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A year ago, “defund the police” activists were having quite a time. Outlets like CNN and Vox were publishing fawning profiles. Social media sensations like Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ilhan Omar were leading the parade. Cities like Los Angeles, Minneapolis, and Austin even approved partial defundings. It was a juggernaut.
Now? A tough-on-crime former cop just won the Democratic mayoral nomination in Bill de Blasio’s New York. Former President Barack Obama is warning fellow Democrats, “You lost a big audience the minute you say [‘defund the police’].” Sen. Bernie Sanders has rejected calls for “no more policing.” And White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki, a few weeks ago, bizarrely claimed that it was not Democrats but Republicans who wanted to defund the police (because they opposed President Biden’s $1.9 trillion stimulus bill).
What happened? Intoxicated by a few policy wins in deep blue cities, enthusiasm in the left-leaning Twitter echo chamber, and their viselike grip on the national media, “defund” activists overlooked one important detail: Their agenda was deeply unpopular with most Americans. A summer 2020 YouGov poll found that just 16 percent of adults wanted to cut police funding — much less “defund” the police. Indeed, 81 percent of black Americans wanted police to spend as much or more time in their communities. During a year when major American cities saw an unnerving increase in homicides, after years of declines, that reaction was not just understandable, it was wholly predictable.
As a result, Democrats squandered an opportunity to build consensus around meaningful police reform. After all, in the wake of the George Floyd murder, there was broad national agreement supporting a range of reforms. Prominent Republicans like Sen. Tim Scott were eager to negotiate. Sen. Ted Cruz, sitting on a panel alongside Houston’s Democratic mayor, insisted it was time for “all of us together to look at ways to make sure that our justice system is more fair.” Rather than pressing an advantage where most Americans were with them, though, Democrats got suckered by a woke fringe into embracing a deeply unpopular agenda.
Those who embrace the stew of “anti-racist” policies and practices loosely referred to as “Critical Race Theory” should take note. As with policing, there’s broad-based support for practical efforts to address persistent inequalities. For instance, while residential attendance zones lock many black and brown children into schools that fail to provide crucial supports, set high expectations, or deliver first-rate instruction, the nation’s parents support school choice policies by hefty margins.
Moreover, there’s widespread agreement that schools can do better talking about race. There’s broad sympathy for the notion that schools have, at times, taught a white-washed version of history that minimizes our failings and overlooks the contributions of minority communities to American commerce and culture. If Democrats want to tackle such concerns in a practical manner, they have the wind at their back.
As with the self-destructive push to “defund the police,” though, those intent on tackling such problems have stood by as their efforts have been overtaken by ideologues in thrall to a vision of “anti-racist” education that is noxious to the vast majority of Americans.
Take, for instance, the “anti-racist” insistence that universal values are actually hallmarks of “white supremacy” culture. The famed KIPP charter schools announced last summer that the chain was abandoning its slogan “Work Hard, Be Nice” as an “anti-racist” blow against “white supremacy” culture. The Smithsonian published a guide asserting that “hard work,” “self-reliance,” and “be[ing] polite” are all a product of the “white dominant culture.” Bellevue School District in Washington state paid for “aspiring white antiracist leaders” to attend a class called “Humble & Brave,” where educators learn that these traits “go against the white norm.”
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It should come as no great surprise that all of this is out of step with what the lion’s share of Americans believe. If one asks parents — of any race — what values they want their kids to learn, more than 4 out of 5 will endorse concepts like “hard work,” “being well-mannered,” and “being responsible.” In fact, Black parents are slightly more likely than white parents to say that these traits are important. It’s not that hard to understand why Black, Latino, or Asian parents might resent the notion that “hard work” or “responsibility” are somehow alien to their culture. As one parent put it, “We did not immigrate to this country for our children to be taught in taxpayer-funded schools that punctuality and hard work are white values.”
The woke fringe cheered earlier this spring when the Biden Department of Education held up as a model of civic education the 1619 Project, which teaches that America was founded as a “slavocracy” and is a nation where “anti-black racism runs in the very DNA of this country.” Most Americans reject this cartoonish narrative of their country, with more than two-thirds of adults opposed to having schools tell students that America was founded on racism.
And yet, Democratic officials have blithely gone along as progressive pundits, union leaders, and advocates have raced to defend even the most noxious goings-on against the critics of Critical Race Theory.
Look, there’s much of value in today’s efforts to make education more effective, responsive, and just. Indeed, there are plenty of places where people of goodwill can find common ground on school improvement. But, if Democrats intent on school improvement follow the woke fringe down the same Twitter-inspired, navel-gazing rabbit hole that swallowed police reform, they oughtn’t be unduly surprised when they look up in the heat of the 2022 midterm elections to see Jen Psaki insisting that Critical Race Theory was really a Trumpian scheme all along.
Frederick M. Hess is the director of education policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute. Article cross-posted from Real Clear Policy.
New Conservative Network Seeks Crowdfunding Help
They say we have to go big or go home. We’re trying to go big and bring the patriotic truth the the nation, but we need help.
Readers may or may not realize that over the past year, we’ve been bringing more conservative news and opinion outlets under our wing. Don’t take our expansion as a sign of riches; all of the “acquisitions” have been through sweat and promises of greater things to come for all involved. As a result, we’ve been able to bring together several independent media sites under a unified vision of preventing America from succumbing to the progressive, “woke,” Neo-Marxist ideologies that are spreading like wildfire across America.
The slow and steady reopening of America is revealing there was a lot more economic hardship brought about from the Covd-19 lockdowns than most realize. While we continue to hope advertising dollars on the sites go up, it’s simply not enough to do things the right way. We are currently experiencing a gap between revenue and expenses that cannot be overcome by click-ads and MyPillow promos alone (promo code “NOQ” by the way).
To overcome our revenue gap and keep these sites running, our needs fluctuate between $3000-$7000 per month. In other words, we’re in the red and hemorrhaging.
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The best way you can help us grow and continue to bring the truth to the people is by donating. We appreciate everything, whether a dollar or $10,000. Anything brings us closer to a point of stability when we can hire writers, editors, and support staff to make the America First message louder. Our Giving Fuel page makes it easy to donate one-time or monthly. Alternatively, you can donate through PayPal as well.
As the world spirals towards radical progressivism, the need for truthful journalism has never been greater. But in these times, we need as many conservative media voices as possible. Please help keep NOQ Report and the other sites in the network going.
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They’re Trying to Shut Us Down
Over the last several months, I’ve lost count of how many times the powers-that-be have tried to shut us down. They’ve sent hackers at us, forcing us to take extreme measures on web security. They sent attorneys after us, but thankfully we’re not easily intimidated by baseless accusations or threats. They’ve even gone so far as to make physical threats. Those can actually be a bit worrisome but Remington has me covered.
For us to continue to deliver the truth that Americans need to read and hear, we ask you, our amazing audience, for financial assistance. We just launched a GiveSendGo page to help us pay the bills. It’s brand new so don’t be discouraged by the lack of donations there. It’s a funny reality that the fewer the donations that have been made, the less likely people are willing to donate to it. One would think this is counterintuitive, but sometimes people are skeptical because they think that perhaps there’s a reason others haven’t been donating. In our situation, we’re just getting started so please don’t be shy if you have the means to help.
Thank you and God bless!