• Joanne Jacobs

Kids, you’re not ‘stamped’

Moshe K. Levy considers himself “pro-human” rather than “anti-racist,” he writes on FAIR’s site.

So he’s not a fan of Ibram X. Kendi’s Stamped (For Kids), which is being taught in elementary and middle schools across the country, including his sixth-grade daughter’s private school.

Kendi claims Stamped “is not a book of my opinions. . . This book is full of truth. It’s packed with the absolutely true facts of the choices people made over hundreds of years to get us to where we are today.”

Hardly, writes Levy. The book “is a political manifesto” that skews history to support a “regressive ideology.”

Stamped takes its title from Confederate Jefferson Davis’ quote that inequality between the races was “stamped from the beginning.” The book ignores the fact that “young America rejected Davis’ wretched vision for the nation by way of a bloody Civil War,” writes Levy.

Kendi’s true believers want allegiance to Kendiism, not “difficult conversations,” he writes.

(They) ask parents to accept it despite our knowing in our core that it is wrong to judge people based on skin color; despite our knowing that people are complex, not one dimensional; despite many of us coming from mixed backgrounds, making us difficult to classify according to group identity; despite many of us being in an interracial marriage, or having adopted children of a different race; despite knowing that societies which have hyper-focused on immutable differences have always imploded into violence of the worst kind.

Ian Rowe wants young people to see themselves as individuals who can make their lives better. They’re not “stamped” by racism, he argues. They’re free agents.

In his new book, Agency, Rowe proposes a plan to overcome the “victimhood narrative.”

An American Enterprise Institute fellow, Rowe led charter schools in the South Bronx and is the cofounder of Vertex Partnership Academies, a new network of character-based International Baccalaureate high schools opening in the Bronx.

In addition to believing in their own potential, children “need the nurturing structure, the consistent discipline, and the moral direction that social institutions traditionally have provided,” he argues. “In particular, they need Family, Religion, Education, and Entrepreneurship (F.R.E.E.).”

Anti-racist curricula encourages, defeatism, writes Roe.

Research by Eric Kauffman, professor of politics at the University of London, for instance, found that reading even a brief passage from Ta-Nehisi Coates’s “Letter to my Son” —- which paints America as a nation built on a history of oppression —- “was enough to reduce Black respondents’ sense of control over their lives.” And this lack of control can easily extend far beyond the classroom.

Instead of focusing on “systemic racism,” educators must “empower young people to believe that they possess the power — and, yes, agency — to surmount it,” Rowe writes.

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