Abraham Lincoln said, “The philosophy of the school room in one generation will be the philosophy of the government in the next.” If he was correct, the government’s philosophy in the future will be one that rewards resentment towards the successful and categorises people according to their race, also known as Critical Race Theory.
The second episode of the ABC’s ‘The school that tried to end racism’ focuses on teaching primary school students that Australia is a systemically racist country. In other words, if you’re not white then everyone is out to get you. The evidence? The Commonwealth built statues of Captain Cook and Governor Macquarie but failed to build any of Indigenous people. Therefore, Australia is a systemically racist country. Always was, always will be. Host Marc Fennel stops just short of encouraging the kids to grab their ropes and spray cans and go to town on these supposed monuments to oppression.
“Race expert” Fiona White offers more insight: “Statues provide an inaccurate history of Australia. It’s not an accurate portrayal of what happened. We need to think of that, [and] have a better representation of statues so they can trigger a conversation in passers-by.”
Apparently, the purpose of statues is to trigger conversations about racism, not to honour our great forebears who contributed to the creation of a flourishing liberal democracy within the Commonwealth. Of course, there is a conversation to be had about the treatment of Indigenous people in Australia’s history (one that, arguably, has been had ad nauseum) provided it is balanced, factual, and not motivated by ideology. However, the students on this program, like so many Australian students, are taught what, not how, to think. By the end of the segment, they express their disdain for the land-thieving tyrant Captain Cook, and the ABC’s work is done.
Another enlightening segment is one in which the students compete to find treasure chests in a maze, with the winners getting to head back to school in a stylish stretch Hummer. You might be forgiven for thinking that the purpose of such an exercise would be to teach the students that hard work and perseverance, along with a bit of luck, pay off. You’ve got to be in it win it, after all. They even begin the challenge with equal opportunity to win as they enter the maze together.
But no, the point was not to teach them anything useful, the point was to shame the students who found the chests for their sheer good luck (was it really luck?) and have the rest of the class moan about how unfair it is that they don’t get to ride in the Hummer even though they “worked just as hard.”
“In a fair world,” says one student, “I think we all would be able to ride in a stretch Hummer.” To our moral and intellectual betters at the ABC, any form of inequality or “inequity” must be the result of the privileged exploiting the less successful, even if they’re children having a treasure hunt in a maze.
This maze activity demonstrates nothing whatsoever about privilege, yet Marc Fennel informs the class, “if we could learn to share privilege, we could have a more inclusive society.” He might as well have handed them their copies of The Communist Manifesto then and there.
If only Australian schoolchildren were taught that the pernicious doctrine of “equality of outcome” has produced more bloodshed than any other idea in human history. If only they learned that in every place that Marx’s idea of redistributing the wealth of the “privileged” in the interest of “fairness” has been implemented, nothing but misery, loss, and death have followed in its wake, and to an extent that is simply unimaginable to most. If only they learned that this same idea which the ABC carelessly promotes to children, without a hint of critical thought or discussion, led to the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia murdering people who wore spectacles because it indicated their educated, and therefore privileged, status. The ABC are teaching Marx’s doctrine of class warfare, applied to race, to children at the taxpayer’s expense.
A major theme of the episode is empathy, which one activist teacher tells her students is the most important thing they can learn. This comes after their completion of a bizarre ritual in which some of the white students relay the experiences of racism that their minority peers shared with them as though they were their own. It’s not enough to know that racism is wrong, they must be made to feel what racism feels like, so they can stop being so racist themselves (which, according to Critical Race Theory, is impossible if you are white).
Of course, sensible people understand that it’s possible to have too much empathy, as it can lead to infantilising those whom we have empathy for, as well as allowing malevolent people to take advantage of us. Merely having unrestrained empathy without a healthy dose of facts and personal responsibility is a sure-fire way to end up being a miserable and unproductive person, as that person will be overwhelmed by their negative emotions and unequipped to do anything with or about them. Combine that with having a massive chip on their shoulder about apparently oppressive governmental and societal structures, then if there are a lot of these people you have a perfect recipe for nation-wide disaster. These are the kinds of people that Australia’s education system will produce if we don’t change course soon.
At one point in the episode, Fiona White gives the game away: “the reassuring thing is these [students] are our leaders of the future, and maybe they might be making some policy decisions that our current politicians don’t have the courage to make.” The ABC doesn’t even attempt to hide the fact that their agenda is to produce biter, resentful, angry little activists who seek not to improve Australia, but tear it down.
If Abraham Lincoln was correct, then God help the next generation of Australians. They, and we, will surely need it.
Got something to add? Join the discussion and comment below.