Ethnic studies classes are nothing new on the many campuses of the California State University system, but they are about to become a graduation requirement for everyone expecting to get a CSU undergraduate degree.
Those courses are increasingly under the sway of authors of the rejected version of California’s ethnic studies model curriculum for elementary and high school students.
Some of those same authors are also writing and influencing the new ethnic studies programs being commissioned by local school districts, each able to adopt an individualized version of such programs, to be included in coursework of virtually every class taught by those districts.
It’s a form of guerrilla warfare, with the inaccurate version of ethnic studies rejected and rewritten before the state adopted its model curriculum figuring to sneak gradually through the back doors of thousands of classrooms and into the minds of millions of schoolchildren.
The rejected version painted virtually all whites as oppressors throughout history, with all other ethnic groups their victims. In reality, human history has been much more complex. One example: European whites did run the African slave trade that brought most blacks to the Americas. But it could not have worked without help from Africans who warred on and forcibly enslaved other Africans, then brought them to ports where they were sold to European slavers. So whites were far from the only ones in the slave trade, which still persists in large scale in much of the Moslem world – something almost never mentioned in critical ethnic studies.
The same rejected version ironically portrayed Jews as privileged oppressors despite their eons of persecution in every imaginable manner from slavery to expropriation to mass expulsions and genocide to state- and church-sponsored burnings at the stake.
That’s why early versions of the California ethnic studies plan were rejected. But now many local school board members voting millions of dollars to write new curricula for local schools and allocating more millions for hiring teachers to purvey the rejected misinformation have no idea which version of history reflects reality and what is self-serving fantasy from the authors of the state’s rejected first draft.
This is happening not only in local districts, but also at the college and university level, where some students are being taught distorted history making whites and the tiny Jewish minority among them into the vilest of villains.
Nowhere is this better exemplified than in a UCLA class taught by Ethnic Studies Asst. Prof. Loubna Qutami, titled “Palestine in Comparative Ethnic Studies Frameworks.”
This is the same Qutami who wrote on a blog several years ago that she had “decided to commit my whole self to Palestine.”
She has also written that her mother’s family was forcibly driven from the Israeli city of Haifa during the 1948 Israeli war of independence which saw Israel invaded by armies from seven Arab states, including Egypt, Syria, Iraq and Jordan.
Asked via email which frameworks her class would cover, Qutami did not respond. Nor did she answer when asked how she might react if a student informed her in class that Haifa’s Arabs were not expelled in 1948, the city having long had a large Arab population.
Nor would she say how she might treat a student from Israel who enrolled in her class.
It’s difficult to understand why this course taught by someone who has declared herself a strong partisan in the Israel-Palestine conflict should be subsidized as objective learning by taxpayers on the UC campus in most demand among graduating high school seniors.
But the consequences could eventually go much farther. Classes much like this one, promoting anti-Jewish “alternative facts,” were commonplace for decades in German schools, laying the groundwork for the Holocaust.
Violent effects of curricula like this, which could soon be widespread, at state university levels, might not be felt for many years to come.
But their influence would likely be strong, as they are “educating” many of the folks who will teach ethnic studies for the foreseeable future.
In the meantime, they could poison the academic atmosphere in California not merely for Jews, but for other whites like Armenian-Americans and Irish-Americans who fought discrimination for generations.