[Re-posted from OC Daily.]
Earlier this month, OC Daily reported the Anaheim Elementary School District had contracted with an identity politics organization – Asian Americans Advancing Justice (AAAJ) – to train school district leadership staff in “cultural competency relative to Muslims and Islam communities.” AAAJ espouses a radical view that distorts the United States and its history into a chronicle of white supremacy and oppression. It even endorses the idea that Thanksgiving is a celebration of genocide.
OC Daily e-mailed the school district asking for a list of staff who would be trained by AAAJ at the October 19 training session:
Anaheim Elementary Education Association president
The “resources” listed as used in the training are a compendium of organizations, websites, videos and books. Some are conventional but other “resources” come from a more militant point-of-view, such as the online offerings of Vigilant Love. This progressive non-profit conflates the police shooting and subsequent rioting in Ferguson, Missouri with the Palestinian Intifada; lambastes the LAPD as the “most murderous” police force in America and supports severing any relationship between it and Israeli police; and facilitates fundraising for the militant racial politics of Black Lives Matter:
On its Facebook page, Vigilant Love promotes an event with Purdue University academic Su’ad Abdul Khabeer, who sees even children’s movies through the lens of racial politics:
Unbelievable as it may seem to normal people, the Internet is abuzz with social justice warriors like Khabeer who think Pixar featurette Olaf’s Frozen Adventure is a tale of white supremacy and cultural imperialism.
AESD staff are also directed to utilize the Social Justice Resources section of the United Teachers-LA website, where commitment to “social justice” is equated with opposing charter schools, Education Secretary Betsy Vos and the enforcement immigration laws. Flyers on responding to the 2016 election are direct echoes of the PC “safe space” madness engulfing university campuses.
Taken as a whole, the materials recommended to AESD staff as resources for Muslim “cultural competency” are explicitly political in nature, embodying the progressive world view in which politics and government are manifestations of racial identity. Why is the Anaheim Elementary School District paying a radical political advocacy organization to provide ideological indoctrination to public school employees?
Also, why did the district choose Asian Americans Advancing Justice to conduct Muslim sensitivity training for district staff? Why not contract with a Muslim organization, such as the Islamic Center of Orange County?
The “resources” recommended by the AAAJ offer some insight. Videos and articles emphasize the experience of Japanese-Americans deprived of due process and forcibly relocated to internment camps by the Roosevelt Administration during World War II. It is fitting we remember that historic wronging of American citizens – many of whom still enlisted in the military and fought the Axis with great valor. However, AAAJ and its progressive allies take it further and attempt to inculcate a sense of shared victimhood among Asian and Muslim immigrants and citizens. In this video, young Japanese-Americans and young Muslims take a bus together to the Manzanar internment camp. The not-so-subtle message for Japanese-Americans: you’re grandparents and great-grandparents were interned, making you victims by derivation (notwithstanding the incredible success of Japanese-American enjoy in the United States). Muslim youth are led to fear they are one-step away from being forced into internment camps themselves:
— Advancing Justice-LA (@AAAJ_LA) November 21, 2017
The underlying message of both is they should be allies of shared victimhood (whether real or imagined). As we’ve seen, the AAAJ is wholly political, and its politics are well outside the mainstream. The director of its Orange County office likened Trump voters to Nazis and calls Americans who dislike political correctness “closeted bigots” and responded to the Texas church massacre by complaining about white people. Last week, the AAAJ tweeted “What is wrong with saying that Thanksgiving is about genocide as much as it is about gratitude?”:
The AAAJ tweet promotes an article in which the author talks about teaching his young son that Thanksgiving is a celebration of genocide:
His school was already teaching him the same myth about Pilgrims and Indians that I had learned. I wanted to give him alternatives.
“Do you know what Thanksgiving means?” I asked him.
“Yes.” He thought about the word I had taught him. “Genocide!”
What is wrong with saying that Thanksgiving is about genocide as much as it is about gratitude?
History and America are contradictory and ambiguous, and yes, 4-year-olds who are capable of being racist and sexist should be exposed to some of that ambiguity as a form of inoculation.
Take the Thanksgiving meal. While the turkey does not find this meal to be an ambiguous experience, it is for people like me, refugees from Vietnam and survivors of a war that killed three million Vietnamese people. Generally, we are thankful to be in America and not in Vietnam, where we would not be free to say words like genocide or to contradict propaganda, as we do here. But some of us are not so thrilled about eating that turkey.
Not only does the author take a great American holiday for gathering with family and giving thanks for our blessings, and twist it into the miserable radical trope of America-is-racist-and-genocidal – but Asian Americans Advancing Justice is obviously sympathetic to this false and fringe notion. This begs the question of why the Anaheim Elementary School District would think it is a good idea to hire such an intensely ideological and political outfit to teach district staff how to think about volatile social issues? It’s impossible to accord credibility to any organization that seriously believes “white supremacy” is a dominant political force in America or that a replay of the racially-motivated mass internment of American citizens is a live possibility.
A conservative friend who read the previous story on this issue asked why the training session fee was only $500? The amount is beside the point; AAAJ would do this for free. The goal is the opportunity to inculcate district staff so they can, in turn, transmit them to impressionable school kids. $500 is a nominal amount for the purpose of entering into a contract.
Why expend any money or staff time subjecting the leadership staff to this sort of political indoctrination? Does promoting a victim mindset help AESD students succeed in school and life? How would AESD parents and voters react to district stiff getting “cultural training” by a group that sees Thanksgiving as a celebration of genocide? Given that AESD is one of Orange County’s lowest performing school districts, they’d likely prefer the superintendent and Board of Education devote more energy into ensuring their children are proficient at reading, writing, science and math, and less into turning them into Social Justice Warriors.