Politically Correct Police State Tactics in the True North
By now you’ve almost certainly heard about the Toronto Police Service paying an early-morning visit to blogger Arnie Lemaire (aka Blazing Cat Fur). He’s a frequent and fearless critic of the Toronto District School Board. Without Lemaire’s reporting, a lot of people would know absolutely nothing about the slow creep of extreme left-wing ideology into Toronto’s classrooms.
If you have children enrolled in a school in Toronto, or even in any metropolitan area with ambitions to be like Toronto, you have a lot to be worried about. The extreme left-wing ideology creeping into Toronto’s classrooms is known as post-colonial theory. At its base level, post-colonial theory holds that every ill in the world is the direct result of capitalism, racism, sexism and homophobia. Taken together it describes all of these things as "colonialism."
The creep of this theory is happening both directly and indirectly.
In the former case is a document recently concocted by the Centre for Social Justice Foundation for Research and Education. Entitled “And Educator’s Guide for Changing the World: Methods, Models and Materials for Anti-Oppression and Social Justice Workshops.” It’s penned by Ann Curry-Stevens. Make no mistake about it, if you have children enrolled in a Toronto school, she wants to indoctrinate them into her deliberately-racially-divisive ideology. And make no mistake about this: while the title of this document may seem remarkably banal, this is actually one of the most sinister documents I personally have ever come across.
“Changing the world calls for grand plans and even grander organizing abilities. Our legacy, as people concerned with social justice and ending oppression, is similarly grand,” “Canadians have a significant history of dealing with such issues, and our vision and organizing ability rendered significant gains, in fact, generating a collective identity as compassionate people concerned with the common good.” (At this point in the document, Curry-Stevens has already spoken about “rugged individuality” with a derisiveness that borders on bitterness.)
“When individuals appear in educational settings, educators have a ripe arena for practice – reflecting upon how individuals embody the unjust systems, through their unconscious embrace of the status quo, and bringing their worldview into the light for scrutiny and reassessment,” she continues. “In the ideal transformation process, privileged learners come to understand their privilege as unearned and unjustified, and building their commitment to more just and equitable systems. Learners with oppressed identities also learn of the unearned and unjust features of their own identity and are encouraged to rally for change.”
In other words, certain people are taught that they are victims and certain people are taught that they are victimizers. They’re taught they’re victims if they’re any one or more of the following: non-white, female, or LGBT. They’re taught they’re victimizers if they’re any one or more of the following: white, male, and heterosexual. In the latter case, they’re to be taught that they’re victimizers for the simple fact of their own existence. Literally.
“Educators thus give priority to reconstructing the individual’s worldview (also known as the ‘unlearning process’) and assisting their individual transformation into allies working for social justice,” she writes.
Apparently, these are the sorts of people who look at Chinese re-education camps not with disgust, but with admiration.
The most shockingly insidious thing about this document is the extent to which it acknowledges that it represents a disempowering influence on those it seeks to re-educate. It disempowers literally everyone it comes into contact with. The only silver lining in this particular cloud is that the learners should realize that their alleged lack of agency is unjust.
In dividing the larger group into smaller groups, dividing the allegedly oppressed against their alleged oppressors they essentially encourage in-fighting among the group. Curry-Stevens even declares that tension is integral to the reeducational process. Relying on the classic rhetorical “shield” of political correctness, they shame anyone who disagrees with them into silence.
Does it sound like I’m being bombastic? Take it directly from Curry-Stevens. “The most difficult learning environment is a mixed group, which is also the most common situation. As you can imagine, and have probably experienced, the two different groups have competing needs – at times the privileged group may express racist or sexist opinions which reinforce oppression,” she writes. “The oppressed group need to stop such opinions being raised. Most educators respond accordingly and, usually gently, let the learner know they are inappropriate. Such messages shut down the privileged learner.”
Naturally, anything that doesn’t affirm the alleged victimhood of the “oppressed” and reinforce the alleged victimizer status of the “oppressors is judged to be racist or sexist, regardless of whether or not it actually is. But such “forbidden” thoughts are not to be debated or considered on their merit – within such a lesson plan they are simply presumed to have none – they’re simply shut down on principle alone.
In such “counter-hegemonic” tactics a new hegemony is built: that in which the voices of those deemed to be “oppressed” are given priority. The so-called “oppressors” are expected to simply defer to the “oppressed” and if they are not particularly keen to do so, they will simply be shamed into it.
Note that, in this, the goal of re-education is not to eliminate hegemony, but simply to transfer hegemony from the alleged oppressors to the allegedly oppressed. Hegemony is no less hegemonic just because it’s meant to empower a different group of people. The clear difference is that the re-educators are creating that hegemony deliberately.
Stunning is the utter indifference toward the impact this re-education will have on the learner. Curry-Stevens acknowledges that “it will disrupt their lives in ways we can anticipate and in ways we cannot.” Re-educators are encouraged to try to work with the re-educated in order to help them resolve this. But if they can’t? Curry-Stevens’ paper doesn’t really say much about that.
Curry-Stevens notes that the few statistics presented in the document are designed to provoke an emotional response. They’re invariably presented without any kind of context whatsoever. It’s simply presumed that any statistic presented is evidence of racial oppression. And it’s simply presumed that it will be accepted as such without question.
But imagine this: should someone subject to this re-education ask what the evidence for these theories? Why, that’s merely a form of resistance and should be treated as such. That’s a fairly novel means for the practitioners of this re-education to excuse themselves from ever having to provide any. Which perhaps explains why the practitioners of this re-education never do. On the exceedingly rare occasions in which they can be moved to provide evidence it’s positively saturated in what proper academics and educators call the confirmation bias – a tendency to accept only evidence that supports a position, reject any that doesn’t, and even fudge any evidence that can be fudged so that it appears to confirm their presumptions.
This could all be taken as merely the pie-in-the-sky fantasies of a single extremist. But apparently the TDSB Professional Library has endorsed this paper as a curriculum document, propaganda leaflets and all. That in itself is almost as disturbing as the document’s contents.
Perhaps the most disturbing idea of the entire paper is smuggled fairly innocuously in the paper, but it essentially amounts to this: the criteria for an activist choosing a particular strategy or tactic begins with the following question: is it winnable?
It’s a sobering revelation that the progenitors of this re-education movement believe that this is a “winnable” battle: that their quest to deliberately divide people based on race, class, gender and sexuality in order to advance an extreme left-wing agenda is a winnable battle for them, especially if they can keep their promotion of these ideas and the tactics they’re employing relatively secret.
That’s why the TDSB siccing the police on Arnie Lemaire needs to be taken very, very seriously. Ultimately, intimidating their detractors into silence is the core tactic of those appointing themselves the re-educators of Canadian society.
For a long time it was my opinion that the adherents of these extreme ideologies are either the beneficiaries of them in the form of hegemonic power -- after all, the disempowering of one individual under the guise of privilege is really nothing more than a form of privilege designed to benefit those allegedly oppressed -- or fools. But after reading Curry-Stevens' sinister paper I realize it's very different: at least in the latter case, these are individuals who have been deliberately harmed psychologically and emotionally. The extreme ideology they embrace in the wake of that harm is merely the scar left behind. If they have their way, countless Torontonian youths will carry such scars for the rest of their lives.
Don’t let it happen. If you have children enrolled in a TDSB school, speak up now before radicals like Ann Curry-Stevens silence you forever.
Patrick Ross is a Contributing Writer for The Propagandist.