and mau-mau Kaleem Caire
It is more than coincidence that Madison Metro School District’s administration building abuts the University of Wisconsin’s flagship campus.
The school district lives and breathes identity politics because they teach it at UW-Madison and at all leading schools of education across the country. That includes Harvard, from which superintendent Jennifer Cheatham received her doctoral degree and at which she will grow future crops.
Even at a school as left-wing as UW-Madison, its school of education is radical left. Perhaps only the sociology department is more “woke.”
Four UW faculty members are the brains behind the Freedom, Inc. cadres who have been disrupting school board meetings these past two years. Freedom Inc.’s Bianca Gomez boasts that she hold’s a master’s degree in race and gender studies. They also staff MMSD’s TEEM Scholars Program.
The four faculty members operate what they call the “Mobilizing Youth Voices Project.” Its stated purpose:
To fight against racial, gender, queer oppression, while also striving to become critical educators in Madison in order to disrupt the harm that youth of color experience within our city.
We have learned how each group is fighting for racial justice in their own unique ways and we support their efforts to make their voices heard by those in power in whatever format they choose.
In particular, we have witnessed young people from Freedom Inc. … show up to school board meetings month after month for over a year armed with personal accounts and supportive research about the effects of police in schools only to be ignored, criticized, and criminalized.
This gang of four are:
Kendra P. Alexander, assistant professor, Civil Society and Community Studies.
Bianca J. Baldridge, assistant professor in the Department of Educational Policy Studies. (“Bianca’s research critically examines the confluence of race, class, and gender.”)
Erika C. Bullock, Department of Curriculum and Instruction. (One of her publications: “Rethinking teaching and learning mathematics for social justice from a critical race perspective” in the Journal of Education.)
John B. Diamond, Kellner Family distinguished chair in urban education. (He teaches a graduate-level course in “Race, Class, & Educational Inequality.”)
The Gang of Four’s latest screed resumes the mau-mau-ing of Madison education reformer Kaleem Caire for demanding that school kids quit F-bombing their teachers. After some contentious claptrap about white cops gunning down black youth indiscriminately, the four go in for the kill:
“In embracing this respectability narrative, Caire also invokes cultural racism and controlling images of Black women, core rhetorical strategies of contemporary racism and sexism. His unsubstantiated anecdotes about students “cursing out teachers and staff every day” notwithstanding, contemporary racism relies on the argument that Black people are culturally deficient, disrespectful, and prone to criminality and thus deserving of surveillance and punishment.”
Unsubstantiated anecdotes? How many teachers have to attest to the abuse before it is substantiated? Mobilizing Youth Voices Project enables the very disrespect and cultural deficiency that leads to criminality. No, say the Four, criticizing the F-bombers is “spirit murder.”
Caire embraces the controlling narrative of respectability politics by calling on Black, Latinx, Asian, and Indigenous youth to “Learn Respect.” But following the route of respectability leads to a dead end.
Blaska’s Bottom Line: “Leads to a dead end”? — or a (maybe, ya’ think) leads to a job? The irony, of course, is that Kaleem Caire is teaching young people to read and write. Alexander, Baldridge, Bullock, and Diamond are teaching kids to hate. They should be thankful the state legislature does not defund the university by the amount of their salaries.