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  • Writer's pictureJoanne Jacobs

Odysseus so white

English teachers at Oakland's College Preparatory School, one of the most expensive private schools in California, have "let go" of Homer's Odyssey as part of a pledge to "decenter whiteness," writes Corbin K. Barthold in City Journal. It's his alma mater. They dropped Turgenev’s Fathers and Sons for “a contemporary novel by a woman of color, text still to be decided.


Odysseus

Freshmen read "short stories and essays by authors such as Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, James Baldwin, Toni Cade Bambara, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Jhumpa Lahiri, Amy Tan, Ocean Vuong, and Claudia Rankine," he notes. (Baldwin is the only male -- but he was gay.) Sophomores are allowed one reading by a white male, Hamlet.


Juniors and seniors learn what "today’s environmental writers” think about “environmental racism and injustice.” (So, no Thoreau.) Other seminars include “Black Futures & Realities: Intro to Afrofuturism,” “Reframing Native American Literature,” and “Chicanx Literature’s First Wave and Beyond.”


"This is not a 'diverse' curriculum," writes Barthold. "It is a narrow, stunted, parochial one." College Prep is "banishing difference and strangeness, piety and skepticism, nobility and revolt."


The school exists to get students into Ivy+ colleges. I wonder if this curriculum helps or hurts its very, very privileged students.


It's not just the humanities, wrote John D. Sailer in 2021, also in City Journal.

The school’s honors biology course began with a week-long orientation on bias and prejudice in the sciences and included units on “how the concept of the gene has been used to perpetuate racism and eugenics.” In the engineering and design course, “students learned that many professionals create products based on their own demographic, which tilts white.”

Math teachers, "whenever possible, changed the names on theorems from the white European versions," the world languages department required "explicit conversations and content about social justice, colonialism, and inequity" and Drama Tech students “designed a show in the style of a non-theatrical artist focused exclusively on BIPOC and LGBTQ+ artists.”

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SDB
SDB
Apr 05

I had a student who once said the English Dept destroyed his love of reading

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JK Brown
JK Brown
Feb 24
Education perverts the mind since we are directly opposing the natural development of our mind by obtaining ideas first and observations last. This is why so few men of learning have such sound common sense as is quite common among the illiterate.

Arthur Schopenhauer


Strangely, "educators" seem bound and determined to destroy the idea that a child should be placed in their care to learn something that will improve their life. They are indoctrinators and happily do evil to children for their ideology.

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R Hammond
R Hammond
Feb 24

Western civilization started around 700 BC, and peaked around 2020. It was a good run for a long while.

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Malcolm Kirkpatrick
Malcolm Kirkpatrick
Feb 24

The College Preparatory School

Tuition for the 2023-24 school year is $54,980

How do you say "Wilson's Theorem" in Ebonics?

A fool and his money soon are parted.

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m_t_anderson
Feb 24

But no Frederick Douglas or George Washington Carver. Odd, that.

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PikeBishop65
PikeBishop65
Feb 25
Replying to

Our high school library has no Thomas Sowell, John McWhorter or Glen Loury either.

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