September 8, 2023

Kevin Leven: Never A Good Time For Vermilion Education And Hillsdale 1776 Curriculum

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Writing for the Bucks County Beacon, Kevin Leven looks at the Hillsdale-linked curriculum being pressed on Pennridge Schools by Vermilion Education. Keep alert.

Let’s start with just one example of how the curriculum distorts the truth. A tactic that has been very popular in recent years among right-wing revisionists is to distort the words of Dr. Martin Luther King. From “Unit 8: Late 20th Century Government and Politics” we find:

“Although King appealed to the individual conscience and not the force of law to bring about a color-blind society, some who partook in the civil rights movement and subsequent political and moral philosophies would instead seek to use the power of the government to change individual consciences.“

Dr. King in fact said the opposite.

“Although it may be true that morality cannot be legislated, behavior can be regulated. Even though it may be true that the law cannot change the heart, it can restrain the heartless,” said King in his 1967 speech at Stanford. “Even though it may be true that the law cannot make a man love me, it can restrain him from lynching me…and so while the law may not change the hearts of men, it can and it does change the habits of men. And when you begin to change the habits of men, pretty soon the attitudes will be changed, pretty soon the hearts will be changed. I’m convinced that we still need strong civil rights legislation.”

In the same section of the curriculum on civil rights, we see:

“Ask students to consider the areas in which the civil rights movement did move into the realm of controlling private property and activity, namely in private businesses open to the public and in hiring practices. This area of public accommodation was where the line between private conscience and government coercion began to blur.”

This suggests that the government can’t and shouldn’t pass laws regarding discrimination. Recall that key legislative actions from the civil rights movement included the right of minority citizens to patronize restaurants and other businesses that had previously banned them.

And finally the post lesson assignment for the unit is based on this leading question:

“Assignment: Explain how affirmative action, identity politics, political correctness, and “anti- racism” differ from the principles of the American founding (2–3 paragraphs).”

Read the full piece here. 

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