Author of 1619 Project Tells Us All Why We Are Bad People for Being Engaged in Our Children’s Education – Opinion

Before moving to Western Maryland, I lived for about 12 years in the District of Columbia. I owned an 1885 rowhouse that I’d bought at the absolute bottom of the real estate market. My street, one-block long and located near U Street NW was changed over time. It had shifted from being inhabited by only one-third of its houses to being 100% owner-occupied. It was close-knit. The neighbor group was close-knit and did many things together. For my wife and myself, the break point came when our four-year old daughter turned 4. DC had mandatory pre-K…they pushed it like they thought giving your kid to the DC public school system was some sort of enormous favor they were doling out. Although it is not an utterly dystopic nightmare, the local elementary school can be misinterpreted as one when given proper lighting. It was possible to apply to send your kid “out of district” to a different school, but the word was that if you opened your mouth, the principal would blackball your application the next academic year. Even with discounts and “scholarships,” parochial schools were not a viable financial option for us as we already had two kids and planned on more.

We made the decision to leave DC with some regret. My wife informed a couple friends that we would likely be leaving DC due to the inequalities of the DC school system. We were unwilling to give our little girl to the cares of the school. Surprisingly, her reaction was hostile. It will not get any better if involved parents continue to abandon DC schools. The system will improve only if parents are involved and stay in DC to work for improvements.

Of course this was lunacy on several levels. The hubris in thinking that DC Public Schools actually gave a rat’s ass about parents or children gave us a good laugh. It seemed like we were being selfish in thinking that our concern for children would lead to some system-wide reform. Age of Aquarius was a time when the criminally insane and corrupt staff of DC School System would cease working for their own benefit and instead work for the good of all students. Are these people blaming us for our mistakes? Are they stupid?

The long story is that we made the move and never regret it. In theory, my wife’s friends might have been correct, but I really don’t care. I am not qualified to help a hostilized organization, but it is my responsibility. And, most importantly, my child is not an experiment in social justice.

I say this as a preface to my take on an NPR article in which Terry Gross of Fresh Air interviews fraudster and racist…I’m sorry, did I say that? I meant “journalist” Nikole Hannah-Jones.

Hannah-Jones is most famous as the intellectual engine behind the debunked and discredited “1619 Project,” pushed by the New York Times as an alt-history of the United States in which everything since the White LionDropped anchor at Point Comfort (VA) in 1619 was about slavery.

Hannah Jones is focusing on racism in school choice this time. The interview is titled How The Systemic Segregation Of Schools Is Maintained By ‘Individual Choices.’

The argument’s top line is this:

Journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones tells Fresh Air‘s Terry Gross that when it comes to school segregation, separate is never truly equal.

Still, when it was time for Hannah-Jones’ daughter, Najya, to attend kindergarten, the journalist chose the public school near their home in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, even though its students were almost all poor and black or Latino. Hannah-Jones later wrote about that decision in The New York Times Magazine.

Hannah Jones saw sending Najya at the nearby school as a moral matter. “It is important to understand that the inequality we see, school segregation, is both structural, it is systemic, but it’s also upheld by individual choices,” she says. “As long as individual parents continue to make choices that only benefit their own children … we’re not going to see a change.”

Hannah Jones says that Hannah is happy for her daughter at school. “I know she’s learning a lot,” she says. “I think it is making her a good citizen. … It is teaching her that children who have less resources than her are not any less intelligent than her or not any less worthy than her.”

This multitude of assertions can be overwhelming. It’s hard to find the right place to start.

First off, there are literally no segregated K-12 schools in the United States, so the “separate but equal” trope that was made illegal in Brown vs. Board of Education doesn’t really apply. Hannah Jones goes to great lengths in trying to confound housing patterns that evolved over 60 years into segregation. It isn’t. Hannah Jones has chosen to move in with her child to a New York City minority-majority neighborhood and to send her to school there. These decisions were made entirely at her own discretion. She ought to be allowed to accept the goodwill of parents who choose to reside elsewhere. She doesn’t, but then again, she did come up with the Queen of Bad Faith Arguments, the 1619 Project.

The lack of strong principals, poor teachers or a dearth in technology at schools that have a large minority student population isn’t evidence. Parents need to question why school boards will accept bad outcomes for their students. It is more complex than just skin color. Stable two-parent households with regular income, parents engaged in the child’s education, parents who see value in education, and books in the home, all have a much more significant impact on learning than skin color. But don’t rely on my judgment. You might be wondering why DC Public Schools spends nearly $24,000 per student per year, and produces what it does.

Hannah Jones refers to virtue signaling several times. This is the first example:

“As long as individual parents continue to make choices that only benefit their own children … we’re not going to see a change.”

In this segment, she hits again

And no, my daughter is not going to get an education that she would get if I paid $40,000 a year in private-school tuition, but that’s kind of the whole point of public schools.

And I say this — and it always feels weird when I say it as a parent, because a lot of other parents look at you a little like you’re maybe not as good of a parent — I don’t think she’s deserving of more than other kids. I just don’t. I think that we can’t say “This school is not good enough for my child” and then sustain that system. I think that that’s just morally wrong. If it’s not good enough for my child, then why are we putting any children in those schools?

This is the crux of the issue. My children are my most precious possession. My kids are my greatest treasures. I’ll do everything I can to make sure they have a successful career. I don’t know that my kids are “more deserving” than other kids, but they are deserving of 100% of the time, effort, and resources I can contribute towards their success. I can’t afford $40K/year for private school, but when it became apparent that our son was being shunted off to the back of the class with the rest of the boys by the mean-girls club that masqueraded as teachers at his elementary school, we elected to homeschool. When COVID made “remote learning” a thing, we intervened to get our youngest graduated a year early to get her out of that crap.

She also seems to miss the part where we are not voluntarily “sustaining” broken school systems. These taxes are paid by us, regardless of whether we like the product. She also seems not to realize that just because I say a school is too f***ed up for me to risk sending my kid there doesn’t mean that other parents haven’t arrived at a different decision. The fact that sh**holes like DC Public Schools exist is because the parents of students in that system are perfectly happy with its history of failure and neglect. They have the same right to make their own judgments as mine.

My children are my first and last thoughts every day. They are my first, and often last thought each day. They deserve nothing less from me. But just as I’m not going to butt into your family to tell you what your kids need in the way of education, I will kick your ass if you try to interfere in my right to make those decisions in my household. Stay in your, and we’ll all be a lot happier.

Also, I thought that this was patriarchal and if it wasn’t downright classist.

This is her way of teaching children with less resources that her to be intelligent and worthy.

My kids don’t need public schools to know that poor kids aren’t less intelligent or less deserving of a fair chance than they are. I’ve told them about my father and grandfather starting to work in the mines and mills of West Virginia at age 13. This lesson is taught to them at church when they do Bible study at their homes and participate in volunteer work. If you can’t be bothered to personally teach your kid the basics of humanity…welp, I got nothing.

Hannah Jones seems determined to try to introduce the corrupt Equity component of the Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity trinity to schools. It seems that in order for minorities to receive an education, there must be a minimum number of children from different income groups and races. It leads to bussing and the assigning of students based on race and income. Parents who are able to flee from such an arrangement will be able to do so in a short time. The current political climate sees state legislatures increasingly linking school tax dollars to students and not the school districts. Hannah-Jones claims this does not strengthen public education. Ironically, if I really wanted to demolish the current public education system in favor of one with greater parental choice and freedom, I’d support everything Hannah-Jones is trying to accomplish.


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