In Mayor Dedinas Jan. 18 Mayor’s Corner opinion column, he correctly denounced the violent group of rioters that assaulted our nation’s capital on Jan. 6. These extremists driven by hate wrapped themselves in the flag carrying the name of their narcistic leader and descended into the abyss of staggering irrationality. Five human lives were lost. But it was also a disturbing failure of government to provide sufficient security measures. I’m confident the Mayor will also join me in condemning the months of violence from the 2020 extremists that perpetrated severe damage to black and minority neighborhoods falsely claiming it was in the name of social justice. The destruction they caused disproportionately hit black communities in Kenosha, Wisconsin, Minneapolis, and Chicago. The riots destroyed black lives, black livelihoods, and black monuments. At least 26 Americans died in those riots, most of them black.
These two extreme groups share a common bond in their nihilism and disdain for the truth. They are consumed by hate. They in no way represent most decent Americans that participated in this last election cycle regardless of political affiliation or who they voted for. The mayor’s comment that the “rule of law, and defense of our Constitution and our Democracy in the United States of America all came under assault” should be equally applied to both these groups of violent extremists. The hate they share is tragic and should be condemned by all regardless of political affiliation. I completely share the Mayors heightened respect, “for our democratic and Constitutional protections based around the need to defend the rule of law and prevent mob rule.”
The Mayor and I share a common history. During the last century both our parents were subjected or threatened by fascist and totalitarian government persecution in Europe. The fact that our ancestors were citizens contributing loyally was insignificant in the end as these governments used state developed propaganda to convince much of their citizenry that our families and others that shared their ethnicity were different, privileged, never loyal and the cause of many of the country’s problems. Many bought into this hate based cynical and intolerant orthodoxy. Our immediate families were fortunate to escape receiving asylum in America. Both my father and uncle went on to serve during World War II. However, many members of our extended families’ that stayed in Europe were not so fortunate. Many were deported to government run death camps where 6 million were systematically killed and that included 1 million children. It didn’t matter that they were citizens of these European countries. Many of their fellow citizens went along with this crowd madness.
It is always advisable to use extreme caution when making comparisons to events that occurred in Europe during the last century as context is important however, in the case of the discriminatory nature of what is being proposed in the current California’s Ethnic Studies curriculum its similarities of intolerance are disturbing and inevitably lead to tragic outcomes. While the proposed California Ethic Studies targets multiple children to be subjected to their post-modernist view that promotes hate it is a subset of citizens that is being singled out for special attention due to their ethnic connections to a geographic location. These propagandists extrapolate their preferred bits of data to support their political aspirations a familiar tactic used extensively in the last century to turn citizens against their neighbors by championing a culture where truths are replaced by lies. They say they are promoting it for purposes of justice and progress and that is what makes this tactic so insidious. The distorted narrative that is being held up by the State of California Is attempting to erase a portion of our fellow citizens from history using historical negationism to distort historical record. Additionally, it adopts the ideology of intersectionalism that categorizes students into powerful oppressors and disempowered victims, defines them based on inborn color-based identity not individual characteristics. There is nothing progressive or liberal about what is being proposed. It is not only illiberal but un-American in how it promotes toxic political ideologies. Some of what is being proposed is a list of 154 influential people of color that does not include Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., John Lewis, or Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall. It does suggest including the promotion of violent revolutionaries like Pol Pot, the communist leader of Cambodia’s Khmer Rouge. Mr. Pot was responsible for the murder of a quarter of the Cambodian population during the 1970s.
Our nation’s history it is filled with cruelty and many horrific injustices. It is absolutely the case that the current curriculum does not accurately or sufficiently focus on the experiences, histories, cultures, struggles and accomplishments of our fellow Americans within American history and society. But the pursuit of truth should be the only guiding principle. Additionally, a more complete story must include the great progress achieved specifically by those who made the ultimate sacrifice. They believed in our founding principles and fought to ensure those principles can now apply to all citizens equally. But a radical distortion that promotes a political agenda is not the response we should accept. It is an attempt to divide us into warring tribes by not teaching history in context. Its intent is indoctrination not education.
Finally, there are leaders and organization that are standing up against this mandatory curriculum that perpetrates a “perversion of history. My hope is that Mayor Dedina will support leaders like Clarence Jones former legal counsel and speech writer for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. who weighed in with “a plea for moral reasoning and decency” in a letter to Gov. Gavin Newsom. The Alliance for Constructive Ethnic Studies and the recently formed Foundation Against Intolerance and Racism (FAIR) are two organizations that all, especially parents, should consider looking at and help the fight to remove political agendas from Ethnic Studies. But time is running out. It is only the pursuit of truth that should matter.