Fact or Fiction in the Idaho Schools Debate – Part 1

Editor’s Note: James Wilson holds a masters degree in Curriculum Development and is a member of Idaho’s Education Task Force.

The Lieutenant Governor’s Education Task Force first met Thursday, May 27, in the Lincoln Auditorium of the Idaho State Capitol. Its purpose is to investigate whether children in state-funded schools are being indoctrinated with such dogma as Critical Race Theory – a doctrine known to be born out of Marxism, and stated as such by Marxists.

Members of the task force were selected for their experience with education issues, commitment to constitutional principles, and openness of mind. The group is co-chaired by Lieutenant Governor Janice McGeachin and Representative Priscilla Giddings. Their work is crucial to the welfare of Idaho’s children; it can and should be done thoroughly and well.

Idaho’s mainstream media – along with its governor and multiple education establishment officials – chooses to publish reports on the task force so steeped in fantasy as to be pathetic. But let’s start at the beginning.

Before the first meeting, the press and top government officials were already working overtime to discredit the project. Governor Brad Little groused about making education policy based on “gossip and innuendo” while signing into law a bill that prevents public school students from being compelled to agree with CRT instruction. Senate President Pro Tempore Chuck Winder lamented the failure of a bill to accept six million federal dollars while conveniently forgetting the reason for the failure: more than eighty per cent of the funds would pay for curricular materials from a think tank steeped in CRT. He also forgot his failure to adopt an alternative bill that would have funded teacher raises without funding the Idaho Association for Educating Young Children (the organization peddling CRT materials for young children).

Those are definitely what I call Yahoo positions, but the biggest Yahoo awards go to the “mainstream” press. Allow me to explain.

The author of the article you’re reading right now has one of the most common names in the English language. With that, should we grant grace to reporter Blake Jones of Idaho Education News and The Idaho Statesman? Jones failed to do his homework before characterizing the author of this article as a far-right evangelist from Moscow, Idaho who is in his 90’s, and happens to have the same phenomenally common name as this author.

This author has never even been to Moscow, but Blake Jones never bothered to verify who he claimed to be identifying.

And although this author has a son, no, his name is not Douglas as Blake Jones asserts, and no, he didn’t write a book titled Principles of War. In fact, unlike the son of the 90+ year-old evangelist from Moscow, this author’s son does not live in Idaho.

Perhaps Mr. Jones is simply too busy to exercise proper journalistic standards. After all, if one were too busy for journalistic standards and did a run-of-the-mill internet search for “Blake Jones,” one might assume the Blake Jones who paints whimsical, anthropomorphic characters on wood might be the same Blake Jones who writes for Idaho Education News and the Idaho Statesman.

“Flora” by Blake Jones ($900)

But I digress.

Undaunted, Jones published a second article in both newspapers for which he writes, and in those pieces he characterized the first meeting of the Task Force as a vociferous witch hunt in which ten citizen protesters became involved in a rhetorical spitting contest before being unceremoniously ousted from the chamber.

Despite the fiction published by Jones, the facts – according to this eyewitness – are thus: There were two obvious protesters and (possibly) two more who made no demonstration. The rules of decorum, explained at the beginning of the meeting, forbade signs and verbal demonstrations by all parties within the auditorium. When the two identified protesters continued to display their signs after being asked to put them down, Co-chair Priscilla Giddings requested their departure and they left. When they returned after a break with new signs and again refused to put them down, or to leave, Giddings requested help from security and they left without incident.

When some in the crowd of forty to fifty – not the two-dozen reported by Jones – applauded their departure, they were likewise rebuked by Giddings.

Yet these events were described by Blake as “raucous demonstrations.”

Just what is Critical Race Theory?

An editorial by one Scott McIntosh published June 3 in the Idaho Statesman alleges that all members of the Task Force decried CRT but none could define it. This is hogwash, inasmuch as the definition is easy. More than a dozen voices defined it when they spoke or posed questions.

An online search in The Encyclopedia Britannica states that Critical Race Theory is “based on the premise that race is not a natural, biologically grounded feature…but a socially constructed (culturally invented) category…used to oppress and exploit people of color.” It also says, “law and legal institutions in the United States are inherently racist…”

Its immediate precursor is the Critical Legal Studies movement, “an offshoot of Marxist-oriented critical theory…according to which judicial decision making…is influenced as much by…political and ideological factors as by precedent and principles of legal reasoning.”

This reasoning found its way into such leftist Supreme Court decisions as the one mandating gay marriage for all states in 2015. Justice Kennedy, writing for the majority, said the issue was “too important” to subordinate to the Constitution.

So much for the rule of law. Apparently, the law was bigoted, so the Supreme Court gave itself authority to re-write the law – a job reserved for the Legislative branch, as clearly articulated in the Constitution. But forget about that – the issue was too important.

Critical Race Theory is historically rooted in the Frankfurt School of 1930s Germany. It was imported to America by Herbert Marcuse, who taught as a neo-Marxist at the University of California in San Diego in the 1960s and 70s. Per the Foundation for Economic Education, “Herbert Marcuse (1898-1979) published several works on Marx that would abandon the Marxist focus on labor and class struggle and develop the controversial philosophy of critical theory.”

From Marcuse, the banner was passed to avowed communist Angela Davis of UCLA. Today, CRT is usually credited to UCLA and Columbia law professor Kimberlé Crenshaw. It is indeed a Marxist theory, characterized by the dogma that humanity is composed of two groups – the oppressors and the oppressed. In National Socialist (Nazi) Germany, the so-called Aryans were the oppressed and the Jews were the oppressors. It did not matter that Nazis had the power; they clung to the theory and viewed themselves as the oppressed, thus justifying their atrocities.

What most proponents of CRT will not disclose is that the divisions they claim to exist are eternal, and victory can never be achieved. According to CRT, neither reconciliation nor resolution are possible because repentance and forgiveness are out of the question. We can take Nazi Germany as a case study. If the Jews were completely eliminated, the war would have morphed into conflict between Nazis and other socialists.

The task before the Education Task Force is far too serious for the pettifogging and fabrication of Idaho mainstream media voices like McIntosh and Jones, or the dismissive words of the governor, or the denial of the State Board of Education. The responsibility of the Task Force is not to define CRT, but to determine if this known quantity is already poisoning Idaho minds. Stay tuned for an eye-opening Part Two of this piece.


James A. Wilson is the author of Living As Ambassadors of RelationshipsThe Holy Spirit and the End TimesKingdom in Pursuit, and his first novel, Generation – available at Barnes and Noble, Amazon, or at praynorthstate@gmail.com


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