Professor charges White Supremacy at George W. Bush Center This was a pack of race-based “educators” patting each other on the back.

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May 31, 2017 No Comments ›› admin

By Lynn Woolley

It’s hard to imagine a left-wing race-based conference being held in a building named after a Republican president. But it happened at SMU – and it perfectly illustrates the liberal professor effect that we often write about. Gloria Ladson-Billings teaches “urban education” at the University of Wisconsin. She told the conference this:

Gloria Ladson-Billings

“Racism is a normal aspect of American society and it’s a system that humans have constructed to create a hierarchy and an ideology based on white supremacy.”

Excuse me for having an opinion – but that sounds to me like the ranting of a racist. So did the attendees walk out on her? Of course not. They bragged on the speech and promised to use it to teach children and students at places like Baylor University.

You have to wonder what former President Bush thinks about how his conference center is being used.

SMU is not known for being a conservative campus – but this takes the cake.

This conference on “Race and Equity” took place at a religious (Methodist) institution at the George W. Bush Presidential Center. I grew up in the Methodist Church, and I realize that Methodism has evolved leftward – but, still!

Anthony Castro, a teacher at DISD’s Foster Elementary School, asks a question of Gloria Ladson-Billings after her keynote speech at SMU Simmons conference on Paving the Way to Inclusion: Race and Equity in Education on May 30, 2017.  (Photo: Ron Baselice – Dallas Morning News)

To allow in a woman who rants racism in her writings and speeches seems over the top, even for SMU. According to Elvia Limon’s article in the Dallas Morning News, here is what else Ladson-Billings had to say:

“Race is a social construction. Humans have constructed social categories of organization that rely heavily on arbitrary genetic differences like skin color, hair texture, eye shape, and lip size.”

Her address concerned these issues “…about the importance of historical, moral, socio-political, and economic factors faced by black, Latino, and other non-white students.”

Limon’s article addressed reaction from a couple of attendees:

Understand, that I would have yelled something and then walked out on her. As a white male, I’ve had it with racist professors who believe my gender and skin color are the basis for all the world’s evil. But that’s what she teaches. And now, those who heard her at SMU can take this blather and disseminate it to their own students.

Katrina Hertz, described in the article as “black,” was thrilled. She had already been using Ladson-Billings’ racial writings to educate others.

Ramona Curtis, the Director of Community Engagement at Baylor University wanted to take what she learned at the conference an apply it to the Baylor’s outreach efforts. Please don’t. Baylor has enough problems already.

Ken Paredes Scribner was also in attendance as a presenter. He’s the Fort Worth School Superintendent who clashed with state officials over transgender bathrooms.

All in all, if attendees would do the exact opposite of what they heard at this ill-conceived conference, their students would be far better off. Kids and college students need some unity of purpose – and diversity of thought. This conference seemed to have the former – that white people are bad – but none of the latter. It’s doubtful that any dissenting viewpoints were solicited or offered. This was a pack of race-based “educators” patting each other on the back.

Ladson-Billing’s 2007 speech the “Urban Sites Network Conference.”

Here are some excerpts – some of which actually make sense: 

Ladson-Billings on labeling children “at-risk”

We cannot saddle these babies at kindergarten with this label and expect them to proudly wear it for the next 13 years, and think, “Well, gee, I don’t know why they aren’t doing good.” So if anybody gets it, I know that writing project people know language matters. What you call something matters.

I agree with her on this. Children should not be called “at risk:” because of their family situation. They should be encouraged to participate in class and make good grades so their lives will be more prosperous.

Ladson-Billings on unethical education practices

I do spend a fair amount of my time in schools. I get to hear many things about what’s quote “wrong with our students.” And one of the things I hear is that children lack exposure or experiences. I hear this really at the early level a lot. So as a consequence, many of their classroom days are filled with day after day after day of experiences, but little, if any, teaching. Now I do believe that schools can and should offer students some interesting and new experiences, but those experiences have to be tied to student learning. . . . To take kids to the zoo or to the amusement park without some learning link to it, particularly when none of these high-stakes tests are going to ask them or hold them accountable for whether or not they’ve been to Six Flags, it’s not only unfair, it’s unethical.

OK. I’m on board with this. There are too many field trips and other ways for teachers not to have to teach. But going to the zoo is better than teaching kids about social constructs leading to white supremacy.

Ladson-Billings on reconceptualizing the racial achievement gap

Last year, in my American Educational Research Association presidential address in San Francisco, I challenged my colleagues in education research to reconceptualize this notion of the achievement gap and to begin to think about the incredible debt that we as a nation have accumulated. So rather than focusing on telling people to catch up, we have to think about how we, all of us, will begin to pay down this mountain of debt that we have amassed at the expense of entire groups of people and their subsequent generations.

I have no idea what this even means. But I am wary of this woman. Starting with the hyphenated last name, I see liberalism and racism in much of what she teaches. The graph about “white supremacy” as quoted in Limon’s article is unforgivable. Teaching that kind of race-based garage should be ground for firing.

But if course, it won’t happen at colleges and universities that have entire departments of inclusion. Race is, of course, what Ladson-Billings is interested in – and I’m always impressed when someone can take a hobby and turn it into a paid position by teaching it at a left-wing university.

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