The Anaheim Elementary School District has hired a radical identity politics advocacy group to train district leadership in “cultural competency relative to Muslims and Islam communities.”
At its September 27 meeting, the AESD Board of Education approved an independent contractor agreement with the Los Angeles chapter of Asian Americans Advancing Justice, an progressive legal advocacy group driven by identity politics. It was a unanimous vote by all five Board members. Anyone want to guess what kind of “cultural training” school district leadership will be getting from the AAAJ? The cost of the contract ($500) is nominal – but the AAAJ had revenues of nearly $13 million in 2015, so they can afford to work cheap. But the implications are significant and an indicator of the continuing politicization of AESD leadership.
The AAAJ’s radical politics are evident from its online messaging.
The groups’s website exhorts visitors to join it in fighting against “white supremacy” – the radical Left’s catch-all term for anyone who prefers color-blind governance based on individual rather than group rights. The group depicts America as a racist nation, saying “from the Chinese Exclusion Act to the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II, our history in this nation is deeply intertwined with white supremacy and nativism.” The AAAJ believes the Trump Administration’s temporary travel bans on immigration from several Muslim-majority nations is fueled by white supremacism and that it “falls on all of us to resist white supremacy, including efforts to be co-opted by white supremacists who do not and have never had our communities’ interests at heart” and preserve affirmative action, oppose deportations and “champion health care for all.”
It is absolutely true that Chinese and Japanese, both as immigrants and citizens, bore the brunt of horrible nativism and racism for decades, and usually with the support and often leadership of progressives. It is also true Asian Americans prevailed over such adverse circumstances. Asian-Americans are the most successful ethnic group in the United States, They are the wealthiest and most educated. Efforts by radical organizations like the AAAJ to portray Asian-Americans as “marginalized” and in danger of having their rights “eroded” are fear-mongering poppycock.
It speaks volumes about the politicizing of the Anaheim Elementary School District that it would contract with a left-wing political pressure group like AAAJ. This group condemns as “white supremacists” Americans who believe the law should be color-blind and that government treat everyone equally, regardless race and ethnicity; who support the enforcement of immigration laws, who think it prudent to be cautious when it comes to admitting immigrants from strife-torn Muslim-majority countries that are rife of jihadist terrorism; who think America has the right to determine the proper level of legal immigration.
Writing in the Huffington Post, the director of AAAJ’s Orange County office opined that Orange County “has long been seen as one of the most conservative, ‘white’ counties in the country with strong ties to the Ku Klux Klan and white supremacist hate groups. There is no doubt that this controversial history has left behind pervasive patterns of systemic racism within many of the systems and institutions within the county.”
Tweeting about the tragic church shooting in Texas, Ms. Kim found a way to make it a racial issue:
26 innocents are slaughtered by an evil lunatic and Ms. Kim fumes about white men. In this HuffPO article she likens Trump voters to Nazis and calls Americans who dislike political correctness “closeted bigots.”
This hiring raises other important questions: what exactly is “cultural competency relative to Muslims and Islam communities” and why does AESD leadership need to be trained in it? Why is the training being conducted by an advocacy group with a radical world view and an overt political agenda? What ideas and political viewpoints will then make their way into the AESD’s bureaucratic bloodstream?
At the same time, this isn’t surprising. The AESD Board of Education has come under the sway of practitioners of radical identity politics such as Ryan Ruelas and Jose Paolo Magcalas. They inhabit a political world in which the American Founding was a white supremacist enterprise and America’s history is reduced to a chronicle of racist oppression and genocide. In that world, equating conservatism and the Founding to “white supremacy” is no more controversial than saying the sun is warm.
It’s wise for school district with significant numbers of immigrant families to possess an understanding of the cultural lens through which those families see things. But it is something else altogether for a public school district to use that as a pretext for contracting with a political action group to “train” district staff.