sins?

                  On the contrary, A gloss on Psalm 118:51, “The proud did iniquitously,” says: “The greatest sin in man is pride.”

                  I answer that, Two things are to be observed in sin, conversion to a mutable good, and this is the material part of sin; and aversion from the immutable good, and this gives sin its formal aspect and complement. Now on the part of the conversion, there is no reason for pride being the greatest of sins, because uplifting which pride covets inordinately, is not essentially most incompatible with the good of virtue. But on the part of the aversion, pride has extreme gravity, because in other sins man turns away from God, either through ignorance or through weakness, or through desire for any other good whatever; whereas pride denotes aversion from God simply through being unwilling to be subject to God and His rule. Hence Boethius [Cf. Cassian, de Caenob. Onst. xii, 7 says that “while all vices flee from God, pride alone withstands God”; for which reason it is specially stated (James 4:6) that “God resisteth the proud.” Wherefore aversion from God and His commandments, which is a consequence as it were in other sins, belongs to pride by its very nature, for its act is the contempt of God. And since that which belongs to a thing by its nature is always of greater weight than that which belongs to it through something else, it follows that pride is the most grievous of sins by its genus, because it exceeds in aversion which is the formal complement of sin.

                  https://www.newadvent.org/summa/3162.htm#article6

                  Anthony Fauci and Francis Collins aren’t the only ones who struggle with pride, we all do.

                  This dovetails nicely to the meaning of Christmas: extreme humility in the Divine God-Person of Jesus Christ

                  Oremus!

                  1. For a proper view of pride (not hubris) as a virtue, as the value of moral ambition, see Aristotle:

                    ‘[G]reatness in every virtue would seem to be characteristic of the proud man. And it would be most unbecoming for the proud man to fly from danger, swinging his arms by his sides, or to wrong another; for to what end should he do disgraceful acts, he to whom nothing is great? … pride, then, seems to be a sort of crown of the virtues; for it makes them greater, and it is not found without them. Therefore it is hard to be truly proud; for it is impossible without nobility and goodness of character.” (The Nicomachean Ethics)

          2. “. . . trust the public health officers . . .”

            Any person who trusts government bureaucrats on any issue, deserves what he gets — especially on this issue. They are motivated by a desire for unearned attention and money, and control over individual lives. To them, science is a handmaiden of power-lust.

        1. Bias in favour of vaccines as a public health cure-all, and policy inertia even when they fail to do what they expect;

          Vaccines work as much as blood pressure meds, cancer chemo drugs, diabetic meds, statins, aspirin, acetaminophen, ibuprofen, naproxen, cortisone, etc. When these drugs fail, people do not go on a scorched Earth carpet bombing of the drugs. All drugs are experimental and they can only do so much. Some drugs are efficacious in some people but provide little to no relief in others, making them experimental at best, ineffective in some. Vaccines are wise. But like acetaminophen not always providing relief from headaches or fevers, you use it in hopes it will work on you.

          That said, the career of medicine has been stripped of its prestige and honor by the Feds. It started with Bush and gained full power under Obama with EMR and Obamacare. Physicians today are as much cogs in an health organization as auto workers and Amazon distribution center employees. So to answer your question, many physicians today will pursue other avenues where the shiny metal object lures them to a more (immediate) gratification, but at a cost of integrity, IMHO. I believe Fauci pursued the tact he did because he was aware of the poor health most Americans have due to obesity and the usual comorbities. He was right. People who are obese should all get vaccinated plus booster. His recent tact, though, has been disappointing, as has Dr Francis Collins at the NIH. They are shutting down academic discourse and that is a tell. Science is all about dialogue, disagreeing, updating older paradigms and adopting new ones. Nothing is constant in medicine.

          1. I agree with you. They have been shutting down academic discourse at least since the conference call of Feb 1, 2020 when they appear to have agreed with the virologists they fund to suppress the lab-leak hypothesis. The recent evidence of their effort to take down the GBD shows they have no interest in genuine scientific debate. Fauci has revealed himself to be a tyrannical bureaucrat who should have been gone decades ago.

            1. “Fauci has revealed himself to be a tyrannical bureaucrat who should have been gone decades ago.”

              Hear, hear!

              But the fundamental issue is not just Fauci. He is merely the type of political creature who emerges when there is government-funded/government-controlled “science.” Every time, a Lysenko appears — and actual scientists are squelched.

              1. Sam, I agree. Fauci is an exemplar of a career bureaucrat who would flourish in an authoritarian state. He would fit in perfectly in the Third Reich, the USSR or the PRC. It is a structural defect for our system to permit someone to remain for so long at the head of an organisation, and to combine the functions of funding and pandemic response.

        2. “The same wilful blindness . . .”

          For a comprehensive explanation of that “blindness” among public health officials (e.g., Fauci), read:

          _A Plague Upon our House: My Fight at the Trump White House to Stop COVID from Destroying America_, by Dr. Scott Atlas (Stanford University).

          He was present when Fauci, et al., mixed politics and medicine — and came up with politics. One of his key points is how astoundingly ignorant the public health officials are of the actual science.

  2. Then the school district pressured students to join a violent, antisemitic, racist organization, which violated their civil rights.

    The anti-semitism of BLM is well recorded.

    Their promotion of defending police, which leads to more crime, including murder, is on record.

    BLM protests regularly devolving into rioting, looting, and arson, is well recorded.

    BLM’s racist statements against whites, Asians, and at times, Latinos, is on record.

    Compelled speech is anathema to free speech.

    Where the Leftists made their fatal mistake was in going after kids. Parents across the country have had enough. They’re voting out School Board members. Pulling their kids out of public school and homeschooling them. Protesting school board meetings.

    Go after kids, and rouse Mama and Daddy Bear.

  3. The hypocrisy and contradictions on the left are on display in schools like this. They claim to be confronting bigotry and hatred, while promoting bigotry against whites and hatred of the country. They encourage participation in BLM protests as a way to combat racism, but neglect to point out the racism and hatred inherent in the BLM movement — and there have been plenty of speeches by BLM leaders that attest to their vile hatred and racism. These schools are setting up generations of kids to be very confused and intolerant, not to mention ignorant, future citizens of a country they have been taught to hate.

  4. I am not sure which anonymous you are, but are you suggesting that what I wrote was too difficult for you or ATS? I responded to Iowan who sounds like he is at a high enough level.

  5. If ANYONE questions BLM and its holy mission, they are a NAZI and deserve doxxing and social shunning.

    And remember, anyone who participates in a BLM mostly peaceful protest is protected from contracting covid. The virus is a microscopic social justice warrior and knows if you’re naughty or nice. Now if you want to go to church, that’s deadly.

    antonio

  6. “. . . declaring that calling America ‘the land of opportunity’ is a microaggression.”

    Remind me, again, how CRT is *not* being taught in the public schools.

    (And, yes, that noxious idea is a page out of the CRT playbook.)

  7. On the microaggression controversy, we have previously discussed such lists on the college level that specify issues ranging from seating choices to eye contact. Terms are flagged from “melting pot” to phrases like “pulling oneself up by your own bootstraps.” Such terms like “postracial” and “personal responsibility” have been added to lists. Even the word “triggering” has been declared “triggering.”

    It is a tricky dance, but with a little practice we will all be dancing toe to toe

    Ah one, and ah two, and ah

  8. Let me see if I got this straight: the anencephalic administrators at this school want to confront “bigotry, hatred, and discrimination against any individual or group” by participating in a protest by a hypocritical organization known to endorse “bigotry, hatred, and discrimination against any individual or group”?

  9. For all of the crimes they commit against us, blacks owe it to us to use racial slurs. Their the ones who should be punished for having a problem with it.
    They’re just words…abstractions…not nearly as bad as stabbings and shootings and beatings.

  10. Dang. Michigan is just dumpster fire at this point, and it’s one the electorate lit themselves. Wasn’t what happened to Detroit bad enough on its own? Guess not.

  11. Why not expand “separation of church and state” to mean “separation of orthodoxy and state”, because political correctness and wokism are religion-like orthodoxies.

    1. I don’t think a public school system should be holding anything like a 21 Day Equity Challenge. The term “Equity” is now code for a complex of sociopolitical views that identify racism, said to be “systemic”, as the principal explanation for a variety of disparate socioeconomic outcomes between groups. No matter how nice the words chosen to define the purpose of a program like this, it is in fact a form of political indoctrination. Promoting “social justice” or other activism is inherently political.

      Instead, public school systems should be teaching students the capabilities they will need to succeed in life. Among these is the capacity for critical thinking. This could include, in the higher grades, consideration of different explanations for disparities between groups, as part of a social studies or history curriculum. The ideas of Sowell and Kendi could be contrasted, for example. Chapters from Wilfred Reilly’s “Taboo” might be read. Students could then decide for themselves how to react to BLM demonstrations and other “social justice” actions.

      1. Promoting “social justice” or other activism is inherently political.

        True. But, if the ‘educators’ would spend as much time studying the federalists papers as they spend on social justice, they would see what we have is the answer, not the problem. The schools should be teaching that the people are sovereign and the govt subordinate to the people. (But that would reveal that teachers answer to PARENTS, and not the Union, or , administration, or the Stated board of education. )

        BLM is an AstroTurf movement supposedly to give voice to the people. But the people have no influence on the message. If the School were honest, the message being delivered is NOT the voice of the people, but rather a very vocal, extremely small, group of ideologues. The people have no influence on the message, BLM is telling them what to think, not the other way around.

        Our representative form of govt is exactly what these school administrators say they are advocating, except it is just the opposite.

        1. School administration needs to answer to school boards and parents, too. They are leaders in the district and are introducing a lot of the garbage, too.

      2. Daniel — good suggestions. Unfortunately, they would require thinking and discussing — both verboten by today’s leftists.

  12. The people in Farmington Public School District need to physically shut down school board meetings and schools in protest until all the school board members that voted for this pure unadulterated political indoctrination policy are completely removed from the board and the policy is abolished.

      1. Sorry Iowan, Merry Christmas. Maybe I needed my coffee before jumping to conclusions. I guess it is seeing JeffSilberman and Anonymous 1000 times a day that had me running in the wrong direction.

  13. 3 weeks with this nonsense and when the kids can’t read, write and do arithmetic – it will be because systemic racism. It proves they were right all along.

    1. Iowan, I think in NYC public schools, it might be ~⅓ (proficient). Of course, it is also definitional since children are supposed to read and write before graduating, yet they graduate without reading or writing at a reasonable level.

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