What's the opposite of "woke"? Asleep.
The right-wing movement to keep everybody unconscious throughout their schooling --that's happening in Watauga County. It's happening in Transylvania County (see the last post down-column). It's happening all over North Carolina. It's really been happening in Tennessee next door, gangbusters! And it's presumably happening just about everywhere across the continent -- insurgency campaigns with know-nothing school board candidates who intend to take public schooling back to pious praise for the heroism and virtue of white male Europeans of the 17th and 18th centuries, and leave all that sensitivity and "diversity" out of it.
Guilt is magical, but in the case of what these people like to label "critical race theory," the magic is dark arts, as the historic facts about the subjugation of brown and black people provoke shame in some people who then feel the need to smash the faces of those who made them feel guilty.
"I was comfortable not knowing. Now I'm pissed off. And anyway, it didn't happen like that."
I've been listening a little to a guy from Michigan named Larry Arnn. He's the president of strictly Christian Hillsdale College and the intellectual juice behind the nation-wide school-board takeover. Arnn recently hosted an invitation-only private confab at a Cool Springs, Tenn., conference center. Don't know exactly who attended, but the governor of Tennesse was there, Bill Lee, who shared the stage with Arnn and fawned on him as "the champion of American exceptionalism."
A hidden camera caught Arnn's keynote address at Cool Springs about American education and how he intends to reform it, based on his understanding that the American Republic actually began to get weird after the Civil War and go on the wrong path that led inevitably to all the racial and gender sensitivities and political correctness imposed on American public school teaching at this present hour.
On the Black struggle for equality, Arnn teaches that "the civil rights movement was almost immediately turned into programs that ran counter to the lofty ideals of the Founders." On federal laws opening up lunch counters and outlawing discrimination in restaurants, hotels, and theaters, Arnn says, "This was where the line between private conscience and government coercion began to blur." He doesn't like that, and the big money that backs him doesn't either.
Salon reported in a three-part investigative series in March about "how Hillsdale quietly became one of the most influential forces in conservative politics. The school's 1,500-student campus in southern Michigan draws leading right-wing intellectuals, politicians and even Supreme Court justices. Its Washington, D.C., branch hosts a rotating cast of conservative pundits and Republican staffers as guest faculty."
Arnn sparked controversy nearly a decade ago with a sarcastic reference to minorities as "dark ones": "And the administrators you hire are all diversity people — and that helps you, by the way, with your federal requirements that you have a certain number by color," he continued. "Now, because they are appointing all these diversity officers, what are their degrees in? Education. It's easy. You don't have to know anything." (I know I have former colleagues shaking their heads up and down at that, which might go under the heading of Arts and Sciences snobbery. But note: Congresswoman Virginia Foxx's doctorate is in Education. So there's that.)
Watch the hidden Cool Springs video (provided to the Nashville reporter by an attendee). Arnn's thin, high voice and careful enunciation reminds me strongly of an actor playing a Nazi. Arnn says that modern education is akin to "enslavement" and has become "the plague that destroys generations of people." He says that he aims to prove "that you don't have to be an expert to educate a child. Because basically anybody can do it." The current crop of public school teachers come from "the dumbest parts of the dumbest colleges in the country." He's talking about students of color.
He said that and a lot more about the teaching profession, with the governor of Tennessee sitting beside him with his own unused mike in his hand, and Gov. Bill Lee disagreed with nary a thing that Arnn said. In fact, he praised him as the guiding national voice for conservative school reform. Lee had already endosed Hillsdale as the owner/operators of 50 new Charter schools in Tennessee.
That hidden video, which got aired as a special investigatory piece by reporter Phil Williams of News Channel 5 in Nashville, has caused a good deal of heartburn in Tennessee, with Gov. Lee beginning to hum "Arnn who?" and Arnn himself saying he never meant what he said. He meant something general and abstract and rather poetic.