(February 23, 2023 / JNS) The chief victims of the educational establishment’s effort to impose woke indoctrination on American society are its children. JNS editor-in-chief Jonathan Tobin argues that the left seeks to rewrite our history and smear the traditions of Western thought, philosophy and civilization while legitimizing racist, toxic, Marxist ideas like critical race theory and intersectionality, and sex and gender ideology, and putting them into school curricula. Above all, their objective is to silence dissent about all this.
Tobin is joined by authors Bethany Mandel and Karol Markowicz to discuss their new book, Stolen Youth: How Radicals Are Erasing Innocence and Indoctrinating a Generation. The two, both journalists and mothers, discuss how the coronavirus pandemic weaponized the woke left’s efforts to use Stalinist tactics to silence dissent, which was illustrated by the U.S. Department of Justice’s efforts to investigate parents who protested woke ideas at school-board meetings. This helped create a culture of conformity that marginalizes those who dare to speak out against measures such as mask mandates that were not rooted in science or common sense.
With the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement, the virtue-signaling about being an “anti-racist” works the same way to advance the leftist project. Both authors point out that the easiest victims for those seeking to impose essentially racist ideas like those of critical race theory and other leftist doctrines on the country are its children, who are being discouraged from the independent thinking that is essential for a healthy democracy.
This is demonstrated by the way the educational establishment eliminates classic texts from the curricula while putting books that promote gender and sex ideology and contain pornography and immorality in school libraries and then crying “censorship” when outraged parents or red state governments want to remove them.
They also discuss how popular entertainment and schools are reinforcing gender confusion in children who have been traumatized by the pandemic, leading to an epidemic of dysphoria. While “groomer” is a term considered to be extremist slander, they assert that those behind this trend are training children in much the same way as sexual predators do to keep secrets from their parents. They also discuss how this conformist culture enlists the young to be “child soldiers’ in leftist activist campaigns about environmentalism and racial indoctrination.
Though each of them has taken different paths in resisting these trends—Mandel homeschools them while Markowicz fights the system from within in private and public schools—they say that developing a will to resist this assault on Western values is essential. As Markowicz states: “We all need to put up a fight and we need to start now.”
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