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By Alyssa Erdley
Observer Staff 

Purveyors of "Critical" Ethnic Studies Seek to Indoctrinate New K-12 Teachers After Failing to Get State to Incorporate Their Antisemitic Doctrine in Curriculum

UC Regents need to keep political indoctrination out of teacher certification process

 

August 24, 2022

Christine Hong of UC Santa Cruz

August 17, 2022 - Having failed in their attempt to make Ethnic Studies a high school requirement for admission to a University of California campus, proponents of "critical" ethnic studies are turning their attention toward training K-12 teachers in their politically trendy version of the nation's history. This version, in which people are divided into oppressor versus oppressed classes, has been accused by the AMCHA Initiative as "inherently anti-Jewish" and "can't help but promote animus toward Jews and the Jewish state, and incite acts of aggression towards Jewish students and the Jewish community." The AMCHA Initiative is a non-profit organization that combats antisemitism in American institutions of higher learning.

Three early advocates of the critical ethnic studies curriculum that was ultimately rejected by the State of California and then by the Board of Admissions and Relations with Schools (BOARS) as antisemitic, racially inflammatory, and lacking in academic value, are now on track to help train K-12 teachers, using UC grants.

Christine Hong, Department Chair of UC Santa Cruz Critical Race and Ethnic Studies, has created a "4+1" pathway for students to earn a post-BA teaching credential in her department. Hong faced accusations that an early version of an ethnic studies curriculum for California schools that she advocated was antisemitic. She met such charges with the retort that members of the Jewish community who expressed concern about Jews being characterized as privileged and oppressors were racist liars. Hong's views toward Israel, the only Jewish country on earth, are equally specious. At a Zoom webinar entitled, "Arab American Studies: Palestine and the Fight for Ethnic Studies," Hong argued that anti-Zionism has been a foundational tenet of critical ethnic studies, and she expressed pride that the Association of Asian American Studies had been "the first national organization that came out formally in support of BDS." BDS stands for Boycott, Divest, and Sanction Israel. She is Chair of the department that will be giving teaching certificates to the state's new teachers.

The second advocate for critical ethnic studies who will be giving teaching certificates is Andrew Jolivette, Chair of the Ethnic Studies Department at UC San Diego. His department is to be an important higher education partner in the San Diego County Office of Education's regional training for teachers. At a webinar last year, Jolivette called Jews "white people" who had privilege and power and therefore should not be part of any ethnic studies curriculum. For Jews to even ask to be included in an ethnic studies curriculum, he called "in and of itself a racist statement." Jolivette issued a joint press release with Hong in which he called the critical ethnic studies' curriculum's critics, among them Jews, "white supremacist organizations."

Andrew Jolivette of UC San Diego

The third critical ethnic studies advocate is Natalie Deeb-Sossa, co-chair of the Ethnic Studies Leadership Council and UC Davis Chicana/o Studies Professor, and also a member of the Ethnic Studies Advisory Committee for the Davis Joint Unified School District. She was part of the school district's decision to adopt a comprehensive ethnic studies program that involves teacher training and certification. Deeb-Sossa is no friend to Jews. She, along with several other UC ethnic studies professors, signed a letter calling any inclusion of Jewish American history in ethnic studies "intellectually dishonest and arguably racist." The letter also called California Assemblymember Jesse Gabriel, then leader of the Legislative Jewish Caucus, a racist. Deeb-Sossa signed a petition accusing a Jewish organization that opposed BDS of thus supporting "settler colonialism, apartheid, and ethnic cleansing in Palestine, and white supremacy, McCarthyism, Islamophobia, and racism...."

The AMCHA initiative has begun a petition asking the UC Regents to make sure these purveyors of a radical view of history are not allowed to indoctrinate new teachers in their oppressive philosophy. The petition states the "UC Regents policty explicitlyprohibits faculty and departments from abusing their academic privilege to promote purely one-sided, political propaganda, stating, 'Misuse of the classroom by, for example, allowing it to be used for political indoctrination... constitutes misuse of the University as an institution.' The policy adds, 'It is the Regents' responsibility to the very concept of a University to protect the institution from the misuse of the classroom.'"

 

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