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The founder of The New York Times’ "1619 Project", Nikole Hannah-Jones, recently stated that she would ban vouchers and school choice. Her motivation, of course, is that school choice is racist, but what she completely ignores it that American black children traditionally benefit the most from school choice. Hannah-Jones said that she’d rather ban vouchers for all children and all schools rather than cede any ground to state programs that offer tax credits for vouchers for religious schools.
A classic bait and switch, Hannah-Jones pretended to care about violations of the so-called Establishment clause of the First Amendment. But it’s a ruse: Hannah-Jones doesn’t care about the separation of church and state. She cares about banning parents from even trying to opt out of her anti-American, anti-capitalist, critical race theory doctrine that her "1619 Project" really represents. It's not because she wants to ban parents from pursuing a religious education, it's because she wants to ban them pursuing any education other than anti-racist indoctrination.
As is typical of many journalists and commentators who focus primarily on identity politics, Hannah-Jones’ initial premise is false. Her tweet was in response to a poor summary of a case the Supreme Court recently ruled on, Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue. The summary of the case said, “The Supreme Court's conservatives rule that Montana must fund private religious schools if it funds private secular schools. This is a massive blow to the separation of church and state, and a maximalist decision by Roberts.” This is decidedly false, though I suppose I can see how a leftist would interpret the ruling this way.
It’s true the Supreme Court found that if Montana was offering tax credits to private schools it had to apply them equally, even to kids attending religious schools. But, it wasn’t really a separation of church and state issue, it was a free exercise issue. The Court found that by abiding by the ancient Blaine Amendments in Montana’s constitution, the state had violated the free exercise rights of Ms. Espinoza, a single mother who wanted to use the scholarship program, which gave a small tax credit to organizations that donated to it, to place her children in a religious school.
The merits of the Supreme Court aside, Hannah-Jones pushed forward with her narrative and true wish to ban school vouchers. Leftists hate school choice despite its proven benefits for black and minority children because when parents choose schools for their children, they are not forced to educate their children according to the pervasive, leftist ideology found in so many public schools.
In Reason, Corey A. DeAngelis, America’s foremost expert on school choice, wrote, “For example, 100 percent of the students using the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship Program are from low??income families and around 70 percent of those students are minorities. The average student using the program comes from a household earning an income of just $26,578 per year.” School choice, via vouchers, is an incredible system and it should be applied to every study, not just a few areas of the country.
So why wouldn’t Hannah-Jones, the founder of the controversial but award-winning "1619 Project", want school choice for black kids? Easy. If black parents choose to send their black kids to charter or private schools, it’s unlikely they’ll be taught "1619 Project", which is based in critical race theory, rooted in Marxism. And that’s what Hannah-Jones wants.
She wants to keep parents from opting out of learning an anti-American, Marxist doctrine. This is to say nothing of the fact that "1619 Project" was found to be riddled with errors. When indoctrination is the goal, facts are a mere nuisance.
If black parents and their children are indoctrinated in critical race theory, one by one, they will align with Marxism—the closest thing we have to that is today’s modern progressive, Democrat party—and they will stop thinking for themselves. They will toe the party line, every time.
When they do this, as in many cities that have been overrun by Democrats for decades—think Minneapolis, Chicago, Washington, DC—they will perpetuate welfare programs, racism, victimhood, and other progressive mantras, and they will fall into mayhem. This we have observed with our very eyes over the last few weeks.
The best avenue toward a better world is not adopting a specific, pessimistic, political party perspective, but satisfying a child’s natural quench for knowledge through rigorous education. Every parent should be able to choose this for their child via school vouchers but we’re not there yet. Until we are, women like Hannah-Jones will continue to push their anti-American propaganda and apply any bait and switch tactic necessary—even the pretense of promoting the separation of church and state--when really her goal is to push critical race theory and Marxist principles, however flawed or fabricated.