Background: There has been systemic racism, at least on a regional level, in the United States. A nation that tolerates slavery is undeniably racists. 1865/post-Civil War; denying liberties for freed slaves in the former Confederate states was systemic racism. 1864/post-Civil War; Democrat-led proliferation of KKK organizations in nearly every county in the deep south was systemic racism. 1865-1964, for 99 years an underpinning of the Democrat party platform was segregation. That was pure, unadulterated, unambiguous, in-your-face systemic racism.
In 2016 Hillary Clinton set the stage for a new way to define racism with these prepared remarks: “You could put half of Trump’s supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables. They’re racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic, you name it.” In two sentences she defamed tens of millions of Americans with zero facts to back up her assertions and it stuck to the Democrat party. Since 2016 the Democrat party has expanded on what Hillary started to where we are today; that is, if you disagree with my platform or you are in agreement with President Trump’s policies you are a racist. That’s where the Democrats came up with their claim that systemic racism is rampant across the nation.
With that background let’s get to today’s issue, systemic racism. First, define systemic. It is “a practice, or set of beliefs that has been established as normative or customary throughout a political, social, or economic system; relating to or affecting the body as a whole.” The body as a whole; that’s us, you and me.
President Biden says over and over “The fact is, systemic racism touches every facet of American life.”
In order for Biden’s systemic racism theory, “touching every facet of American life”, to be true, how many of us have to be actively involved in being a racist? 100 million, 200 million? Stop reading right now. Stop. Before you go on take a few minutes to mentally cycle through your personal list of extended family members, neighbors, associates at work and friends. While doing this keep a tally of those who you believe are racist. For this exercise let’s further simplify racism as those white people who hate Black Americans and Black Americans who hate White Americans. This may take you awhile. Keep going.
Ok, how many did you come up with. I’m guessing, maybe two or three. Maybe only your weird Uncle Fred. I came up with exactly zero and I spent thirty-two years of my professional life interacting with Black Americans on a daily basis. I honestly believe if we asked all Americans to take this personal survey we would come up with similar results. So, who are the tens or hundreds of millions of racists touching “every facet of American life” day-in and day-out that Biden and the remainder of the Democrat party leaders are talking about?
I am seriously ashamed of this nation’s Democrat leaders who have made an intellectual choice to casually throw around the word racist as they go about their daily duties. I am enraged at those Democrats who work tirelessly to politicize racism for political party gain. I have absolute disrespect for those who seek to destroy the gains in integration and are so intellectually dishonest about Black achievements over the past fifty years.
Not to be underestimated, the Democrat leadership, aka the president, has taken the final step and allowed systemic racism to be morphed into an equally ugly and unfounded description of tens of millions of us, we are now also white supremacists.
Conclusion: the charge of systemic racism in America is a crock of crap.
CRITICAL RACE THEORY.
CRT, is based on the assumption that throughout US history, since the first slaves arrived in 1619, all American institutions and laws have been intentionally crafted so that white people can put up social, economic, and legal barriers between the races in order to maintain their elite status. From these assumptions the CRT folks have concluded that the source of poverty and criminal behavior in minority communities is due exclusively to these barriers.
But what if the assumptions that led us to the theory are not valid? I recently watched on TV a nationally recognized civil rights lawyer and spokesperson. When asked to define CRT he responded, “CRT is a pack of lies.”
Here are some thoughts I gleaned from work by John Horvat II, a brilliant scholar, researcher, educator, speaker and author. His bottom line is that CRT must be rejected if this country is to survive. Here are some CRT underpinnings to ponder:
CRT seeks to divide our society into two groups, the oppressors (white people) and the oppressed (black people) followed by constant struggle between the two. Result, a deep-seated national culture of blame and hatred.
CRT sees race as the preeminent prism through which all things are considered; history, economics, sociology, science, virtually all aspects of life. All current governing and cultural structures are tainted with racism, systemic racism.
CRT teaches that those who are oppressors are incapable of ridding themselves of their biases. They are irredeemable (as Hillary told us in 2016) and incapable of exercising free will to change.
CRT sees reform of race relations as impossible. Because racism is systemic, the present institutions cannot be redeemed or modified.
Given that CRT tells us all things must be seen through the prism of race, including the sciences, its promoters declare falsely that science, reason and logic are “white” ways of knowing things.
CRT weakens the bonds that create trust of individuals, of institutions and of government.
CRT is irreconcilable with traditional Christian teachings.
CRT is totalitarian and allows for no opposing theories.
CRT holds that America and white Americans are irredeemably racist. The solution is reverse racism which is called equity. “Equity”, not to be confused with equality, further transforms all elements of America from merit-based to equity based. Under equity, mediocracy will reign supreme.
Irrespective of this clear and present danger to our country, Critical Race Theory, Project 1619, and ethnic studies are being incorporated in public schools all over America. It’s part of an anti-racist mission that is anything but.
Imagine a couple of youngsters, one black, one white, from the same neighborhood; they are best friends, walk to school together, play ball after school and are in and out of each other’s homes frequently. Then, while getting their required weekly dose of CRT instruction, they suddenly look across the classroom at one another and think, wow I thought he was my friend but he is actually my enemy. Indoctrination.
CRT is potentially the most dangerous initiative ever undertaken in our history with almost unimaginable ramifications. For example, Damon Young, a senior editor of The Root and an occasional New York Times contributor, adds, “Whiteness is a public health crisis. It shortens life expediencies, it pollutes air, it constricts equilibrium, it devastates forests, it melts ice caps, it sparks (and funds) wars, it flattens dialects, it infests consciousnesses, and it kills people”.
In line with the woke revolution, President Biden’s Department of Education has signaled its intent to impose the most radical forms of Critical Race Theory on America’s schools.
CRT, in the process of being included in educational curriculum at all levels, is purely and simply indoctrination. It will guarantee the perpetuation of systemic racism and white supremacy in this country for generations.
Culture is a powerful and pervasive force in any organization. If we think of the US and an organization, over the past 20 years we have seen a culture of blame cultivated in Washington politics and spread across the nation. A culture of blame is so powerful and debilitating it has rendered our Congress ineffective. Then in 2016 Hillary started the hate culture movement. CRT has the potential to take both the cultures of blame and hate to new levels with devastating consequences for generations to come.
CAMPAIGN HOME ROOM.
Is CRT the solution to our pathetic failed education standards in elementary, secondary and higher educational institutions? Are we to be satisfied with an ever-increasingly racially divided nation? Are we to knuckle under to the Democrat leaders claims of systemic racism and white supremacy being taught to all of our youngsters? Is there no alternative solution?
The above, in this article, are what I call BGOs, blinding glimpses of the obvious. None of the above will fix racism or education and will probably make them worse. So where do we go from here with this discussion? I have for the past few years been advocating a race relation/education reform solution.
By comparison with Biden’s Department of Education, which is planning to continue to throw tens of billions of dollars at education to fix our pathetic system, what I am proposing is free. While the Department of Education will increase regulations and control of education from the top down, what I propose is completely run at the local level by County Boards of Education, superintendents and school principals. While the federal government mandates more failed curriculum changes, to include CRT, my solution is a proven concept and will fix education and race relations for generations to come. I call it Campaign Home Room.
It is always a good idea to begin long-range strategic planning with a statement of the problems to be solved.
Problem # 1: Race relations and education are not what they should be and we are moving in exactly the wrong direction. We need to change direction quickly or it will be too late.
Problem # 2: We are suffering from a culture of blame in both race relations and education. Blame is a powerful and pervasive force that is polarizing and provides no hope of moving forward. Blame must be supplanted with something positive.
Problem # 3: Kids are not born bigoted and hateful. They learn it. We have to change what they learn.
Problem # 4: Federal education programs costing hundreds of billions of dollars and utilizing thousands of bureaucrats have not worked. We have to decentralize decision making and execution.
Problem # 5: Every day thousands of U S students drop out of school and every year thousands more graduate from high school functionally illiterate. They do so because they got behind. We have to figure out why and fix it.
There is no quick fix for what has brought us to this impasse. The solution will only come if we change what our youngsters learn, how they think, what they believe in and how they behave.
All of these problems can be solved through a comprehensive Character Education program involving every school and every student in America. It will take a well thought out strategic campaign plan to reach all 60 million students.
This Concept of Operations, called Campaign Home Room, is not a guessing game. The strength of this concept is that there are existing successful models to lean on and learn from.
Strategic planning becomes easier if we can put a frame around the organization to gain focus on all the involved parties. The organization in question will consist of the following:
- 142,000 schools
- 180 million adults with children under age 18
- 60 million K-12 students
- 4.5 million teachers
- 2.4 million Home Room volunteers
- Over 200,000 Superintendents, Principals and Education Board members
That is about 250 million, three of every four Americans, will, in some way, be involved in Campaign Homeroom.
The concept is simple: The first twenty minutes of every school day will be devoted to Home Room period in which volunteers will teach a Character Curriculum every school day in every school to every student, grades K-12. Doing so will reset the value base in this country and establish a culture of accountability, respect and trust.
There was not and never will be a quick fix to the deep-seated five problems outlined above. It will take a generation to accomplish. It will transform America.
Here is the curriculum: accountability, citizenship, commitment, compassion, courage of convictions, courtesy, confidence, healthy habits, honesty, honor, humility, integrity, judgment, leadership, morality, perseverance, punctuality, respect, responsibility, self-respect, selfless service, sportsmanship and trust. That is, teach and talk about values. Call it the Character Curriculum. There will need to be three versions of the curriculum; elementary k-5, middle school 6-8 and high school 9-12. Out of this will come an overpowering culture of accountability, respect and trust across America.
This curriculum is transformational and this is what it will do:
- ACCOUNTABLE students do not resort to blame.
- Students who are steeped in COMMITMENT, CONFIDENCE, PERSEVERANCE, PUNCTUALITY and RESPONSIBILITY do not skip school, fall behind or drop out.
- Students who are deeply rooted in TRUST and RESPECT will strike down bullying and are unlikely to become racially bigoted adults.
- Students who are COMPASSIONATE, COURTEOUS, HONORABLE, GOOD CITIZENS and demonstrate the COURAGE OF THEIR CONVICTIONS do not join street gangs.
- Students who have accepted HONESTY, MORALITY AND INTEGRITY as their guiding light will likely be life-long upstanding citizens.
- Students who understand, live and accept a life of SELFLESS SERVICE are unlikely to become self-serving adults.
- Students who have an understanding that there is a lot they don’t yet know and even part of what they believe they know might be incorrect, have the quality of HUMILITY.
- Students who understand SELF-RESPECT recognize that they are now better than they used to be and can be counted on in times of temptation because they are morally dependable.
- With this value base, students across the nation are more likely to exercise good JUDGMENT and become great LEADERS.
The concept of using character education to “indoctrinate” youngsters has been effectively used by a national organization called The First Tee. It uses golf as the medium to bring kids together. The outcome is almost immediately transformational. I was involved with a First Tee chapter which provided character education to all of the 4th graders in a North Carolina county. The teachers very reluctantly observed the process until after about two months they all had an OMG moment. “What have you done to my students, they were asking, they are more attentive, more engaged in learning, more polite and understanding.” Studies of The First Tee program have shown that 100% of character education translates directly into the classroom and 80% into the students’ homes. A mother said to me, “what have you done to my teenage daughter, she now acts like a real human being?”
To be completely up front here, I have spent the last few years attempting to market this concept to include sending the Campaign Home Room document to President Trump, the VP, COS, White House principal deputies, Secretary DeVos and North Carolina political leaders, all to no avail. My conclusion is that it rarely, if ever, makes it through the mail room. All of the details for a national campaign of character education are contained in a 25-page White Paper. If any of you are interested, I will forward a digital copy to you upon request; my email, MandDcovault@yahoo.com
Our country is in trouble, serious trouble and moving in exactly the wrong direction. The kids are our future and what they learn today will define the future of America.
Just for a moment imagine, across this country, 60 million K-12 youngsters in 2.4 million Home Room classes at 8 o’clock every morning in every school in America being taught and mentored by 2.4 million volunteers on the subject of character. Campaign Home Room is within the art of the possible and “we the people”, not we the government, can make it happen and transform America.
About Marvin L. Covault
Marvin L. Covault, Lt Gen US Army, retired, is the author of VISION TO EXECUTION, a book for leaders, a columnist for THE PILOT, a national award-winning local newspaper in Southern Pines, NC and the author of a blog, WeThePeopleSpeaking.com.