If you have children in the Rye City Schools, you may know that a “Race, Inclusivity and Community Task Force” was established this summer to discuss racism in our schools. On its surface, there is nothing wrong with the entire Rye community coming together and discussing issues that affect our schools and the community at large.
However, from the get-go, it was clear that this Task Force was not established for the benefit of our community, but rather to advance the political goals of some in the school administration. The report of the October 7 meeting of the Task Force in The Rye Record confirms just that – the point where a participant was rebuked for voicing a dissenting opinion. It was to be expected – the Superintendent and several teachers and principals handpicked the members of the Task Force, undoubtedly hoping for a compliant audience that would confirm everything put in front of it. As a disclosure, I applied to be on the Task Force, but was not chosen, most likely because I am someone who has repeatedly criticized the curriculum and teaching in Rye City Schools.
The worst offense of this endeavor was bringing in outside advisors to guide the discussion. The District hired the Steinhardt Center at NYU, wasting precious budget dollars. Ms. Natalie Zwerger and Mr. Luis Tapia are well-known activists, whose flawed ideas are meant to indoctrinate our impressionable students. Don’t take my word for it, read Ms. Zwerger’s writings on everydayraceblog.com/author/nataliemccabezwerger/.
Ms. Zwerger is an adherent of Critical Race Theory, a post-modernist philosophy rooted in Marxist thought. Its central themes are that: people are not individuals but parts of larger groups; our thinking is not guided by free will but rather by our membership in a particular group or class; and everything in the world is governed by the struggle between these groups, notably the oppressed and the oppressors.
Like their Marxist predecessors, these idealogues do not tolerate dissent (as has been exemplified by the reported statement of Mr. Tapia at the August 27 task force meeting: “If you don’t agree that America is systematically and structurally racist, you don’t belong on the Task Force.”
Finally, there is the infamous Marxist language manipulation: The Task Force is about “Inclusivity” yet will not include those who oppose the views of the agitators and activists. The most insidious language is about “equity”, rather than equality of opportunity. This is a crucial difference; the traditional concept of equality built into the U.S. Constitution is that we have equal rights under the law and are free to pursue our lives as we see fit. Equity, on the other hand, looks to equal outcomes – no matter your innate talents or your effort the results are going to be the same.
If these ideas don’t horrify you, I will remind you that when theories like this are put in practice – as they were in multiple regions around the world in the 20th century – they result in widespread misery and violence and millions of senseless deaths. As someone who was born in a “social justice paradise” in Eastern Europe (and left as soon as I could), I am horrified that Marxist manipulators get to dictate the school policy and brainwash entire generations of young people.
I dissent. I ask fellow citizens of Rye to join me in resisting this travesty. I ask the School Board to immediately rescind the contract with Steinhardt Center and open up the Task Force to all concerned residents. Further, any decision by the Task Force should be put to a vote of Rye citizens.
I have set up an email for this specific purpose: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please contact me there so I can set up a Zoom call where we can discuss how to move forward. You don’t have to agree with my opinion – you are still welcome to join and debate your views in an open and respectful manner, just as our founding fathers envisioned.
- Bozidar Jovanovic, Ph.D., CFA