Parents were notified on Tuesday that students at the Eagle River High School would be participating in “Inclusiveness Training” on Friday. The description said that the training was about racism and culture and to ensure that “each student feels safe and valued at our school.” It seemed innocuous enough.
But a video shown to the students struck many parents as propaganda and made them wonder what else was being taught during the racism training. They said appeared more like indoctrination into Critical Race Theory, a pedagogy that teaches that race is a social construct, and that racism is not just individual bias or prejudice, but is embedded in every aspect of America.
And that is certainly what the kids in the training video were saying. The video concerning parents was a CBS documentary, “Are the Kids All Right? Racism.” It was mandatory training for the entire school.
CBS describes the video as “A racial reckoning is happening in America, but the voices of kids and teens are often missing from that conversation.” In the video, teens are asked to describe their own views and experiences with being victims of racism. Every one of them described themselves in victim terms.
One parent said, “There was political agenda clearly with an anti-Trump narrative deployed in this training.”
For example, the video used powerful music to dramatize points the youth were making, and then cut to a CBS news clip describing about how former President Trump signed an executive order banning immigration from seven Muslim-majority countries (17.18 minute mark on the video.)
That news clip did not mention that the ban was temporary and was in response to terrorism. Or that it included non-Muslim countries, such as Venezuela and North Korea. The clip did not include that the U.S. Supreme Court upheld Trump’s right to enact a temporary order for national security reasons.
The news clip also did not mention that Trump signed the order also because the countries in question were not properly documenting their travelers, and the United States had lost confidence in the seven nations’ security protocols.
The documentary did not mention that President Joe Biden chose to keep the travel ban in place for North Korea. In all, it was simply an attack on Donald Trump, without context.
“I know that I still get privileges because I look white,” one of the documentary’s child interviewees said, expressing a sense of guilt by association of color. “Sometimes I’m like, ‘is it my fault? But it’s not.”
Another teen, African-American, rapped an anti-police narrative on the theme of George Floyd’s death at the hands of police. The resulting rap may reasonably be interpreted as a message that police officers are racist, inferring that all police are white.
In subsequent vignettes in the documentary, minority children talk about how caucasians are racist. This theme is the main lessons of Critical Race Theory.
There are five components of Critical Race Theory, and the video shown during what can be seen as a campus-wide CRT training hit all five components: (1) the notion that racism is ordinary and not aberrational; (2) the idea of an interest convergence; (3) the social construction of race; (4) the idea of storytelling and counter-storytelling; and (5) the notion that whites have actually been recipients of civil rights legislation.
In another segment of the propaganda series, “Gender,” CBS says that “For an unprecedented number of young people in Gen Z, gender is a social construct that needs dismantling.”
Watch the CRT video used in the training at YouTube: