Teaching Villains and Heroes

Dedicated to all child victims of racial discrimination

 

The history and lives of South Africans are beset with ironic contradictions. As the saying goes: the more things change, the more they stay the same. In my life time alone, I have witnessed a white supremacist system of oppression obsessed with race replaced with an Afrocentric socialist system fixated on achieving equality through racial quotas. Left-wing racialist agendas have now completely conquered my erstwhile homeland and this system gets re-elected time and again despite its obvious and dangerous failings. Its re-election is mostly riding on a catalogue of grievances against the white community cynically exploited by black nationalist parties such as the African National Congress and the Economic Freedom Fighters. Some of them are genuine grievances, but others are simply divisive inventions and the antithesis to the non-racial society envisioned by well-meaning South Africans during the transition period from minority rule to democracy.

Even after the advent of multi-racial democracy, there remains much division between different race groups in South Africa, although there has been drastic improvement. Whether it will be sustained, depends on whether liberal colour-blindness will triumph over leftist race-obsession, but I am not holding my breath.

We came to the United Kingdom, to provide our son with a better education free from the failing system in South Africa and the illiberal education with its distorted view of our history which is imposed by the government on the vulnerable minds of young children. So, the educational needs of our son are of paramount concern to us.

We are therefore horrified when we were informed of the creeping pressures in the United Kingdom to have Critical Race Theory (CRT) included in the training of teachers. This is nothing more than a subtle and surreptitious attempt to smuggle a racialist agenda into education of children, which is premised – and goes in tandem with – the decolonization of British – specifically white Britons’ – history. Teach the teachers and they will ultimately – whether subtly or directly – teach the children what they as teachers have been taught.

A crucial element of CRT is the belief that white people – including their children – are inherently racist. Even if they do not intend to be racist, they are nonetheless racist. The only redemption from this political original sin is to admit and confess one’s racist leanings and one’s subconscious belief in white supremacy. Denying that you are inherently racist is an act of racism and makes you an even greater racist.

Conversely, liberal universalism and colour-blindness have always been the natural enemy of all racial educators. Both Black consciousness movements and the alt-right share a core belief that races are fundamentally dissimilar and they should be treated differently including in their schooling. CRT is an off-shoot of black nationalist ideology, such as black consciousness, which are the opposite of liberal values. It is worthy of mentioning that black consciousness leader, Steve Biko, made no secret of his deep dislike for white and black liberals, neither did Pan-Africanist intellectuals. They could stand a white racist, but not a white liberal, because the former’s ideas were founded on racial dichotomies (which they understood), not on universalism (which they disapproved of). Denying that there are indeed such moral divisions amongst races, would pull the rug from under their nationalist feet and that is why they resist it tooth and nail.

Despite its patent insanity, CRT is winning ground in educational spheres, precisely the space where we want our son to receive a proper education free from politics. Many schools are now requiring their educators and other staff to undergo training such was the case of the notorious ‘Racial Literacy 101’ training of teachers planned by the Brighton and Hove City Council (BHCC) as part of their strategy of becoming an ‘anti-racist council’. Ant-racism in itself is commendable and I would decidedly support it, but the council’s idea of anti-racism is far removed from the common sense and dictionary definitions of anti-racism. It is itself racism masquerading as anti-racism in the same manner that North Korea calls itself a democracy.

There are many aspects of CRT making it unsuitable to teach to young children, such as the scientifically flaws of the theory and other points of criticism too numerous to discuss here. But as a parent, there is a dimension to CRT teaching, which perturbs me, namely the detrimental effect CRT will have on children’s mental well-being. And for me the stakes are particularly high as I am the father of an impressionable, kind-hearted (white) eleven-year-old boy. My wife and I can only do so much in the privacy of our home to counter the anti-white prejudices of the CRT curriculum. Our son spends a large part of his day under the care of teachers armed with woke notions. He will inevitably be indoctrinated with the idea that he is at heart a dyed-in-the-wool racist, whether he intends to be one or not. In other words, he is taught that he is a villain (as he would say: the bad guy), solely because of his history and racial descent. It is common sense that such an approach will do nothing but damage his self-esteem and his view of himself. Surely, no form of education that is calculated to make my son have a negative appraisal of himself and cause irreparable damage to his mind, can be lawful?

Purely on this point itself, there is a strong case to be made against CRT in its various guises: It is patently a form emotional abuse[1]. CRT education is simply cruel and inhuman and a safeguarding issue.

Furthermore, accusing white children of being inherently racist, smacks of racial essentialism which is a text book example of racism. And here is another evil that raises its ugly head: CRT will achieve nothing less than legitimizing racial discrimination in education as white and black children will be taught different facts and disseminate (false) differential perceptions of themselves. (One can, amongst other laws, argue that it is a breach of the Equality Act 2010.[2])

It must be borne in mind that the necessary campaign against CRT in education, also affects other areas of society, as once CRT becomes accepted in education, there will be a drive to have it accepted in other spheres of public life too until it becomes ubiquitous. At that stage, the damage to British society will become irreversible. Therefore, it is in the interests of all Britons, whether one has children or not, to make their voices of opposition heard.

There are two steps for creating a unified front against the leftist forces wishing to undermine liberal values. Firstly, all like-minded individuals and organizations should congregate around a single platform through which ideas and strategies can be discussed. In order to create this platform, current structures should reach out to one another with the view of forming such a forum. This platform will form the springboard from which legal actions can be taken. A joint organisation will be able to mobilise support for the cause to keep children safe from woke indoctrination.

Secondly, funding is indispensable and there will be a need for active campaigning by the mentioned platform to raise the resources required for litigation. This will mean that the platform of all concerned about CRT in education should approach the public, charities and political formations for financial assistance. It will be a good call to first introduce the forum to the public through the media. I believe there are many high profile and ordinary, skilled people who can contribute to this. YouTubers, writers, journalists, bloggers, pamphleteers and others can pool their services together to engage the public and present arguments and facts about CRT encroachment on the liberties of the British people. It will raise awareness of the threat that woke education poses and invite the public to assist the platform.

I sincerely believe that approaching the courts will be the most effective means to protect children from CRT indoctrination. Not only is this the most powerful tool as it can be enforced through the remedies available in law, it is also the most honourable solution. It is opposed to becoming a populist movement which resorts to public mudslinging and trolling in defence of its cause, such as many alt-right organisations and left-wing activists choose to utilise. The strategy of choice will be to confirm and protect the rights of children through the courts.

In conclusion, in spite of my reservations about Steve Biko and the black consciousness movement, I do agree with his assessment that whites are not better than black people and black people not inferior to whites. I believe that Biko’s essential intention was for whites and blacks to meet each other as equals and not in a position of power of one over the other and this is a profoundly sensical one. This also accords with the liberal observation that there is no skin colour for human evil and no particular ethnicity for moral goodness. Reality shows us that no race is per se villainous or heroic and no child should be taught otherwise.

Judging all people based on their character and not on physical features is a noble approach which should never be abandoned. It was this ideal which informed the civil rights movement of the American Dr Martin Luther King, anti-apartheid politicians such as Alan Paton and Frederick van Zyl Slabbert and a plethora of other liberal thinkers. Non-discrimination is the culmination of centuries of liberal theory’s development.

Without colour-blindness, Britain will collapse in competing racial nationalisms such as has happened in the Balkans, which will lead to a dark place where this country will destroy itself.

Let us rise and fight all ideologies on the left and right which want to take us there.

Johan M. Labuschagne is a South African lawyer currently residing with his family in the United Kingdom. He read law, psychology and German literature at the University of Pretoria and worked in various fields of the law.

[1] The 2018 HM Government report, ‘Working together to safeguard children’, defines “child emotional abuse” as: “The persistent emotional maltreatment of a child such as to cause severe and persistent adverse effects on the child’s emotional development. It may involve conveying to a child that they are worthless or unloved, inadequate, or valued only insofar as they meet the needs of another person. It may include not giving the child opportunities to express their views, deliberately silencing them or ‘making fun’ of what they say or how they communicate. It may feature age or developmentally inappropriate expectations being imposed on children. These may include interactions that are beyond a child’s developmental capability, as well as overprotection and limitation of exploration and learning, or preventing the child participating in normal social interaction. It may involve seeing or hearing the ill-treatment of another. It may involve serious bullying (including cyber bullying), causing children frequently to feel frightened or in danger, or the exploitation or corruption of children. Some level of emotional abuse is involved in all types of maltreatment of a child, though it may occur alone.”

[2] Section 4 of the Equality Act 2010 stipulates that race is a ‘protected characteristic’ and it is unlawful to directly or indirectly discriminate against people based on their race.

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