Los Al Standard and Curriculum and Ethnic Studies Course and its direct ties to Postmodern Theory

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By Karen Gardner

The June 10, 2021 article in The Sun regarding the Ethnic Studies course being implemented at Los Alamitos High was really bothersome. It villainized those of us who stand against this ideology, implying that we are white supremacists or violent domestic terrorists.  Fringe elements are plentiful on both sides.  The people making these decisions in our education system seem baffled as to the other side’s objections.

The following week The Sun published another article supporting the Ethnic Studies curriculum again from the perspective of a few high school students. One comment from a student said he witnessed audible slurs and inappropriate jokes made “within earshot of multiple school staff” and nothing was done.  Dr. Pulver in the Zoom school board meeting on May 11th highlighted a section of the new standards speaking about teaching students “not to go along with injustice” and stating the details of “the bystander affect.” In other words, sticking up for people who are being bullied or abused (Los Al Standards 6-8: Action 19). Obviously, they should start with their staff. 

I am a person with white skin, and have had to stand up against racism and bullying, as a by-stander, many times in my life, from childhood in school to the workplace. 

No one is saying racism doesn’t exist. We are saying Postmodern Theory, which includes Critical Race Theory, is not the way to solve it.  It does quite the opposite. 

There are two scenarios here:  Either the school board, superintendent, and staff do not know the details of what Postmodern Theory is and what it includes; or they do, and they are lying to us about it.  

Either scenario is unacceptable.

They are telling us they are not teaching Critical Race Theory and the Ethnic Studies class is an elective and therefore you are not bound to expose your child to this curriculum if that is your choice, but if you take a closer look, the curriculum and standards are indeed adopting Postmodern Theory and therefore this ideology is being woven into every aspect of your child’s education, and in all grade levels. 

If you don’t believe me, take a look at this national article on Los Alamitos and a third grader’s gender studies encounter and just one father’s treatment when expressing his concerns, and the poor teacher’s response at having to swallow her common sense and be bound to teach this curriculum: (The Daily Signal. California Public School Gives Third Graders Assignment About ‘Place on Gender Spectrum’ [https://www.dailysignal.com/2021/05/27/california-public-school-gives-third-graders-assignment-about-place-on-gender-spectrum/]).  

This is only partially about an Ethnic Studies Elective course, and its overly simplified goal of providing voices to the marginalized, but mostly about a harmful Postmodern Theory ideology that has its roots in Marxism.  

That is not hyperbole, but fact.  

Under the umbrella of Postmodern Theory includes Post Colonialism, Gender Studies, Queer Theory, 2nd and 3rd wave Feminisms, Critical Race Theory, Social Justice Theory, Fat Studies and Disabled Studies.  One pivotal onset of this ideology was initiated within Post Colonialism Theory and integral founder Michel Foucault.  Foucault has some striking parallels to Marxism, and was vehemently anti-capitalist.  

Like Marxism, Foucault believed social practices are transitory and all knowledge and intellectual formations are linked to social relations and power. 

Those who were heavily influenced by his work (most writers in the above categories), have built upon those principles and adhere to deconstructionist views. 

The history of this philosophy is a who’s who of people whose work malign Western thought and any of its contributions or traditions. 

This is not just another way of thinking, or a philosophy kicked around in the academy, but a dangerous ideology that seeks to destroy the West through changes in discourse, language, blurring the lines of traditions and values, and destroying all this great country has built by employing deconstructionist methods (i.e., cancel culture, educational indoctrination, “equity” redistribution policies, etc.).  

They abhor America’s founders as white European slave holders and land stealers, but they choose instead to follow more white European academics who instead of fighting in the battlefield, serving their country with integrity in office, composing foundational literature and building one of the greatest (not perfect) systems in history, they instead spent their time in faculty offices bloviating against the systems in which they’ve flourished and became celebrated in, paid for by the evil Capitalists. 

The Los Alamitos School District’s standards have adopted the product being sold by the Postmodernist Theorists. 

We can confirm this by looking at the Postmodernist’s established tactics which are 1) Change language and discourse in order to facilitate this belief system; 2) Reject science, especially biology (what we see now in gender issues and affirmation only “treatments”, which Los Al teaches and as advocated in the mandatory California Healthy Youth Act); 3) Push no objective truth in order to oust any religious influences (affirmed in the state standards of the mandatory California Healthy Youth Act); 4) Push only subjective truth in order to adapt lived experiences as the only method to truth (affirmed in state standards of the mandatory California Healthy Youth Act);  5) Blur the lines of social norms, established history, traditional values; 6) Problematize:  Take something that is not a problem, less of a problem, or no longer a problem, and make it a problem, 7) Cancel Culture: Disagree with them and they seek to punish you.

The Los Alamitos “Ethnic Studies: Cultural Experiences in the United States“ course description states it aims to teach identity as being intersectional and socially constructed.  This is right out of the Postmodern Theorists’ playbook, and yes, Critical Race Theory.  

Intersectionality, as introduced by Kimberlé Crenshaw, is an unstable, biased and constantly changing model.  It does not hold up to stringent methodology or academic rigor. It’s based on thoughts, feelings, whims and emotions, and is constantly knocking people off and on the privileged/oppressed podium (now gays and lesbians are too exclusionary for them). Intersectionality incorporates Standpoint Theory (oppressed have double sight, understanding both dominate position and the experience of being oppressed by it; and privileged are blinded by their privilege and see nothing) into its doctrine, which is straight-up Marxism.  

They also state they aim to teach changing narratives to emphasize stories from a particular point of view, which varies, are experience based (code for lived experience), and search out power dynamics (code for oppressor vs. oppressed).  This again is straight out of Theory. 

The comparisons are too many to list in an article, but it continues throughout pushing oral traditions, and community organizing, just to name a few Postmodernist’s tactics used to deconstruct.

The Los Alamitos “Standards and Domains” reads like a primer to Postmodern Indoctrination 101. It is saturated in group identity and intersectionality thought.  It instructs teachers with sample exercises how to elevate group identity over individuality, blurring the lines or just flatly rejecting traditional values, constantly emphasizing that we must be aware of all intersectionalities (code for no color blindness-they reject the 1960’s philosophy of Martin Luther King), takes aim at our laws and institutions accusing them of limiting rights and freedoms based on people’s identity groups, and even starts to introduce the lesser known categories of Fat Studies and Disabled Studies, the two newest pawns to the Grievance Studies categories (In the Los Al anti-bias scenarios in K-2 Outcomes and Scenarios).  The Los Alamitos “Ethnic Studies & Social Justice Standards FAQ” sheet is a plethora of Postmodern Theory’s speech, terms, misleading thought, and euphemisms.  Make no mistake, they are teaching Postmodern Theory, which includes Critical Race Theory.  It’s glaring throughout their materials.

Postmodern Theory isn’t about race and it isn’t about slavery and it isn’t about respecting or helping those who have gender dysphoria. 

Those topics are being nefariously used and abused by Postmodernists to facilitate deconstructionism, and in particular deconstructing the traditional family as one of their stated goals.

Theory’s summation of America’s faults in our past regarding slavery, assumes these faults are unique to this country.  

It completely disregards how common these ills are, globally and throughout mankind’s history, including the present day where in 2016, there were currently 40 million people in slavery (2018 Global Slavery Index), which is more a statement of the condition of mankind, then it is about America specifically, and white people in particularly.   

The Civil Rights Era under Dr. Martin Luther King had better, more intellectual, more practical, non-racist, and more loving solutions to these ills and to negate their tremendous effectiveness and progress is reprehensible.

We need to continue to apply pressure to the school board, superintendent, teachers and state legislatures by relentlessly writing to them without ceasing, and being present at the School Board meetings. 

Be respectful and thoughtful because they are looking for anything to call you a violent white supremacist, thereby putting themselves in the sought-after victim column. (By the way, I feel this way and I’m ½  Mexican, ¼ Cherokee and ¼ Italian, but my intersectionality doesn’t count under Theory because my skin is white).

Again, there are two scenarios here:  Either the school board, superintendent and staff do not know the details of what Postmodern Theory is and what it includes, or they do, and they are lying to us about it.  

Either scenario is unacceptable.

Los Al Standard and Curriculum and Ethnic Studies Course and its direct ties to Postmodern Theory