Schools are failing boys

I’ve had several rather unsatisfactory interactions with one of my son’s teachers, and the principal of the school he attends. I’ve even gone as high as the head of curriculum and learning, trying to see if factual accuracy where possible was an actual expectation.

Below is a (nearly) final draft of a note I’m considering sending to the Language Arts / Social Studies teacher, the principal, and the curriculum director (all are female). Other than being too long, any thoughts?

What’s wrong with the public school curriculum, and how schools are failing boys. And what can be done to change it.

I apologize in advance for the length of this missive, and the occasional use of mild profanity in the interests of blunt clarity; I’d recommend you put off reading it until you are done with everything else for the day. I know you are busy, but it’s important, and it’s not a small thought amenable to a sound-bite for those not already familiar with it. The TO: line includes the teacher (who appears to have some significant difficulty understanding my culture and communication style), the principal (whose job description includes talking to parents about such things), and the Director of Teaching and Learning (teaching and curricula is what this is about).

School district policy dictates that you assume good intentions on the part of people you are working with when interpreting their words. Your own school website frequently talks about decisions being data-driven, which sort of implies objective facts exist. Your multiculturalism training says that you must understand that the authentic experiences of those different than yourself must be recognized as valid and real. I mean no disrespect when I say this, but my experience has typically been that those ideas only appear to apply to people and topics the district and employees generally agree with (which lean politically very left), so I’m reminding you of them here in hopes you remember them when hearing about something you may find uncomfortable. It’s not about you, so don’t take this personally – it’s about a system that you are just a part of.

Please read carefully, as details are important. (Typos may exist, as I am imperfect.)

I understand public school teachers can’t teach everything in a history class, or any other class. Of course some facts are disputed, or very complex, or apparently conflicting, or uncertain. Simple time limitations require you pick and choose what is covered and how deep you can go. When I bring something specific to your attention it’s normally because it’s something so egregious that it cannot be ignored like the thousand other small things that make me despair for the future of the nation, but are not likely to change, and it’s part of a larger pattern of experience. Such were the previous items that you appear to still not understand completely, as the teacher in the case appears to have some serious misconceptions about my own culture (believing an inaccurate stereotype, perhaps?), and thus totally misunderstood my words. So I’m going to try to frame this within a larger picture, so you are more likely to understand the breadth and depth of the problem I’m seeing and trying to make clear.

Boys are failing.

No. Let me rephrase that more accurately: our boys are struggling because they are being failed by our institutions, specifically including (but not limited to) the public schools.

I hope I don’t need to explain the horrible details as far as life expectancy, graduation rates, murder rates, college completion rates, suicide rates, jobless rates, substance abuse rates, homelessness rates, ADD/ADHD medication rates, incarceration rates, arrest rates, etc. are concerned when it comes to the differences between males and females. Seeing it as a modern institutional and societal failure isn’t new: Christina Hoff Sommers’ War Against Boys was first published two decades ago, and many more books and essays on the same topic have been published both before and since. You may or may not agree with their premise, or think nothing about it applies to public school. I disagree, and plan to lay out some of how it applies to your curriculum and teaching as I and my own children have seen it. I’m sure you’d agree there is always room for improvement, and even a mostly wrong premise may have nuggets of useful truth or thought-provoking bits. Read on and reflect upon something likely don’t hear often.

Let me start with a set of framing questions: Why should a boy like my son care about you, or wider society in general? What makes a boy grow into a man willing to volunteer for the military and potentially die for strangers, such as yourself, to keep them safe and free? Why should they put themselves at any risk to help the weak, the downtrodden, the children, or the innocent, who is not well-known friend or close family? To be more than an expendable and interchangeable economic production unit? If a young man were to observe a woman being assaulted on the street, is there any reason he should attempt to come to her aid, or (to borrow a phrase from Princess Bride) do anything more than go through her pockets for loose change when it’s all over?

To be frank, he shouldn’t.

More specifically, your curriculum and teaching and environment not only doesn’t give him any reason to do so, it provides him many reasons not to, even though traditional Western Civilizations standards clearly dictate he should. They can’t even be convinced to stand respectfully in silence for the morning flag salute by their junior year, and you think they’ll put themselves at risk for you? Don’t make me laugh. To harsh, you say? Allow me to illuminate how your curricula is collectively indistinguishable from foreign agitprop designed to divide, demoralize, denigrate, confuse and marginalize those who should be part of the bedrock of society. The line between “showing the flaws in our own culture so we can do better” crossed over into “ongoing, low-key but systematic marginalization, denigration, misrepresentation, and generalized disrespecting of traditional American culture, Western civilization, Europeans, males, and Christianity, into a subtle and ongoing humiliation of them” that is frequent if not pervasive across at least two disciplines and all grades.

You have taken their heroes from them, left boys dispirited and alone, atomized by multiculturalism into a thousand micro-tribes without any culture or standards of their own to cling to, so they will search to find replacements in comic books, movies, video-games, gangs, and drugs. With a “rule of man” approach, they are told “don’t cheat because it’s against the rules,” rather than “don’t cheat because it’s morally wrong, it’s fraudulent, and corrosive to the well-being of society at large.” With written rules for everything divorced from an underlying moral code with the experience of history (“get more exercise, but don’t run in the halls, or on the pavement, or from the bus, or on a field trip, or anywhere but gym class!”), then “what you can get away with” becomes “technically legal” becomes “morally acceptable” becomes “only a chump wouldn’t take advantage of that,” and cheating continues. Bad guys don’t save damsels, and victims can’t. Your teaching and school environment effectively tries to put all boys into one of those two categories. You may not intend that, but you know what they say about good intentions and very hot places.

Look at two of the books read in 8th grade, Touching Spirit Bear and To Kill a Mockingbird. Both good books, well worth reading. But note: in both of them, white culture and white men in particular, are shown to be cruel, uncaring, narrow-minded, and intolerant, and non-European culture is portrayed as more enlightened, wise, and humane. The only good white men are those who defend and believe the non-whites (who are typically portrayed as innocent victims), or embrace non-white, non-Christian, non-western cultural practices.

Or examine a common book read in high school, All Quiet on the Western Front. Again, an excellent book well worth reading, but there is constant imagery and symbolism as men, specifically white men, as animals, bestial and cruel, murderous in the hell of war. Or Animal Farm, where the white man is bad, drunk, and wicked… but in addition to that, nearly all the bad animal (or those who have fatal flaws) characters are male. The females may be frivolous or weak, but if they are bad they are made that way by circumstances. In The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, once again a black / woman was the victim of those cold, uncaring, greedy… white men. Even when studying something like Beowulf, a significant amount of time is spent making sure that everyone is totally aware of his character flaws, nearly to the point of overwhelming his heroism. It may not always be discussed in the forefront, but that constant background gets internalized.

On and on, through nearly every common book read for language arts, the men’s flaws and weakness stressed a far more their strengths and virtues, honor and duty. There are few positive male role models who are white or Christian. Or, as one LA teacher flippantly said while I was sitting in on curriculum night (HS LA, a teacher my daughter had), “we are not just going to be reading things written by old dead white guys,” to the amused chuckles of the many non-white parents in attendance. (I’m sure you’ll be shocked (not) to know I talked to him about that before I left the room that night. You might also be shocked to hear it was a good conversation; we both understood one another better, because we both conversed and listened long enough to learn, rather than running to the principal at the first sign of disagreement. He goofed, he knew it, he apologized and explained, I appreciated what he was getting at, and it’s all good. I’m pretty sure he’ll rephrase things to more clearly give his actual intended meaning than what his “joke” implied, and my daughter enjoyed the course. Easy.) Similarly, those of European ancestry are routinely portrayed as worse than all other races. Not every time, to be sure, but go through the reading list K-12, as it is normally done, and do a count of how many characters there are, note the races where they are different, and if they are positively or negatively portrayed. Are they oppressors or victims? Are they role models or scum you’d want to keep your own children away from? Do the same for the females characters: are they victims, or villains? You like to say you are data-driven: well, what’s the count? My informal count from what I know of it is that whites are portrayed badly far more often as other races, and males have notable negative features by an even greater rate. About this only place this pattern breaks is when studying Greek / Roman mythology (for obvious reason), but even then a much greater emphasis is often made on the flaws than the virtues. Again, do your own count, and get some men you don’t typically agree with to help you count in a less biased way.

The boys see little or no sense of proper honor, bravery, respect for their own masculinity and cultural achievements, unless it’s channeled through a non-western culture or a woman. (Indeed, about the only time they hear the word “masculinity” today is when it’s paired with “toxic,” yet women write articles asking “where have all the good men gone?”). The idea of chivalry is a set of rules and obligations in exchange for certain general benefits and considerations. If men are going to be dumped on, and we are all totally equal, well… men would be chumps to pay all the costs gratis. No, it’s not “equal.” No system is. But it worked well enough to create this nation, but now it’s being torn down.

Don’t get me wrong – these are not bad books to read, but a better balance, with more things like The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and My Side of the Mountain, that appeal to boys and have a more nuanced / balanced view of things, would help tremendously. (That said, I’d really like if more people actually understood the fight scene in the first chapter of Tom Sawyer, but that’s extensive enough for it’s own essay. It’s part of the reason I wrote and published a book of my own, Komenagen: Slog).

But the place where things get really bad is in the history class, which routinely portrays males, European culture and ethnicity, and Christianity in pervasively negative light compared to pretty much everything else. They are effectively compared to an abstract modern ideal, as opposed to the real-world alternatives of the day. This is done by giving (mostly) factually accurate stories that are utterly devoid of the context and comparisons needed to evaluate them properly, and anything they did that is positive is sort of an “incidental”, or even in spite of their culture, rather than because of it, while many bad things they do are implied to be because of it. It’s not an accident that the scientific method was developed by European Christians, and all the sciences have roots in Western civilization. Let me give you but a few of the more obvious examples. (Caveat: some teachers, sometimes, touch on these topics briefly, so when I say “the district doesn’t teach” read it as “the vast majority of students will not see any of this in some memorable or relevant way.”)

You rightly teach about African slavery in colonial and early America. But you don’t teach about white and native American slaves, or the fact of native American tribes had slavery on a wide-spread basis both before and after colonization, and it was a major part of their economy in nearly all pre-industrial nations. You don’t teach that Captain John Smith, the Englishman of Jamestown fame, was a former slave. You often don’t teach that the reason Cortes was able to defeat the Aztecs was all the tribes they enslaved (and often sacrificed, and sometimes skinned and ate) rebelled against them to help the less murderous Spanish. You don’t teach about the thriving black-African slave trade by the north African Muslims, which saw ~100 million blacks captured and sold north (north Africa and the middle east, that is) into slavery; because they made the men eunuchs (with a 50%+ mortality rate) and giving the women abortifacts they were effectively genocided. You don’t teach of the pervasive slavery through-out the world, across history, as a major part of the economy everywhere. What do you think Rome traded east for Chinese silks and spices, for example? It wasn’t all glass, dye, and wine. You don’t teach it was the British navy that ended the international slave trade in the 1800s, at great national cost (ironically filling out the fleet ranks using press-gangs to involuntarily induct white seamen into a service much like slavery). You don’t teach of the 3000 blond-haired, blue-eyed Visigoth virgins taken from Spain after it was conquered by the Moors in the 8th century, and sent back as slaves to the caliph in Africa be sold, used, or given away as gifts to his fellow Muslims, or the systematic and widespread enslavement of Christian Europeans and middle-easterners by the Ottomans for centuries.

There is little comparison done with indentured servants, and when that comparison is made slavery is made to sound much worse; that’s quite debatable, as the reason the British colonists turned to African slaves was their Irish “indentured servants” died so rapidly on the sugar plantations (being “Barbadosed”) they were not very economical, and some indentured servants in the colonies had 6-year survival rates as low as four percent (4%), or that the white “street urchin” females who were sent over from London as “indentures” were marketed as potential wives. They are not taught of Muslim slave-raids on Europe that were constant in the Dark- and Middle Ages (indeed, they were a major cause for the economic collapse in Europe), the Moroccan slavers hitting as far north as England as late as 1625, for example. They are not taught that free blacks in the antebellum south owned slaves (of all colors!) at a higher rate (~ 5%) than free whites (<2%), or that more than a quarter of all people murdered in lynchings in the post-civil war south were white. The way the native American tribes treated their captives / slaves was positively horrific, even in comparison to how blacks were treated by white plantation slave owners. The role of non-whites and non-Christians in the African slave trade to America is minimized where it’s mentioned at all. It’s usually portrayed as a uniquely white / Christian / American institution, perpetrated uniquely against black Africans; I have had students who explicitly stated they thought this was true, and were totally shocked that it is not (yes, I’ve taught history). The brief passing mention of slavery in other parts of the curriculum are 99% not retained or understood, if taught at all. Because the student has no good factual basis of comparison, African-Americans are effectively taught they are victims, and whites are effectively taught their culture is collectively responsible for the uniquely vile oppression and actions of their forefathers, and they, today, need to make amends. Context is critical, and almost totally missing. (The books on my shelf related this this topic include, but not limited to, White Cargo, Christian Slaves, Muslim Masters: White Slavery in the Mediterranean, White Gold, A fate worse than death, Black Slaveowners: Free Black Slave Masters in South Carolina, 1790-1860, the The Myth of the Andalusian Paradise.)

Or take how the Spanish missionaries and conquistadors treated the natives. “They did their best to totally stamp out native culture, and forcibly convert them to Christianity,” many text-books cry out in distress. What’s normally left unsaid or unread is that the natives, with a long history of human sacrifice, saw the crucifix, heard the world “Christ child”, and heard about the “body and blood of Christ” during communion, and though “hey, cool, we are down with that!” If one Christ-child is good, then many must be better, right? And if taking in the “fake” body and blood via wafers and wine is good, then more crucified Christ-children to eat for real must be better, right? The “merger” of native culture and Christianity had them crucifying kids in secret. For some reason the priest didn’t think that was an acceptable fusion of faiths, frowned on this bit of multicultural sharing, and in an effort to stamp the practice out they had to be rather vigorous. Puts a rather more complex spin on the situation, doesn’t it? Or are you OK with human sacrifice as “just another equally acceptable expression of faith?” (No, didn’t think you were; but by what basic principle of multiculturalism do you accept one item of a culture, and reject another?)

Next up, we have WWII. My son’s major take away for the week it was studied amounted to “Americans interned the Japanese, then we nuked them, the Germans killed Jews, blacks and women became important in the workplace because they’d been locked out because of discrimination by white men.” No glory. No heroism. No desperation. No noble sacrifice. No wildly implausible wins against great odds. No mention of Japanese atrocities. No mention of a large percentage of those running the soviet secret police and gulags being Jewish. Nothing about the uniquely aggressive and self-initiated actions of the American military. Nothing about the horrors of the close fighting on any front which men were subjected to. None of the reasoning behind why dropping the two atomic bombs was the low-cost option in terms of casualties on both sides, or the political implications with USSR. Nothing about a huge amount of raw muscle that was required for manufacturing processes before the war, and how it was increasing automation that the industrial age that finally allowed physically weaker women or low-skill workers to make more things in factories, and these automation improvements were made by (in almost all cases) white, Christian men, or that there were not enough jobs before the war to employ both men and women; women would have been effectively competing with their own husbands and driven wages even lower during the depression. Nothing about male Nazi collaborates in France being executed, while the women just had their heads shaved. (Not very equitable, that, but I have yet to hear any women complain about it for some reason. Maybe next time we need to have mass arrests and military tribunals for traitors and collaborators working with enemies of the nation, this bit of sexist discrimination can be rectified, and justice can be meted out more equitably to all.) Men were sent off the be slaughtered in the millions, and the biggest thing to talk about is getting women into the factory jobs?


Talk about skewed perspectives! Few women were champing at the bit for a 40-hour work week on the factory floor, but the men were off getting their asses shot out of the sky, swimming in shark-infested or freezing water when their ship sunk, and being torn apart by bullets and bombs; so happy to give you the opportunity to get a job and comfy commute with a shower at home. (Note: I have served in uniform, as have many family members, and I find the idea of men serving and dying primarily as a job opportunity (even said indirectly or jokingly) for women to be very offensive; they were in the factories because it was necessary, and much safer than flying bombers over Germany. My hat is off to those who stepped up and performed admirably in non-traditional roles. But why matters. I had a great aunt who, if I understand the story right, ended up in north Africa ferrying planes over, in order to free male pilots and aircrew for the more dangerous combat missions. An old hunting partner of mine was nearly deaf from time spent serving an anti-aircraft gun shooting at literal kamikazes trying to sink his troopship at Okinawa, and he could do that because someone else back home, possibly a woman, was making uniforms and the ammunition for his guns.) Nothing about the bravery by solders on all sides, of all colors (look up the Sikh and Gurkha actions with the British against the Japanese, for example: masculinity at its best, and it came in tricolor), defending their homelands and ideology, even when flawed (by our present-day standards and morals)? Nothing about the stoic acceptance of their fates when the shit got bad? Nothing about how America’s enemies treated their own sub-groups of uncertain loyalty, such as the Soviet gulags, or Slaves, Poles, gypsies, and other non-Jewish groups enslaved or slaughtered by the Nazis, or how the Japanese took hundreds of thousands of “comfort women” as sex-slaves, or used Chinese civilians as bayonet practice, or the Bataan Death March, the Rape of Nanking, or the Katyn Forest Massacre? Nothing about how American culture, attitude, and men repaired the carrier USS Yorktown in three days to be ready for the battle of Midway, when a similarly-badly-damaged Japanese ship needed more than a year of drydock repair? Really? Nothing to be proud of, to make them throw out their chest even a little bit and say “that’s American Can Do at its best… I want to be that good one day!” Can’t you find anything aspirational about the greatest conflict in human history? But males get…. metaphorically shit on as so sexist it took a world war to change their ways and allow women into the workplace. (The list of books on my shelf dealing with military history is too long to list – suffice it to say I own a great many of them, and have read many more.)

In short, at nearly every turn, where something good could have been said about America, Christianity, or men, the opportunity was taken to say nothing. One of the most pivotal, exciting events in all of history, WWII, with rapid technological changes, huge social changes, tens of millions displaced or dead, battles that raged across millions of square miles for months, staggering economic changes, the boarding of a submarine on the high seas by a frick’in aircraft carrier for God’s sake, much of it lead by America and men, and the whole world order changed radically, but the take-away is “big emphasis on Japanese internment, sort of like mistreatment of the Indians.”

Just…. wow.

About this point the cultural Marxist activist SJW-type is likely to pipe up with a condescending comment like “sounds like over-compensating for white guilt” or “white fragility” or “projections from an easily bruised male ego seeking recognition,” or some other convenient victim-blaming way to avoid a discussion of actual ideas I’m raising by casting dismissive labels and accusations. If someone shits on a you constantly, and shits on your culture and heritage and skin color nearly every day, incessantly pokes you about imperfections and compares you with anyone who has any similarity with you to invoke a negative stereotype and mock you, and you finally gets annoyed enough to say something, that’s not about “fragility” or “ego” or “guilt.” It’s about making others aware of how those actions and words are received. It gets tiresome correcting inaccurate or woefully incomplete lessons on a regular, almost daily, basis. But my children are lucky – they have a parent who actually reads and knows history, so I can clean up the academic mess they see so often at school.

I could go on like this with nearly every topic in the SS/LA curriculum, but you get the idea. The facts presented are generally true enough, as far as they go, but the cumulative effect of poor- to no context, and presented “neutrally” to the point of simultaneously sucking the life out of them and marginalizing all things American, male, or Christian, is… not a good value for all the tax money people send your way. Your graduates can’t even explain why, if America is so racist, why is it that American blacks are the richest in the world, and whites are not the wealthiest (average per-capita net worth) ethnic group in the nation? Yet today the NEA is encouraging teachers to stoke the flames of racial hatred by focusing on feelings rather than facts and logic.

Is America and Western civilization perfect? No, of course not. But this constant gaslighting by highlighting of flaws and failures without context is like an abusive parent who constantly nit-picks their child, “correcting” and criticizing incessantly about every little thing the young can’t yet perform up to their parents “standard.” It is never “catching them doing good.” Think about your lessons over the year – how many of them specifically call out any idea or action in western civilization as being distinctly positive compared to every realistic alternative?

According to the curriculum director, your curricula are “skills based.” OK… but is it possible to use skills high up Blooms taxonomy productively if they are based on a foundation of myth, lies, distortion, ignorance, and fantasy? One cannot invent antibiotics from a foundation of demons and foul humors, nor can you emphasize difference and grievance and expect to promote unity. The sweep of history, its ebb and flow, action and reaction, the psychology of how people behave in the face of the unknown or the hostile, in good times and bad, cannot be taught with “skills,” or a series of disconnected factoids. You need to know a thousand other data-points to see the picture clearly. I’ve asked the director of teaching and learning specifically if factual accuracy was actually an official expectation of teachers for a lesson that is taught, because her initial prompt and generous response was unclear on that specific point, but I have yet to receive a reply. I assume it’s because she’s just very busy this time of year.

People without a factually accurate cultural history of their own people are, by definition, uncultured. Without culture. Adrift. Spiritually alone with no firm framework to view the world. Easily lead astray, as their “history” will be re-written by the news every day when they memory-hole one fact and substitute a different “fact” when it’s convenient. We’ve always been at war with EastAsia. You cannot learn the lessons of history if you don’t know it. Without the solid grounding in factually correct history, and the philosophical background and understanding of the three pillars of Western Civilization to unify them, they have no reason to save damsels in distress, and they won’t. (You do know what the three pillars are, yes? No, you likely don’t. Start here.) They have not been issued a proper Damsel Rescue Certification, and schools are big on certifications. That will end badly for everyone, but especially for females, as men will start to see women in purely utilitarian / transactional “what’s in it for me, right now?” terms. It’s happening already. You had best hope that the adults in your student’s life are successful in telling their sons “play the game, and parrot the story your history teacher peddles to you for a grade, but remember that they are only telling half-truths, and may not have your best interests at heart,” and teaches them to come to your aid in time of need, even at great risk to themselves, because it is the right thing to do.  Prey they have learned right from wrong, and ignored the murk and nihilism which gets dished out every day in class, from history without context to geometry without proofs, with a light sprinkling of patently false, saccharine happy-talk. If they take your lessons seriously, they’d walk away from the aforementioned damsel in distress and not get involved, because the risk : reward ratio is so bad. They will look at the crumpled, beaten body, and say “nah, not worth it,” and move on. To quote C.S. Lewis, “Education without values, as useful as it is, seems rather to make man a more clever devil.” Western Civilization is, in part, a set of facts and the values based on them. No facts = no morality. That’s the “standard” you are teaching to. Is that a world you want to live in? To put it bluntly, you are looking at Chesterton’s fence of knowledge and facts and demanding it be removed to build some skills to “standards” that have not stood the test of time and experience.

To use “state standards,” or “common core,” or “district standards” as an excuse to not provide factually accurate and properly contextualized history is a total cop-out, as laws are written by lobbyists, and the largest lobbying organization in the nation are the various education unions. The education-industrial establishment effectively write the education-related laws; they can’t be used as an excuse to say “our hands are tied” unless you are actively lobbying to get rid of those laws. That is disingenuous. Indeed, the cratering of test scores since the adoption of common core sort of highlights the new isn’t as good as the old system; your math curriculum makes some of the same mistakes “whole word” reading did. It’s glaringly obvious to me; is it to you?

“But that’s not what we teach!” someone might object. Remember, your own multicultural training stresses that communication includes how you are perceived, and what the person understands because of their unique background is as important, or maybe even more so, than what you intended. Even if they are not consciously aware of it, nor can they verbalize it, the boys feel it. I see it. Your constant harping about “white privilege” isn’t about building awareness, it’s humiliating children because of their race, and about instilling guilt to make the innocent easy to manipulate. The lesson your students hear may not be the one you want, such as when a person hears the tale of the Boy Who Cried Wolf, and learns the lesson of “don’t tell the same lie twice.” That is still a valid lesson, in a different moral framework. (This might be a good place to recommend you read Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn’s Gulag Archipelago, preferably the 3-volume unabridged version, if you have not already done so. What you will learn about the manipulating of language to manipulate people will open your eyes, especially when you see yourself surrounded by it… or doing it. The parallels are truly scary. What you will learn about who gets promoted and why will be terrifying if you are paying attention to the world around you.)

Viewing how badly males and Europeans Christians are portrayed with a constant K-12 drumbeat of negative stereotypes about them and European culture, the only thing surprising about the male suicide rate is that’s it’s not higher than it is (though girls talk about it more, boys actually do it roughly four times as often as females, whites about 2.5x the black population). As it is, whites lag behind only native Americans in suicide. Look at this district’s suicides from the last few years; notice a pattern when it comes to sex and skin color? Yup, I see that, too. That’s what happens when people have no culture to be proud of, nor a history to live up to, no belief in something bigger and beyond themselves. And no, socialist / Marxist slogans don’t work. That land the Europeans took from the Native American tribes, just like every people in history have taken it from someone else long before? Well, you are now taking Americans’ nation and culture from them, too. I fail to see how a curriculum designed by a subversive foreign power to fracture us and bring us down would be designed any differently, given that it can’t be so utterly obvious that average people would notice from the beginning.

This pattern plays out repeatedly in pop culture (which I know you have no direct control over, but your teaching doesn’t happen in a vacuum). The movies Fern Gully, Avatar, and Dances With Wolves are a great representative example with the same story line across different genres – white men are bad, cruel, and destructive, but if they go native, and learn native wisdom, and meet a native(ish) girl, then they too can become wise and lead the natives to oppose the White Male Christians who are bad and mean and greedy and hate the environment. They manage to both hate on western civilization, and condescend to native cultures as being “wise” but too stupid to actually defend themselves against the depredations of white men… unless they are led by white men. And don’t even get me started on how anti-male typical TV commercials are these days.

All of this circles back to the topic that kicked this off, Senator Joe McCarthy. We now know he was right. (If you are unsure, read here or here or here, here is a more scholarly book on it, and an interview with the author, lots more if you dig much; the only reason to not know is if you don’t want to know.) The state department and media were compromised by foreign actors and interests, hostile to American values and ideals. They were compromised so badly they got him censured and made a nationally discredited laughingstock, a punchline synonymous with being wrong, for the rest of the century. Discredited so thoroughly that a teacher chose to leave it ambiguous, even when asked by a concerned parent to double check if she didn’t know for sure and make it clear. But McCarthy was right all along. So, consider the following series of historical facts:

  • During the Vietnam War, there were massive numbers of military intelligence failures, misinterpretation of Soviet and Chinese political moves, uniformly bad strategic decisions with respect to force composition, training, deployments, rules of engagement, tactics, the draft, handing returning soldiers, domestic media strategy, foreign psychological operations, “Project 100,000,” and all the rest. Even though we won every tactical engagement of significance on the ground, we lost the war. Basically, at every level, through both Democrat and Republican, HUGE mistakes were made that always cost American $$, 55,000 American lives, and prestige, while tending to corrupt the military-industrial establishment.
  • In the Gulf Wars, we managed to (across both Dem and Rep administrations) not only repeat many of the same mistakes, but also made a whole host of new ones that people on the ground at the time were saying were a terrible idea, and whenever someone started to be effective they were transferred out or “up” so someplace where they were sidelined, or magically a scandal would break out in the area and headline in the news for a months.
  • Martin Luther King, Jr, a gun-owning, NRA member, constitution-quoting and Bible-quoting Republican who wanted blacks to be able to stand on their own two feet in self-respect with a job equal to their skill, and to judge people by their character rather than skin color, was assassinated and replace by the likes Al Sharpton and Jessie Jackson, hard left, racially-divisive Dem/socialist activists who want hand-outs and quotas based on skin color, and consider different outcomes as being proof of racism, and have promoted welfare systems that trap minorities and women in poverty and single-parenthood.
  • It was Republicans who freed the slaves, and were behind the Civil Rights Act, and the Dems who opposed it and ran the KKK, yet somehow, magically, today nearly all public school graduates manage to have those reversed in their minds.
  • Through part of the 60’s and 70’s, in both R and D administrations, wage and price controls were used to deal with economic problems and stagflation. These are common features of communist / socialist / totalitarian governments, and they have uniformly failed in all places, throughout history, where they have been tried (Rome, China, French Republic, etc), and some of the same advisors kept telling the white house and congress to use them. They performed just as badly as their detractors predicted.
  • Through the 70s, 80s, and 90s, trade deals were signed by both R and D administrations that ALL tended to gut American blue-collar jobs, had huge and easily abused loop-holes, and make us dependent on cheap foreign manufactured good, while exporting jobs to nations with close to zero environmental regulations or civil rights, while environmentalists screamed we had to have stricter environmental controls (making us even less cost-competitive), meaning that trans-national corporations and politicians were the only ones who benefited, long term, while we exported jobs and pollution.
  • For the last 30 years, environmentalists have been screaming we need to limit family size because of resource limitations and the impending CO2 catastrophe, while simultaneously demanding open borders so that massive number of people from low-resource-use, high-birthrate, low-carbon-footprint nations can migrate to high-carbon-use-per-capita nations, causing a huge increase in the nation’s fossil fuel use and population of high-birthrate sub-populations, and demanding we boost welfare benefits (which subsidize large families who are poor). That was after reassuring Americans that the Immigration Act of 1965 would not in any way have any significant impact on the racial composition of the nation.
  • Since the 60s, across D & R administrations, collectively, the welfare system penalizes improving your income and life by having hard cut-offs, where a dollar more in income makes a recipient lose the entire benefit, effectively locking people into a welfare trap. It also incentivizes divorce and single parenthood, even though the single biggest correlation element with juvenile male crime, drug use, poor school performance, gang affiliation, and homicide is not having a father figure in the home. Yet strangely, nobody seems to be able to fix this, even though it’s trivial to do and everyone anywhere in the system knows about it.
  • Hard left radicals, like convicted Weather Underground Terrorists Bernardine Dohrn, Kathy Boudin, and Bill Ayers, managed to effortlessly slide into tenured professorship jobs (the later in education) far more often than is statistically probable.
  • Howard Zinn wrote “A people’s history of America;” it is not footnoted, has many factual inaccuracies and misrepresentations, used lots of loaded rhetorical questions, and it’s used as an “extra” text in many high school AP history classes, even though he never hid the fact he wrote it specifically as an anti-American polemic…. But the AP US History teachers do NOT point out all its factual inaccuracies or problems. (This is not speculation: it was used in my daughter’s APUSH class, no debunking done, no highlighting of his pernicious rhetorical question ticks discussed. Zinn writes well, and it is a compelling-sounding narrative that is insidious in its utter wrongness.)
  • Seemingly overnight it because almost required to repeat the near-religious mantra that “black lives matter,” (well, yes, they do, obviously) but simultaneously “ALL lives matter” was deemed racist (wha…?See this for some black dudes’ take on it that I’m down with), and “it’s OK to be white” was declared the catch-phrase of white supremacists and Nazis (wait, you mean it’s not OK to be white? Or just not OK to say that?), and the mental melt-downs caused by people who regularly hated on bad priests in the Catholic Church who heard the phrase “Islam is right about women” was epic: agree with it and you are misogynist, disagree with it and you are Islamophobic. (why is it that actual facts about police and violence is so unpopular in the news?)
  • Your school promotes many programs to help females get into traditionally male jobs, but as near as I can tell there are pretty close to zero for the reverse. But that’s not sexist? And you wonder why boys struggle? Similarly, you promote many programs to help non-whites, including informing your students of scholarships reserved for “minority” (i.e., non-white) applicants, but none reserved for whites only (please correct me if I’m wrong). Yet that is not considered racist? Interesting way to define the terms, and very useful for someone seeking to divide, demoralize, control, and conquer.
  • The current drumbeat of “racist cops!” memes is eerily reminiscent of the marginalization and harassment of returning “baby-killer!” soldiers from the Vietnam war. How’d that work out? Meanwhile, Antifa is teaching people how to attack peaceful civilians.
  • Because of the recent “bail reform” changes, and because “coronavirus might spread to high density populations like jails,” not only were tens of thousands of criminals released from jail early in the last few months – many of whom immediately re-offended – none of the looters and rioters arrested are spending so much as an hour in jail before they are back out on the street to continue rioting and looting. All these riots are over a long-time criminal with a history of armed robbery, who was high on a huge dose of fentenyl, tried to pass bad money, fought being arrested, and apparently died from a medical issue complication (while in police custody)… Really? Seriously? To anyone paying attention, or a student of military history, George Floyd is just an excuse, and the riots are clearly part of a well-planned and organized insurrection, complete with pre-positioned pallets of bricks to throw through windows (another example), coordinating via open platforms like Twitter and FB. Someone is trying to destabilize and delegitimatize the government, looking for any excuse to escalate. (I’m expecting false-flag shootings, trying to throw blame on the police and the government in order to inflame people, at these riots any time. We are in total Wag the Dog territory, with full-on media complicity. If it were not so serious it would be funny it’s so obvious. Interesting times.) Yet the thousands of annual black-on-black murders, and black-on-white murders, get barely a local mention.

Now then, you tell me which is more likely, and more likely to help your students arrive at an accurate understanding of our current state of world affairs:

Option 1: all those communist operatives, sympathizers, and interests just vanished *poof* by the 1960s, and decisions were made honestly by good, smart, well-educated people with the best long-term interests of the average American in mind, and they managed to ALL make decisions that lead to a bankrupt nation deeply in debt at all levels (personal, corporate, public), an economy where most families require two incomes to afford a house, manufacturing has been gutted, marriage and child-birth rates falling, collapsing family structure, a sense of entitlement, race relations are worsening, and a dependence on foreign workers even after being able to build the greatest nation with the most powerful military Earth, the multiculturalism push that effectively calls all whites racists constantly, pervasive anti-male and anti-Christian books and teachings in schools of a predominantly white Christian nation, normalizing everything that fractures the nuclear family from no-fault divorce to generous welfare for single moms, the constant drumbeat of anti-white “news” and movies out of Hollywood (look what they did to Thor in The Avengers, for example) the utter failure of common-core (just look at national test scores!), schools lean firmly to the political left, and every other aspect of anti-traditional Americansm, all push toward fracturing and demoralizing and destabilizing the nation and dividing one generation from the next all happened totally organically on its own by people with honest good intentions;


Option 2: those agents and sympathizers and interests were still there, and their numbers have slowly grown with their influence, and these actions are directed to some degree as a foreign or extra-nationalist psy-op to destabilize the nation and profit personally; the compromised District Attorney covers for the bad cop working with the corrupt judge talking to the controlled legislator so that justice always seems to just… not quite happen; and today those agents/sympathizers are helping influence who gets jobs to teach tomorrow’s generation, hoping for a relatively bloodless coup through stealth insurrection? And they would, of course, promote an education system that would tend to demoralize the people, particularly military age males, and destroy cohesion and unity among the people, trying to fracture them into bickering factions with no common culture or heritage, and they’d promote people who support those actions, and frequently do various types of language-policing, and seek to limit free speech (thought), and promoting “diversity” rather than “excellence”? To the point where a principle is appears more concerned with feelings about a dead thug on drugs in a different state more than factual accuracy of a lesson on a pivotal point of history in her own school? 1984 was a warning, not a guide-book.

The questions that obviously follows are:

If Option 1 is correct, how do you explain such a comprehensive series of failures across such a broad spectrum of fields that all conveniently fail in the same direction, and

If Option 2 is correct, how should you feel, and what should you do, when you realize you’ve been lied to, manipulated, used, and made a useful idiot by an ideology that seeks your enslavement or destruction? It’s not a problem you can easily shoot yourself out of, and I would never try except as an absolutely last resort after the battles are open and everywhere; as a student of military history, I have a better understanding than most of how that would likely go. It would take large-scale arrests and military tribunals to have any chance of being fixed. (Rumor has it that option is being worked on, but you know what conspiracy theories are like. I’m sure those 160,000+ sealed federal indictments are just coincidental.)

For myself, I write. Four books, some short stories, two writing award nominations, more books in the works. Hopeful, action-packed, philosophical and optimistic but not saccharine, stories, written with boys in mind. In fact, one of them has inspired the founding of a real-world program to help PTSD vets. But what will you do when you realize the world doesn’t work the way you thought? Are you willing to speak up about uncomfortable facts and seek the truth, or will you take the path of least resistance, as most government employees are wont to do, because a steady paycheck is more important than truth? Some people are arrogant enough to think they have found truth already, but I know I’ve only got pieces and parts of it, and seek more. That’s why I speak up and ask hard questions and don’t back away from uncomfortable conversations– I hope to meet someone with a spine will argue back, and have accurate facts I didn’t already know, or ask me a really good question that makes me think. In my culture, in the finest Greco-Roman tradition, vigorous argument and debate is not just acceptable, it is how people arrive at a deeper understanding of truth and reality; running away means the person doesn’t have any conviction their ideas are honestly defensible, or even explainable.

Like I said at the start, this isn’t a “sound bite” sized idea. It could easily fill a book to fully flesh out and document. But the fact is that if the nation collapses (politically or economically, and statistically we are due for it based on the life-cycle of governments historically), if it falls into civil war (likely the Spanish Civil war is the best analog in moderns history to study if you want to see how that might play out – it’s some pretty brutal reading), then your retirement plan fails with it. Will your sons and grandsons be Men of the West, able to do their Christian duty toward you? Will your daughters be able to attract that sort? Or will they be the spineless, self-centered snowflake man-children of the type so common today, with the left-wing, self-centered, nihilistic, rootless multi-culti mindset, who will say “you are empowered, take care of your own self or pay cash”? When times are hard, peoples’ true nature is revealed. Do you have enough sons or grandsons (or in-laws) of your own whom you can trust, able and willing to support and protect you in retirement if/when that happens? Mine may be rather busy.

Remember: Actions have consequences, and good intentions mean little. McCarthy was right. Facts exist. Facts matter. Even when they don’t make your decisions easier.

Have a great summer! Looks to be a hot one.


6 thoughts on “Schools are failing boys

  1. Very good, Rolf! But at this point it’s all pretty much…Academic? And your only mistake was possibly thinking they have an attention span longer than the average 12 year old student? People that teach like that are brainwashed. ( Yuri Beseremov style?) And logic won’t convenience them.
    Send it to them anyway. Maybe add a question at the end.
    Why should my children listen to you? Your mostly white. And were taught in white colleges by mostly white people. Why won’t you listen to Thomas Sowell? Because you have been brainwashed by White People that’s why!
    That won’t help either. But, hey. have some fun with the commies. Remember, the most affective tool against communist is ridicule.

    1. Most likely it will do nothing.
      But perhaps, maybe, like writing a book, it will end up someplace where something will get someone thinking, and it will make a difference.
      And I can sleep at night, knowing I’ve done what I can to head off the social train wreck barreling down on us, a mess made by people so ignorant of factual history they cannot answer simple questions correctly, let alone understand the nightly news.

      Maybe nothing will change until after we are seeing actual military tribunals of subversives, and they will suddenly have a serious come-to-Jesus moment, and realize… the time to change course is nigh, or things bigger than any of us could get worse, and school budgets will be within the economic blast radius. People have a way of seeing reality differently when the paycheck is on the line. They’d never admit I was actually right, of course, but they’ll know. We’ll all know.

      Updated comment: I edited it a bit and sent it off. After I sent it off, I thought of a better last bit than I included with it.
      “Do you want the men who emerge from school to be a little bit sexist, who are willing and able to be first in line to defend you, and last in line when boarding the lifeboats and the cry of ‘women and children first’ go up? Or do you want them to cower in the corner using you as a shield, or shove you aside and say ‘I was here first!’? Be careful how much equity you demand; you might get it.”

  2. It will be ignored.

    Almost for certain their frame of reference only has a sliver of overlap with yours. It was the equivalent of an algebraic proof to someone that has trouble counting on their fingers.

    Good job. I enjoyed reading that.

  3. My father fought in WWll and even back then he said this was not the country we fought for! Today, with men’s education, well being, job prospects, quotas and constant barrage of insinuations of how worthless men have become who could blame any boy growing up today for not wanting to fight a war for a population that has already discarded them. Same scenario in the Vietnam war that took over sixty thousand American boys for a population of ungrateful citizens who shunned us like the war was our fault! My son just got out of college and if he is needed in the military for any reason I will do everything I can to hide him, why would another person in my family have to serve for a still ungrateful country! It’s already been proven that a boys life, much like his education is expendable! All these boys have mothers and stood by while the women’s groups picked apart everything boyish and now they stand in oblivion doing nothing! Silence is consent!

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