In February, when Covid19 began making its way across America, I decided to get back into gardening. I hadn’t had a garden in several years and figured this would be a great opportunity. After all, I would have plenty of time. From watching a few YouTube videos, I learned an easy, no-til method for creating garden beds. Things were going well until I realized I didn’t have enough compost. By that time, everything was shut down due to the virus. I ended up with one garden bed that had really good soil, and one with iffy soil.
As you can probably predict, the plants that I put in the soil where I had the most compost came up wonderfully. They became strong, healthy, vibrant food-bearing plants. I had an abundance of kale, lettuce and beets for quite a while. The plants I put into the poorer soil did not fair so well. I had to spray them with a fungicide, and even then, they still dithered and produced very little.
They all had the same sun, the same water, and the same care from me. The difference was the soil. With good, healthy soil, you’ll get many times the payback on your planting. With bad soil, you will work hard but won’t get much of anything in return.
In my mind, education is like gardening. Teachers are tasked with preparing soil so that kids can flourish and bear fruit, like maturity, empathy, and even joy. But are our schools developing people who love each other, who are joyful, who are peaceful, who are forbearing, who are kind and good and faithful and gentle and who have self-control? Considering that most of the protesters and looters of the BLM movement are 18-34 in age, maybe we have failed. Maybe the soil we have created had fungus in it, that fungus being the leftist’s favorite word, “Equity.”
Consider a couple of points about the kids who are out marching and whining about racism and police brutality: They are the first generation to grow up without the fear of corporal punishment. In my day, teachers had the right to take a big paddle, which many of them prominently displayed in their room somewhere, and spank your butt with it, hard! And it hurt! I know from experience. It happened to me once in junior high, and I was pretty well behaved after that experience. In gardening, sometimes you have to prune to get growth.
Secondly, they were force fed a steady diet of equity. That means they were reminded daily that there were injustices in the American system. Rather than being taught to work hard and try to overcome any obstacle, the equity police told them that some people are just downtrodden, that the system is unfair and no matter how hard they work, they won’t be able to overcome it because America is essentially a racist country. They learned the soil is hard and must be broken down so that everyone can be equal. Never were they taught about all the good that white men have done throughout history. There was black history month, when they learned how good black people were and how vile many white people were. There were probably no lessons wherein a white person was praised for doing good as a white person. But boy, there were countless lessons of black people being good as black people.
Additionally, they were taught that all cultures should be respected and treated equally. So immigrants, instead of taking on the dominant US culture, decided to hold on to their old ways. In early America, parents purposely did not speak their native language to their kids at home for fear their kids would have an accent and be made fun of at school. The parents struggled to speak English to their kids, and as a result, we melted into one culture with one common language. Naturally, whites from many countries were able to blend in with each other, but only after nearly two hundred years of fighting and name calling among Irish, Italian, German, Polish, and other European Americans. I remember in the 1970s having a Pollock joke book. Whites didn’t really treat each other well until only recently. Look at Archie Bunker. In All in the Family, he fought tooth and nail with his liberal son in law, and often bemoaned that fact that his son in law was Polish.
Nowadays, each culture is supposed to be preserved, and teachers have to teach culturally responsive curriculum. Sounds lovely, but when you do that, you create a mosaic that is loosely held together by led. It’s not a melting pot. And you don’t create a deep rich soil based on the compost of rotting, dead civilizations. E Pluribus Unum has become E Pluribus Pluribus, and that is no kind of soil in which our kids can take root and flourish.
We fail to realize that diversity is harmful if we do not have at least an overriding common identity. The equity police have made sure we are diverse to the point that we can’t identify with each other.
I’m afraid that we have a generation of people who grew up in toxic, fungus-laden soil created by well meaning equity police. And as a result, we may end up harvest nothing but our own destruction.