The California state legislature recently passed a bill requiring a semester of ethnic studies as a graduation ceremony for all high school students. Many California residents and a large number of Chinese Americans organized protest rallies to boycott the legislature’s proposal, for fear of implementing communist-style cultural revolutionary theories. Some parents argue against teaching critical racial theory to their children.
At the protest marches against the bill, there were signs with the caption “Stop Hatred Education” and “Against the California Communist Cultural Revolution”.
The proposal officially passed in late May under the leadership of Jose Medina, a Democratic representative of the 61st District of California and a chair of the Higher Education Committee.
The legislation is entitled Assembly Bill 101, or AB101. This makes the new California Curriculum for Ethnic Studies a graduation requirement for all high school students. A similar bill was passed last summer under the Board of Trustees of the State University of California, which requires all students to take ethnic studies or a social justice course to study.
These courses teach students the theory that systemic racism exists in the United States. All white people are blessed with privileges and act as oppressors, while colored people are victims. Collectivism is good and capitalism is responsible for racist institutions.
My problem with Critical Race Theory is how obsessed it is with educating students to classify themselves, and telling them that this classification primarily determines their role in life.
The NY Post reported on similar events in the New York education system.
In the article, literature is created by an associate professor of African-American studies at Northwestern University in Illinois. The curriculum allows students to take self-tests on their ‘white privilege’. The principal of a public school in New York asked white students and parents to take the handout and reflect on themselves.
It divides white people into eight white identities, and even has a diagram that ranks the identities on a color scale from red to green. Red is a bad white person and green is a good white person.
‘White Supremacists’ are bright red on the chart and are considered the worst group on the list for maintaining a society that preserves, names and appreciates white superiority. ‘
The second worst identity is ‘White Voyeurism’ which is defined as someone who ‘does not want to challenge a white supremacist, wants non-whiteness because it is interesting’ and applies the black culture ‘without the burden of blackness’.
The next level is ‘White Privilege’. These whites may criticize the white rule, but still support the white rule.
Then there are ‘white beneficiaries’ who only feel privately bad for people of color and do not talk in public about minority issues.
Fifth is “White Confessions” which seek recognition from people of color and expose whites to a small degree.
Next, “White Critical” is the label for people who are invested in exposing the “white regime”.
The seventh category is ‘white traitors’ who actively undermine white authority and speak the truth at all costs. ‘
Last but not least are ‘white abolitionists’. It is considered the best white identity for those who want to break down whiteness and refuse to re-establish whiteness.
In addition to ethnic studies, California also has courses on social issues. They ask students to understand power structure, forms of oppression, patriarchy, anti-indigenousness, Islamophobia, transphobia and LGBTQ issues.
Identity politics in communist China
These practices reflect the communist ideology. One purpose of communism is to overthrow the existing system by using all possible methods to divide society on the basis of social identities, privilege classifications and to establish a culture of hatred to inevitably disintegrate society.
Both Leninism and Maoism used similar methods. The biggest difference is that they used violent revolutionary methods to slaughter various counterrevolutionaries directly. During their period of revolution and to maintain power, however, they tried to divide society as much as possible.
The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) took power in mainland China in 1949. Their practices reflect left-wing America’s preoccupation with the strong classification of identities and privileges. Everyone in mainland China had to report their origin, ancestors, and whether they were rich or poor during the previous 49 years.
At that time, the division was simpler with only a few categories, such as workers, capitalists, owners, rich farmers, poor farmers, middle farmers, urban artisans and businessmen. Later, this identity classification became more and more detailed, and of course there were more and more species, until there was finally a birth code of the family.
The father of a friend of mine told a story about identity during the height of the Chinese Cultural Revolution. He and a friend were cleaning one day when friend Mao Zedong’s plaster statue accidentally broke on the ground. Out of fear, he trembles with fear and almost runs out. My friend’s father quickly comforted him and said: do not be afraid, if someone asks, say that I accidentally overturned it, not you.
The only difference between the two friends is their origin and identity. My friend’s father was born in a poor farmer, and his friend in a landlord. In communist China, the same mistake made by a landlord made him a counterrevolutionary, while a poor farmer remained innocent.
When I told this story to people after the Cultural Revolution, most found it absurd and laughed at the folly. I never expected it to be so relevant in the United States almost 50 years later.
Skeptical Chinese Americans
Many of the protesters of the California Ethnic Studies Bill are Chinese. For Chinese from mainland China or Hong Kong or Taiwan, the stench of these identity theories is immediately picked up because they are all too familiar.
At the California rally, parent Kelson Sun spoke to the Chinese edition of the Epoch Times. He believes that people who divide by skin color and advocate racism actually pave the way for the realization of racial discrimination. Therefore, implementing the content of racism courses in schools is a kind of systematic hate education. He said the point is that this kind of teaching is primarily to incite hatred.
He said: ‘Whether it is a racial division or other division, it leads to hatred. In human history, whether in mainland China, Burma, or Cambodia, we can clearly see the murder of hate education. I believe that anyone who upholds the founding of the United States should not accept such a proposal. ‘
Sun added: “If there are Americans who do not yet know [the evil consequences], I suggest you go to the Khmer Rouge Memorial and see the piles of bones. Just think why those people shot their countrymen? This is because there is hatred in their hearts; hate. Where does it come from? Isn’t it just indoctrinated? If you do not agree with this kind of hatred, you can not study or get a job. We do not want our children to fall into this situation. ”
Another parent, Mr. Li, told the Chinese language edition Epoch Times that the theory divides the United States into two classes: “oppressed” and “oppressors”. According to this theory, white people are classified as the “oppressor” class, and other colored people as the “oppressed” class. Asians became the “quasi-oppressive” class of the “white adjoining” class. “It’s just a hate attack on Asians.”
Mr Li added: ‘We have come to the United States to pursue freedom and human rights and to pursue a better life. We hope that the next generation will grow up with all kinds of freedom, instead of being brainwashed and portrayed as the Red Guards of the Chinese Cultural Revolution, full of hatred for our society. ”
I agree with the views of these Chinese parents.
The premise of Critical Race Theory is a truth that does not need to be proven: that the United States is a racist and oppressive country.
The United States does have racial issues, just like all other countries. Every race in this world, whether white or black or yellow; and every country of whites, Asians or blacks had cultural or racial discrimination. You can not just accept these problems and label them as systemic or institutional due to flaws in humanity.
What we need to be most vigilant about is that some people use economic, racial, gender, and class identities to divide American society and create hatred. The road to hell is paved with good intentions, and the current intended divisions of society do not differ today.
Alexander Liao is a columnist and journalist in research on international affairs in the United States, China and Southeast Asia. He has published a large number of reports, commentaries and video programs in newspapers and Chinese financial magazines in the United States and Hong Kong.
Views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.