Reminder: Submit Comments Opposing Biden's "Proposed Priorities" for Civics Education

National Association of Scholars

We write to remind members to submit public comments opposing the “Proposed Priorities” for federal civics grants, announced by the Biden Administration on April 19. Comments are due next Wednesday, May 19.

The Announcement claims that "our country faces… crises ... such as the unbearable costs of systemic racism."

Hogwash.

According to Wall Street Journal columnist Jason Riley, and likely confirmed by the every-day experiences of most Americans, race relations in our country have never been better. By every important indicator—whom to marry, whom to hire, where to live—Americans care less about skin color and more about character, just as Martin Luther King, Jr. had hoped in his famous speech, I Have a Dream.

American racial tension is now a top-down phenomenon where government officials and their lackeys in the media foment discord by promoting divisive, race-based content such as “critical race theory” (“CRT”), which reduces all human interaction and history to a conflict between the oppressors and the oppressed, the members of both groups being determined by race. The debunked New York Times 1619 Project is another divider: It claims America's founding traits are racial bigotry and slavery rather than independence, individual rights, limited government, and human freedom. And the latest fad, the “Anti-Racism” campaign led by “professional polemicist” Ibram X. Kendi, is more of the same, ascribing disparate outcomes to racial discrimination rather than to differences in aptitude or merit. Worse, Kendi and his followers claim that “The only remedy to past discrimination is present discrimination” and that “The only remedy to present discrimination is future discrimination.” Discrimination in and of itself is not the issue, but rather the group(s) to whom it is directed.

The Biden “Priorities” Announcement relies upon and would apply the principles of all these pernicious theories in awarding federal grants in civics education. In so doing, it would promote neo-racism in the core of our education system. Even Senate Republican leadership is calling this development what it is: Divisive nonsense. It must be stopped.

To facilitate public comments in opposition to these Priorities, we refer members to our work on real civics education and our new Civics Alliance. Please feel free to use the following material in your statements:

Hate America? Apply Within

Civics Alliance: Open Letter and Curriculum

Why We Need a Civics Alliance

Civics Alliance Toolkit

An Appeal to Senator Cornyn and Congressman Cole: The Dangers of Congressional “Civics” bills

Tracking American Civics Legislation

Introducing Resolute: The new newsletter of the NAS Civics Alliance

Review the Priorities and Announcement and submit a comment here. And remember that your remarks are public.

Questions and comments can also be sent by regular mail or email to:

Mia Howerton, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW, Room 3C152, Washington, D.C., 20202. Telephone (202) 205-0147. Email: [email protected]. Topic: Proposed Priorities: American History and Civics Education, ED-2021-OESE – 0033.

The hour is late, but the fight has not yet begun: Have your voice heard before May 19.

And let us know how else we can help.


Image: Phil Roeder, Wikimedia CommonsCreative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license, cropped.

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