Trouble in Paradise? (Part 7)

Using Trojan Horse tactics, the progressive crowd is trying to infiltrate your local schools with left-wing propaganda.

“Beware of Greeks bearing gifts.” No, I’m not disparaging those of Hellenic ancestry, or the virtue of altruism. I’m referring to the Roman poet Virgil, who used the quoted phrase in the Aeneid to retell the legend of the Trojan Horse. During the long-running Trojan War, the Greek army deceived their embattled opponents, who were defending the walled city of Troy, by leaving a giant wooden horse at the gates. The Trojans, thinking the gift was a sign of surrender—a peace offering–opened their gates, wheeled the “present” into the fortified city, and celebrated until they were in a drunken stupor. It turns out that the horse secretly contained a squad of armed Greek soldiers, who emerged from the horse when the defending Trojan army was unprepared, and then ruthlessly ambushed them.

The expression is now used regularly as a warning when a supposed gift or act of virtue is thought to hold a hidden threat. I thought of this phrase yesterday (Jan. 12) when reading the Daily Times’ coverage of the upcoming MLK Day Celebration in Blount County (here and here) . Whenever the Daily Times runs a story on the front page with a banner headline, be suspicious. There is usually an angle.

The Daily Times reports that “The Alcoa-Blount County NAACP Chapter will celebrate the life and legacy of King with an education forum and children/youth program.” The Daily Times devoted extensive coverage—nearly the entirety of page 9A and running over to the next page–to the MLK Celebration Education Forum being organized by the local chapter of the NAACP. According to the liberal Daily Times,

There are two components; the first is geared toward educators wanting to learn how to approach topics of racism and resulting injustices. The featured speaker will be Erika Henderson from the organization Facing History and Ourselves. In addition to Henderson’s presentation on teacher resources, this virtual presentation also will include roundtable discussions with all three local directors of schools and remarks from retired longtime Alcoa teacher Marjorie Stewart…. Charles Carpenter, a resident of Blount County and member of the local NAACP, will have a role in this virtual discussion for educators. He wrote the resolution that was adopted by the national NAACP on hiring more diverse faculty and staff by school systems. The resolution stipulates that at least one person of color be interviewed for each hiring of teachers and administrators…. Carpenter said the way to improve is to hire more faculty of color. He said many school systems rely on word-of-mouth or recommendations from current staff to fill vacancies. He said historically Black colleges would welcome the opportunity to work with school officials to provide viable candidates. Carpenter said he would happily be a liaison. (Emphasis added.)

The NAACP once played a critical role in desegregating our institutions, but the victory in Brown v. Board of Education (1954) is now ancient history. In the intervening 66 years, we have enacted comprehensive civil rights laws, ended state-sanctioned segregation, implemented affirmative action, spent trillions of dollars to fight poverty, and, importantly, twice elected a black president and just elected a vice president whose father was Jamaican. Look around. Americans support black actors, singers, athletes, comedians, musicians, television hosts, news anchors, media personalities, movie directors, writers, poets, military leaders, judges, and political figures.

Contrary to the poisonous, and baseless, rhetoric of critical race theory, the United States is the least racist nation in the world. We have largely achieved Martin Luther King’s dream of a society in which citizens are judged by the content of their character rather than the color of their skin.

So why does the NAACP and the Daily Times persist with the false narrative of “systemic racism,” etc., demands for hiring quotas, and the indoctrination of our schoolchildren with the mantra of “diversity and inclusion”? Because it is camouflage for the progressive agenda—a Trojan Horse for leftist policies.

Who is behind the local NAACP? Rechartered in 2017 after an absence of more than 16 years, the President of the Alcoa-Blount County chapter of the NAACP is the Rev. Willa Estell, pastor at St. Paul A.M.E. Zion Church in Maryville. As her Facebook posts indicate, she is a partisan activist who opposed President Trump and supported the Democratic candidates in the special election for the Senate in Georgia. As the photo below demonstrates, she is also a supporter of Black Lives Matter.

In her capacity as head of the local NAACP chapter, she organized the pro-BLM Let Justice Ring rally in June, where one of the invited speakers exhorted the crowd with “We need radical change, and we need it now.” Last year’s MLK Day Celebration featured a radical speech by a critical race theory professor from the University of Kentucky, Frances Henderson, who called on the audience to confront “white privilege.”  This is not the rhetoric of racial reconciliation or color blindness.

This year’s MLK Celebration Education Forum, which was organized with the assistance of a UT faculty member who teaches critical race theory, likewise features a proponent of identity politics (Erika Henderson, pictured above, from the left-leaning organization Facing History and Ourselves). Her organization promotes a politically-correct version of American history, drawn from sources such as the Washington Post, Vox, the New York Times, Ta-Nehisi Coates, and similar progressive scholars.

One of the other NAACP officers who will “have a role in the virtual discussion for educators,” according to the Daily Times, is Charles Carpenter, a local lawyer who has a lengthy disciplinary record with the Tennessee state bar, including suspensions and numerous censures. He was even suspended from practicing law in Michigan! Why would our local school directors seek input regarding their curricula and hiring practices from an ethically-challenged lawyer? One of the other organizers of the education forum is a SJW who, again according to the Daily Times, believes that “white supremacist ideology has seen a disturbing increase.” This is tin foil hat kookiness.

The NAACP no longer advances MLK’s vision of colorblindness. They sow the poisonous ideology of critical race theory, seeking to indoctrinate our children to believe that America is a racist country and that all differences in results among demographic groups is the result of “systemic discrimination.” This is a Big Lie. The NAACP knows that residents of Blount County are good-natured people, and they cynically exploit the public’s natural sympathy for the concept of racial equality to advance a political agenda having nothing to do with color blindness. The Republican-hating Daily Times enthusiastically promotes the NAACP’s false narrative. In the guise of “helping” local educators, the NAACP seeks to hijack the curriculum.

It is a Trojan Horse. Blount County residents should not fall for the trick, like the hapless Trojans did. Don’t let demagogues prey on your emotions with unfounded claims of racism and discrimination. Resist the phony pleas for more “diversity and inclusion.” The Left seeks end-result equality (socialism), rigid quotas, and the destruction of meritocracy, to be replaced by a racial caste system that spells doom for upward mobility. Let your local school boards know that you don’t support the poisonous left-wing agenda being advanced by the NAACP and the Daily Times.  Beware of Greeks bearing gifts.    

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